By Michael Caples -
ANN ARBOR – It looks as though A.J. Treais has adjusted nicely to that new ‘C’ on his sweater.
On Friday night, with his Wolverines team down 1-0, Treais delivered. And then, with his team down 2-1, Treais delivered again.
Eventually some of his teammates delivered, too, which meant that the Wolverines ended up recording a 6-3 win over the Bentley Falcons in their final non-conference game before CCHA play begins next week.
“Good for A.J.,” Berenson said of his captain, who now has three goals and two assists in three games. “He just seems to have that attitude about him. When things don’t go well, he’s the guy that bounces us right back into it, scores the big goal or makes the big play. He’s playing like a man possessed, and good for him.”
Freshman Andrew Copp recorded his first collegiate goal, and fellow rookie Steve Racine made 22 saves to get his second win for the Maize and Blue Friday night at Yost Ice Arena.
Zach Hyman and Alex Guptill also scored for Michigan, who improved to 2-1-0 on the season.
The Wolverines posted 56 shots on the Falcons – 12 in the first, 20 in the second, and 24 in the third.
“I think it was just a matter of the puck going in,” Treais said, when asked about the difference in his team’s play from the first to the second period. “I think what’s good about this team is that when we go down a goal, everybody knows we’re not out of the game. We just stick to the plan and things start going our way. If you put 56 shots on the net, you know some of them are going to go in.”
Bentley’s Brett Gensler opened the scoring when he beat Racine with a shot from the right face-off dot at the 8:07 mark of the first period.
Michigan out-shot the Falcons 12-6 in the opening period, but still trailed after 20 minutes.
Treais’ first goal of the night came just 31 seconds into the second, when he smacked in a rebound on his third try.
“I don’t know [if I've needed three rebounds before], but I’ll take it,” Treais said with a smile. “I was playing pass with that goalie’s pads for a while and I finally got one to go in.”
Bentley responded two minutes later; Jared Rickord quickly fired in a rebound after Racine stopped the initial shot from the point.
Less than a minute later – at the 3:50 mark of the second – Treais finished off a give-and-go on a two-on-one with Phil Di Giueseppe for his second of the night. Mac Bennett picked up the other assist.
Copp recorded his first goal of a Wolverine roughly five minutes later, burying a loose puck with a shot from just off the slot. Zach Hyman and Justin Selman picked up the assists on the tally by the former NTDP forward and Skyline quarterback.
Goals from Zach Hyman and Bentley’s Matt Maher were sandwiched between Guptill’s first two strikes of the season, which kept the Falcons from mounting any sort of comeback.
“I was a scratch last week, and I guess it lit a little bit of a fire under my butt,” Hyman said of his performance. “I had to play a better game than I did the week before, and I think I did that. Coach expects all the players to play well at both ends of the ice — defensively and offensively — and I think I did that tonight.”
The Wolverines now prepare for their CCHA opener; they play host to the Miami RedHawks next weekend.