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October 12, 2012 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-10-12

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6 - Friday, October 12, 2012 Tc

The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com

RIT stuns No. 3 Michigan in
comeback overtime victory

By MATT SLOVIN
Daily Sports Editor
It wasn't the start Jared Rut-
ledge imagined when he commit-
ted to coach Red Berenson and
the Michigan hockey program.
In fact, the ending to Rutledge's
career debut was borderline
nightmarish.
"You can't give up unearned
goals, and that's what we did,"
said Michigan coach Red Beren-
son. "I'll
have to RIT 5
look at MICHIGAN 4
them
again, but they all looked pretty
soft to me."
In all, five goals slippedby Rut-
ledge, each shrinking the Wol-
verines' lead until there wasn't
one left. There was perhaps no
softer Rochester Institute of
Technology tally than the game
winner. Just 14 seconds into
overtime, forward Adam Hart-
ley fired a puck that slid between
Rutledge'slegs and into the net to
seal the 5-4 upset of No. 3 Michi-
gan in the season opener.
Berenson added there's a
chance he'll give freshman
goaltender Steven Racine the
start between the pipes Friday,
but he'll "talk it over" with the
coaching staff, before making a
decision.
EarlyoninThursday'sgame, it
looked as if the Wolverines were
heading for a blowoutvictory.
Junior forward Derek DeBlois
scored the first goal of the young
seasonjust over two minutes into
the game off a nifty one-timer
through the slot following an
RIT turnover.
Assisting on the goal was
senior forward Lindsay Sparks,
whowasscratchedfrom27oflast
season's 41 games, but appears
to have found a nice touch early
on. He also recorded two points
against Windsor.
At the-11:00 mark, senior
defenseman Lee Moffie received
a cross-crease pass and failed to
finish into an open net, but man-
aged to draw a penalty in the pro-
cess.

A

4

PATRICK BARRON/Daily
Freshman defenseman Jacob Trouba scored a wraparound goal in his Michigan
debut Thursday in Michigan's 5-4 overtime loss to RIT.
Defense struggles
without Merrill, but
Trouba ahighlight

PATRICK BARI
Freshman goaltender Jared Rutledge struggled in his career debut, allowing five sof tgoals inan overtime loss tc

'A

Later on, with
advantage, junior
Mac Bennett rec
from freshmanI
Trouba and ripped
that beat the RI'
side.
Then with
ing in the first p
wrapped around t
and sprayed a wr
back of the
net to put the
Wolverines up
3-0. However,
29 seconds
later Rutledge
misplayed the
puck and RIT
pulled to with-
in two.
The scoring
slowed in the
second period,
and the Wolverin
look came when B.
the net before hitt
a wrister.
With a little ov
to play in the perk
forward Alex Gup
self in the crease

h a two-man
r defenseman
ceived a pass
partner Jacob
i a shot on goal
T goalie stick
1:23 remain-
eriod, Trouba
he Tigers' net
rister into the

to tap the puck into the net.
After a lengthy review, the ref-
erees determined that Guptill
was guilty of a high stick and the
goal, initially allowed, was over-
turned.
Michigan played the last cou-
ple ofminutesinthe period short-
handed after a Moffie penalty.
But the penalty-kill unit prompt-
ly killed off the RIT advantage

en route to a
perfect 5-for-
5 night killing
"(Scoring) four penalties.
Just three
goals should minutes into
the third peri-
win a hockey od, just three
minutes in,
game. Trouba turned
the puck over
behind his
own goal and
es' best early RIT capitalized by finding the
ennett crashed top shelf on a rebound over Rut-
ing the post on ledge's right shoulder to pull to
within one. But another quick
er five minutes replythis time by the Wolverines
od, sophomore and sophomore forward Travis
till found him- Lynch off a turnover, extended
with a chance the lead to two again.

