Saturday, March 18, 2006

MSU 4, Michigan 1

Another strong effort from the Michigan team that we're accustomed to seeing. It blows my mind how dis-interested this team seems when they go up against Michigan State. I think we had 4 shots on goal halfway through the second period. Credit MSU though, that's a good hockey team and they know how to play against us. Michigan found their skating legs with like 8 minutes to go in the second, but they couldn't bury any of their chances the rest of the game and MSU scored two late ones. Don't be fooled by the margin of victory, that was pretty much a one-goal game.

That being said, faceoffs were again a problem for the Wolverines. Guys not named Andrew Ebbett were 12 out of 40 on faceoffs, and 3 of MSU's 4 goals came off of offensive-zone faceoff wins. How many games over the last few years can we say that we lost almost solely because we couldn't win a draw? BC in the OT NCAA tourney game, MSU in the 1-0 game a few years back, OSU in the CCHA Championship a couple years ago, last night...that's off the top of my head.

Matt Hunwick was awful last night. He took two pretty bad penalties, one of which led to a goal, another negated a power play that was coming up for us. There were 3 or 4 other instances where I yelled "Hunwick, what are you doing?" at my computer monitor.

It was a typical game out of Ruden. He made some saves, but then he gave up a horrifically weak goal (MSU's 2nd one) that simply has to be stopped. Has to be.

Kolarik/Ebbett/Kal were good but the rest of the lines weren't really. Hensick isn't making the big plays that he's made throughout his career, and some of that is that teams just aren't letting him get into one-on-one situations anymore.

That said, we hit the goalpost late in the third period. If that goes in, the game is tied and we're probably looking at overtime. Instead MSU scores off of Michigan pinching, they get a late faceoff win and score a "Kessel" as Western College Hockey would say. It's just hard to watch that team come out with absolutely no fire, not only against the arch-rival, but in a conference semifinal nonetheless.

It's still looking very good for an at-large bid to the NCAAs. Apparently there's a scenario where we don't get in, but Michigan can make that irrelevant by simply winning their game that starts in about 25 minutes. By the way, Fox Sports, thanks for showing the WCHA Consolation game instead of ours today. That's super. On the bright side, I don't have to listen to Matt Shepard call Rohlfs "Tyler Howells" for 30 seconds, and hear him talk about how Kevin Porter is a Freshman (A freshman Canadian being captain of the WJC team....we're lucky to have him!). I can't handle listening to him and Pletsch.

1 comment:

Packer487 said...

Noah's playing a lot better today thankfully (::knock on wood::).

I don't get why they just don't shoot 6-hole on Lerg ;-)