Entering the season, I wondered how long it would take the Michigan freshman to adjust to the college game before they would starting making an impact.
That question has already been answered: 1 game.
Two nights after netting two goals in a 6-4 win, Kyle Connor added the game winner Sunday with a deceptive snapshot from the right faceoff dot. Cooper Marody was a quiet star this weekend locking down the 3rd line center position and both Nick Boka and Joe Cecconi handled Top-4 minutes as good as you would expect from freshman in their first two games.
The Wolverines took this game over from the beginning outshooting the Lakers 45-21, but two mistakes turned a comfortable win into another back and forth battle. The first came on a Laker power play; the initial point shot was blocked and came right back to the shooter who was able to get it on net through a mass of bodies. The Mercyhurst forward was able to knock it down and away from both defensemen to waiting a Jack Reily.
Later in the period the Lakers would strike again on yet another 2-on-1 chance. Zach Nagelvoort made the first save but had no chance on the second shot.
Like Friday, eventually the Wolverines were able to pull away despite Mercyhurst goaltender Brandon Wildung putting on an absolute clinic in net. Alex Kile got it started grabbing his first goal of the year off of a rebound chance from the point Wildung couldn't reach out and get to.
Evan Allen would get his first of the year on a 2-on-1 with Max Shuart before Connor would come through with the game winner. Allen is a player who I thought had the potential to breakout this year if he could earn a spot on the linechart and for now it looks like he's going to be a regular.
There's work to be done, but for opening weekend I'm happy to take two wins.
Up next Michigan will hit the road for a Friday game at Union and a Saturday game at Rensselaer.