Site: Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. (Taffy Abel Ice Arena)
Score: #12 Michigan 5, Lake Superior State 3
Records: Lake Superior State (5-1), U-M (4-3)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Nov. 9 — vs. No. 5 Notre Dame (Red Berenson Rink at Yost Ice Arena), 7:30 p.m.
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — The No. 12 ranked Michigan Wolverines (4-3) earned a weekend split after defeating Lake Superior State (5-1), 5-3, on Saturday night (Nov. 3) at Taffy Abel Ice Arena. Sophomore forward Josh Norris continued his hot start to the season with two goals and an assist in the winning effort.
Michigan got on the board first 3:41 into the opening period when Norris buried a rebound in front of the net off a Joseph Cecconi’s shot from the point. The goal was Norris’ fifth goal in as many games and has recorded at least one point in each of Michigan’s seven games to start the season.
The Wolverines capitalized on a failed Lakers breakout when freshman forward Garrett Van Wyhe picked off an errant pass and found junior forward Jake Slaker on the LSSU doorstep. The San Diego, California native scored his fourth goal of the campaign off a one-timer at the 11:56 mark of the first period to double Michigan’s lead, 2-0.
With 15 seconds left until the first intermission Lake Superior State would cut the Wolverine lead in half when Diego Cugllietta picked up a rebound on the back door off a Jacob Nordqvuist shot.
Lake Superior State evened the score at two apiece 1:36 into the second stanza on when Anthony Nellis tipped a shot from the point that bounced over the head of Mann.
The tie would be short-lived as Michigan rallied off two goals in a span of two minutes to regain a two-goal lead (4-2). Sophomore forward Jack Becker potted his first of the season at the 5:38 mark when he slipped one by the Laker netminder off a shot from the left faceoff dot on a two-on-one opportunity. Two minutes later on the power-play it would be sophomore forward Quinn Hughes with his third of the year off a wrist shot from the point that made its way over the glove of the LSSSU keeper.
Michigan continued to poor on the pressure when Norris scored his second goal of the night – this time on the penalty kill – when he pick-pocketed a Laker defender in the neutral zone and found the back of the net on the breakaway 13:54 into the second period.
The Lakers had their best chance to cut into the Michigan lead when they were awarded a power play with 7:04 remaining in the third period but U-M was able to kill of its fifth penalty of the game to preserve the three goal cushion for the final score.
Freshman netminder Strauss Mann earned his second win between the pipes and recorded 28 saves in the winning effort.
Michigan will host No. 5-ranked Notre Dame next weekend (Nov. 9-10) in a rematch of the 2018 Frozen Four Semifinal at Yost Ice Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.