In my preview of Sunday's game, I said that the absence of Ian King was hurting the offensive output for Michigan, and I predicted a 9-8 Rutgers victory. Well, Ian King made a triumphant return, as all kings should, and scored four goals in a 10-8 win over the Scarlet Knights.
Michigan is now 5-5 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten, while Rutgers falls to 0-2 in conference play, but not through lack of effort. After Michigan jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, Rutgers' Ryan Hollingsworth, Brian Goss, and Scott Bieda knotted the score at three-all with 7:21 to go in the second period. Mike Hernandez got the Wolverines ahead by one on an unassisted goal at 6:35, but Rutgers rattled off two goals to take the 5-4 lead going into halftime.
The third period has been a strong one for Michigan all season long, and it started out that way once again. Ian King scored his second goal of the day to tie things at five-all, and Riley Kennedy's shot took the lead back for Michigan. The Scarlet Knights tied it once again at six goals, but Kyle Jackson's two and another two from Ian King gave the Wolverines the 10-6 advantage, holding on to the end and a 10-8 win.
The Wolverines were going to have their work cut out for them on face-offs, and they didn't perform well at all, going only 6-22 for the game. Brad Lott won only one of his six chances, so Mike McDonnell and Chase Brown filled in to grab the other five wins.
With five turnovers in a third period that saw Michigan score six times, Rutgers just could not take advantage of the face-off wins or the +9 margin in ground balls. Going into Sunday's match-up, Rutgers was allowing their opponents to score almost 50% of the time if they got an EMO, but held Michigan to 0-2 on the day.
Gerald Logan did what Gerald Logan does for the Wolverines, making 13 saves in the win; Logan is averaging 13.11 saves per game.
In addition to King's four scores, Kyle Jackson tallied a hat-trick, while PJ Bogle, Riley Kennedy, and Mike Hernandez each added a score of their own.
This was a much-needed win for the Wolverines who will take on the No. 16 Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on April 12. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU at 2:00 p.m. ET. Michigan will need to finish in the top four in conference if they want a trip to the Big Ten Tournament.