The Michigan hockey team has been arguably the hottest team in the NCAA since the start of 2020, but when rivalry games present themselves you can throw records out the window, they can have a playoff-like intensity.
On Monday night, the Wolverines faced a rival for the second time in three days, the Michigan State Spartans. On Friday night Michigan beat MSU 5-1, but their Monday showdown was on neutral ice in a big time environment. The two squads took to the rink at Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit for their annual “Duel in the D”.
The Wolverines picked up on Monday night right where they left off on Friday, setting the tone with an early goal by Will Lockwood just five minutes into the game. The Spartans would answer back shortly after, though, to tie the game up 1-1. Later in the 1st Period, the Wolverines capitalized on their power play with a goal by Jacob Hayhurst via a nice shot-pass from Will Lockwood to put Michigan back on top.
Michigan would lead 2-1 after the first intermission and never look back. Nick Blankenburg would then push the UM lead to 3-1 with a powerful wrist shot early in the 2nd Period.
The Wolverines would add a fourth and final goal in the 3rd Period, Will Lockwood’s second of the game.
Michigan would go onto win 4-1, and despite putting up four goals, the Wolverines were actually outshot 32-to-21, but stout defense and excellent goalie play from Strauss Mann came up huge for Michigan in this one.
Michigan is now 8-1-1 in 2020, 15-12-3 overall, and 10-8-2-1 in Big Ten play. UM has also ascended all the way to No. 3 in the Big Ten standings, just three points behind Minnesota and Penn State, who are tied for first place. The Wolverines next set of games will be this Friday and Saturday at home against Notre Dame.