Power play comes alive in Michigan hockey team's 2-1 win over Notre Dame
Updated 12:10 a.m.
The Michigan hockey team's power play no longer appears to be an issue.
A night after snapping a four-game power play goal drought, No. 10 Michigan scored two in the first period of a 2-1 win over No. 6 Notre Dame on Saturday night at Compton Family Ice Arena to earn a series split with the Fighting Irish.
Michigan freshman Alex Guptill deflected a Greg Pateryn wrist shot for his team-high 14th goal of the season 11:36 into the game to give the Wolverines the early lead. Guptill is now the NCAA leader in goals and points (26) for a freshman.
"I was just trying to get my stick out there. I got a little lucky and was able to put a backhand tip on it," Guptill said. "Credit to (Greg) Pateryn for shooting the puck. I think that's two this weekend and that kind of got the power play going."
A.J. Treais extended that lead to two with just 23 seconds remaining in the first period after Notre Dame (14-9-3, 9-6-3-0 CCHA) was whistled for its third penalty of the opening frame.
The two-goal cushion didn't last long as Austin Wuthrich put the Irish on the board just 1:24 into the second period.
Wuthrich's goal proved to be the last despite Michigan (15-9-4, 9-7-4-1) having to kill three penalties in the last two periods. Notre Dame finished 0-for-4 on the power play.
"Little things; whether it's faceoffs or confidence or chemistry. We're doing a better job now," Michigan coach Red Berenson said of his team's penalty kill effort. "And it's the goalie. Your goalie has to make a save on the penalty kill, which he did tonight."
Shawn Hunwick finished the second period with 16 saves and had 38 on the night.
Michigan managed just 14 shots in the last two periods. Guptill nearly scored again late in the second period, but couldn't get a stick on a Chris Brown pass after the two rushed at the Irish goal unimpeded following a turnover. Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays finished with 22 saves.
The Irish were missing their third-leading scorer, Riley Sheahan, after the CCHA upheld a suspension it had doled out for an illegal hit against Western Michigan on Jan. 13.
Notre Dame appealed the suspension, which made Sheahan eligible to play in Friday's 3-1 Irish win, but the CCHA upheld its initial ruling on Saturday.