Monday, February 9, 2009

Michigan 2, LSSU 1

Carl Hagelin (photo from MGoBlue)

I covered the Michigan/Lake Superior State hockey game on Saturday for The Wolverine, but because of a mixup the story wasn't posted on their site. Here's my recap in full, for your reading enjoyment:

Michigan bounced back from a sloppy start to earn a 2-1 victory over Lake Superior State and clinch a home sweep. Carl Hagelin’s first period goal, coming just 19 seconds after the Lakers took a 1-0 lead, ignited the team and Brian Lebler provided the game-winning tally in the second.

Brian Hogan faced a barrage of shots in the first period, stopping 12 Laker chances before former Wolverine Zac MacVoy knocked home a rebound chance with 47 seconds to go in the period. LSSU could not maintain their early momentum, as just seconds later Hagelin found space between the circles and snapped a wrist shot past goaltender Pat Inglis for his ninth goal of the season.

“That was a huge goal that Carl got,” head coach Red Berenson said. “It was kind of like [Matt] Rust’s goal last night to get us back in the game in the first period.”

The Wolverines struck again 6:25 into the second period, as Brian Lebler netted a rebound opportunity of his own after Aaron Palushaj’s slapshot handcuffed Inglis. It was Lebler’s fourth goal of the season, and the assist was Palushaj’s second of the night and 26th on the season.

From there, Michigan was able to shut down Lake State and control the puck, thanks in large part to 14 Laker penalty minutes over the final two periods. Hogan finished the game with 26 saves, only 14 coming after the first stanza.

The victory moved the Wolverines (21-9-0, 15-7-0-0 CCHA) into sole possession of third place in the CCHA, breaking a tie with Alaska-Fairbanks. Michigan is now just two points behind second-place Miami with six games to go in the regular season.

“As [Detroit Red Wings coach] Mike Babcock would say, it was an ugly win,” Berenson quipped afterwards. “But, we got through it. It was just one of those games. We weren’t in sync and we had to battle the whole way.”

“The games were important. It was an important weekend and we got the wins we needed.”

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