Michigan hockey team loses exhibition game to Ontario Institute of Technology
A bad stretch, indeed, for a team that played in the NCAA Championship game just six months ago and is ranked as a top-10 team multiple 2011-12 preseason polls.
In what was supposed to be the first of two tune-ups for the regular season, Michigan lost 3-2 to the Ontario Institute of Technology in front of an announced crowd of 4,322 on Saturday night.
"I think we learned a lot about our team. I think we learned a lot about what we need to work on,” Michigan senior forward Luke Glendening told MGoBlue.com.
“We definitely need to be more sound defensively, and we also need to bury our chances offensively. I do not know how many shots we had, but it was a lot and we had two goals and that's not enough. I think we're OK, obviously no one likes to lose, but our team will be OK."
Michigan outshot OIT 56-28 and took a 1-0 lead on a Greg Pateryn power play goal just six minutes into the game.
The Wolverines wouldn’t capitalize on any of their next 10 power play opportunities, however, and UOIT scored the next three goals. UOIT goalkeeper Jason Guy stopped 52 shots.
The Ridgebacks got on the board with a short-handed tally by Brendan Wise and an even-strength goal by James Woodcroft in the second period. Five minutes into the third period, Jesse Stoughton scored a power play goal to put UOIT up 3-1.
Michigan’s Phil Di Giuseppe scored the game’s final goal midway through the third period.
Di Giuseppe is one of eight freshmen to see action for Michigan, a number Michigan senior goalkeeper Shawn Hunwick noted in his post-game comments.
“They got a little taste of Yost and a little taste of what adversity is going to be,” Hunwick said of the freshmen. “We're not just going to come in here and throw our sticks out there because we are Michigan and going to win. We have to come every night and play hard.”
Coach Red Berenson looked beyond the Michigan newcomers.
“It's not just our young players, our older players have to understand that summer hockey is over and this is the real deal and we need to pick it up," Berenson said.
The Wolverines play another exhibition game against the U.S. National Team Development Program U-18 squad Monday before hosting Niagara in Tuesday's regular-season opener. Both games face off at 7:35 p.m. at Yost Ice Arena.