ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Trailing 2-1 after two periods, No. 3 Miami (Ohio) scored three unanswered third-period goals en route to a 4-3 victory against No. 6 Michigan on Saturday at Yost Ice Arena, earning a weekend split. The victory was just the sixth in program history for Miami (4-1-1, 1-1-0-0 CCHA) in 53 games at Michigan (3-2-0, 1-1-0-0 CCHA).
Freshman goaltender Jay Williams made a career-high 37 saves to earn his third win of the year, as the RedHawks were outshot 40-35. Sophomore Austin Czarnik had two assists, including one on senior Curtis McKenzie’s game-winning goal. Freshman Riley Barber notched a goal and an assist.
The Wolverines nearly scored in the opening minute but Williams made a tough kick save, robbing A.J. Treais of a goal on a Michigan 2-on-1 rush.
The RedHawks then seized momentum and scored first as Barber notched his fourth goal of the year 3:44 into the game. Czarnik gathered the puck in mid-ice and fed Barber on the right side, where he beat UM netminder Jared Rutledge glove side for a 1-0 RedHawk lead.
The Wolverines pulled even with 3:33 remaining in the opening period. After Williams made a kick save, Derek DeBlois grabbed the rebound along the boards and fed a cross-ice pass through the Miami defense to Travis Lynch, who was camped at the far post for the tap in to tie the score.
Both teams had chances on the power play, but neither team could score. Miami went 0-for-2 a man up in the first frame while the Wolverines failed to score on their lone man advantage as the teams went into the first intermission tied at one.
Miami applied pressure to start the second as senior Marc Hagel had a point-blank chance early, but Rutledge made a shoulder save. The game was fast-paced, end-to-end for the next several minutes. After Miami missed a one-timer in front of the net, the Wolverines countered with a 2-on-1 rush the other way. Lynch pushed the puck into the offensive zone and passed to Alex Guptill, who beat Williams for a 2-1 Michigan lead 9:10 into the second period.
Freshman Alex Gacek tied the game for Miami just 3:48 into the third frame. Kevin Morris won a faceoff in the offensive zone and passed back to Gacek who quickly made a shot on goal, beating Rutledge for his first career goal to tie the score at two.
The RedHawks then gained control with two goals in a span of 18 seconds. First, sophomore Jimmy Mullin gloved a clear attempt by Michigan just inside the blue line and quickly dropped it to himself. He skated along the boards and worked his way toward the net, getting inside the Michigan defense and slamming it past Rutledge to give Miami the lead on his first score of the year. Next, Czarnik made a two-line pass down the middle to McKenzie, who was alone on the blue line. He then skated in on a breakaway and beat Rutledge back-hand, top-shelf to give Miami a 4-2 lead with his first tally of the year.
The Wolverines’ offense put added pressure on their opponent’s defense in the closing minutes. Lindsay Sparks scored off a feed from Mac Bennett with 2:05 remaining to cut the deficit to one. With 51 seconds on the clock, Michigan pulled Rutledge for the extra skater and kept the puck in the offensive zone the remainder of regulation but the RedHawks hustled, blocking four shots while Williams made two saves to close out the 4-3 win.
Miami finished 1-for-5 on the power play while denying the Wolverines on both of their power play opportunities. Rutledge totaled 31 saves in defeat.