Wolverines Comeback Falls Short against No. 18 Wisconsin

by | Feb 4, 2018 | RRSN News | 0 comments

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Red Berenson Rink at Yost Ice Arena)

Score: No. 18 Wisconsin 4, No. 20 Michigan 2

Records: U-M (13-13-2, 8-10-2-1 B1G), WIS (14-13-4, 8-9-3-1 B1G)

Next U-M Event: Friday, Feb. 9 — vs. Michigan State (Munn Ice Arena), 7:05 p.m.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The No. 20-ranked University of Michigan hockey team couldn’t climb out of an early deficit, snapping a three-match home winning streak and settling for a weekend split following a 4-2 defeat to No. 18 Wisconsin at Red Berenson Rink at Yost Ice Arena on Saturday (Feb. 3).


Sophomore Jake Slaker had a goal and an assist, while freshman Jack Becker added a goal of his own. Freshman Josh Norris had a pair of assists. Sophomore Jack LaFontaine made 18 saves in net without allowing a goal after coming on in the second period in replace of starter Hayden Lavigne.


The Wolverines had a couple of quality chances in the first couple minutes of the game, but were unable to capitalize. Senior Tony Calderone split the defense and found himself with a breakaway on goal, but his glove-side attempt was poked wide. The Badgers struck first on a rebound goal from Trent Frederic, who cleaned up a rebound right in front of Lavigne.


Freshman Dakota Raabe nearly tied it up soon after on an attempt right in front of Wisconsin goaltender Kyle Hayton, but his back-to-goal backhand attempt was stopped by Hayton’s left blocker pad. The visitors added two more goals within less than a minute of each other and went into the first intermission with a 3-0 lead.


Wisconsin made it 4-0 on a power play goal from Wyatt Kalynuk, prompting Michigan to make the switch to LaFontaine.


The Wolverines got on the board at the 12:48 mark of the second period courtesy of Slaker. Seconds after a Wisconsin penalty ended, senior Sam Piazza fired a shot from the point that took a deflection off a Badgers skater and came right back to him. He collected the puck and found Slaker off to the right, who shelved a shot past Hayton to make the score 4-1. It was Slaker’s 12th goal of the season, second-most on the team.


Michigan made it 4-2 with 11:18 left in the game on a power play goal from Becker. Slaker started the play, firing a pass to Norris, who stood at the left circle. He wristed a pass of his own across the goal face to Becker, who buried it into the wide-open net.


The Wolverines’ best chance came with under six minutes left. On the penalty kill, Norris and Slaker found themselves in a two-on-one breakaway with Hayton, but Slaker’s shot went high of the net.


Michigan returns to the ice on Friday (Feb. 9), facing Michigan State in East Lansing. The two teams conclude the weekend series with the third annual “Duel in the D”, held next Saturday (Feb. 10) at Little Caesars Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday. Saturday’s game will also be aired on Fox Sports Detroit.

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