The Michigan Wolverines (25-7-1, 16-6) avenged their last regulation loss (Dec 11) by sweeping the Ohio State Buckeyes (21-11-2, 13-10) over the weekend at Yost Ice Arena. They won the first game by a score of 5-3 and shutout the Buckeyes in game two 3-0.
The star of the weekend was freshman sensation Luke Hughes who scored three goals across both games, including a highlight reel coast-to-coast goal in the second game.
What an absolutely absurd goal from Luke Hughes: pic.twitter.com/jKqj7NmuJD— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) February 20, 2022
Hughes leads all defensemen nationally in goals (16) and broke a Michigan program record for most goals scored by a freshman defenseman in a single season. Dean Turner had held the record since 1976-77.
Second-line center Thomas Bordeleau continued his hot streak by notching two points over the weekend and dominating the face-off circle. Bordy has now recorded a point in 10 of the last 12 games.
One of the more surprising stories of the weekend was freshman Mark Estapa continuing his late-season surge. Entering the series against Ohio State, Estapa only had six career points to his name, but three of those points had come in two of the last three games. Now, we can add another three points to his name after the weekend.
In the first game, Estapa — as well as Michael Pastujov and Jacob Truscott — recorded two assists. In the second game, Estapa fired home a rocket empty-netter to secure victory. The St. Clair native has now scored a point in four of the last five games.
In the net, sophomore Erik Portillo followed up a below average — albeit winning — performance in game one with his third shutout of the season in game two. Portillo stopped all 30 shots he faced and secured win No. 25 of the season on Senior Night.
The Wolverines trailed for less than 2:30 all weekend, outshot the Buckeyes 73-55 and carried a massive 76-43 advantage on faceoffs.
Michigan has won 11 of its last 12 games, including seven in a row. Now, the Wolverines welcome back Owen Power, Matty Beniers, Kent Johnson and Brendan Brisson from the Olympics for the regular season series finale.
The Wolverines return to action this Friday and Saturday against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend. Notre Dame is the only conference opponent Michigan has not beaten this season.
When these teams first played back in November, Notre Dame narrowly took both contests by scores of 3-2 (OT) and 5-4 (OT). Expect this to provide extra motivation for the Wolverines who will now be at full strength as they welcome back their top four scorers from the Olympics.
Michigan is currently two points up on Minnesota and can win the Big Ten outright this weekend in South Bend.