ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The No. 13-ranked University of Michigan hockey team defeated Arizona State by a score of 5-3 for the second consecutive game on Red Berenson Rink at Yost Ice Arena Saturday night (Feb. 24). The win marked the team’s fifth sweep of the season, the most two-game series sweeps since 2014-15. In addition, the Wolverines are now riding a six-game unbeaten streak.
After ASU scored early in Friday night’s game, the Wolverines came out with energy and put up the first eleven shots of the game. Halfway into the first period, junior forward Cooper Marody used his reach to protect the puck and skate by several opposing players before cutting to the front of the net and depositing Michigan’s first goal of the contest with a quick shot past a sprawling goalkeeper. Junior defenseman Joseph Cecconi and senior forward Dexter Dancs collected assists on the play.
Just three and a half minutes later with Michigan on the powerplay, Marody received a pass from freshman defenseman Quinn Hughes and skated deep into the Sun Devil zone. With defenders closing in, Marody dished the puck back to senior defenseman Sam Piazza at the point who ripped home a wrist shot with traffic in front.
To cap off the first period, Piazza set up sophomore forward Adam Winborg on a 2-on-1 break with senior forward Niko Porikos flanking him to his left. With just under 90 seconds left in the frame, Winborg looked off Porikos and buried the puck low-blocker to put the Wolverines up three after one period.
Fresh off of an Arizona State turnover, senior captain Tony Calderone glided into the Sun Devil zone and started off the second period by picking his corner short-side, going bar-down over Joey Daccord’s glove for his 47th career goal as a Wolverine.
Arizona State forward Johnny Walker continued his productive weekend by netting the next two goals as the Sun Devils cut the deficit to two in the second half of the period to send the teams in for the second intermission with a score of 4-2.
Early in the third period, sophomore U-M netminder Hayden Lavigne came up big on a flurry of ASU chances with the Sun Devils holding a 5-on-3 man-advantage that included a diving stop across the crease to preserve the two-goal cushion. With the Maize and Blue on the powerplay, Marody stick-handled through traffic and found his captain in the slot 10:27 into the third period. Calderone wasted no time before sniping home his second of the night.
Arizona State answered two minutes later with their third goal of the game, but that would be the last of the scoring as U-M finished strong and cruised to a 5-3 win.
After the game concluded, Michigan’s six seniors (Calderone, Dancs, Cutler Martin, Piazza, Porikos, & Alex Roos) were honored during the annual Senior Night festivities.
With U-M locked into third place, sixth place Wisconsin will visit Yost Ice Arena next weekend for a best-of-three series in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament (March 2-4). This is the first time in the five-year history of the Big Ten Hockey Conference that the postseason tournament will take place on campus sites. Following the first round, matchups will be re-seeded for the semi-finals as well as the championship game. Puck drop against Wisconsin is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. all three nights, with Sunday (March 4) only being played if the teams split the first two games.