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Michigan Wolverines Hockey Splits At New Hampshire

New Hampshire sophomore forward Angus Crookshank’s two-goal effort Saturday night made the difference between a series split and a series sweep for Michigan at UNH this weekend.

Crookshank scored his second goal of the game just 36 seconds into overtime to give the Wildcats a 3-2 win and a split in their weekend two-game set with Michigan. The Wolverines opened the series with a 4-1 victory over New Hampshire on Friday night.

Michigan Wolverines hockey freshman forward Johnny Beecher
Michigan Wolverines hockey freshman forward Johnny Beecher led the team with a pair of goals in its win Friday night. (Lon Howedel)

MIchigan junior forward Michael Pastujov fed the Wolverines’ hopes for a weekend sweep when he opened Saturday’s contest with a power play goal halfway through the first period. Crookshank evened the score, 1-1, with an unassisted effort early in the second period. Senior Wolverine forward Jake Slaker bagged his first goal of the season at 13:50 of the middle period to put Michigan back ahead, 2-1. Wildcat defenseman Max Gildon solved Michigan senior goaltender Hayden Lavigne late in that second period to knot the score, 2-2. Crookshank’s overtime winner sealed the win for New Hamsphire.

“They pushed hard and we ran out of gas,” said Michigan head coach Mel Pearson to the Michigan Daily after Saturday’s game. “We couldn’t get out of our zone. We just never recovered from that, even in overtime.

“We had a lot of turnovers in the third period tonight in what I call the danger zone, the top of the circles to the blue line and that’s on our forwards. We didn’t do a very good job for our defensemen, helping them out. Our forwards turned the puck over a number of times, and on the winning goal, same thing.”

Pearson opted to give Lavigne his first game action of the season in net on Saturday night after going with sophomore netminder Strauss Mann on Friday. Mann held the Wolverines in the game early in the Friday opener.

“He kept us in the game at the start,” said Pearson of Mann’s Friday performance. “He made a couple of big saves before we could get going.”

Freshman forward Johnny Beecher’s two goals fueled the Friday victory as Michigan found some of the offense they had sought throughout the early 2019-20 season. Beecher’s first goal of the night came on the power play midway through the first period. Fellow freshman Cam York used a wrap-around effort to give Michigan a 2-1 lead with just two minutes left in the first period. Junior forward Jack Becker extended the Wolverine lead to 3-1 in the second period. Beecher empty net goal sealed the win for Michigan.

Michigan Wolverines Hockey Three Stars Of The Weekend

First Star — Freshman forward Johnny Beecher

Beecher two goals led the offense in Michigan’s 4-1 Friday night win, giving the freshman four markers on the season.

Second Star — Freshman defenseman Cam York

Utilizing the same wrap-around effort that he used in his first career goal, York got the game-winner on his second of the season.

Third Star — Senior forward Jake Slaker

Returning to the lineup from injury, Slaker gave Michigan a short-lived 2-1 lead in the middle period of Saturday night’s series finale.

Michigan Wolverines Hockey Quote Of The Weekend

“The turnovers are going to kill you. We have to get that out of our game.”

— Michigan head coach Mel Pearson to the Michigan Daily after Saturday’s loss to New Hampshire

Up Next For Michigan Wolverines Hockey

The Wolverines stay on the road for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, visiting Big Ten rival Wisconsin for a pair of weekend games, November 30 and December 1. The Badgers join Michigan near the bottom of the current Big Ten standings, despite having one of the best freshman classes in recent Big Ten memory. Highly regarded freshman forwards Cole Caufield, Alex Turcotte, Owen Lindmark and Dylan Holloway will look to turn around the Badgers’ slow start in Big Ten play when they welcome the Wolverines to Madison for a pair of contests.

Other Big Ten Hockey Action This Weekend

Friday #3 Notre Dame 1 at Michigan State 1 (OT)

Saturday #3 Notre Dame 2 at Michigan State 3

Friday #11 Ohio State 4 at #6 Penn State 5

Saturday #11 Ohio State 4 at #6 Penn State 3

Friday #16 Wisconsin 1 at Minnesota 4

Saturday #16 Wisconsin 3 at Minnesota 3 (OT)

2019-20 Big Ten Hockey Standings

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