Sunday, October 02, 2005

Michigan Wolverines 3, Toronto Varsity Blues 2

First off, the Varsity Blues? Was Johnny Mox in goal? Was Ali Larter waiting in the locker room in her whipped cream bikini? I thought I was going to see the oopty-oop at some point during the game.

Went into this one thinking we'd score double digit goals like we usually do against Canadian teams, but it didn't happen. They mounted quite a bit of offensive pressure, but the Toronto goalie played out of his mind (which is odd because he was in net when they gave up 15 to LSSU last year).

Jack Johnson is clearly the best player on the ice, and honest to God, I'm not sure that if we moved him to forward he wouldn't be the second best guy up front behind Hensick. He should have had about 3-4 goals today. The goalie robbed him with the glove on one, Jack hit the crossbar on a wicked shot, he danced through the defense to get denied again. He's got a cannon for a shot as well. This kid is just really, really, really good. You can tell he's in a class by himself out there. He took 6 PIMs today, including 2 minutes for instigating when there were coincedental roughing after the whistle calls. Not sure where Aaron pulled that one from. He should be playing close to 30 a night if he can handle it, because he's that much better than everyone else on defense (and that's not a knock against our other guys). On the play where he got called for instigating and roughing, he was sticking up for yet another Wolverine that had been hit from behind. Toronto liked to do that an awful lot.

Toronto had 2 guys ejected for hitting from behind (They're kind of a dirty team). The second one was iffy if it should've been 5 IMO, but the one a minute into the game was just blatant. I was kind of disappointed in the success of the power play. They did have 1 PPG, but they went both 5 minute majors w/o a goal, including a stretch in the first one where they had a 5 on 3 for almost a full 2 minutes. The Toronto goalie did play very very well though.

Cogliano can fly. Holy crap that kid has wheels. He's faster than Tambellini for sure. There was one play where both defensemen were skating backwards as Cogs brought it into the zone. The left defenseman went to check him and missed because Cogliano was by him so fast. He blew by both of them like they were standing still.

Sauer was barely tested, though he did have 2 very nice off a shot that was deflected by Kolarik and he stopped a guy who was in cold turkey on a breakaway. Ruden didn't really have a chance on either goal, and he had a great glove save when it was 1-0. Sauer's pads are great...he needs the winged helmet look on his mask though. He's got an all black one right now. He does have the winged "helmet" on his trapper though, which looks very cool.

Hard to tell much about the defense since they weren't really tested much.

TJ took the game over when Toronto tied it up 1-1. Scored an absolutely gorgeous goal, walking through the defense to make it 2-1, and then after Toronto tied it again, he set up the game winner. I'm not sure how he came out of the pile with the puck but he managed, then Cogliano fed Porter for the winner.

I really like the TJ/Kolarik/Porter/Johnson/Hunwick PP unit. That's a lot of talent there.

Turnbull looks like he's going to be a very solid all around guy. Did a nice job killing penalties out there. I really like Bailey (he's got wheels too). Naurato never got to unleash one so I could see the shot that Spath and Tbarr have been talking about, but he did have a deceptively quick wrist shot from the point that almost found the back of the net. Nice pad save on that one.

Miller, MacVoy, and Swystun didn't jump out much to me.

Tim Cook actually had a pretty nice game. Either Johnson or Cook left the front of the net wide open on one of the Toronto goals, but Cookie played pretty well I thought. He actually showed a lot more aggresiveness on the offensive end, which was nice to see because he was held without a point last year.

Dest and Ebbett were the scratches. I assume both are healthy.

Overall a pretty good effort. I could get used to the new offsides rules that they tried. It definitely made things interesting. Langseth blew it twice, ruling a play off when it wasn't under the new rule. I'm still not sure how smart it was to try something like that when you're trying to break in 8 freshmen forwards and a couple freshmen defensemen but it was an interesting idea and I thought it moved the game along pretty well.

Without an absolutely great game out of the goalie, we would've been much closer to the 10+ goals that most of us thought we'd score.

Bring on Quinnipiac and let's start playing for real!


Anonymous said...

it felt so good to be back at Yost. i've been waiting for this all year. i don't know shit about hockey, but it's obvious that Jack is incredible. SWEET!

robert paulson said...

Great to hear that Johnson and Cogliano are as advertised. We might have lost a lot of talent, but Red keeps bringing in more than everybody else. I suspect we'll be back on top of the CCHA at the end of the year.

Packer487 said...

We may not be at the top of the CCHA by the end of the season, but I think we'll be the best team IN the CCHA by the end of the season. It just depends how quickly they can gel as a team and how quickly Bill Sauer adjusts to the college game.

Anonymous said...

I agree Packer, it probably will take a little time, but by the end of the year nobody will want to play us. And Johnson will be hated on something fierce by 11 other teams. It will be cool.