Oct. 10, 2009

Courtesy of Michigan

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The University of Michigan ice hockey team (No. 4 USA Today/No. 3 USCHO.com) lost its season opener, 2-0, to the Alaska Nanooks on Friday night (Oct. 9) at the Kendall Hockey Classic. U-M had a 23-13 shots on goal advantage, including a 12-3 mark in the first 20 minutes, but the Nanooks scored halfway through the second period and tacked on an insurance goal early in the third period.

Goalie Bryan Hogan (Highland, Mich.) took the loss for the Maize and Blue, stopping 11 of 13 shots. U-M's best chances came from left wing Carl Hagelin (Sodertalje, Sweden), who had three shots on the night. Defenseman Steve Kampfer (Jackson, Mich.) led all U-M players with five shots against UAF netminder Scott Greenham.

U-M carried the play through much of the first period, establishing a cycle in the UAF zone. Matt Rust (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and Chris Brown (Flower Mound, Texas) had opportunities to score on rebounds. Hagelin raced down the left side to generate another chance, but UAF kept the game scoreless in the first stanza before capitalizing in the second period.
The Nanooks scored the only goal they needed at 10:10 of the second period. Thirty seconds after a UAF power play had expired U-M was unable to get a line change, leaving it with three defensemen and two forwards on the ice. UAF capitalized on a defensive breakdown in front of the net when Chad Gehon took a centering pass in the low slot and slid the puck inside the left post.

Nanook Joe Sova thwarted U-M's comeback attempt with a shot from a few feet inside the U-M blue line at 3:52 of the third period. The UAF defenseman faced a one-on-two deficit and elected to fire a slap shot that beat Hogan to the glove side.

In the final 16 minutes, Michigan could not muster consistent offensive pressure against the Nanook defense, which was content to clog up the neutral zone and block shots.

Michigan looks to bounce back tomorrow night (Saturday, Oct. 10) against the host of the Kendall Hockey Classic, Alaska Anchorage. Faceoff is set for 7:07 p.m. AKT/11:07 p.m. ET.

N O T E S

• Five freshmen made their Michigan debuts this evening: forwards Chris Brown, Kevin Lynch, A.J. Treais and Lindsay Sparks and defenseman Lee Moffie.

• Tonight was the first time in series history that Michigan was shut out by Alaska. The Wolverines fall to 37-8-0 against the Nanooks.

• Michigan had won its last four season openers prior to tonight. U-M lost to Northeastern to start the 2004-05 season. Coach Berenson is 19-4-3 in season openers during his career.

Q U O T E S

Michigan Head Coach Red Berenson
On tonight's game ... "It was a hard-fought game. I think the first goal of the game was really important. Fairbanks, when they got it, they milked it pretty good. They play good defense. And when they got the second one that's all they need. We're a team that has to get something going. When we score we get a little better momentum like any team. But we couldn't get that goal. You have to give their goalie, their defense and their team credit. They did a good job. They kept us on the outside. We didn't get a lot of pressure on the net. Most of the shots we go [the goalie] could see. There weren't a lot of screened shots."

On the lack of consistent offensive pressure ... "We just had isolated rushes. I thought Carl [Hagelin] was our most dangerous player, but we didn't get a lot of sustained pressure. The first half of the first period and part of the second period I thought we carried the play, but then we got behind and couldn't catch up. We needed that equalizing goal and we couldn't get it."

On Alaska's first goal ... "What had happened was we had a defenseman serving a penalty and he came out on the ice. He couldn't change so he had to play left wing. I think that was the breakdown; we had a defenseman playing forward in our zone and it turned out they scored on it."

U-M Senior Defenseman Chris Summers
On what needs to be changed for tomorrow's game ... "Keep it simple. I think as a team we played pretty well defensively. Obviously there are some things we can work on to improve. We need to keep it simple offensively: doing the right things that we practice - more shots, more chances and taking care of the rebounds. It's frustrating. They're a solid shutdown team. I give them a lot of credit."

On Alaska's second goal ... "It was just one of those shots. It's a good shot from the blue line. Hogan obviously didn't see it. That's kind of a point we're going to work on tomorrow - our gap [control]. We want to make sure the forwards are coming back and the defensemen are staying up. We probably did a terrible job of that. That's something we were concerned with the entire game."