The Michigan hockey team continues to roll, whether it’s at home or on the road.
On Friday night in East Lansing against the Michigan State Spartans, the trend of Michigan dominance showed no signs of slowing down.
It was a complete effort from the Wolverines, who played well in all phases, but it was the offense who got the team going early on in the 1st Period. Jake Slaker netted Michigan’s first goal on a power play five minutes into the game. The Wolverines would lead 2-0 going into the first intermission after defenseman Luke Martin scored his first goal of the year.
Michigan got right back to scoring just 19 seconds into the 2nd Period after Jacob Hayhurst found the back of the net off a Luke Martin pass to push the lead to 3-0.
Midway through the second frame, Michigan capitalized on another power play, via a Jack Summers goal from a long way out that somehow made it through traffic.
The Wolverines would end trading goals with MSU in the 3rd Period and winning 5-1, the final Michigan goal was Jake Slaker’s second of the night.
Jake Slaker with his second of the game with Luke Morgan and Nick Granowicz assisting and Michigan leads 5-1! pic.twitter.com/oCAli0Qdtg— Michigan Hockey (@umichhockey) February 15, 2020
The win by Michigan made the team proud and the Spartans tip their cap. “I give Michigan credit, they played real well right from the beginning to the end,” said Spartans coach Danton Cole said. “They played smarter and faster than us. We got our butts handed to us tonight and that’s something that hasn’t happened very often this year.”
Michigan is now 7-1-1 in 2020 and 14-12-3 on the season. The team ranks 5th in the Big Ten but are just three points from being tied for first place with Penn State. The pecking order in the conference is far from decided, as is the Wolverines NCAA Tournament hopes. In the all important Pairwise Rankings, Michigan now sits at No. 20 after being ranked No. 29 a week ago.
While the Wolverines took a while to get going this season, it’s no surprise to head coach Mel Pearson. “I’m not surprised,” Pearson said. “I’m not surprised. We have guys who can put the puck in the net. We talked about, it’s been well-documented, our lack of scoring in the first half, but we weren’t healthy. Now we’re getting healthy. Some things are going in. We’re getting some confidence. We got a number of guys who can score, so I’m not surprised.”
Michigan’s win against MSU on Friday night gives the team momentum heading into their matchup against Sparty on Monday on neutral ice. The rivals will be facing off at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, a tilt which is called the “Duel in the D”. You can catch the game on Fox Sports Detroit at 7 p.m. on Monday night.