Ann Arbor's Andrew Copp scores and has assist, but Michigan hockey falls to Alaska 5-4
Joseph Tobianski | AnnArbor.com file photo
"We give up four goals in two periods and I don’t care who is playing in goal, you have to play better than that," Berenson said after the game.
Just as it hadn't on Tuesday night, the switch didn't do much to change the Wolverines' fortune on Friday as Alaska defeated the Wolverines 5-4 at Yost Ice Arena.
A Zach Hyman goal with a minute, 20 seconds remaining in the third made the end of the game interesting, but a final push by the Wolverines with an extra attacker couldn't tie the game.
From the opening minute of the first period things didn't look well for the Wolverines (7-12-2, 4-9-2-2 CCHA), as they took their first penalty just 26 seconds into the game, which seemed to slow the offense from the game's onset.
A delay on updating the scoreboard made it seem like Michigan's first shot on goal of the night didn't come until more than 15 minutes into the game, which was followed by a loud sarcastic cheer from the Yost faithful.
To be fair, Michigan actually had its first shot 11:26 into the game, but that wasn't exactly something to cheer about either. It's been a common theme for Michigan this year, which is now 6-7 at home.
"We haven't given our home rink, we just haven't given it the kind of hockey that we have to do (to make it an intimidating arena)," Berenson said. "It's pretty hard for our fans and the rink to be intimidating when we're behind in the game too often."
Alaska (7-8-4, 8-7-3-1) went up 1-0 after scoring on a counterattack following a duffed shot by Jon Merrill. Kaare Odegard knocked in a perfect pass from Jarret Granberg 14:43 into the first and that's how the score would stay heading into the first intermission.
Alaska started the second period with a top shelf goal from Matt Friese just 3:21 into the frame. Michigan didn't face the two-goal deficit for very long as Ann Arbor native Andrew Copp knocked his own rebound out of the air and into the Alaska net to put Michigan on the board just 15 seconds later for his third goal of the season.
The former Skyline High School baseball player put his skills to work, batting the floating puck out of the air and into the Alaska net. The goal was reviewed as it looked as though Copp may have used a high stick to score, but was eventually upheld.
It was Copp's first time playing on Michigan's top line and he put together probably his best game of the season. He had an assist on Jacob Trouba's goal in the third.
"I liked his game and that’s why we put him on that line, and I can’t tell you we have a first line, but that’s AJ (Treais) and Kevin Lynch and Copp is a young kid and he gives us a lot of energy and hard work and is a good two way player and he can score and good for him," Berenson said.
Michigan tied the score on a shot from Alex Guptill after Derek DeBlois displayed great patience along the boards in Alaska's end before finding Guptill unmarked in the middle of the ice at the 13:27 mark of the second period.
After scoring, Guptill reached toward the sky in relief, it being his first goal since October 27 and first point since November 21. The six-week scoreless streak has been a frustrating one for Guptill -- last year's leading goal scorer as a freshman -- which has even included being benched for a series.
Michigan could not sustain any momentum, however, as Alaska scored two more goals before the period's end. Michigan did however go into the intermission on a high note after Trouba put in a goal with a little more than a minute to play on a scramble in front of the net.
It wasn't a highlight reel play by any means, but it's the type of goal Lynch said the team needs to start producing to get out of its slump.
"When we’re in a slump like this, you can’t make pretty plays. You saw that in the third period," Lynch said in reference to a 2-on-1 rush that yielded no shot on net after a few nice passes back and forth. "Those plays don’t always go in, but like tonight we had a lot of goals that were in front of the net garbage goals and that’s the way we’re gonna (be successful)."
The goalie switch in the third didn't yield much different results as Janecyk gave up a shorthanded goal 3:46 into the third.
Friday was just the third time all season Alaska scored more than three goals in a game while it was Michigan's 13th time giving up four or more goals this season.
"We’re not going to win games giving up five goals. I thought we pushed back hard in the second, played better and we played better in the third, but it’s just not enough."
Michigan's special teams has been especially ineffective as it gave up one official shorthanded goal and one just after an Alaska player came out of the box. The Wolverines were also 0-for-2 on the power play and have scored just two power play goals in their last seven games.
"The power play's not helping us right now," Berenson said.
"Special teams is going to be a big factor in tomorrow night’s game and we need to clean it up," Lynch said.
The teams play each other again on Saturday at Yost (7:35 p.m., Fox Sports Plus).