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February 03, 2014 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-03

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4B - February 3, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wolverines give themselves reason to smile with wins

Seconds before puck drop
Saturday, Mac Bennett
skated up behind fellow
defenseman Michael Downing
and latched onto his shoulders.
The senior captain twirled the
freshman around in a bear hug.
This game was going to be
fun.
The night before, the No. 12
Michigan
hockey team - ----
ended a
51-day hiatus
from Yost
Ice Arena by
beating No.
9 Wisconsin,
3-1. In doing ERIN
so, the L
Wolverines LENNON
avenged
what was
an embarrassing weekend
in Madison just three weeks
prior - a series that featured
just three Michigan goals in
two games and culminated in
a frustration-induced brawl,
which sent six Wolverines to
the penalty box.
So with an energized crowd
behind it again Saturday,
Michigan needed a little extra
muscle and a little more time
to fend off the Badgers, taking
five of six points and moving.
into sole possession of second
place in the Big Ten. If nothing
else, in a game characterized
by shattered sticks and many
more dropped in combat, the
Wolverines had a little bit of
fun.
With six minutes remaining
in the first period, junior
forward Alex Guptill and
Wisconsin senior Sean Little
came out of a scramble in front
of the Wisconsin net swinging.
As the two brought each
other to the ice, they took two
referees down with them.
As Little skated towards the
penalty box, an impassioned
and quick-on-its-feet crowd
chanted the Badger's name with
an expletive behind it.
Wolverin
By ALEJANDRO ZUNIGA
Daily Sports Editor

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Senior forward Luke Moffatt scored the only goal of the shooutout on Saturday as the Michigan hockey team took five of six possible points against Wisconsin.

Michigan is back in early-
season form. With new line
pairings, it took two from
Michigan State away from
Yost. And back home, where
the Wolverines have lost only
one game all season, Michigan
remained dominant against
a formidable conference
opponent.
This time last season, the
Wolverines had little to smile
about. Michigan hobbled into
February at seven games under
.500 in desperate need of a
sweep over Michigan State.
But like they had against the
Spartans last weekend, the
Wolverines were able to sing
"The Victors" once more. And
the crowd locked arms for a
rendition of the University's
alma mater, "The Yellow and
Blue," as the team skated off.
Outside, as the crowd filed
out, a young boy wearing a maize
sweater looked up at his dad.
"Do we have another game
soon?" he asked. "That was so
fun."
Erin Lennon can be reached
at eelennon@umich.edu and
on Twitter @ee_lennon
BY THE NUMBERS
Michigan vs. Wisconsin
11,600
Total weekend attendanceat Yost Ice
Arena, good for two sellouts and a
raucous atmosphere.
41
Shots on goal for the Wolverines on
Saturday. The Badgers had 27.
Points in Big Ten play,good for second
in the conference behind Minnesota.
783
Careernwins for coach Red Berenson,
tied for fourth in NCAA history.

Red Berenson's 784th win will
have to wait.
But the Michigan hockey
coach won't mind staying tied for
fourth in all-time NCAA Division
I victories after the Wolverines
took five of six possible points
in their series against No. 9
Wisconsin
with a
come-from-WISCONSIN 1
behind MICHIGAN 3
2-2 tie and
shootout SCONSIN
victory WISCONSIN
Saturday MICHIGAN
night at
Yost Ice Arena.
The result moves Michigan
into sole possession of second
place in the Big Ten.
After a goalless overtime
frame, senior forward Luke
Moffatt scored the decisive
tally in the second round of the
penalty shootout, while freshman
goaltender Zach Nagelvoort
stopped all three Badgers shots to
give the 12th-ranked Wolverines
the extra conference point.
"This was a sweep for us
mentally," Nagelvoort said. "As
soon as Moffatt scored, I knew
we were going to win."
Michigan (5-2-1-1Big Ten, 13-6-
3 overall) never led in regulation,
but Moffatt pulled the Wolverines
even from a 2-1 deficit in the third
period to force the extra frame.
Carryingthe puckintotheslot,the
forward feigned a backhand shot
before turningto his forehand and
firing through traffic. Wisconsin
(5-4-1-0, 14-8-2) goaltender Joel
Rumpel didn't appear to see the
puck as it found twine.
In an affair that featured ugly
hits and scrums after the whistle,
the game's first goal was a thing
of beauty. Facing away from the
net, Wisconsin forward Michael
Mersch tapped the puck between
the legs of senior defenseman
Kevin Clare, spun the other way
to collect his own pass and then
slid a shot past Nagelvoort.
Nagelvoort, who finished with
26 saves, said he struggled to
maintain his momentum from
Friday's two-goal win.
"Honestly, I felt a little off in
the beginning," the goaltender
4

"Thanks to all the fans
for coming out," said senior
forward Luke Moffatt,
his teammates nodding in
agreement. "They're a sixth
man out there."
Freshman forward Tyler
Motte got away with some
chippiness of his own when
he pinned a Wisconsin player
against the glass with his stick
for more than a few seconds.
"Obviously, after the series
in Wisconsin, I thought we
knew it was going to be a little
chippy," Motte said. "Hopefully
it's not always to the extent that
it was tonight, but when you
win games in the end you take
what you can get."
After surrendering the
first goal to Wisconsin, the
Wolverines held offensive
possession for more than two
minutes, nearly scoring five
[es' sweep
said.
Freshman forward Tyler
Motte tied the game for the
Wolverines midway through the
second period. Taking advantage
of a small rebound off the pads of
Rumpel, Motte commanded the
crease and poked in the puck.
Later in the frame, junior
defenseman Andrew Sinelli
looked to have given Michigan
the lead after streaking into the
offensive zone and popping a
shot that deflected off a Badger
defenseman and into the goal.
But after a long review, referees
reversed the call for what they
deemed to be contact with the
netminder prior to the puck
crossing the line.
"The puck went in the net
before Sinelli made any contact,"
Berenson said of the decision to
overturn the play. "I'd like to hear
the explanation for that."
Exactly one minute later,
senior forward Derek DeBlois
took down Wisconsin's Mark
Zengerle on a breakaway. The
Badger forward scored easily
on the ensuing penalty shot,
skating in slowly on Nagelvoort
and firing a wrister between the
goaltender's legs to give his team
a momentum-building 2-1 lead.
But Moffatt's slapshot goal in the
third period shifted control of
the game back to Michigan, and
Nagelvoort stopped Zengerle in
the shootout to seal the win.
After a relatively clean game
Friday night, both teams resumed
the chippiness displayed during
their first series this season in
Madison on Jan. 10-11. Moments
after a Michigan power play
expired in the first period, junior
forward Alex Guptill exchanged
blows and then tumbled to the
ice with Wisconsin's Sean Little.
The Wolverines were given the
man advantage, but they couldn't
convert and finished 0-for-6 on
the night.
"We've been working on the
power play a lot, trying to get
it back to where it was at the
beginning of the year," Motte
said. "I think we took a good step
even though we didn't bury any
tonight."
In a battle of two of the
conference's best goaltenders,
Nagelvoort and Rumpel seemed
to outdo each other on every

minutes of was lights
overtime than out for a
a moment second time,
early in the so"Itwasprobably garnering
second period. IJ 26 saves in
Sitting more fun regulation and
at a post- five minutes
game press playing than it of overtime.
conference, Then, the
the game's was to watch." freshman
three stars stopped
were all three-straight
smiles. penalty shots,
Was playing as much fun as earning the Wolverines a
watching? shootout victory.
"Absolutely," Motte said. He sure wasn't wearing
Added freshman goaltender ruby slippers, but he sent the
Zach Nagelvoort: "I'd say it was message three times: there's no
probably more fun playing than place like home.
it was to watch. It's incredible Going head-to-head against

times before the whistle blew
for a penalty. It was a moment
that captured everyone's
attention, and the noise
sounded more like the waning

' Badgers
shift. Midway through the
second period, Rumpel stoned
DeBlois on a point-blank slapshot
in the slot. Nagelvoort drew an
interference penalty in the third
period after turning away one of
several close-range shots.
But it was following the final
frame that Nagelvoort made his
biggest saves, and the sellout
crowd at Yost chanted his name
as Michigan finished the near-
sweep.

Nagelvoort places himself
among conference's elite

playing in front of our student
section. This is the best place to
play in college hockey."
Nagelvoort, who started his
sixth-straight contest Saturday,

the Big Ten's most proven
goaltender in Wisconsin junior
Joel Rumpel, Nagelvoort made
his case for top netminder in
the league, if not the country.
His stability in net might very
well lead Michigan to a national
championship in the next four
years.
Bold predictions aside, for
now, this is fun.
"The environment during
the shootout made it feel like a
complete win," said Michigan
coach Red Berenson. "It's an
important win, but it's not a
three-point win. It felt good to
get five of the six points against
a good team that swept us in
their building."
And what's not to enjoy?
After all, following five
weeks away from Ann Arbor
that featured four-straight
lackluster losses, it seems

