DIII hockey swept in weekend matchups against Michigan
Central Michigan University Division III men’s hockey dropped both matchups against the University of Michigan over the weekend.
With the regular season over, CMU finishes 30-6 overall (17-6 in Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference). They lost 4-1 on Friday night and 3-2 on Saturday night.
The Wolverines cement their season record as 15-9 (12-8 in MCHC).
CMU hasn’t lost back-to-back games since Oct. 21 and Oct. 28 last year when they fell to Hope College 4-3 and Oakland College 3-2.
The Wolverines earned the wins, but the losses still sting, said senior forward Ryan Tyrer.
“You got to give credit where credit is due,” Tyrer said. “They played two strong games against us, and we couldn’t respond like we should’ve.”
The loss this past Friday was senior night for CMU and “the emotions of the night” interrupted the mindset of the Chippewas, Tyrer said.
“We weren’t ready off the rip,” he said. “And they were firing on all cylinders. We couldn’t find any luck with the puck as well which is crucial to winning a game for any team.”
This seemed to be the case as the Chippewas didn’t score their lone goal until the final period when junior forward Dalton Sutherland snuck one past Michigan goaltender Evan Chang with just over five minutes remaining in the third.
“What it boils down to is we’re not taking quality shots with all the scoring opportunities we have,” said head coach James Cadzow. “For the past four or five games, we’ve been incredibly insufficient with our quality of shots and hitting the net.”
The last time the Chippewas only scored one goal was on Sept. 30 against Grand Valley State University in a 2-1 loss.
The second game was similar to the first one.
CMU graduate forward Nathan Allgaier secured his 24th of the season and first goal for the Chippewas when he sent one top shelf on a power play with 15:04 left in the opening period.
Later, sophomore defenseman Dylan Billins scooped his eighth of the season with an unassisted shot with 2:22 left in the middle period.
Michigan’s graduate forward Daniel Brumley and sophomore forward Drew Casey were the two sealed the victory for the Wolverines.
Brumley put Michigan on the board first as the 2:22 mark approached in the opening period and Casey would finesse the next two goals for the Wolverines. His first was in the middle period at the 13:07 mark and in overtime with just under three minutes left of play, giving the Wolverines the sweep.
CMU has to clear its mind before the playoffs, Tyrer said.
“We have to do it if we want to win going forward,” he said. “It’s life and these things happen, but what matters is how you respond.”
This notion of moving on is consistent with what Cadzow is thinking.
“It is what it is,” he said about the losses. “All we can do is get a good week of prep in, bear down, and move on.”
The MCHC Regional Tournament is the next set of competition for the Chippewas and the first matchup will begin at 6:50 p.m. Feb. 16 at Midland Civic Arena.