Even though Michigan outscored Lake Superior State last weekend, 6-5, both teams scratched out victories at Yost Ice Arena.
Lake Superior captain Steve McJannet's second goal of the game 3:01 into overtime gave the Lakers a 3-2 win Friday night. Trent Campbell also scored for LSSU and goaltender Jeff Jakaitis made 36 saves.
For Michigan, Jason Dest and T.J. Hensick scored and Noah Ruden stopped 34 shots.
"It was disappointing for a lot of reasons," said Ruden of the OT goal. "I'm thinking about that last goal and I should have had it, it went off my glove. And then the first goal, I should have had it, too. I'm thinking about the repercussions of that. We had games in hand going into this weekend, and this is one of them, at home against a team that is behind us."
Michigan's loss to LSSU was its first in the series since Mar. 8, 2002, ending a 10-game winning streak for U-M against the Lakers. The 10 straight wins were the most strung together by Michigan in the series history. The Lakers 12-game winning streak in the mid 1980's is the longest by either team.
The Wolverines made up for Friday with a 4-2 win and a split of the series.
Ruden made 18 saves for the win. Brandon Kaleniecki had two goals and an assist and captain Andrew Ebbett (pictured) scored once with two helpers.
As a result of the win, Michigan (28 points) moved into second place in the CCHA standings, ahead of idle Michigan State (27 points). Both teams have four regular-season games left.
Tyler Swystun also scored for Michigan.
Kory Scoran and Dan Eves scored for LSSU. Jakaitis stopped 20 in a losing effort.
"We talked about it before the game, how it was a must-win game for us," Ebbett said. "We only have one home game left now and it's crunch time. When you're looking at the rankings, both nationally and in the CCHA, it's a playoff chase right now. We've got to win the home games, so we were definitely desperate in that first period."
The Wolverines (18-11-3, 13-8-3 CCHA) head out on their first weekend road trip since early December when they travel to Nebraska-Omaha. The Lakers (15-9-6, 11-9-4 CCHA) play a home-and-home with Northern Michigan with the series starting with Friday's game at home.
Photo by Eric Bronson, © Wolverine Photo