U-M's Late Rally Falls Short at No. 14 Wisconsin
Luke Moffatt

Jan. 11, 2014

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Site: Madison, Wis. (Kohl Center)
Score: #14 Wisconsin 5, #9 Michigan 2
Records: U-M (10-5-2, 2-1-0-0 Big Ten), UW (12-6-1, 3-2-0-0 Big Ten)
Attendance: 9,499
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 11 -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wisc.), 7 p.m. CST

MADISON, Wis. -- Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Luke Moffatt (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) scored third-period goals, but the University of Michigan ice hockey team (No. 9 USA Today, No. 8 USCHO) fell, 5-2, at Wisconsin (No. 14 USA Today, No. 14 USCHO) in the first Big Ten meeting between the two schools inside the Kohl Center. The loss is the Wolverines' third straight.

Trailing 3-0 late in the third period, Copp pounced on a rebound in the slot and slid a backhander underneath Wisconsin goaltender Joel Rumpel (27 saves) at 14:50 to cut the Wisconsin lead to two.

Minutes later, the Wolverines broke an 0-for-22 stretch on the power play, as Moffatt ripped a one-timer past Rumpel on the short side off a feed from Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich.) at 17:58 to pull the Wolverines within one with just over two minutes to play.

But with the Michigan net vacated, Michael Mersch scored his second goal of the night at 18:42 to give the Badgers a two goal lead once again. Mersch would complete the hat trick moments later, keeping the puck on a two-on-one for a wrist shot that beat Zach Nagelvoort (Holland, Mich.) at 19:20.

Nagelvoort finished the night with 25 saves, as Wisconsin outshot Michigan 30-29 for the night.

The Badgers took an early lead during an early 4-on-4 opportunity. Michael Mersch scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season on a shot from the left wing half-boards, as the puck deflected off of Nagelvoort's glove and into the net at 4:16.

Michigan had long periods of possession in Wisconsin's zone in the opening frame but couldn't get many pucks through. At the 8:00 mark, Alex Kile (Troy, Mich.) fed Max Shuart (Northville, Mich.) with a pass to the high slot. Shuart, the trailer on a 3-on-2 rush, had an open lane, but fired wide of the net.

Wisconsin took a 2-0 lead at 11:47 on another tough break for Nagelvoort. Wisconsin's Grant Besse skate behind the Michigan net and flipped a pass into traffic in front of the net. The puck deflected off of the skate of Nolan De Jong (Victoria, B.C.) and past Nagelvoort at 11:47.

The Wolverines had two power play opportunities in the opening 10:00 of the second period, but failed to take advantage, as Michigan went scoreless on its first four power play chances of the game in the first two periods of play.

Michigan also held Wisconsin off the board on its two lone power play chances, both in the second period. The Wolverines had one of their best chances in the frame with Kile in the penalty box for boarding at 5:17. A Wisconsin turnover led to a 3-on-2 down low, but Rumpel stopped Motte from in close, and then covered a long drive by Michael Downing (Canton, Mich.) at 6:54.

U-M will take on Wisconsin again tomorrow night (Saturday, Jan. 11) in a 7 p.m. CST contest at the Kohl Center.

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