Shawn Hunwick ejected, Michigan hockey dejected after first loss of season
The Michigan hockey team’s time atop the national rankings will be a short one.
The Wolverines, who moved into the No. 1 spot in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll released Monday, lost 5-3 at Northern Michigan on Friday night.
"It's disappointing. We came up here to play better hockey than we played,” Michigan coach Red Berenson told MGoBlue.com. “Certainly didn't want to get into the penalty problems that we got into and put ourselves behind the eight ball. But that's the way the game was played and that's the way it was called.”
The CCHA opener for both teams was still scoreless midway through the second period on the Olympic-sized ice at the Berry Events Center in Marquette, but turned decidedly in Northern Michigan’s favor after a fracas that started when Michigan goalkeeper Shawn Hunwick was run into after a shot by the Wildcats.
Along with offsetting fighting penalties and disqualifications to Michigan’s Luke Moffatt and Northern Michigan’s Andrew Cherniwchan, Hunwick was given a five-minute “contact to the head” penalty and a game misconduct.
Sophomore backup Adam Janecyk replaced Hunwick, who had stopped all 17 shots he faced.
The 17th-ranked Wildcats (4-1-0, 1-0-0) capitalized quickly on the change, scoring on two of their six shots against Janecyk in the second period and again just one minute into the third period for a 3-1 lead.
Michigan (4-1-0, 0-1-0) rallied with goals from Zach Hyman and Travis Lynch to tie the game at 3-3 with 3:44 to play, but Northern Michigan’s Tyler Gron scored the game-winner less than a minute later. The Wildcats would add an empty-net goal in the final minute.
The Wolverines were outshot 32-27 and went 0-for-6 on power-play opportunities in their first road game. There were a total of 24 penalties in the game, including 13 on Northern Michigan.
"I thought we started off a little slow and maybe let the crowd get into us a little bit, but as the game went on I think our play really picked up,” Michigan defenseman Greg Pateryn said. “They were getting pretty chippy and it was kind of a grinding game more than a skill game. That's how it is sometimes."
The teams play again at 7:35 p.m. Saturday in Marquette.