Power play proves effective for Wolverines in shutout of No. 4 Boston U

Once again, the Michigan power play proves a vital part of the offense as the Wolverines scored two early first period goals. Freshman Will Lockwood and junior Tony Calderone both scored 37 seconds apart en route to a 4-0 shutout of the fourth-ranked team in the country, Boston University, Friday night.

The Wolverines (4-3-1) returned home on Veterans Day to face arguably one of the nation’s best teams in the Terriers (4-2-1). The Wolverines are coming off the momentum from their 4-1 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils last Friday night in the desert.

Michigan started the game with a level of intensity and it showed. The Wolverines killed off both of the Terriers power play opportunities in the first period, allowing only one shot.

Lockwood would open the scoring when he would score on Michigan’s first power play opportunity of the night just :04 into it. It wouldn’t take long for the Wolverines to increase their lead to two when Calderone added his third goal of the season to make it 2-0. The Wolverines defense allowed the Terriers just five shots on goal in the period.

“It was a good start for our power play,” Berenson said after the game about the early first period power play goals.

During the second period, momentum wasn’t lost by the Wolverines. The Terriers  had three power play opportunities  and Michigan freshman goaltender Hayden Lavigne would play incredibly well not allow the Terriers an opportunity to change that momentum.

Michigan only had three shots on net in the period and on a two-on-one. Calderone rung one off the post towards the end of the period, almost making it a 3-0 lead. At the end of the second period, Boston University would fire fifteen shots on the Wolverines.

Entering the final frame, Michigan this season has been unfortunately notorious for allowing teams to comeback in the third period when after leading after two. This game would not be like those previous games as they once again would play solid on defense and solid goaltending. Freshman Jake Slaker would add an insurance goal at 6:17 of the third with a nasty backhand that beat freshman Jake Oettinger to make it 3-0.

Boston University’s coach David Quinn would pull Oettinger in the middle of the third to try and spark his team with an extra attacker but his plan backfired on them as Calderone would net his second goal of the night and fourth of the season at 15:25 of the third to seal a Wolverines victory on Friday night.

Lavigne would earn his third win of the season and second career shutout, stopping all thirty saves and moving to 3-1-1 on the season.

“Hayden’s again put a stamp on why he’s the real deal as a freshman goaltender,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said after the game about goaltender Hayden Lavigne’s performance.

Boston University’s Jake Oettinger would earn his third loss of the season stopping seventeen of twenty shots faced to move to 4-3-1 on the season.

The Wolverines played this game without four starters, including both senior captains Nolan De Jong, Alex Kile, junior Max Shuart and senior Zach Nagelvoort. All four starters will be dressed for Saturday night’s game.

Lockwood and Calderone added to the impressive start this season of the Michigan power play as they took an early lead on the with two goals in just 37 seconds of each other.

Now the issue with that is that you can’t always rely on your power play to be your scoring threat in every game and balance is needed to be successful in college hockey. Coming into the game the power play is ranked 16th in the nation converting 8 of 32 power play attempts on the season.

“It’s one of those things that we may not have the skill depth in our lineup that we’ve had in prior years. I’ve seen this on several years that they rely on their power play instead of 5-on-5,” Berenson said.

Michigan will try to sweep their first weekend series at Yost this season on Saturday afternoon. Puck drop is scheduled for 5 PM EST.