Michigan Topples U.S. NTDP Under-18 in Exhibition

Oct. 6, 2014

Zach Hyman

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Yost Ice Arena)
Score: #9 Michigan 7, U.S. NTDP Under-18 4 (ex.)
Attendance: 4,329
Next U-M Event: Thursday, Oct. 9 -- vs. Wilfrid Laurier - ex. (Yost Ice Arena), 7:35 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Goals were scored in bunches Monday night (Oct. 6), as the University of Michigan ice hockey team (No. 9 USA Today, No. 8 USCHO) defeated the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 Team, 7-4, in exhibition play at Yost Ice Arena.

Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich.) and Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) scored two goals apiece for the Wolverines, and Zach Hyman (Toronto, Ontario) had three assists in the tune-up game, which saw U-M net at least two goals in each period.

The U.S. NTDP took a 1-0 lead when Matthew Tkachuk got loose in front of the net and beat Zach Nagelvoort (Holland, Mich.) a little more than a minute into the game, but it was Team USA's only lead of the night. The Wolverines responded with a goal a few minutes later, as Alex Kile (Troy, Mich.) pumped one home off a feed from Larkin to tie the score at 1-1. Michigan scored again just 62 seconds after that, as Motte tapped one in from the backside post off a wraparound feed from Kevin Lohan (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.).

The Wolverines scored once more before the period ended, as Cristoval 'Boo' Nieves (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) won a faceoff cleanly back to JT Compher (Northbrook, Ill.), who ripped it past U.S. NTDP goalie Luke Opilka to give the Maize and Blue a 3-1 edge heading into the first intermission.

Michigan added to its lead at the 14:23 mark of the second period. Compher won the battle for a puck along the short wall and fed Sam Piazza (Darien, Ill.) at the point, where his shot was deflected in by Motte. The U.S. NTDP answered seconds later, as Colin White buried a shot from out front to make the score 4-2 with 13:38 remaining in the frame.

Team USA scored again to cut the deficit to one goal, as Jordan Greenway carried the puck wide into Michigan's zone and found Tage Thompson high in the slot, where he beat Nagelvoort low to his glove side. Thompson's marker brought the score to 4-3 with 7:40 remaining in the second. With 1:45 left in the period, Larkin powered puck into the front of the net, giving the Wolverines a 5-3 advantage going into the second intermission.

At the intermission, Nagelvoort gave way to Steve Racine (Williamsville, N.Y.), who finished the game in net. The U.S. NTDP needed just 16 seconds to score, as Auston Matthews' unassisted wraparound goal cut the Michigan lead to 5-4. Once again, the Wolverines answered, when Justin Selman found a rebound in the crease and scored on a wide-open goal, giving U-M the 6-4 advantage with 17:54 remaining in the game.

The scoring did not end there, however, as Larkin netted his second goal of the contest after Hyman found him wide open at the top of the crease, extending the Wolverine lead to three goals with 10:43 to play.

Michigan outshot Team USA, 41-18, on the night. Opilka finished the game with 34 saves, while Nagelvoort turned away nine shots, and Racine saved five.

The Wolverines return to action this Thursday (Oct. 9) to take on Wilfrid Laurier in the final exhibition game of the season inside Yost Ice Arena. The puck is set to drop at 7:35 p.m.

Contact: Jeff Weinstein (734) 763-4423

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