Friday, November 02, 2007

Live Blog: Michigan vs. UNO Game 1

We're doing this one live tonight, and hopefully tonight's game will be on the short-end of 2 1/2 hours or I'm not going to be able to see the end before I head off to my hockey game. Tonight's game pits the #2/#3 Michigan Wolverines against the UNO Mavericks, who are 1-2-0 after last week's sweep at the hands of the Miami (OH) Redhawks.

As MavRick had hoped, Jeremie Dupont gets the start in net for the Mavs. The ticker just flashed by and Miami is up 1-0 on Northern. Someone in the NMU organization pissed must have pissed off the CCHA, starting with Michigan, MSU, and Miami. Hello 0-6.

A whole slew of elementary school kids sang the national anthem. If this was an NFL blog, I'd be making a Travis Henry joke right here. Instead, I'll say that Red Berenson was over there, offering kids for a future recruiting class. I'm pretty sure Luke Moffat was in there somewhere.

First Period:
20:00: There's just something about a football player named Coker getting kicked off the team for drugs that just makes me laugh every time. How messed up do you have to be to get kicked off of Tennessee? Alright we're underway.

19:30: Someone needs to tell the play-by-play guy that it's Porter, not Potter. We've already heard him referred to that way three times and the game's not 30 seconds old. Is it me or is this camera really far away. 1-2! We want mooooooooooore players' names pronounced wrong. Longlais (sic) has been pretty solid for us, just so you know. For the record, this is a local crew, CSTV didn't send someone to cover the game. Purslow makes a nice pass and Naurato gets called for a penalty. Wilkens is the ref, so it'll be the first of many.

15:50: The penalty is over with no damage. Nebraska-Omaha had one good scoring chance, but Marshall couldn't get a hold of the puck. And sure enough, there's Wilkens with another call. This time it's on UNO, so Michigan heads to their first power play. Ten seconds into it, Kevin Potter, our excellent Canadian center (that one was courtesy of Matt Shepard, not these guys), buries a feed from Kolarik (they did get his name right, though) and it's 1-0 Michigan.

13:00: We're not as sharp in our own end as we have been this year so far. We've turned it over twice in our own end in the last minute. Luckily, nothing has come of it. Lebler and Vaughan make their first appearances of the night. Wait, Lebler and Naurato are in. Who's sitting out? A quick check of the Yost Post reveals that Louie Caporusso is sitting out, due to a "coaches decision". I wonder what that's all about. Scero and Lawrence create some chances, then our top line comes back the other way. Had a nice chance but the pass didn't make it. Scero crashes into the net and looks like he's hurting.

7:30: Great chance by Palushaj on a nice feed from Turnbull (it looked like). He cut in all alone, tried to drag it cross-crease and tuck it in on his backhand but Dupont got the stick over. Rust just got a penalty for throwing a guy down who didn't have the puck. He's strong.

4:00: Kolarik really does deserve a lot of credit for his ability to kill penalties. Not only is he really solid in general in that role, but he's a threat to score a shortie every time he's on the ice. And just like last time UNO was on the power play, the Wolverines kill it off and immediately get a man-advantage of their own. UNO got nothing going on that opportunity. 13 seconds have run off this penalties, so UNO is ahead of where they were last time we were up a man.

3:15: Nice chance for the Mavs 2 on 1. The pass gets through, but Kampfer got enough of it that the Omaha player couldn't handle it. Nothing doing on the rest of the man advantage and the teams are five-a-side.

0:34: Kampfer is going off for running Purslow to the middle of the ice and knocking him down after he dumped the puck into the zone. The irony wasn't lost on me that he's an Anaheim draft pick. Say what you want about Wilkens, but that was the Anaheim Ducks' play and Wilkens did something that NHL refs never do: Make that call. I tip my hat to you, sir. That's the end of the first period with the Wolverines up 1-0. 7-5 SOG in favor of the Wolverines.

Second Period:
The Qwest Center looks nice and all, but I still think there's something to be said for having a nice, small, intimate venue for college hockey. They might have a decent crowd there, but you'd never know it because it's such a big building. I thought the same thing about Ohio State's arena. Warts and all, I'll still take Yost anyday.

