Ice Hockey

Graduate transfer forward Jacob Hayhurst scored Michigan's lone goal in two games against Notre Dame this past weekend.

Yet against Notre Dame, Michigan could muster only a single goal over the course of two games — and it was scored by an extra attacker on an empty-net situation. The Fighting Irish stymied the Wolverines’ hot hands, sweeping them over two games at Yost.

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For all of Saturday’s game, Michigan and Notre Dame had struggled to score.
Both teams went two full periods unable to produce a single goal. The scarcity of goals wasn’t the fault of poor offense, but rather exceptional defense. Both sides have stout goaltending. They play the passing lanes. They pack the crease. And they recognized that the highly-coveted first goal would be the deciding factor.

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Michigan tried to fight back by pulling Mann in the final minutes, but the efforts fell short. The Fighting Irish notched an empty-net goal, and thus the Wolverines fell, 3-0. The loss marked the second in a row and a change in momentum after what has been a surging second half performance.

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Keaton Pehrson had his head down, fighting to gain control of the puck along the boards on the right side.

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Michael Pastujov threw his head back in anguish.

The junior forward’s shot dinged off the crossbar and away from the net.

Senior forward Jake Slaker has 17 points in 12 games since Christmas break.

Jake Slaker finished his lap around the ice with a deadpan look on his face. The senior forward had scored the opening goal Friday at Munn Ice Arena, and made it a point to turn to the Michigan State student section.

Michigan coach Mel Pearson took his team from 0-6-1 to start Big Ten play to 8-1-1 in its last 10 games.

On Nov. 16 after Michigan lost in East Lansing, the Wolverines were six games into Big Ten play and had only one point in the conference standings. Before Michigan got its first Big Ten win, it went 0-6-1 through its first seven conference games.
The picture for the Wolverines couldn’t be more different now. After starting out firmly in last place in the Big Ten, Michigan is now in third place and just three points behind Penn State and Minnesota, which are tied for the lead. If — emphasis on if — the Wolverines sweep Notre Dame and Minnesota to close the regular season, they’ll win the Big Ten regular season title.

Presented by The Michigan Daily’s sports section, a rotating cast of writers discusses Michigan sports.

After starting the Big Ten regular season 0-6-1, the Michigan hockey team has gone 8-1-1 over its last 10 games and controls its own destiny to win the conference regular season title.

Sophomore goaltender Strauss Mann has excelled in Michigan's hot stretch.

And behind the Wolverines’ fortune was Strauss Mann.
Despite Michigan’s 4-1 win, the sophomore goaltender’s stellar performance was critical. He faced 32 shots and saved all but one. There were moments Monday where it seemed he could stop just about anything.

Graduate transfer forward Jacob Hayhurst scored the game-winning goal against Michigan State.

Michigan’s work on the power play proved to be vital in its victory over Michigan State, where the Wolverines went 2-for-2 on its way to a 4-1 win Monday.