Hockey Buckeyes Can't Make It Two

Michigan's 12-game ice hockey winning streak met its end Friday night at the hands of Ohio State, so the Wolverines surely wanted to make an early statement in the rematch Saturday night. That's exactly what happened as Michigan scored three early goals then held on to knock off the Buckeyes by a 4-2 count.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – If Ohio State men's hockey head coach John Markell could focus on the two things his Buckeyes could afford to do least Saturday night at No. 2 Michigan, he might have gone with "avoid getting down early" and "don't make any mistakes that lead to odd-man rushes."

Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, those were the two things they did. Michigan scored three goals in the first 12 minutes and change and added a momentum-killing fourth thanks to an OSU turnover to take a 4-2 win and avenge last night's loss that ended U-M's 12-game winning streak.

"We didn't do the little things that we needed to get done," Markell said. "We didn't do them consistently and that's a problem."

The teams now split the regular-season series, the fourth year in a row that has been the outcome of the two-game sets.

The Yost Ice Arena crowd, which numbered 6,751 Saturday night, is legendary in its ability to affect games based on its noise, and the Wolverines (14-2, 9-1 Central Collegiate Hockey Association) try to capitalize by burying teams early, which is what happened on this night.

All of the points for U-M during the first period were scored by freshmen. First, Matt Rust earned career goal No. 5 by stuffing a wraparound behind OSU goaltender Joseph Palmer 4:30 into the game. At 8:01, Aaron Palushaj fed Carl Hagelin on the left post of Palmer, and Hagelin's shortside backhand shot snuck into the net. Exactly four minutes later, Max Pacioretty beat Palmer on the power play with a drive from the left circle.

"Early in the period, we were trying to weather their intensity knowing they were going to come out hard, and that was something we failed at," said OSU senior John Dingle. "That was something we were really trying to avoid, but they capitalized and ran with it."

Palushaj earned the primary assist on all three goals, while Hagelin, Rust and defenseman Chad Langlais each picked up a single helper.

Palmer also had to make some big stops for the Buckeyes (4-11-1, 2-8 CCHA) during the frame, going post-to-post quickly to stop senior Chad Kolarik on the right side and adding a breakaway stop on Kevin Porter, college hockey's leading scorer.

Ohio State had its chances early, but true freshman Bryan Hogan was game during his first career college action. He was helped by the crossbar on a Patrick Schafer shot less than a minute into his tenure. With 9:37 left in the period, he stoned OSU leading scorer Tommy Goebel on a penalty shot after U-M's Tim Miller covered the puck in the crease.

"I liked his game," Michigan head coach Red Berenson said. "I do not think you would want a goalie to play this first game when the second shot of the night is a penalty shot, but he was up to it, and I thought he looked good out there."

The two goals for OSU were rather well-taken. The Buckeyes had just two shots on net during the second period, but one of them went in when Dingle converted a breakaway chance between Hogan's legs 8:25 into the second. Freshman Sergio Somma added a goal 5:02 into the third, his fourth goal in five games, when he put in his own rebound after Hogan made a spectacular save on his first chance all alone in front.

In between the two OSU markers, Pacioretty scored his second of the night with 3:59 left in the second. Buckeye defenseman Kyle Hood turned the puck over to Porter at the Ohio State attacking blue line. Porter skated the length of the ice, waiting for Pacioretty to join on a 2-on-1, then fed him for a snipe from the slot.

Markell liked his team's spirit, especially during a 16-shot third period, but wasn't happy with the effort during the middle frame.

"They got three quick goals on us obviously, but I thought we fought back," he said. "I thought we deviated from what made us successful last night in the second period. Two shots on net is not going to get it done in this building."

Hogan made 26 saves on 28 Ohio State shots to get his first career win, while Palmer was forced into 30 saves.

The Buckeyes return to action Dec. 7-8 with a home two-game series against St. Lawrence.

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