U-M Done In by Three-Goal Third in Exhibition Loss to U.S. Under-18
Derek DeBlois

Jan. 4, 2013

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Yost Ice Arena)
Score: U.S. NTDP Under-18 5, Michigan 3 (ex.)
Attendance: 5,285
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, Jan. 8 -- vs. Bowling Green (Yost Ice Arena), 7:35 p.m. [ Tickets ]

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Despite two first-period, shorthanded goals from senior Lee Moffie (Wallingford, Conn.), the University of Michigan ice hockey team suffered a 5-3 exhibition defeat to U.S. NTDP Under-18 on Friday night (Jan. 4) at Yost Ice Arena. After a 2-2 first period and scoreless second, two USA goals in the first 1:23 of the third and a 3-1 score advantage in the final frame resulted in U-M's first-ever loss to the development program.

Moffie's first marker opened the game's scoring near the end of a USA power play, as the alternate captain poked one in to finish a rush up ice at 5:21. Assists went to freshman Daniel Milne (Unionville, Ontario) and junior Derek DeBlois (Narragansett, R.I.). Less than two minutes later, at 6:53, USA's Tom Malone banged home a rebound to tie the contest at 1-all.

With U-M a man down again, Moffie snuck one past netminder Thatcher Demko off a faceoff win by DeBlois at 13:25. However, Michigan signee Tyler Motte re-tied the game on the power play at 15:49, knocking in a loose puck backdoor.

Late in the first period on the Wolverines' first power play of the night, Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich.) saw his first action since being injured during U-M's exhibition win over Windsor on Oct. 9. Merrill served as a power-play specialist throughout the game.

Following a scoreless second period, USA opened the third with a power play and struck 45 seconds in, with Motte converting a one-timer from middle of the slot, putting the Wolverines behind, 3-2. USA wasted no time in padding its lead, as, 38 seconds later, John Hayden flipped in a rebound.

Michigan bounced back at 4:14 when Cristoval 'Boo' Nieves (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) came out of the corner and fired one past Demko high glove side, cutting the deficit to 4-3. DeBlois and Lindsay Sparks (Oakville, Ontario) earned the helpers on the tally. Zach Hyman nearly tied the contest minutes later, but his shot from in tight was waffle-boarded away.

After a flurry of chances for the Wolverines, on the ensuing rush up ice, Keaton Thompson scored Team USA's final marker at 14:08.

Jared Rutledge (Chicago, Ill.) started in goal for the Wolverines and made 32 saves, while Demko tallied 19 stops. On the power play, U-M went 0-for-3, while Team USA, which held a 37-22 shot advantage in the game, converted 2-of-4 chances.

Michigan resumes regular-season play next Tuesday (Jan. 8), hosting Bowling Green at 7:35 p.m. The game will be televised on Big Ten Network and will feature a trading card giveaway.

Contact: Rob Tillotson (734) 763-4423

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