Going into the third period the Wolverines looked down and out.
Union had taken a 3-1 lead and grabbed complete control over this game, dominating the scoring chances and slowing down the pace of play to their liking. Michigan looked disconnected by the neutral zone pressure applied by the Dutchmen with the Union defensmen jamming the Michigan forwards at the blueline and clogging entry into the zone.
The odds weren't great for a young team playing it's first road game.
I don't know what Red Berenson said in the locker room between periods but the plan of attack was different right out of the gate. The Wolverines changed direction from their carry-in style instead opting to throw pucks deep, win races and forecheck for possession.
The result was felt right away. Tyler Motte scored at the 1:23 mark of the period off of a JT Compher faceoff win and Justin Selman followed three minutes later from a beautiful saucer feed from Kyle Connor. Cooper Marody would get the third goal halfway through the period on an effort play getting to the net and knocking back a rebound.
But Union wasn't going to go away, not on home ice. The Dutchmen would answer Michigan's three goal run with a two goal run of their own to take back the lead in familiar fashion, with an unchecked forward streaking into the low slot and depositing the puck in Michigan's net while the bewildered Wolverines looked around wondering where he came from.
With time winding down Michigan was able to get a faceoff in the Union zone and put six attackers on the ice. The Dutchmen weren't able to clear their zone against relentless pressure and with 30 seconds left Justin Selman potted the extra attack goal.
Both teams deserved to win. Both teams deserved to lose. So it was only fitting that this game ended in a tie.
In Michigan's locker room I'm sure Red Berenson isn't too happy with giving up five goals, especially the 2-on-1 shorthanded goal allowed early in the game. The blueline is still a work in progress and Steve Racine didn't do anything to suggest that he's the first choice goaltender. Special teams were alright but not great; they scored on a power play and held Union 0-for-3 but the other two Michigan power plays were dismissal and getting caught changing lines on that shorthanded goal can not happen.
That being said there are still positives to take away from this game.
Union is a tough team who plays great defensive hockey and Michigan was able to battle back from a deficit twice on the road. The freshman forwards were great again led by Kyle Connor, but don't forget unsung hero Brendan Warren who is doing some great things that don't show up in the box score.
Up next we'll see how they follow this game up with a Saturday game at RPI.