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December 03, 2013 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-12-03

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1 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 5

'.Pd

Late goal
nearly dooms
Wolverines

Ni

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Senior defenseman Mac Bennett scored the game-winning goal with less than two minutes remaining after Michigan surrendered a three-goal lead in the third period.
Bennett rescues M' after blown
three-goal lead against Buckeyes

By ALEJANDRO ZUNIGA
Daily SportsEditor
COLUMBUS - If there was
a guide detailing exactly how to
lose a hockey game on the road,
Michigan followed the script
to perfection Monday night at
Value City Arena.
The third-ranked Wolver-
ines (2-0 Big Ten, 10-2-1 overall)
committed an early infraction,
presenting Ohio State with a
prime opportunity to take the
lead. They turned the puck over
several times in the defensive
zone, which forced sophomore
netminder Steve Racine - who
hadn't played in more than two
weeks - into making deft pad
saves. Through the first 14 min-
utes of the game, Michigan had
only one shot to the Buckeyes'
nine.
But with just under six min-
utes remaining in the first peri-
od, forward Boo Nieves fought
for the puck behind the Ohio
State (0-2,8-6) goal and won. The
sophomore dropped a pass into
the slot to junior forward Zach
Hyman, who one-timed a shot
into the net.
The crowd grew silent, and
the cheers from the Wolver-
ines' bench echoed throughout
the cavernous building. It was
Hyman's first goal of the season,
and the game turned with it, as
Michigan eventually won, 5-4.
"It was good for our team,"
said Michigan coach Red Beren-
son. "Their goalie hadn't seen
any action at all. You're lucky
you might have caught him cold.
After that, it was a different
game."
When the first period ended,
Ohio State held a 12-4 advantage
in shots, but Michigan led where
it counted most - on the score-
board -1-0.
The Wolverines looked to
put the game out of reach in the
second period. Freshman cen-
ter JT Compher scored twice on
rebounds, showing off his foot-
work on the first tally by pass-

ing the puck across the crease
to himself with his skate. Three
minutes into the final frame,
freshman defenseman Michael
Downing's pinpoint shot from
the blue line found twine for a
three-goal lead.
But that's when Michigan fell
apart again, making its first peri-
od look exemplary in compari-
son. The Wolverines surrendered
three goals in four minutes, and
Ohio State pulled even.
Racine entered the game
boasting a .931 save percentage,
but the defense in front of him
was porous in the final minutes,
leading to three goals. The Buck-
eyes fired 18 shots in the third
period - more than Michigan
managed in the first two frames
combined.
"We were on our heels,"
Berenson said. "I'mnot sure ifwe
deserved to win the game."
The Wolverines did triumph
thanks to senior defenseman
Mac Bennett, whose gamble paid
off when he pinched and scored
on a simple tap-in. But the game-
winning goal, the series sweep
and the perfect start to Big Ten
play did little to alleviate the
team's frustration.
"The performance in that
third period, me personally, I'm
very upset about it," Bennett
said. "And I'm sure there's a lot
of guys in the locker room that
aren't very happy, either."
Added Compher: "We talked
about burying teams at the end.
When we have the knife to their
throat, putting them away. We
didn't do that tonight."
Michigan's tepid start and late
collapse let Ohio State dig itself
out of a shallow grave, and it very
nearly cost the Wolverines. But
they twice stopped momentum
when it was skewed heavily in
the Buckeyes' favor to escape.
"The best team doesn't always
win," Berenson said. "We got
lucky they didn't score that win-
ning goal. It's as simple as that."
So for tonight at least, it was
better to be lucky than good.