18:30: UNO's power play ends without them getting close to our net. The best chance was Timmy Miller stealing the puck at the UNO blueline, but he couldn't get by Goulet to walk in all alone. Goulet loves it when you call him big poppa.

16:41: Great block by Matt Rust to take away what would've been a nice scoring chance. Naurato and Martin go off so we'll play some 4 on 4. Naurato's been pretty active tonight. Omaha gets some pressure, they cycled the puck nicely on that shift, but with a lot of traffic in front, the puck gets deflected out of play. Miami now leads NMU 5-1. Totally a dynasty.

15:15: Not sure how UNO missed there. Sauer got out to the top of the crease and it looked like he got a piece of it. That's a really nice save if he did in fact get some of that shot. Llewellyn tried to throw it behind our net and it took a weird bounce off the boards and it ended up hitting Sauer in the skate. That could've been bad.

12:45: Koehler had a great chance, but the pass didn't connect. Omaha has been buzzing for most of this period. Bagron sent a pass into the slot, the rebound came back to him and he buried it. 1-1 now.

12:17: Miller is taken down on his way into the zone and the play ended up offside. That probably should've been a penalty. Miller "retaliated" with a little shove to Del Grosso, who took a dive that Kariya would've been proud of. Wilkens sends both of them. 4 on 4 again. Porter had a chance, but missed the net on what was a decent chance. Vaughan pinches in on a 2 on 1 and the shot went wide, but the Mavericks get called for another penalty. The Wolverines will have a 4 on 3 power play. Kemp's not happy about that one.

11:20: Mitera got a little impatient there and fired a shot right into the forward. No reason to do that when there's only 7 guys on the ice. UNO has done a nice job of keeping Michigan to the perimeter. We're back to 5 on 4 and Dupont makes a nice glove save. Skarica and Pacioretty get into a tussle after the play...Skarica didn't like Pacioretty taking an extra jab at the puck after it was covered. Pacioretty's helmet comes off and Skarica boots it into the boards after they're separated. Skarica gets a well-deserved ten minute misconduct for booting Patch's helmet. Everything else was evened up. Hagelin gets cross-checked from behind (luckily not into the boards) and we'll be going back on the power play. We really need to capitalize on one of these.

8:40: Porter was in cold turkey and shot it wide. That was a nice feed by Kolarik to get that up to him. He was slightly hooked, not enough for a call, but enough to throw him off a little bit. Omaha is back to full strength and another opportunity is lost.

6:45: Llewellyn makes a bad mistake at the offensive blue line and gets his shot blocked. The Omaha player was off to the races, Llewellyn hooked him at least four times. Possibly could've been a penalty shot, but there wasn't even a penalty call. Now Wilkens gives them the requisite penalty call--the problem is that he gets Mitera for this one. UNO digs the puck out of the corner and Purslow knocks in a rebound off a shot by Joey Martin just into the PP. 2-1 Mavericks. Sauer made a good save on the first shot, but he was off balance and couldn't get to the other post to stop the rebound opportunity.

5:35: Koehler and Mitera have words after the play, Mitera gives him a shove and Koehler hits the deck. They're both going off. Langlais made a nice play coming into the zone, drew the defenseman to him and fed Hagelin, but the Swede fanned on the shot. We've had some nice rushes in this game, but Omaha hasn't given us anything once we're set up in the offensive zone.

2:45: The Wolverines' top line had a potential 3 on 1 go by the wayside when the cross-ice pass to Kolarik didn't connect. We really haven't looked good this period. Marshall just walked in from the sideboards and Sauer aggressively came out and took the angle away. That was big, since we can't afford to go into the 3rd period down by two goals. Scero hasn't played since he got dinged up in the first period. That's a big loss for the Mavericks. Ohio State just lost 4-0 to Ferris. Maybe they shouldn't have let Scero go. We're getting outshot 15-6 this period.

