Brandon Naurato's OT goal beat Northern Michigan Saturday
Billy Sauer and Brandon Naurato - two freshmen - starred for Michigan last weekend as the Wolverines posted two wins on the road at Northern Michigan.
Sauer made 25 saves Friday night in a 3-1 win. Brandon Kaleniecki and Chad Kolarik scored in the second period and T.J. Hensick added an empty-netter with four seconds left to seal it for Michigan (9-1-1, 5-1-1 CCHA).
Darin Olver netted NMU's goal for an early 1-0 lead and Bill Zaniboni stopped 21 shots for the Wildcats (5-5-0, 2-4-0 CCHA).
"It was loud most of the game, so once they scored the goal I knew it was crunch time anyway," Sauer said. "I really got my head into the game and said, 'Listen, nobody can score here.' Obviously, you'd think I'm going to say that, but I really got into it. With the crowd it got a little hectic, but it really just gave me fuel for the fire."
Saturday night, Naurato's second goal of the game 2:21 into overtime gave U-M a 4-3 win. Jack Johnson and Kevin Porter scored Michigan's other goals and Sauer finished with 28 saves.
"A couple weeks ago in Alaska we came out and didn't have a very good start and that cost us a game up there," Kaleniecki said. "We had to make sure we didn't do that again."
Jamie Milam, Matt Siddall and Andrew Contois scored for NMU. Zaniboni stopped 23 shots in defeat.
“We had tons of chances,” NMU head coach Walt Kyle added. “Their goaltender out-played our goaltender tonight. If we get those chances at some point we will have a lot of success.”
The Wolverines take this weekend off before they host the 13th annual College Hockey Showcase Thanksgiving weekend. U-M faces Minnesota on Friday, Nov. 25 on CSTV and MGoBlue.com. On Saturday, Nov. 26, the Maize and Blue will oppose Wisconsin with Comcast Local carrying the telecast.
Northern Michigan plays at Bowling Green this weekend.