Michigan Wolverines Hockey Swept In Pair Of OT Games At Wisconsin
In a season full of disappointments, Michigan added another weekend’s worth to the list of frustrating losses. Two road overtime defeats to Wisconsin, after leading in each game, sunk the Wolverines' hopes of hosting a first-round series in next weekend’s Big Ten conference championships.
Wisconsin sophomore forward Sean Dhooghe’s Friday night game-winning goal with only 27 seconds left in the first overtime period was matched by fellow Badger sophomore forward Linus Weissbach’s game-winning overtime effort on Saturday, leaving Michigan tied with Wisconsin one lone point behind Penn State in the final regular-season standings and the final spot earning home ice next weekend.
“We knew they were going to take chances,” Michigan head coach Mel Pearson said of the Friday overtime. “They had to. They needed to win this game to have a chance to get home ice. They had nothing to lose by just having guys hang high. We didn’t learn from it last weekend.”
Wolverine junior forward Will Lockwood gave Michigan a 3-2 lead early in the second period Friday night, but Wisconsin answered with two goals of their own in the middle stanza to take a one-goal lead into the third period.
Wolverine Freshman forward Jimmy Lambert knotted the game at 2:51 of the third period, but Dhooge spoiled Michigan’s hope with his overtime heroics.
Michigan again held a 3-2 second-period lead on Saturday on goals by freshman defenseman Jack Summers, Lambert and junior forward Nick Pastujov. Wisconsin dashed the Wolverines' hopes on Ty Emberson’s score with less than two minutes left in the contest, setting up Weissbach’s overtime clincher.
“We just gave Weissbach too much room,” Pearson said. “It was a neutral-zone play. We all just sagged in. Nobody went to him. It was almost like we were shorthanded or something. Then he came in, took a step to the left, took a shot. He’s got a good shot, but we have to stop those. Tough loss. Team played hard tonight. I thought we played a good road game, good enough to win. It’s tough because of the implications to lose it like that.”
“All we ask is that our guys show up and play hard and try to play their best,” continued a frustrated Pearson. “If you can walk out of the rink tonight and feel you’ve played your best, given your best effort, then that’s all we can ask. Some guys really played well and played hard tonight. It’s nice to see Jack Summers get his first goal. Mike Pastujov had a good game. It’s just unfortunate [to lose late in the game]. You have to play right to the end. You have to play 60 minutes.”
Michigan Three Stars Of The Weekend
First Star — Freshman forward Jimmy Lambert
Lambert scored key goals in crunch time in both games, giving Michigan a shot at a victory each night.
Second Star — Sophomore forward Michael Pastujov
Pastujov set up both of Lambert’s goals and earned compliments for his performance by Pearson postgame.
Third Star — Senior forward Will Lockwood
Lockwood continued his second-half scoring binge with a goal and an assist on the weekend.
Quote Of The Weekend
“It’s beyond frustrating. Feel bad for the team, feel bad for the fans and everybody who supports us to not get home ice and to lose in overtime. Last night was tough and this one’s equally as tough. A minute left and we’re playing pretty well and you get a bad bounce, a bad break. We didn’t get any puck luck when we needed it this weekend.” — Michigan head coach Mel Pearson Saturday night on the Wisconsin weekend frustrations.
Instead of enjoying the advantages of a home weekend series at Yost Ice Arena, the Wolverines will pack up and head to Minnesota for a first-round best-two-of-three series at 3M Arena at Mariucci in Minneapolis. The winner of that opening round series will advance to the Big Ten conference championship semifinals.
The Tournament bracket is below:
Other Big Ten Hockey Weekend Action
Michigan State 1 at No. 7 Ohio State 5 (Fri.)
Michigan State 3 at No. 7 Ohio State 2 (Sat.)
No. 12 Arizona State 1 at Minnesota 5 (Fri.)
No. 12 Arizona State 2 at Minnesota 5 (Sat.)
No. 18 Penn State 4 at No. 17 Notre Dame 5 (Fri.)
No. 18 Penn State 3 at No. 17 Notre Dame 2 (Sat.)
Final Big Ten Regular-Season Standings
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