The game couldn’t have started any better for a young Michigan team trying to find out who they are.
The Wolverines raced out to a 2-0 lead within the first twelve minutes of the game when Sam Piazza took a slow rolling puck from the point and launched a wrister passed Alex Sakellaropoulos.
Three minutes later at the tail end of a penalty kill Max Shuart made a diving swipe at the puck and knocked it to a waiting Tony Calderone who had just stepped out of the penalty box. With time and space Calderone went in on goal on a breakaway and dropped Sakellaropoulos to his pads with a nifty inside-outside move and went around him for the score.
Union is an incredibly well coached team and once they settled in and went to work the feeling was that even with a two goal lead the young Wolverines were fighting to stay alive. That fear was quickly realized once the Dutchmen established their forecheck and started to wreak havok on the Wolverine defensemen.
Once the Dutchmen were able to force turnovers and keep Michigan out of the offensive end they went to work with their cycle game in Michigan’s zone. It was a perfect storm headed right in Michigan’s direction. Eventually Union started to wear them down and the penalties came; five consecutive minors gave the Dutchmen life and they quickly clawed back into the game scoring twice in three minutes to tie the game.
Will Lockwood had the answer just a minute and thirty four seconds into the second period when he broke the tie entering the zone on a 2-on-1 and picking the corner to score his first career goal.
Just when it looked like the Wolverines were going to lose every individual battle and still win the game the wheels came flying off when Union captain Mike Vecchione came over the line on a harmless 1-on-2. He had no move so Vecchione threw the puck at the net from long distance and hoped for a break.
It went in.
From there Union did what they do best. They cranked up their forecheck and put the pressure on the Wolverines to not make a mistake. With two minutes left the period Spencer Foo entered the zone facing Luke Martin but Jeff Taylor had caught Cutler Martin puck watching. Not realizing that Taylor had separated himself and was setting up for a shot, Martin was helpless to defend him after Taylor received the cross-ice pass and he sunk the shot passed Nagelvoort to win the game.
The Wolverines will look to split the series Saturday night at 5:30pm.