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It’s normal for hockey teams to start a game poorly once in a while, but some situations amplify the resulting worry. Giving up two straight goals at home, turning the puck over all over the ice and getting muscled off the puck — all to Lindenwood, a team playing its third ever Division I game — can certainly fall in that territory.

Thankfully for the No. 7 Michigan hockey team, it found a way to get past those difficulties by playing to its strengths — namely its offensive skills. In the face of imposing physical play, skaters like sophomore forward Mackie Samoskevich and senior forward Nick Granowicz leaned into that skill to handle Lindenwood’s unrelenting pressure.

“(Samoskevich) was a little shaken up by it, guys see it and that’s how you set the tone, so that’s what (Lindenwood) did,” Michigan coach Brandon Naurato said. “And we’re used to that. Anyone that comes into Michigan, on Friday night especially, they’re trying to take your head off so we gotta fight through that.”

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