Every week Red Berenson talks about how important it is getting off on the right foot.
It was a nightmare start in Columbus.
The Wolverines played the worst period and a half of their season. Ohio State brought all the energy and swallowed Michigan forcing turnovers and putting relentless pressure on the Michigan defensemen and Steve Racine.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first, a pair of special teams disasters widened the lead to 3-0. The first on a shorthanded goal from Anthony Greco and the second a power play goal after a failed clear.
It looked as if the Wolverines had met their match tonight. The Buckeyes owned the first period and a half; they had all the energy, dominated the quality shots category and they had a big lead.
But Michigan did not fail to do what they do best and in twenty four seconds it was a 3-2 game, starting with a nifty Tyler Motte goal followed by one from Alex Kile.
The Wolverines pounded rubber off of Matt Tomkins to no avail. They pushed and pushed until Boo Nieves found himself alone with an empty net after Tomkins misplayed the puck. Nieves was pulled down and missed. Although a penalty shot was bizarrely not called, it didn't matter when Kyle Connor tied the game twisting an impossible angle shot by Tomkins.
After coming back from a 3-0 deficit the Wolverines would not be denied. Even after allowing David Gust to step out of the box and break the tie, JT Compher and Boo Nieves would answer to take the lead. It looked like the Wolverines would pull it out.
But the storybook ending would be derailed by a huge mental error. With eight seconds left in the game the Wolverines appeared to beat out an icing but the official disagreed. On the ensuing face-off Anthony Greco, the Buckeye's best player, would find himself unabated to the shooting lane to beat Steve Racine.
So, it was only fitting that a 5-5 game would go scoreless in the overtime period ending the game officially in a tie, sending it to a shootout for the extra conference point the Wolverines would lose.
It was a disappointing night. Michigan was fortunate to come back from 3-0, but two big mental gaffes on the Gust goal and the Grecco goal were the difference between stealing a win and leaving Columbus with a tie.
Up next they'll head back to Yost for a Sunday game with the Buckeyes.