Michigan hockey team can't hold onto third-period lead, drops 4-2 decision to Miami
OXFORD, Ohio - On paper, Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson realized his team didn't match up well with rival Miami.
Especially when it came to special teams. Turns out, the No. 8-ranked Wolverines had reason to be concerned.
Miami scored a pair of power-play goals - including one that drew the No. 13-ranked RedHawks even in the third period - before Matt Tomassoni scored the game-winner with 4 minutes left, lifting Miami to a 4-2 win over Michigan Friday night.
Pat Cannone capped the win with an empty-net goal in the final seconds.
For Michigan, which was 15-0-3 in games this season when leading after two periods, the pill was tough to swallow.
The Wolverines (17-8-4, 14-6-1 CCHA) were hoping to bounce back from last weekend's disappointing 2-1 loss against Michigan State. With first-place Notre Dame idle, Michigan - which entered Friday's game only a point out of first place - controlled the game much of the way.
"I liked our game. We know our power play is not prolific, but we had good chances on the power play," Berenson said. "Lee Moffie is all alone in front of the net with the goalie. We had isolated good chances, but we didn't score. I liked our game.
I liked our forechecking. I liked our intensity. I thought we played well. I liked the way we started the game and even through the second period when they gave us those penalties and we survived the second period. We just had a poor third period."
A.J. Treais was the unlikely offensive hero, scoring both of Michigan's goals - his second, which gave the Wolverines a 2-1 lead entering the third period. Michigan had chances to pad its lead - including on a Louie Caprousso breakaway, but Miami goalie Cody Reichard came up big with 30 saves.
Miami's power play unit - ranked No. 3 in the country - also played a major role. After Carter Camper's first-period power play goal tied the game at 1, the RedHawks (15-9-5, 12-7-4) again used a man advantage to bounce back from the one-goal deficit.
Andy Miele - the nation's top scorer -Â knotted the game at 2 with 7 seconds left on a Miami power play chance at the 11:43 mark of the period. Now playing with momentum, the RedHawks registered the game-winner with 4 minutes left.
Goalie Shawn Hunwick made 28 saves, but couldn't do much on the Miele rebound or on the game-winner. Cannone delivered a perfect pass to Tomassoni who beat Hunwick to give Miami its first lead of the night.
Michigan, which suffered its first Saturday night loss of the season last weekend, will try to avoid being swept for the first time this year in Saturday's 5:05 series finale. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit.