Irish secure pair of overtime victories to sweep top-ranked Wolverines
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, November 22, 2021
The 14th-ranked Irish (10-3-0, 4-2-0 B1G) continued their run of dominance at Yost Ice Arena on Friday and Saturday. They swept the top-ranked Michigan Wolverines (10-4-0, 5-3-0 B1G) by scores of 3-2 and 5-4. With the sweep, the Irish have now won their last seven games in Ann Arbor.
In the series opener, the Irish erased a two-goal deficit to beat the Wolverines 3-2 in overtime.
The Irish had the first good look of the night Friday with junior forward Max Ellis firing a shot on goal that was saved by Michigan goaltender Erik Portillo.
Senior forward Cam Burke had another good look for the Irish with just over five minutes remaining in the first. But Portillo was able to save Burke’s attempt keeping the game scoreless at the end of the first period.
Sophomore forward Grant Silianoff then got a good look for the Irish early on in the second period. It was during the first power play of the game, but Portillo fought off Silianoff’s slapshot to once again deny the Irish.
The Wolverines got a good look minutes later. Junior goaltender Ryan Bischel made a strong right-pad stop to deny the Wolverines.
The Wolverines were able to get the scoring in this one going minutes later. Brandon Brisson tapped in a rebound up close to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead at the four-minute mark of the second period.
Michigan then doubled their lead early in the third period to take control of the game with Matty Beniers making it a 2-0 game.
The Irish were not going down without a fight. Freshman forward Hunter Strand put the Irish on the board just 36 seconds later. Silianoff earned the assist on the play for letting it off to Strand at the back post. Then, Strand snuck a low, quick wrister past Portillo.
The Irish then tied the game at the 13:44 mark of the period with sophomore forward Ryder Rolston crashing the net to score off of a rebound.
Rolston finished the comeback for the Irish in overtime, scoring off of a one-timer from the slot to give the Irish a 3-2 victory in stunning fashion.
The Irish won in overtime Saturday night as well by a score of 5-4 to secure the series sweep against the Wolverines.
The Irish got the first power-play opportunity of the game in this one just five minutes in. Silianoff and senior defenseman Nick Leivermann had chances before the advantage was negated because of a minor Irish penalty.
The Wolverines found some success in the second half of the first period. They slipped two shots past Bischel in a span of three and a half minutes to take a 2-0 lead.
The first goal came off of a rebound with Michael Pastujov finding the back of the net. It was Thomas Bordeleau who scored the second goal for the Wolverines, finishing off a 3-on-1 chance.
Senior forward Graham Slaggert answered for the Irish less than 30 seconds later to bring the score to 2-1. Slaggert picked up a loose puck near the front of the net. He fired it past Portillo to get the Irish on the board.
The Irish then tied the game just 1:29 into the second period. Junior forward Jesse Lansdell scored on a wide-open net. Junior forward Solag Bakich deflected a pass from the point right to Lansdell for the score.
The Irish grabbed their first lead of the night at the 4:37 mark of the second period by forcing a Portillo turnover behind the net and then scoring off of a wraparound into an empty net.
A few minutes later, though, Michigan answered and brought the score level at 3 apiece midway through the second period.
The Irish grabbed the lead back at the end of the period. A power play allowed Max Ellis to net his second goal of the game bringing the score to 4-3 in favor of the Irish.
At the 13:29 mark of the third period, Bordeleau scored off of a wrister from the face-off dot to tie the score at four.
The score remained tied through the third period. That is, until Ellis found the net again at the 3:29 mark of the overtime period. With that, the Irish took a 5-4 victory and a series sweep of the Wolverines. Ellis scored by tipping in a feed from graduate student defenseman Adam Karashik from just outside the goal crease.
Saturday night was Ellis’ first hat trick of his Irish career. It was also the first for the Irish since Colin Theisen scored three against Wisconsin in November 2020.
This was the second straight season the Irish have gone on the road to sweep the top-ranked team in the country. In January 2021, the Irish took down the top-ranked Minnesota Gophers.
The Irish will return to action at the Compton Family Ice Arena Friday against the 19th-ranked Boston College Eagles. The puck will drop at 5 p.m. and will be televised on NBC Sports Chicago and NBC Sports Philadelphia.