A
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Mic
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game with Ohio "That last period is embarrass-
hy ing," said a dejected and sullen
e s a Bennett. "We have to be better,
ne, but this one and when we're up on teams like
that, we have to put the dagger in
)es to Michigan them."
Added Michigan coach Red
Berenson: "When you have a 4-1
By GREG GARNO lead, you've got to play better
Daily Sports Writer than that."
-- ---~- This was Michigan's first Mon-
LUMBUS - It was after the day game since 1982, but it wasn't
unanswered goal, the one the first weekend Michigan has
eemed to awake a nonexis- struggled to put away teams.
rowd that sophomore goal- There was a"7-4 victory over'the
r Steve Rochester Institute of Technol-
e put MICHIGAN 5 ogy, in which it allowed four
head OHIO STATE 4 unanswered goals, and a 2-1 win
and over Boston University in which a
the puck out of the net. penalty shot was needed to break
Idenly the band roared, the the tie.
stood and the seemingly Michigan's
mountable lead collapsed offense scored
inderneath the No. 3 Michi- more than
ockey team. Then, as the three goals for "That lay
ne took the ice and Racine the fourth con-
d back in, a flurry of Wolver- secutive game, 1s embai
ung the puck forward with but the offense
found sense of urgency. registered just W e haN
marked and streaking down four shots in b
-ft side of the ice, senior the first period. beti
eman Mac Bennett buried Michigan
ect pass from junior defen- took just one
Mike Chiasson to score shot before it

defense)," Bennett said. "We have
to play better defensively, and we
have to make sure that when we
are up on teams, we can put them
away."
Behind freshman forward JT
Compher's two goals in the sec-
ond period, the Wolverine offense
looked re-energized and poised to
leave without being threatened.
Compher now has five goals
in the past five games after scor-
ing his first on Nov. 15 against
Nebraska-Omaha.
The first goal, by Corphet,
came off a rebound from fresh-
man defenseman Nolan De Jong's
shot near the blue line, nearly one
minute after the Buckeyes tied
the game early in the second peri-
od. His second also came in the
middle frame,
after he took
the puck from
st period the faceoff and
slipped it past
rrassing, Ohio State net-
minder Logan
ve to be Davis.
In what was
ter. a period oth-
erwise domi-
nated by the
Buckeyes sta-
tistically, the Wolverines couldn't
find a rhythm, nor crash the net
when they did manage to bring
the puck down.
But when sophomore forward
Boo Nieves crashed the boards,
he fed the puck out to junior for-
ward Zach Hyman waiting near
the right circle to score off the

one-timer 14 minutes into the
contest.
Ohio State tied the game early
in the second frame, as the Big
Ten's leading scorer, junior Ryan
Dzingel, tallied his ninth of the
season. Dzingel skated freely to
the right circle where he flipped
the puck past sophomore goal-
tender Steve Racine as a trailing
Sinelli brought him down.
Racine, who saw action for the
first time since he allowed three
goals against Nebraska-Omaha
on Nov. 16, stopped 39 shots to
frustrate the ninth-ranked Buck-
eye offense.
In limited action, Racine has
surrendered three or more goals
three times this season.
"I thought Racine held us in
there," Berenson said. "He made
some key saves late in the game,
but he didn't get a lot of support
tonight."
Downing's shot near the point
early in the third period looked to
have sealed the game for Michi-
gan. His goal also was the first
from a defenseman this season
before Bennett's late in the game.
Ohio State's Max McCormick
started the late charge with his
shot from the slot to beat Racine
glove side before David Gust and
Tanner Fritz knocked in the sec-
ond and third goals just minutes
later.
The Buckeyes tied it up nearly
a minute later, but Bennett's late
game heroics and the Wolverines'
urgency saved the game from yet
another overtime.

o-ahead goal, just minutes
the Buckeyes scored three
wered goals in the third
Ito tie the game.
higan (2-0 Big Ten, 10-2-1
1) nearly went to overtime
e second straight time, but
n for a 5-4 win, just like it
e game earlier.

scored the first goal of the game,
as the defense, still missing a trio
of injured players - juniors Mike
Szuma and Brennan Serville as
well as freshman Kevin Lohan
- struggled to push the puck
forward with junior forward
Andrew Sinelli filling in.
"We've got to be better (on

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Junior forward Zach Hyman scored his first goal of the season Monday night.

