Michigan played two different games last weekend, but still came away with a sweep of Notre Dame in a home-and-home set.
And though the four points look great in the CCHA standings, Wolverines’ head coach Red Berenson said the weekend wasn’t as easy as it looked.
"I think they are a much improved team,” said Berenson of the Fighting Irish. “They are hard working and they played a good system. They are hard to play against and they had their chances to win this weekend. Even though they were behind most of the time, outside of tonight when they got ahead, but they played hard and they are going to be a team down the stretch. I think they are a good team and it is a good win for us."
Friday night in South Bend, Michigan led 4-2 heading into the third period and 5-3 midway through the final frame. Then U-M and ND combined for five goals in the final 7:29 as the Irish drew as close as 6-5. Freshman Andrew Cogliano (pictured) scored the final two goals of the game to close out the win.
While on the power play in the first period, Chad Kolarik notched his first goal of the season. He later added an assist for his second multi-point game of the season and 12th of his career. Jason Bailey recorded his first career goal and point 5:55 into the second period. Brandon Naurato earned his first career goal at 11:22 of the second period.
Kevin Porter had a goal and an assist and captain Andrew Ebbett added two assists. Travis Turnbull and T.J. Hensick also scored for the Wolverines. Noah Ruden made 26 saves for the win.
Back home in front of 6,814 fans at Yost Ice Arena, Kolarik scored twice to pace Michigan to a 4-2 win. Cogliano and Hensick tallied the others and Billy Sauer stopped 27 shots in getting the victory in net.
"After I scored my goal last night, I made a little joke about getting the monkey off my back,” said Kolarik. “I was pressing way too hard, I was thinking about it all the time. It is definitely a big lift to get those first three goals."
Cogliano extended his point streak to a team season-best six games. He has seven goals and 15 assists and five multi-point efforts during the stretch.
Berenson, though happy with the wins, knows the season is still young.
“Right now, our power play has a lot of confidence and momentum and a lot of depth,” said Berenson. “It is good to see Chad Kolarik score; he has not scored up until this weekend, and he has had three this weekend. It is good to see Cogliano off to such a good start; he is dangerous on the power play. T.J. and Porter are more experienced and so on, so I think we are getting a real semblance of a real good power play. That can sputter from time to time, but right now that is a big part of our game. Obviously, we will have to improve on our five-on-five and other parts of the game."
Michigan travels to Northern Michigan this weekend for a pair.