Icers Win 3-2; Enter Break 16-2-0

The No. 2-ranked Michigan hockey team finished the first half the season with a home game against #18 BGSU on Saturday night in Ann Arbor. Junior Brandon Naurato scored the game-winning goal with just six seconds left in the second period as the Wolverines improved to 16-2-0 on the season with a tight 3-2 win over the visiting Falcons.

ANN ARBOR -- With a pair of power-play goals, and one while skating shorthanded, the No. 2 Michigan ice hockey team skated past No. 18 BGSU 3-2 on Saturday night at Michigan's Yost Ice Arena to conclude the first half of the season with a record of 16-2-0, including a mark of 11-1-0 in conference play.

Bryan Hogan made his second career start in goal for the Wolverines. Aside from his 20 saves in goal, Hogan also nearly ended the game with a clearing attempt from his own crease that rang off the right post of the Falcons empty net.

"I think we were lucky. I think we had good goalkeeping. I think our team got down, but got lucky at the other end and put our chances in," said U-M coach Red Berenson.

"But it is not the kind of hockey we want to play. We have to give Bowling Green credit, they were probably the better team on the ice tonight."

After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Falcons battled back into the game with their second straight stanza in the middle frame. A pair of Michigan penalties just 10 seconds apart set the stage for a BGSU 5-on-3 power play, and defenseman Jacob Cepis used the traffic in front of Hogan to sneak the puck off the post and into the net.

Cepis tied it 2-2 with his second goal of the game just under 10 minutes later. As the Wolverines struggled to clear the defensive zone near the 12-minute mark, Cepis scooped up a loose puck and flung it over Hogan's left shoulder.

At that point, however, momentum switched back to the team in the Maize uniforms.

On the Wolverines second power play of the period, Brandon Naurato scored what would eventually become the game-winning goal with just six seconds left on the clock in the middle period.

"The player on Bowling Green just tried icing the puck at the end of the period and (Steve) Kampfer kept it in and passed it to Carl (Hagelin) and Carl dropped it back to me," Naurato said. "I just put it on net, and it went in."

Michigan also got a pair of special teams goals in the opening frame to make it 2-0.

Skating on the penalty kill for the first time of the night, Matt Rust opened the scoring with his seventh goal of the season. Pressuring the point on BGSU's power play, Rust tipped a cross-ice pass out into the neutral zone. Picking up the puck alone on his way into the Falcons zone, Rust faked to the backhand and flipped the puck over BGSU goalie Nick Eno at 3:42.

Kevin Porter added his NCAA-leading 18th goal just under 10 minutes later. The Wolverines first power-play goal of the night, Porter took a pass from Chad Langlais and one-timed it into the near side of the net to make it 2-0.

With the win, the Wolverines conclude the first half of the season with a record of 16-2-0. They're also sitting alone a top the CCHA standings for the first time of the year with 22 points.

Michigan's next contest is scheduled for Friday, December 28th at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The Wolverines open Providence in the first game of the 43rd annual Great Lakes Invitational at 4:30 p.m.

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