Wolverines grab second one-goal win
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – No. 4 Michigan grabbed a two-goal lead in the third period and held off a late charge from Michigan Tech in a 2-1 final at Yost Ice Arena Saturday. Dennis Rix pulled the Huskies within 2-1 with 12 minutes to play, and the Huskies had several good scoring chances in the closing minutes.
Zach Nagelvoort made 22 saves in the game including a pair in the final four minutes to preserve the Wolverines’ second consecutive one-goal win over the Huskies. Jacob Johnstone had a chance on the back door with roughly four minutes to play, and Tanner Kero tipped a shot with the extra attacker on the ice that was just gloved by Nagelvoort in the final minute.
“I’m proud of the team and our work ethic,” said Tech coach Mel Pearson. “Down 2-0 on the road to a top-ranked team, we battled back and had chances to tie it. I’m still not sure how the puck stayed out on the back door.”
Michigan (6-1-1) took a 1-0 lead on the power play in the opening period. Andrew Copp, who had the game winner in overtime Friday, tucked a shot near post on goaltender Pheonix Copley with 27 seconds left in the frame.
The teams skated through a scoreless second period with the hosts holding an 11-8 advantage in shots on goal.
Justin Selman made it 2-0 Wolverines 3:28 into the third as his shot from the left circle appeared to deflect off Shane Hanna’s stick.
Tech began winning the territorial battle later in the period. Rix missed tapping in a loose puck in the crease, but got a goal minutes later. The senior backhanded a shot from the slot high over Nagelvoort’s blocker for his first tally of the season.
Copley shut the door on several quality Michigan chances between the 13:00 and 15:00 marks of the third period. The final five minutes belonged to the Huskies, but they couldn’t get the equalizer.
Copley made 28 saves in the contest, but fell to 1-5-0 on the year.
Michigan Tech dropped to 1-6-1 on the season with its fourth one-goal loss. The Huskies have opened the season playing seven of their first eight on the road with four contests against No. 4-ranked foes.
“I know I’ve said this before, but there are a lot of good things going on with our hockey team,” said Pearson. “There’s a certain way you have to play to win hockey games, and we’re doing a lot of those things. We just didn’t bury our chances tonight.
“We’re going to be fired up to come home for our next four games and with Michigan State coming in. There are a lot of good things to come.”
Tech hosts the Spartans Friday and Saturday at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:07 p.m.