March 8, 2013
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Yost Ice Arena)
Event: CCHA First Round (Game 1)
Score: Michigan 3, Northern Michigan 2
Records: U-M (14-18-3), NMU (15-18-4)
Next U-M Game: Saturday, March 9 -- vs. Northern Michigan (Yost Ice Arena), 7:35 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan ice hockey team opened the 2013 CCHA Playoffs with a 3-2 victory over Northern Michigan Friday evening (March 8) at Yost Ice Arena. The Wolverines raced out to a 3-0 lead after the first period, saw it trimmed with two second-period tallies by the Wildcats but held on for the victory with a scoreless third stanza.
Senior forward Kevin Lynch (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) scored a pair of goals a little more than three minutes apart in the first period to give the Wolverines the 3-0 advantage. Lynch's eighth and ninth goals of the season are tied for third on the squad. Freshman goaltender Steve Racine (Williamsville, N.Y.) stopped 26 of the Wildcats' 28 shots in the contest.
Michigan struck early for the third consecutive game at Yost, scoring at 6:39 of the first period. Junior defenseman Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich.) netted his second goal of the season. His slapshot hit a player out front, caromed to the left and went into the goal off NMU's CJ Ludwig. Freshman center Cristoval 'Boo' Nieves (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) and sophomore forward Phil Di Giuseppe (Maple, Ontario) assisted on the power-play goal. U-M had gained the man-advantage after NMU was called for too many men on the ice.
The Wolverines extended their lead to 2-0 on their second power-play goal of the first period. Senior Kevin Lynch scored his eighth tally of the season off an assist from senior captain A.J. Treais (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and sophomore Alex Guptill (New Market, Ontario). Treais blistered a shot off goaltender Jared Coreau that Lynch buried in the open net from the sharp left corner at 15:11.
Michigan continued to pour it on as Lynch registered a short-handed tally at 18:30 of the opening stanza. Lynch stole the puck and moved in one-on-one against Coreau from the left side. He faked the shot, got Coreau to commit on the fake by going down and slid across to the right side for an easy goal, giving U-M the three-goal lead heading into the intermission.
Northern Michigan used the second period to chip away, cutting the deficit to 3-2 after 40 minutes. The Wildcats scored their first goal of the contest at 4:57 and added a goal at 16:00.
Racine made nine saves in the scoreless third period, while Coreau stopped seven shots from the Wolverines. Northern Michigan pulled Coreau for the extra attacker with 1:12 remaining, but Michigan's defensive effort sealed the victory.
Northern Michigan outshot Michigan by a 28-25 margin after trailing in the category, 12-5, after the first period.
The second game of the best-of-three series will be played Saturday (March 9) starting at 7:35 p.m. from Yost Ice Arena. Tickets are available.