Entering their third year of Big Ten play, the Wolverines began a series with Wisconsin Friday night that had "Trap Series" written all over it and from the opening puck drop they they fell right into the trap.
It started with Berenson changing his lines and defensive pairings with disastrous results. Their passing was off, linemates didn't look on the same page and when the turnovers started to pile up Wisconsin jumped all over them.
"I told our team before the warm-up we need to really have a good warm-up." Berenson said postgame. "Wisconsin skated this morning, I watched them skate and they looked like they were flying and they were ready. They didn't have to go to school today and our guys show up we've got to reset and get caught up. I didn't think we got caught up until somewhere in the middle of the second period."
The Wolverines played their worst period and a half of the season and found themselves with no life down 3-0, but facing a young Wisconsin team that is still learning how to put teams away they found life from Dexter Dancs and the 4th line.
"Deep down we knew we could come back." JT Compher noted. "We have that confidence in the room that we can score goals with the best of them."
The goal from Dancs started a four goal period with Compher, Brendan Warren and Justin Selman finding the net to cap a wild four goal second period.
But tied 4-4 in the third they still needed someone to step up and break the tie.
Tyler Motte would get his opportunity on a Zach Werenski dump-in when the Wisconsin defensemen tried to intercept the puck with his glove. He never saw Motte who was charging right at him when he tried to knock it down and Motte took it right away, went in and scored.
Berenson heaped praise on Motte after the game. "Tyler is a gamer. Who is going to block a big shot from the point, Tyler Motte. Who is going to get the puck out when he knows it has to get out, Tyler Motte. He's going to do whatever it takes to help this team win and he knows what it takes to win. He playing like an MVP player."
- Tyler Motte has been a different player this season. His first two years Motte was a secondary scorer and put up respectable numbers, but this season Motte has taken the reins as a primary scoring option. His eight goals puts him among the nations best and is only one away from tying his career high.
- These comeback wins are fun. Can they win games like this for an entire year? Absolutely not. Berenson and staff must find a way to correct these issues before it starts to show up in the win-loss column.
- Red mentioned in the pregame that his freshman have exceeded expectations this season, most notably Joe Cecconi who paired with Zach Werenski last night. I want to see how this pairing works moving forward; I think they have more upside than the current top pairing of Mike Downing and Nolan De Jong.
The two teams will be back at it to finish the series Saturday at 7:35pm.