The Michigan hockey team didn't come out of its weekend against Wisconsin with a sweep, but the Wolverines managed the next best thing, scoring five points after posting a 3-2 shootout win Saturday night on the heels of a 3-1 win Friday.
"The environment during the shootout made it feel like a complete win," head coach Red Berenson said. "It's an important win, but it's not a three-point win. It felt good to get five of the six points against a good team that swept us in their building. Did we get everything back? No, but we got most of them."
Freshman goalie Zach Nagelvoort turned aside all three Badger shootout skaters while senior right wing Luke Moffatt netted U-M's lone breakaway goal (as the second skater) to earn that coveted second point.
With the second point, Michigan moved ahead of Wisconsin and into second place in the Big Ten with 17 points (UW has 16).
"I thought both goalies played really well, but Zach was as good as it gets," Berenson said. "They had some-point blank chances, and they had a couple that were borderline and so did we.
This game had a little bit of everything, including a goal that wasn't a goal, and a penalty-shot goal.
After a scoreless first period in which both teams had ample opportunities, UW forward Michael Mersch put the Badgets on the board at 1:02 of the second period with a nifty highlight-reel goal in which he passed the puck to himself (and through the legs of U-M defenseman Kevin Clare) before depositing it past a surprised Nagelvoort.
Michigan evened the score at 1-1 at 10:10 of the second when freshman winger Tyler Motte scooped up a rebound and flipped it over the outstretched left pad of goalie Joel Rumpel for his seventh tally of the season and second in as many nights.
The Maize and Blue appeared to take the lead at 15:24 of the second when junior defender Andrew Sinelli took control of the puck at center ice, accelerated past a flat-footed defense and broke in on Rumpel. It ricocheted off a Badger blue liner crashing the net and made its way over the goal line. However, the goal was waived off after the officials determined that Sinelli had made contact with Rumpel.
"They said Sinelli was in the crease and then the puck bounced off one of their players and into the net but at that point Sinelli made contact with the goalie, and we couldn't tell but now what I'm hearing about the replay is that the puck went into the net before Sinelli made any contact," Berenson said. "I'd like to hear the explanation for that."
Less than a minute later, Badger forward Mark Zengerle turned a turnover into a breakaway and when he was dragged down by Michigan senior forward Derek DeBlois, Zengerle was awarded a penalty shot. He deked and went five-hole to beat Nagelvoort at 16:14 of the second period.
"You talk about a turning point in the game; you go from having a goal that tied the game to giving up a goal to give them the lead," Berenson said.
That goal looked like it might stand up, as U-M became increasingly frustrated by a power play that went 0 for 6 (despite 14 shots) and is now 0 for 18 in its last four games. However, at 7:02, Moffatt did his own whirling dervish, sending an innocent-looking shot towards the net. Rumpel didn't appear to see it and the puck slid on by.
Down the stretch, and throughout the 60 minutes, Michigan had plenty of chances to take the lead, including two man-advantage opportunities in the final eight minutes, but Rumpel kept coming up with the saves and the Wolverines were held at bay.
In overtime, Wisconsin caught its breath and became the aggressor after spending most of the contest on its heels - U-M outshot UW for the game 41-27 - with Nagelvoort having to come up big. He would, and he would come up even bigger in the shootout, giving the 5,800 fans in attendance plenty to cheer about as they braved the cold on their way out of Yost Ice Arena.
Michigan will be on the road next weekend for a two-game series at Penn State, meeting the Nittany Lions for the first time in program history.
Here is how the game played out on twitter
NBCSPORTS, no one cares about Drexel and Towson. Put the Michigan and Wisconsin hockey game on.— mike storrer (@mstorrer32) February 1, 2014
Michigan's student section makes the hockey games great— Alex (@AZoltowski) February 2, 2014
The game is chippy, the @ChildrenOfYost have picked up soccer chants, and Big Ten positioning is on the line. This is a fun one.— Alejandro L. Zúñiga (@the_zuniga) February 2, 2014
Wisconsin forward Michael Mersch passed to himself from behind his back on that goal. Nifty.— erin lennon (@ee_lennon) February 2, 2014
Whoa! It's almost like Andrew Sinelli used to play forward! Sinelli flies into the zone, drives the net and stuffs one in!— Yost Built (@YostBuilt) February 2, 2014
That goal is waved of. Michigan remains tied at 1 with Wisconsin still in the second.— Greg Garno (@G_Garno) February 2, 2014
Hockey pisses me off sometimes. Michigan dominating, scores, goal waived off, Wisconsin scores immediately after.— ian (@ianw28) February 2, 2014
Michigan is…Idk what wolverines do in the wild. Swarming? Buzzing? Flocking? But that's what Michigan is doing right now. #michiganhockey— Matt (@bauerhky) February 2, 2014
Hell of a hockey game between Michigan and Wisconsin on NBC Sports Network right now folks. Tied up 2-2 less than 5 minutes to play.— Andy Johnson (@AndyJohnsonB5Q) February 2, 2014
Bonus hockey in Yost! Michigan and Wisconsin tied 2-2. Tyler Motte and Luke Moffatt the goal scorers for Michigan. #GoBlue— Matt (@bauerhky) February 2, 2014