Friday in Columbus the Wolverines started slow and it cost them a shot at a road win. Tonight they got the start they wanted when Brendan Warren scored just a minute and forty five seconds into the game and Tyler Motte added a goal of his own midway through the period.
In front of a packed house Michigan took the lead but they couldn't put Ohio State away. The Buckeyes scratched and clawed to stay in the game answering both times by crowding the crease and taking advantage of second chance opportunities. Michigan never came to the aid of Steve Racine by clearing the crease or lifting sticks and Racine allowed too many long rebounds; eventually those miscues coupled with the physicality of the Buckeyes overwhelmed Michigan.
Facing a 4-2 deficit Michigan would draw within one goal on a sensational effort from Kyle Connor to sweep behind the net and fit a puck into a tiny window over Tomkins shoulder but the Buckeyes pounded Steve Racine with rubber until he gave up another big rebound and Ohio State took a 5-3 lead in the intermission.
I don't know what was said in the locker room during the intermission. Maybe Red Berenson didn't have to say anything.
Whatever happened, this team came out of the locker room and punished Ohio State
The Wolverines called upon their top line to give them a shot in this game and they took all of four minutes to turn a two goal deficit into a one goal lead starting with a Kyle Connor goal, then two goals from Motte to cap the hat trick.
A Dexter Dancs goal came six minutes later scooping up a juicy rebound to put it away. Compher's empty netter was just icing on the cake.
Unfortunately the end of the game will have consequences for the Wolverines going forward. Dexter Dancs will be most likely face a suspension for half a dozen haymakers thrown in the direction of a pile of red sweaters and Alex Kile will receive an automatic suspension of leaving the bench.
Cutler Martin, on the other hand, will be looking at a much larger suspension after taking down Brendon Kearney and delivering three punches to his head with an official trying to pull them apart. He'll face at least three games, possibly five.
With Penn State coming up, it was the last thing Red Berenson wanted. Now we wait and see how the conference settles it.