No coaching changes in the works, Hoke says

By ZACH HELFAND
Daily Sports Editor
A little before 5 p.m. Satur-
day, Al Borges emerged from the
Junge Family Champions Center
adjoining Michigan Stadium, tot-
ing a suitcase
on wheels. His NOTEBOOK
offense just had
likely its best performance of the
year in a heartbreaking 42-41 loss
to Ohio State. His game plan and
play calling had been immaculate.
Dressed in a suit, he walked
through the parking lot and away
from the stadium. Many won-
dered if he would return there
again, at least as Michigan's offen-
sive coordinator.
On Monday, Michigan coach
Brady Hoke seemed to provide the
answer.
"I anticipate the staff (return-
ing)," Hoke told reporters after
an event at Detroit's Ford Field,
according to multiple reports.
Asked to clarify if that meant no
coaching changes, Hoke said that
is "correct."
Under Borges this season,
Michigan's offense sputtered
often, especially on the ground.

The running game was second to
last in the Big Ten. It rushed for
negative yardage in back-to-back
games. A young offensive line sur-
rendered sacks by the dozen that
left redshirt junior quarterback
Devin Gardner hobbled at the
end of games. That led to specula-
tion that Hoke or Athletic Direc-
tor Dave Brandon could make a
change.
Last week, after rumors ques-
tioning Hoke's job security caused
star recruit Jabrill Peppers to re-
open his recruitment, Brandon
issued a statement of support for
Hoke. He also mentioned defen-
sive coordinator Greg Mattison by
name. Borges, though, was absent.
"The transformation and
improvement of our defense under
the leadership of coach Greg
Mattison has been outstanding,"
Brandon wrote. "Our coaches
have worked hard to blend and
develop schemes that bridge the
gap between what was previously
done and what they ultimately
hope to run on both sides of the
ball."
Hoke will evaluate his person-
nel and staff at some point before
Michigan's bowl game or in the

offseason. Brandon has said he
will do the same.
But when asked whether
the coaching staff decision was
a "we'll-see situation," Hoke
replied, "No."
BIG TEN AWARDS: Turns out,
the Big Ten voters had just as
much trouble figuring out wheth-
er sophomore Devin Funchess
is a tight end or wide receiver as
opposing defenses did.
Funchess won the Kwalick-
Clark Tight End of the Year award
and was named an All-Big Ten
selection by the media. The coach-
es, though, put him on the second
team, behind Iowa's C.J. Fiedoro-
wicz. Funchess had 47 receptions
for 727 yards and six touchdowns.
Fiedorowicz had 26 receptions for
253 yards and six touchdowns. It is
likely he suffered from the confu-
sion over his position.
Funchess was one of several
Wolverines to earn postseason
honors. Fifth-year senior tackle
Taylor Lewan also won an indi-
vidual award, the Rimington-Pace
Offensive Lineman of the Year. He
was a consensus All-Big Ten selec-
tion.
Fifth-year senior Jeremy Gal-

Ion was named to the second-team
All-Big Ten by both the coaches
and media, behind Wisconsin's
Jared Abbrederis and Penn State's
Allen Robinson.
Redshirt junior quarterback
Devin Gardner and fifth-year
senior kicker Brendan Gibbons
were honorable mention All-Big
Ten by the media.
On defense, redshirt sopho-
more Blake Countess was an All-
Big Ten selection by the media and
a second-team All-Big Ten selec-
tion by the coaches.
Junior defensive end Frank
Clark was named to the second-
team All-Big Ten by the coaches.
Clark, senior defensive tackle
Jibreel Black and junior corner-
back Raymon Taylor received an
honorable mention by the media.
NOTES: After the event at Ford
Field, Hoke said Gardner will
return next year. ... The Big Ten
conference won't suspend Ohio
State starting right guard Mar-
cus Hall, the conference said in a
statement. Hall, and an additional
player from each team, was ejected
from the game against Michigan
on Saturday. As he left the field, he
threw his helmet, kicked a bench

Michigan coach Brady Hoke said he expects to keep his coaching staff intact.
and held up middle fingers to the nate the incident did not escalate
crowd. "The officials and coaching any further. More can, and should,
staffs from both institutions did a be done by both coaching staffs in
good job of containing the situa- the future to prevent similar inci-
tion once it started," the statement dents from detracting from this
said. "Asbad as it was, we're fortu- rivalry."

a e

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