Usually it's Michigan that outshoots MSU badly and a great goaltending performance leads to either a tie or MSU win. It was the other way around tonight. Sauer was magnificent. I don't know what the hell was going on with those guys in the first 7 minutes of the game, but we're lucky we didn't end up facing a 3 or 4 goal deficit. Fretter had a breakaway 20 seconds in that Sauer stopped, then they had another break after Johnson and Hunwick got the bright idea to lead a 2 on 1 (I think that's a first!!) and no one got back. The other one that was a great save was late in the game when State threw one in off the high glass and it bounced back over the net into the slot. Sauer ducked to get out of the way so it didn't hit him in the back and go into the net, but it went right onto an MSU stick and he had to be sharp on the save there.
It seemed like a lot of the time we tried to skate the puck out of our zone when we should've passed it, and passed it when we should've skated it. I've seen far too many no look passes in our own end, thank you very much. MSU's first goal came directly off Tim Cook trying to skate it out of the zone when he had 2 guys open. Whoever the State player was made a great play--lifted his stick and stole the puck.
Timmy Miller had 2 wonderful backchecks before he went out with an injury. Let's hope he's ok.
Johnson was feisty as usual, but I thought MSU did a real nice job of not letting our point guys shoot the puck. I dont' think he ever got to really uncork one. He's definitely not scared to get into the offensive zone though. There was a play in the third period where he went in on the forecheck, nailed the MSU guy and still was the first man back on defense.
Cook got 5 and a game DQ so I believe we'll see Adam Dunlap make his debut at UAF. Couldn't see the hit, but if the one earlier in the game was a cross-checking, 2 minute penalty, then Cook's should have been as well. The one that was a 2 minute cross-check was more of a hit from behind than anything that any player has gotten tossed for so far this year. Can't believe Wilkens chickened out on that one.
Cogliano had a very nice cheering section. Several people in St. Mike's jackets and one extremely drunk guy who was a huge fan. He gave em a lot to cheer about. Love that kid!
Mitera did have a very nice game. He's going to be a very very good one.
State was better offensively than I thought they'd be. They absolutely dominated the first period...some was Michigan playing like arse, but State came out very strong. Great forechecking out of them tonight. I wasn't impressed with Abdelkader at all. I think I only noticed him out there twice tonight. They've got a good team though.
Ebbett was awesome tonight. There was one penalty that he single-handedly killed off a full minute of. He was fantastic.
Jack Johnson Sr. danced during the second intermission and the crowd gave him and Mrs. Johnson a nice Happy Anniversary chant. In other player parent news, Dan Lerg won the 50-50 raffle. I couldn't decide whether to cheer (because he played here) or boo (because he let both his kids go to State). Someone put it best "Take the money and send your kids to a real school!!" Any shot that's an improper benefit of some kind?? ;-)
Overall a really great game, and the next 3-5 this year should be dandies. I hate State and I really enjoy it when they're terrible, but it's nice for the conference that it looks like they're primed for a good season.
Wilkens called a really poor game. Let em play in the first, called everything in the second, and let State play in the third. The one where #16 for State got a double-minor and Hunwick got a 2 was ridiculous though. I have no idea how Jack Johnson managed to stay out of the box on that one.
Didn't hang around for the 3 stars, but Sauer could've made a strong case for #1. We've got a really really good goalie folks.
As for football....I'm at the point where I pretty much think that replay in the form it's in now needs to go. It's unreal. They don't review plays they should, they review plays they shouldn't, and when they DO review a play it's only 50-50 that they're actually going to get the call right. How they ruled Bass fumbled when there was indisputable video evidence that he didn't fumble is beyond me. To be fair, Martin probably fumbled earlier in the game (Should he see the field again? I dunno. I love the way the kid runs but he's worse about putting the ball on the ground than Ahman Green). I hate how the coaches have no input into what gets reviewed, and I hate that the video officials are more idiotic than the volleyball line judge in the Michigan game last night who got canned because of her ineptness.
Good win though. Can't complain about going to Iowa and coming away with a victory since no one ever does it apparently. And we go to a very Piston-like 5-0 in overtime games. I was 2 for 2 on the AFLAC trivia questions today with the Michigan one and the one in the Wiscy/Purdue game.
Still not sure what Henne is doing half the time, but hey, it's a win at Iowa so I'll take it. At this point, you pretty much assume that he's not going to be great this year, and deal with it. We've still got a real good shot at the Big 10 title, which is amazing. Is FireRonZook.com coming back? 56-3 Penn State at halftime??? Michael Robinson with 6 TDs at halftime and 4 through the air? Holy crap.
And speaking of sophomore slumps for players named Chad, has anyone seen Chad Kolarik? I swear he's been invisible so far this year....