RIT's Elliot Raibl made it 4-3
off a shot that sailed over Rut-
ledge's blocker at the 9:08 mark.
The Tigers seized even more
momentum after killing off a
Michigan 4-on-3 advantage.
With 4:40 to play in the game,
Rutledge guessed incorrectly
on a Tiger backhand from just
outside the crease and RIT capi-
talized, sending the game into
overtime.
That's when Hartley made
Rutledge and the Wolverines pay
for the puck that trickled away.
"We can't give those shots
up," DeBlois said. "It's just kind
of bearing down in the defensive
zone - something we've got to
work on and get better at.... Four
goals should win a hockey game."
The Wolverines maintained a
healthy shot advantage through-
out the game, outshooting RIT by
a 44-26 clip, but the Tigers made
the most of their third-period
opportunities, outscoring Michi-
gan 3-l.
The Tigers and Wolverines
will wrap up the two-game series
Friday night with a7:35 p.m. puck
drop from Yost Ice Arena.

Merrill is expected
to miss at least
six weeks with a
fractured vertebrae
By LIZ NAGLE
Daily Sports Writer
Early last week, Michigan
hockey coach Red Berenson
said that junior defenseman Jon
Merrill wanted to "leave a lega-
cy." But that dream was quickly
put on hold.
The third-ranked Wolverines
disappointed in the home open-
er against Rochester Institute
of Technology, dropping a 5-4
overtime contest without their
preseason all-conference defen-
seman.
Merrill suffered a frac-
tured seventh vertebrae after
being checked into the boards
during Tuesday's exhibition
against Windsor. The Brighton,
Mich. native will miss at least
six weeks, according to New
Jersey's The Bergen County
Record - the second year in a
row he'll have missed substan-
tial time.
Last season, Merrill was sus-
pended for violating of team
rules, but emerged in the last
19 games with a pair of goals,
nine assists and 42 blocks. His
absence at the beginning of the
year, however, didn't signifi-
cantly affect the Wolverines, as
they reached the NCAA Tourna-
ment as the No.1 seed.
Tuesday was a different story.
"We're disappointed in our
overall defensive game, start-
ing with our goalkeeping, our
defense and our D-zone play,"
Berenson said.
With one less defensive
option in the battery, Berenson
made a few adjustments to his
lines against the Tigers. His
defensive pairings were junior
Mac Bennett with sophomore
Mike Chiasson, senior Lee Mof-
fie with sophomore Brennan

Serville and freshman Jacob
Trouba with junior Kevin Clare,
replacing Merrill.
But Berenson wasn't using the
unexpected line shuffles as an
excuse.
"We played all kinds of dif-
ferent pairs last year," Beren-
son said. "I think it's individual
breakdowns and mistakes. ... We
didn't get the puck out when we
should've."
Though Berenson intended to
pair Merrill with Trouba at the
start of the season, those plans
have taken an obvious hit.
In the third period, the
deflated Wolverines' defense
gave up back-to-back goals.
Though Michigan was plagued
by the Tigers' late surge, Trouba
manned the defensive zone with
physical hits and recorded a pair
of career firsts.
In the first period, Trouba
was sent to the penalty box for
holding, but returned with an
immediate assist on Bennett's
shot to the back of the net to
open the scoring.
Later in the same frame, the
ninth-overall draft pick of the
Winnipeg Jets continued to
wreak havoc on RIT. He skated
behind the goal line and slipped
a wraparound between the posts
unassisted on a power play,
extending Michigan's lead to
3-0.
Through one game, Trouba
lived up to the high expecta-
tions that tagged him in the
preseason, making a statement
in the newly renovated Yost Ice
Arena. But with little defensive
production and a sidelined Mer-
rill, the Wolverines felt the sting
of an early-season loss.
"We're going to miss Jon Mer-
rill, no question," Berenson said.
"He's arguably our best defense-
man and certainly he's a big part
of our D-corps.
"But we said one of the
strengths of our team should be
the depth on defense and we're
going to be tested."

Call: #734-418-4115
Email: dailydisplay@gmail.com

RELEASE DATE- Friday, October 12, 2012
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