For the third straight season, Michigan was swept in the College Hockey Showcase.
Both nights at Yost Ice Arena, the Wolverines (9-3-1, 5-1-1 CCHA) first dropped a 6-3 decision to Minnesota Friday night and then fell, 3-2, Saturday night to Wisconsin.
"It is time for guys to take a peek in the mirror and start owning up," U-M senior captain Andrew Ebbett said. "They are not freshmen anymore, they have played 13 games, and even the upperclassmen need to take it upon ourselves and stop pointing fingers. We have had a good first 11 games and now we know what it is like against the rest of the country, with two top-five teams right there. It is time to wake up and get back to basics."
Friday night, Michigan allowed five power-play goals as the Golden Gophers went 5-for-9 on the power play, while the Wolverines were just 1-for-11. U-M was led by T.J. Hensick, who notched one goal and two assists, and Matt Hunwick and Brandon Naurato chipped in one goal apiece. Billy Sauer played 44:18, gave up all six Minnesota goals, but did stop 18 shots. Noah Ruden mopped up and made 10 saves in 15:33 of work.
"I can't tell you that it was tic-tac-toe and we had no chance against them," Michigan head coach Red Berenson said. "I think we gave up some goals that we shouldn't have given up. We got some bounces that didn't help us, and we didn't do as good of a job as they did on special teams."
Then Saturday night in a battle of No. 1 against No. 2, goals by Tim Miller and Naurato pulled Michigan into a 2-2 tie, but Badgers captain Adam Burish scored with 1:58 to play for a 3-2 triumph.
Ruden finished with 24 saves.
"Well, mistakes cost us, obviously," noted Berenson. "Positioning on the last goal, giveaway on the first goal or second goal, and obviously we weren't matching the pace of the game, the work ethic in the game. I mean, you're not going to beat anybody with 11 shots in two periods against a 95 percent goalie. I think we got a wakeup call this weekend and we need to take advantage of it."
Michigan travels to Oxford, Ohio, Friday and Saturday to take on CCHA leader Miami (Ohio).
Photo by Amir Gamzu, © Wolverine Photo