Michigan Hockey is content with the series split against Wisconsin with a “frustrating” loss

ANN ARBOR – Michigan entered the Big Ten this week, averaging more than five goals per game.

After the second-placed Wolverines beat Wisconsin 3-0 in the opening game of the Big Ten on Thursday, Michigan was barely able to score any goals in a 4-2 defeat on Friday at the Yost Ice Arena.

RELATED: # 2 Michigan Hockey Blanks Wisconsin To Open The Big Ten Game

It followed the Badgers 2-0 before the third period, but twice it went into goal. Despite firing 34 shots at the net, Michigan’s two goals scored a season low.

“We got better and better as the game progressed,” said head coach Mel Pearson. “We played a bit too individualistically. Some guy would hold the puck too tight instead of giving and going and hitting the guys. We had to go online. But we didn’t want to go there and fight in front of the net. It’s hard to get in there. They check you out, get a stick on you, and pucks come in. We just didn’t want to pay that price and come to this area tonight, and that’s what we’re going to work on. “

The Wolverines (6-2, 1-1), equipped with seven first-round NHL draft picks and a total of 12 in the squad, started this season with high expectations.

Some of these first-round talents were seen on Friday. Second year striker Kent Johnson, number 5 overall Columbus Blue Jackets standings in 2021, scored a nifty power play goal through his legs at the 4:45 mark of the third period that reduced the team’s deficit to 2-1.

After Wisconsin replied less than a minute later, freshman striker Mackie Samoskevich, a Florida Panthers first-round pick, pulled Michigan back to one with a nasty wrist shot just under the bar.

But the Wolverines are also one of the youngest teams in the nation, and assistant captain Jimmy Lambert knows that given the hype over Michigan, their opponents will do their best in every game this season.

“We have a lot of young people,” said Lambert. “We said in the locker room after the game: ‘Goals are difficult to achieve. The games are always close and everyone is solid defensively. Everyone works really hard, physically and closely defensively.

“Everyone knows who we are. Everyone has high expectations of us and we have high expectations of ourselves. Man to man, I just think we have to get better because it’s time for the Big Ten. “

After a sluggish first period, Michigan had a big boost in the second. Second striker Brendan Brisson failed in the first minute to goalkeeper Cameron Rowe with a partial breakaway, and second striker Thomas Bordeleau followed seconds later with a good chance to score.

But the Wolverines failed to get Rowe out, and the Badgers took advantage of a gaffe from Bordeleau who tried to clear the puck in front of his net, resulting in a tap-in goal for Tarek Baker to take the 2-0 1-1 lead. 52 remain in the period.

“The second goal they scored is just a real freak,” said Pearson. “It’s not even a chance to score. Proud of our boys in the third period. We kept fighting. We just have to start with this urgency at the drop of the puck. We have to keep playing with this urgency from the start. I thought they were playing like a desperate team, more desperate than us, a little more urgent and they got the jump. Just very frustrating and not a good feeling, not a good feeling to lose someone like that tonight. “

Michigan will be back at home against Michigan State this coming Friday before the two-game series against the Spartans will be concluded in East Lansing on Saturday.

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