Connor Scores Twice to Lead Michigan to Season-Opening Win

Oct. 16, 2015

What You Need to Know
» Freshman Kyle Connor led U-M with three points (2G, A).
» Michigan outshot Toronto, 47-30, on the night.
» Michigan improved to 22-6-4 in season-opening games in the Red Berenson era.

Boxscore PDF | Photo Gallery 

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Yost Ice Arena)
Score: #11 Michigan 6, Mercyhurst 4
Records: U-M (1-0-0), Mercyhurst (3-2-0)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Oct. 18 -- vs. Mercyhurst (Yost Ice Arena), 5:05 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Freshman forward Kyle Connor notched his first points in a Michigan uniform (2G, A), and junior forward Tyler Motte scored the decisive goal in the third period to lift the University of Michigan ice hockey team to a 6-4 win over Mercyhurst on Friday night (Oct. 16) inside Yost Ice Arena.

Senior forward Cristoval 'Boo' Nieves, sophomore forward Tony Calderone, and freshman forward Cooper Marody also added goals in a game that featured four ties and three lead changes.

Senior goaltender Steve Racine stopped 26 of 30 shots, while Mercyhurst goaltender Brandon Wildung made 41 saves in net for the Lakers.

With the game knotted at 4-4 entering the third period, Motte broke the deadlock for the Wolverines with a changeup shot that fooled Wildung. Junior forward JT Compher won a faceoff back to Motte, who fired a quick wrist shot that deflected off a Mercyhurst stick in front of the net and fluttered over the shoulder of Wildung at 2:57.

Michigan warded off Mercyhurst the rest of the way, with Racine coming up with one of his best saves on the night with 1:45 to go in the period, kicking out his right pad on a wrist shot by Mercyhurst's Josh Lammon.

Connor sealed the win with his second goal of the game, throwing a blind backhand shot at an empty net with 16 seconds remaining to put U-M up 6-4.

Nieves opened the scoring for U-M on an opportunistic play in front of the net early in the first period. Sophomore defenseman Cutler Martin put a shot from the point on net that deflected off the stick of Connor right to Nieves, who found an empty net to put U-M up 1-0 at 4:45.

Mercyhurst's Kyle Cook scored on a 2-on-1 just minutes later at 6:50, and Lammon added a goal at 9:13 to give the Lakers a 2-1 lead.

With Mercyhurst on the man advantage looking to extend its lead, Connor helped U-M regain momentum, stealing a puck at the blue line for a shorthanded breakaway. Connor finished high for his first goal at U-M to tie the game at 16:58.

Late in the second period, the two teams traded punches again, with Mercyhurst's Jonathan Charbonneau giving the Lakers the lead on a shot that deflected off the skate of a U-M defender in front past Racine at 12:37.

Calderone notched his first goal of the season less than a minute later, curling off the half boards and firing a high wrist shot past Wildung at 13:31.

Mercyhurst scored the only special teams goal of the night on a late second period power play, as Lester Lancaster fired a slapshot through traffic in front past Racine at 17:21.

Michigan once again answered to tie the game at 18:16, as Marody fired a wrist shot that trickled through Wildung over the goal line and a play that was reviewed and ultimately withheld in favor of the Wolverines, setting up the exciting finish.

Tweet of the Game

The Wolverines will conclude the series against Mercyhurst on Sunday (Oct. 18) at Yost Ice Arena, with puck drop at 5:05 p.m. [ Tickets ]

Postgame Audio

Game Summary

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Communications Contact: Jeffrey Weinstein


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