0:00: Rust had an odd-man rush, but was slashed and lost control of the puck. The Wolverines get a late-second-period power play. Nothing comes of that 20 seconds, but we'll have 1:40 to start the third. End of the second period. That wasn't the best period we've ever played, but it's not like we're not getting chances. We've had plenty of power plays, had a few odd man rushes, and Palushaj and Porter have had partial breakaways that they couldn't bury. They need to keep their heads a little bit better in the third. But like I said in the preview, we were due for a stinker on the road, and I think we're seeing it. Hopefully they can come out a little bit stronger in the third and at least get a point out of tonight's game.

Third Period:
We've got 1:40 in power play time to start the third, and we'd be wise to go ahead and score on this one. Miami beat NMU 9-2 in Marquette. Yikes. Michigan listens and a Kevin Porter slapshot finds the twine. That was a bad goal. It was a one-timer but the pass was slow, he had plenty of time to get over, there wasn't a screen, and Dupont just missed it. 2-2.

17:45: That Purslow is a really good player. I suppose that's to be expected since he led the USHL in scoring, but he's drawn 2 penalties tonight, scored a goal, and just had a nifty little tip there that almost went in. He's been strong tonight.

16:37: !!!!!! WHAT A GOAL BY CHAD KOLARIK! He took that one end to end, side-stepped one guy at the blue line, got around the corner to beat the defenseman, then roofed it short-side. If anyone saw the goal by Hudler a few nights back, or the goal by Filppula late in the Calgary game, that was the same move Kolarik did to score. Yikes. True to form, Wilkens calls a penalty and UNO will have a chance to even the game back up.

15:52: Goulet takes a shot from the point that hit Kampfer on the way through and deflected up over Sauer into the net. Goulet puts his hands in the air since he thinks he's a playa and this game is all tied up. Well crap. Nice feed right there as Agosta beat Llewellyn down the wing, but the pass was slightly out in front of him, or he'd have had a golden opportunity for a tip in.

13:26: Another terrible goal given up by Dupont. Kampfer just threw a shot at the net from the corner down by the goal line and it deflected off the goalie and in. As good as he was in the first two periods, he's been that bad in the third. These might be those "higher highs and lower lows" that MavRick was talking about yesterday.

10:31: Ten and a half minutes left and I gotta leave in like 15 minutes for my hockey game. This game needs to hurry up. We need an 8 minute stretch with no whistles like in the Wings game the other night. Of course, if it's a stoppage for a Michigan goal, that'd be fine too. CSTV's ticker has been frozen for a good 10 minutes. Evidently something happened in the first quarter of Va Tech's win last night.

8:30: Purslow with another nice chance. I'm really looking forward to dealing with him until he's 25. Kolarik just missed on a backhand. It squirted just wide of the post. Rust just got hacked and whacked but stayed strong on his skates to get the puck deep. Penalty coming to the Mavericks, Palushaj in on a breakaway gets hauled down but I doubt we'll see more than one call. The announcers thought that call should've been on Michigan. 7:17 to go here, it'd be nice to bury one and get some breathing room. Or we could take a penalty 13 seconds later. Bagron has been a thorn in our side all night. He's got a goal and has drawn a couple calls himself. That kid is the type of player I his butt off at all times.

6:49: And Porter with the hat trick!!! Nice inside out move on the defenseman, got held, but the puck stayed in the slot and Porter was able to fight through the check and bury it. We're back 5 on 5 with under 5 minutes to go now. Rust's line hasn't done anything that's going to show up on the scoresheet, but they've been strong tonight. You know who has been really quiet tonight is Winnett. I saw one nice back-check by him, but apart from that I don't think I've heard his name called.

3:30: More steady play by Mitera, with another shot block. He's had another good game tonight, apart from when he lost his head a couple times. Purslow with another good scoring chance. We need to be better defensively as a whole tomorrow night though. UNO has scored 3, none of which were especially weak, and they've had a slew of other pretty decent scoring chances.

0:11: Lebler puts one into the empty net. This one's over and you can thank your lucky stars for Kevin Porter tonight. He scored a quick goal in the third period to get us back tied and the floodgates kind of opened from there. The top line as a whole was great tonight, and Kolarik's end-to-end goal was as pretty of a goal as we've seen in this young season. I gotta run, maybe more final thoughts later.

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