Saturday, March 18, 2006

Michigan 3, NMU 2

We're dancing.

It sounds (yes sounds. FSD decided they would rather show Wisconsin/Minnesota in the WCHA Consolation Game than Michigan/NMU) like the Wolverines actually played a pretty darn good game today, with the fire from the outset that was missing last night. We outshot the Wildcats by something like 41-25 and dominated the play for most of the game. They had some trouble getting the puck past Zaniboni, who was WTKA's #1 star of the game.

Hunwick made up for his awful performance last night with 2 goals in the win, including the GWG in the third period. Hensick had a goal and an assist, and it sounded like Kal/Ebbett/Kolarik were awesome once again.

Noah Ruden was outstanding in net, coming up with several big saves per the Michigan broadcast. I didn't get the impression that NMU had a ton of chances (and I don't recall more than maybe one odd-man rush--the first goal was a 3 on 1) but Ruden was big when he had to be, and it sounded like the defense--particularly Dest--kept the Wildcats at bay, with a lot of time spent on the perimeter.

Where does that leave us? We're in for sure. It's probably going to be as a 3 seed. The question is where. I came up with one scenario that puts us in Green Bay and playing Harvard in the first round, but a lot of the ones that I ran have us as the #9 seed, with #8 Cornell. Theoretically we'd be in Green Bay taking on Wisconsin (who just Minnesota for the #1 seed by beating them 4-0 today), but there's a conflict with #7 NoDak playing #10 CC in the first round, and I'm not sure if the committee is more likely to flip CC with us at #9 or BC at #11.

We should know a lot more once a couple other games get over. Colgate is making it interesting with Darmouth (3-2 Dartmouth with 2 minutes left) despite being outshot 42-22. If Colgate comes back, that throws all the scenarios I ran out the window, b/c I assumed Dartmouth would win once they took a 3-1 lead.

Overall it seems like Michigan played 4 1/2 good periods out of 6 this weekend. Last weekend it was 5 out of 6, and before that it wasn't close to that. They are improving, even though State has their number. Ruden is looking like he'll be reliable enough for us, even if he is probably good for at least one bad goal a game, and the defense is starting to play really well in front of him. The goal-scoring troubles came back this weekend though. That's never a good thing when you've got a goalie who could give up 3 on 4 shots at any given moment.....


Anonymous said...

Have you updated the Jack Johnson PIM count yet? He had 1 minor each night this weekend, which I think would tie him.

Also - I'm in the pep band, and Mister Johnson came by to chat with us last night. He said he could "guarantee one more year from my son." But then added "but screw Jack -- are YOU GUYS gonna be back next year? Jack's not comin' back if the band's not coming back!"

He then conducted the Victors and mostly just danced around. What a great guy.

Packer487 said...

Thanks for the info! No I haven't updated it yet, but you're right he would be tied now (and thankfully he'll have at least 1 tourney game to do it!).

That's great info about Jack's dad. Isn't he the best? I think he likes Jack being here more than Jack likes it!

Anonymous said...

NMU beat UNO twice last week after being tied in the regular season. So how did UNO beat out NMU to get an NCAA bid? Did they beat someone impressive in the non-conference?

Packer487 said...

Well to be fair, UNO beat NMU twice during the regular season. But if you look at the NC wins UNO's were probably slightly better. UNH, Holy Cross, and Providence (and a couple other bad teams) vs. a split with St. Cloud, a loss to Wisconsin, a sweep of Tech and 3 wins vs. Wayne State.

It's all math. I'm not a huge fan of the PWR, but it's all about the numbers.