Ice Hockey Ties NMU 3-3

The No. 2 Michigan ice hockey team skated to a 3-3 tie with Northern Michigan on Friday night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor. Travis Turnbull, Max Pacioretty and Kevin Porter recorded goals for the Wolverines. Michigan climbed within two points of idle Miami in the standings with the tie.

ANN ARBOR -- Despite skating as a heavy favorite, and on home ice to boot, the No. 2-ranked Michigan Wolverines ice hockey team skated to a 3-3 tie with the visiting Northern Michigan Wildcats on Friday night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor. Travis Turnbull, Max Pacioretty and Kevin Porter scored goals for the Wolverines.

"We're disappointed, absolutely. This is a home game against a team you're ahead of in the standings, and you have to find a way to win that game," Michigan coach Red Berenson said after the game.

"You have to give (Northern Michigan) credit because they kept us off balance. For the first 10 minutes, we were on our heels, we weren't as sharp, they were taking it to us, and it could have been 2-0 or 3-0 in the first 10 minutes. Then I thought that the last seven or eight minutes we started to play better and then for the most part we were in the game and we were playing well. The game comes down to mistakes and penalties."

Michigan's first mistake came near the middle of the first frame. Alternate captain Mark Mitera made the rare mistake of turning the puck over behind the Wolverines own goal. Northern Michigan's Nick Sirota grabbed the puck and sent it to Jared Brown off the right post. Brown relayed the pass to Gregor Hanson crashing the left post, and Hanson lifted the puck into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Northern Michigan at 10:18.

"We did not come prepared. We just did not do it today. We were a little loose in the locker room, and we like to be a little loose, but not that loose," said Chad Kolarik, who finished with just one assist in the contest. "We took it for granted."

Michigan began to battle back in the second period. After Travis Turnbull tied the score 1-1 with 10:38 left in the frame, Max Pacioretty made it 2-1 Michigan with a power-play goal at 16:09 of the period. Pacioretty scooped up the rebound off a hard shot from Kevin Porter and banked it into the Wildcats net off the skate of Northern Michigan goalie Brian Stewart.

Turnbull made it 1-1 with a laser into the top-left corner of the net on a feed from Louie Caporusso. Caporusso carried the puck in skating to the right side. Turnbull crossed behind Caporusso to set up the shot, and his quick release flew over Stewart's blocker.

Just 1:44 after Pacioretty's power-play goal made it 2-1, the Wildcats tied it 2-2 with a special team's goal of their own. Wildcats forward Matt Butcher stripped U-M defenseman Chad Langlais of the puck on the Wolverines offensive blue line, and skated alone in on Michigan goalie Billy Sauer before depositing the puck in the Michigan net.

Michigan out shot Northern Michigan 14-4 in the second period, but the score remained 2-2 through 40 minutes of play.

Michigan again took the lead with 12:16 remaining in the game. Skating with a 4-on-3 advantage, Kevin Porter scored his NCAA-leading 23rd goal of the season with a hard slap shot that beat the screened Northern Michigan goalie to make it 3-2.

With just under 10 minutes left, however, the Wildcats would tie the score for good with a 5-on-3 goal that would ultimately be the games final goal.

Behind the tie, the Wolverines climb within two points of the Miami RedHawks in the conference standings. Miami off this weekend, the Wolverines can force a tie for first place in the standings with a win over the Wildcats in Saturday night's weekend finale.

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