The Wolverine

December 2021*

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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56 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2021 BY ANTHONY BROOME T he Wolverines went 7-3 in a five- week stretch between Oct. 28 and Nov. 27 to bring their season record to 12-4 overall and 5-3 in Big Ten play. It kicked off in a two-game series split with Wisconsin Oct. 28-29 at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines grabbed a 3-0 win in the first contest, headlined by the first career shutout by sophomore goaltender Erik Portillo (28 saves). Michigan's goals came from sophomore center Kent Johnson, and senior defensemen Nick Blankenburg and Jimmy Lambert. Wisconsin took the second game 4-2 after jumping out to a 2-0 lead. John- son scored a goal in the third period to narrow the deficit to 2-1, but the Bad- gers struck back with one of their own. Freshman Mackie Samoskevich scored to make it 3-2, but a Wisconsin empty- netter sealed the win. Michigan swept a home-and-home series with Michigan State the follow- ing weekend (Nov. 5-6) with a 7-2 win at Yost and 3-2 win at Munn Ice Arena. Goal scorers in the first game included sophomore center Matty Beniers (two), sophomore forward Brendan Brisson, freshman defenseman Luke Hughes (two), Samoskevich and junior forward Johnny Beecher. The game in East Lan- sing saw grad defenseman Luke Morgan and Beniers (two goals) finding the back of the net. The next trip was to Penn State Nov. 11-12. U-M swept games in Happy Val- ley, 5-1 and 6-2. Beniers had three more goals to headline the scoring output for the weekend. Portillo stopped 62 of 65 shots he faced in the two games. Michigan's four-game win streak was snapped Nov. 19 when Notre Dame came to town. Brisson and Beniers scored the first two goals, but the Irish fought back with two in regulation and an overtime winner from Ryder Rolston to walk out of Yost with a victory. Looking for revenge, the Wolverines again took a 2-0 lead Nov. 20 before three of the next four goals went the way of the Irish. Sophomore forward Thomas Bordeleau's second goal of the night tied things at 4-4 in the third period, but Notre Dame got its second overtime winner in as many days. T h e l a s t we e ke n d i n Nove m b e r brought some relief in the form of a se- ries with Niagara at home. The Wol- verines won the first game 6-1 Nov. 26. They followed it up with a 4-1 vic- tory the night of Nov. 27, serving as the cherry on top of the day's football win over Ohio State. Minnesota comes to Yost for a two- game series Dec. 3-4 before a pair of games at Ohio State the following weekend (Dec. 10-11). The Wolverines will then be out of game action for 18 days before host- ing the Great Lakes Invitational at Yost. They will play Michigan Tech Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. and take on Western Michigan Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. Michigan headed into December ranked No. 3 nationally in the USCHO. com poll, receiving five first-place votes, and No. 2 per USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine, who awarded them a trio of first-place votes. NCAA.com's Power 10 rankings, meanwhile, listed the Wolverines No. 1 in its Nov. 29 up- date. "On paper, it's the best team in the country," NCAA.com's Evan Marinofsky wrote. "It just comes down to whether or not the Wolverines play like it." ❑ Sophomore center Matty Beniers led the Wolverines in goals (11) and ranked third in points (19) through the first 16 games this season. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL 2021-22 SCHEDULE Date Opponent Time (ET) Oct. 2 Bowling Green& W, 7-1 Oct. 8 Lake Superior State W, 6-1 Oct. 9 Lake Superior State W, 7-4 Oct. 15 at Minnesota Duluth* W, 5-1 Oct. 16 vs. Minnesota State* W, 3-2 Oct. 22 Western Michigan L, 2-5 Oct. 23 at Western Michigan W, 3-2 Oct. 28 Wisconsin W, 3-0 Oct. 29 Wisconsin L, 2-4 Nov. 5 Michigan State W, 7-2 Nov. 6 Michigan State W, 3-2 Nov. 11 at Penn State W, 5-1 Nov. 12 at Penn State W, 6-2 Nov. 19 Notre Dame L, 2-3 Nov. 20 Notre Dame L, 4-5 Nov. 26 Niagara W, 6-1 Nov. 27 Niagara W, 4-1 Dec. 3 Minnesota 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4 Minnesota 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at Ohio State 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at Ohio State 8 p.m. Dec. 29 Michigan Tech# 7 p.m. Dec. 30 Western Michigan# 7 p.m. Jan. 8 UMass 5 p.m. Jan. 9 UMass 4 p.m. Jan. 14 Penn State 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 Penn State 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at Minnesota 9 p.m. Jan. 22 at Minnesota 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Wisconsin 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at Wisconsin 9 p.m. Feb. 2 USNTDP& 7 p.m. Feb. 11 Michigan State 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 Michigan State^ 7 p.m. Feb. 18 Ohio State 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 Ohio State 8:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at Notre Dame 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at Notre Dame 6 p.m. March 4-6 Big Ten First Round! TBA March 12 Big Ten Semifinals! TBA March 19 Big Ten Final! TBA March 25-27 NCAA Regionals^ April 7-9 NCAA Frozen Four% & Exhibition; ^ location TBD; * Ice Breaker tournament in Duluth, Minn.; # Great Lakes Invitational in Ann Arbor; ! Higher seed will host; % at Boston   MICHIGAN HOCKEY U-M Enters December Battling For No. 1

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