In a wild Game 1 of their CCHA quarterfinal round series, Michigan hung on to victory, 4-3, over host Western Michigan.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead. After WMU missed on a 2-on-1 opportunity, Michigan turned it right around. Kevin Lynch carried in on the right and centered the puck to Phil Di Giuseppe and his wrist shot from the left hash beat Frank Slubowski.
Late in the opening stanza, Justin Selman broke out on a 2-on-2 break with Zach Hyman. Selman opted to shoot and Slubowski made the glove save, but the rebound popped out in front while Slubowski fell back on his rear end and Selman knocked in his own rebound to make it 2-0.
In a matter of 62 seconds, WMU tied in the game in the second period. I missed the first goal as it happened just as I stepped back in the door, but the second goal came after a U-M turnover in the neutral zone led to a 3-on-2 break. Colton Hargrove carried the puck in and unleashed a wrist shot from the left hash that beat Steve Racine high glove side to tie the game about five minutes in to the second period.
The Wolverines settled the game back down and Trouba gave them the lead back when he faked a slap shot, which froze the defenseman and goalie, then snapped a wrist shot that found the top corner short side.
The Broncos would tie the game back up when Mike Cichy redirected a point shot by Kenney Morrison that beat Racine. The game would enter the third period tied 3-3.
Nolan LaPorte would go off for slashing at 8:51 of the third period (which, if they showed the right replay of the incident, was a total GONGSHOW call) to give U-M a power play. Jacob Trouba fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle that Slubowski had pretty much a clear view of the whole way and got beat to put Michigan back ahead, 4-3.
Both teams would get a power play in the final ten minutes and neither could convert. WMU was finally able to pull Slubowski with under a minute to play, but the Wolverines held on to win.
Michigan is now 6-0-1 in their past seven games (sorry, it’s NOT a seven game winning streak like others are saying… a shootout win isn’t a win in the record books, it’s a tie) and will be looking to put away the Broncos tomorrow night and punch their ticket to The Joe.
RECORD WATCH: Jacob Trouba’s two goals tonight gives him 12 on the season, giving him sole possession of #2 on Michigan’s All-Time freshman defenseman goal scoring list. Dean Turner holds the record of 13 goals scored in 1976-77.