Whathappened Friday:
After a slow start that saw
Michigan spend the majority of
the first 10 minutes in its own
zone, freshman forward Tyler
Motte and Guptill netted goals
just 80 seconds apart as the
Wolverines cruised to a 3-1 win.
At 13:10 of the first period,
sophomore forward Boo Nieves
slipped a pass across the slot to
Motte, who knocked it home
seconds after getting tripped
in front of the crease. Then,
freshman forward JT Compher
sprung Guptill on a breakaway,
where the junior hit twine for
his seventh goal of the season
to give his team a two-goal
advantage heading into the first
intermission.
By Jeremy Summitt,
Daily Sports Editor

Wh
sound
the
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Wisci
goalte
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It
third
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By GREG GARNO the mass of teammates.
Daily Sports Editor Nagelvoort, who not only
- -- stopped 26 shots in regulation
sen the victory horn and overtime Saturday, also
led in Yost Ice Arena and accounted - in a way - for both
excitement of Saturday's teams' score.
out win over No. 9 "Going against guys like
onsin culminated, freshman (Nagelvoort) in practice makes
ender Zach Nagelvoort it look easy out there," said
ed the puck away. senior forward Luke Moffatt,
was after he stopped the who scored the lone shootout
of three penalty shots that goal with a backhand-to-
voort wound his stick and forehand move on Wisconsin
it aside without any sort of goaltender Joel Rumpel.
tion or care for the object. If Moffatt looked well-
was after he stopped the practiced, it's because he literally
ty shots and fired the puck was. All the forwards take turns
that Nagelvoort skated at the end of a practice during the
rd his bench and gave an week to try their hand at beating
atic fist pump to the crowd the goaltenders.
ing "Na-gel-voort." So Nagelvoort, in the shootout,
d it was Nagelvoort who was a little like the pitcher who
the three saves, whacked throws a shutout and knocks
'uck, pumped his fist and in the only run in a 1-0 win.
ed as the crowd chanted his Accounting for both teams' score.
and the Michigan hockey The netminder made 52 saves
swarmed him. What started over the weekend and allowed
three players tripled within just three goals. In the six
ds until everyone had sped straight games he has started,
e bench and toward the man the No. 5 goaltender in the nation
had just saved the day. has posted a 2.16 goals-against
ey circled him and pushed average, even including a rough
the blue line all the way to stretch against the Badgers in the
ass, where he was pinnedby earlier series.
"Zach was as good as it gets,
really," said Michigan coach Red
Berenson. "I thought Zach was
outstanding all weekend."
Nagelvoort is different
than other goaltenders. While
Wisconsin netminder Joel
Rumpel warmed up before the
shootout, Nagelvoort rested his
arm on the bench looking out
at net.
Where the chanting and
hollering from opposing fans on
the road in Madison and East
Lansing fazes some, he thrives.
When Rumpel and others are
slow to come out of the crease
and clear the puck, Nagelvoort
rushes behind the boards to aid
his teammates.
Those little things bolster
his teammates' confidence with
everydaythatpasses.Michigan is
more likely to take a chance when
it knows that it has a backstop
PAULSHERMAN/Daily like Nagelvoort at the end. But
ct in the shootout Saturday. just how much confidence?

"One hundred percent?"
offered senior forward Luke
Moffatt. "One thousand
percent?"
Nagelvoort's emergence in
the crease was unexpected,
to say the least. He earned a
starting spot after sophomore
goaltender Steve Racine
went down with an injury in
mid-October. But since then,
Nagelvoort has positioned
himself nicely to earn a starting
spot for the rest of the season.
"Ever since the first day he
stepped in New Hampshire when
Steve went down with an injury,
from that point we rallied behind
him," said freshman forward
Tyler Motte. "We knew we had to
help him out early, but all in all he
does a great job for us."
But his coach is hesitant to
declare that it's Nagelvoort's
position to lose. Not even after six
straight starts and four straight
wins will Berenson declare a
definitive starter.
"I don't think we need to
talk about starters right now,
or who's the starting goalie,"
Berenson said., "Right now,
Zach is playing really well, and
we'll see how it goes down the
line. He's a freshman and I
know Racine can come in and
do a good job."
Even when Berenson says
Nagelvoort isn't the starter, he's
still playing better than anyone
on the team.
Midway through the
overtime period Saturday,
Nagelvoort lay stuffed in his
net with the puck beside him.
After making 23 impressive
saves prior, Nagelvoort thought
he was staring at the game-
winning goal.
But next to him in the crease
was a Wisconsin forward, who
nullified the goal because of
his presence. The Wolverines
worked to clear the Badgers
from from the net while
Nagelvoort picked up the puck
and lifted himself up.
Then, in one motion, he
tossed away the puck, and with
it, any doubt about Michigan's
starting goaltender.

Freshman goaltender Zach Nagelvoort was perfe

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