This past weekend, the No. 3 ranked Michigan Wolverines’ hockey team traveled to Columbus to take on the No. 17 Ohio State Buckeyes for a two-game series. And much like the football team did back in November, the hockey team absolutely took it to their rivals.
Well, in Game 1 at least.
The Friday contest was a tight one heading into the third period. With Michigan up just 2-1, it was still anyone’s game. Ohio State scored the game-tying goal seven minutes into the period, but it was all Michigan from that moment on.
With a little less than five minutes remaining, Michigan fifth-year senior Michael Patsujov — who put up a hat trick last weekend against Minnesota — broke the tie with his first goal of the night. At that point, the score was 3-2, but it would quickly become 4-2. Just 25 seconds after Patsujov’s goal, sophomore forward Brendan Brisson put up a goal of his own.
Senior forward Garrett Van Wyhe ended the evening with an empty-net goal, making the final score of Friday’s game 5-2.
Michigan goalie Erik Portillo had himself a night on Friday while tying his career-high in saves of 36. He was being peppered with shots left and right by the Buckeyes all night, but he stood his ground and only let in a pair of goals.
But Saturday was a completely different story for Portillo and company. With Ohio State up 2-0 in the second period, the Wolverines made it a one-goal lead thanks to senior captain defenseman Nick Blankenberg, who scored for the second straight game and his ninth goal of the year. Freshmen Mackie Samoskevich and Luke Hughes assisted on the goal.
The Wolverines wouldn’t find the back of the net again while the Buckeyes went off in third period, putting up another four goals before it was all said and done. There was a span of 50 seconds from 11:39 to 10:49 where Ohio State scored three unanswered goals to take a 6-1 lead, which ended up being the final score.
It was another game where penalties were a huge detriment to Michigan but oddly enough, Ohio State also committed a ton as well. Michigan had 11 penalties to Ohio State’s 13, so the Wolverines had plenty of opportunities to make it a close game; they just couldn’t convert power play chances into goals while the Buckeyes took advantage of their chances.
The Wolverines will have their shot at revenge at Yost Ice Arena on Feb. 18-19 when they host the Buckeyes in Ann Arbor, the last home series of the season.
Michigan doesn’t play next until the its first game of the Great Lakes Invitational on Dec. 29 against Michigan Tech. The Wolverines will also play in the GLI Dec. 30 against Western Michigan, a team they split a two-game home-and-home series with earlier in the season.