MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The University of Michigan ice hockey team defeated No. 9-ranked Minnesota on the road Friday night (Jan. 12). The Wolverines had four different players record multi-point games, with brothers Michael Pastujov and Nick Pastujov recording the first of their careers.
The “DMC” line didn’t waste any time getting the Maize and Blue on the board, with senior forward Dexter Dancs scoring 14 seconds into the contest — the fastest goal of the season for the Wolverines. Senior captain Tony Calderone picked the pocket of a Gopher in the neutral zone and fed the puck up to Dancs, who then rifled a shot bar-down, over the shoulder of the Minnesota goalie Mat Robson for the opening tally.
Michigan’s lead didn’t last long. Minnesota tied it up two minutes later when Casey Mittelstadt found the back of the net. Mittelstadt received a pass from Jack Sadek at his own blue line and took the puck down the ice before tying the game at one apiece. Also assisting for the Golden Gophers was Ryan Lindgren.
The goals kept coming in the first period, and the Wolverines regained the lead 8:13 into the first frame when freshman forward Michael Pastujov scored his second goal of the season. Pastujov dumped the puck into the Minnesota zone where Calderone was there to pick up the puck. Calderone slid it back to Pastujov, who threw it in the direction of the net. The puck found its way into the skates of a Gopher defender and bounced into the Minnesota net for the 2-1 Michigan lead. Also assisting on the play was Michael’s older brother, sophomore Nick.
After the flurry of goals in the opening minutes of the first period, the scoring died down, until junior forward Cooper Marody doubled the Maize and Blue’s lead with 1:50 remaining in the first stanza. Freshman defenseman Quinn Hughes carried the puck into the Gopher zone and found Marody uncovered cutting across the high slot. Marody held the puck for a second and then rifled it over the glove of the Minnesota goaltender to give the Wolverines the 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
The goal gave Marody his 30th point of the season, which made him the fourth player in the country to reach that mark this season. Marody’s goal also proved to be the last one that Robson would see, as he was pulled after one period for senior Eric Schierhorn.
The Gophers took advantage of a Michigan penalty early in the second period to cut the Wolverine lead to one, with a power-play goal coming 3:37 into the second period. Tyler Nanne carried the puck into the Wolverine zone on a two-on-one. Nanne fed the puck over to Leon Bristedt, who was stopped by Michigan goaltender Hayden Lavigne. The Wolverines weren’t able to clear and Scott Reedy was able to put in the rebound to cut the Michigan lead to 3-2.
The Maize and Blue took back their two-goal lead late in the second period when junior forward Brendan Warren scored to put the Wolverines up, 4-2. Michigan took advantage of a Gopher turnover in the neutral zone and Michael Pastujov carried it into the offensive zone. He passed it ahead to brother Nick, who took the puck down towards the Gopher goal line. Nick Pastujov then found Warren wide open in the slot and he was able to put it past Schierhorn. The goal was Warren’s first since the last time the Wolverines played the Gophers on Nov. 11 at Yost Ice Arena.
Minnesota wouldn’t go quietly in the third period and their offensive efforts finally proved fruitful when Brannon McManus brought the Gophers back to within one goal with 3:38 remaining in the regulation. Lindgren found Minnesota captain Tyler Sheehy entering the Wolverine zone. Sheehy threw a backhand shot towards the net and McManus was there to cut the Michigan lead to 4-3.
Warren wouldn’t let the Gophers come back and he put the finishing touches on the game for the Wolverines by scoring a shorthanded, empty-net goal with 29 seconds remaining. He pressured the Minnesota puck carrier in the neutral zone and caused a turnover, leading to an easy shot into the wide-open net. The shorthanded goal is Michigan’s first since that Nov. 11 game against the Gophers in Ann Arbor.
Lavigne continued his solid play in his third consecutive start for the Maize and Blue, finishing with 24 stops on the evening.
The win gives the Wolverines 15 points in Big Ten play which puts them in 4th place, jumping over Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Michigan and Minnesota will conclude the weekend conference series Saturday night (Jan. 13), with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m. CST and will be shown on FS Detroit Plus.
Release By mgoblue.com