Michigan-Air Force: No. 3 Wolverines Upset in The NCAA First Round

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Michigan-Air Force: No. 3 Wolverines Upset in The NCAA First Round
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

No. 15 ranked Air Force men’s ice hockey team shut out No. 3 University of Michigan in the NCAA East Regional semifinal on Friday, 2-0, in Bridgeport, Conn.

 

Despite out-shooting the Falcons by a 43-13 margin, Michigan was shut out for the fifth time this season and the first time in 71 games of NCAA Tournament play.

 

The Wolverines failed to convert seven power-play opportunities en route to the loss and had more shots on the man-advantage (16) than Air Force accumulated in the entire game (13).

 

Michigan went up 5-on-3 for 1:19 early in the opening period after Air Force received penalties at 3:32 and 4:13 for contact to the head and crosschecking, but Michigan could not muster a shot past Air Force net minder, Andrew Volkening, with their two-man advantage.

 

The Falcons, on the power play, earned three straight man-advantages, capitalizing on the last to take a 1-0 lead at 15:18 of the first period.

 

After receiving the puck from Jeff Hajner, Derrick Burnett skated to the middle of the right circle where he took a wrist shot that flew into the top left corner of the net for the go-ahead tally.

 

The score came on Air Force's third shot of the game.

 

At the first intermission, the Wolverines were out shooting the Falcons by a 16-3 margin.

 

AHA Player of the Year and Hobey Baker finalist, Jacques Lamoureux, put Air Force up by a pair at 7:02 in the second period.

 

Matt Fairchild made a cross-ice pass to Lamoureux just outside the crease and slid it past goaltender Bryan Hogan’s left side for the two-goal lead.

 

Neither team scored for the remainder of the frame.

 

At the second intermission, Michigan had 27 shots to Air Force's eight. The Wolverines were 0-for-6 on the power play.

 

Photo provided by the Denver Post.

At 2:08 in the third period, UMich gained another one man-advantage when Greg Flynn was whistled for interference. Michigan had three shots in the power play; none of which found a way between the pipes.

 

Michigan pulled Hogan from the net with 2:36 remaining in the contest, but could not generate the offense it needed for the comeback.


"Well everything happened that needed to happen for us tonight, said Air Force head coach Frank Serratore. "We had several bounces go our way; we found a way to get a lead. We were fortunate to get some bounces, we had an incredible game in goal from Volkening and we were fortunate to win a huge game."

 

"This was a disappointing loss for our team," said Michigan head coach Red Berenson. "We expected a tough game and got one. This was not an upset. This was a very tough Air Force team. They held on to the lead. Congratulations to them. Give their team a lot of credit. Their goalie played a tremendous game. We couldn't ask anymore of our team tonight."

 

The Wolverines finish the season 29-12.

 

The game marked Michigan’s national-best 19th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. In the 19-year run, Michigan has collected at least one win 15 times.

 

Britney Milazzo is a Contributor for Bleacher Report. 

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