I haven't done one of these in a few weeks, so it's time to take a look-see at what the media thought of Michigan's series sweep of the UNO Mavericks.
The Michigan Side:
Varsity Blue wins at the internet for having a montage of Sideline Charlie's reports from Friday night's game. I'm posting it here because it's awesome, but you should shoot over to his site for highlights of the actual game Friday as well.
I should also say that I know from experience how hard talking behind a mic can be, and that I'm actually really jealous of the WOLV-TV guys because I really wish I had worked for the station when I was in school. That's something I regret not doing.
Michigan Daily live blogs of Friday and Saturday. I'm not sure why they're always fooled into thinking the crowd will be small just because it's not packed 10 minutes before faceoff, but a good job blogging as usual. Some great photos Friday night as well. Also a nice, if biased (you'll see a completely different, biased as well, recap by reading at MavPuck) recap of the fight.
Daily game stories from Friday and Saturday.
Daily reporter Scott Bell has a great recap of the emotions of his final game at Yost as a student. Based on the headline, I thought it was going to be about Kolarik and Porter. I'm glad it wasn't. I had similar emotions running through me after my final game there as a student--ironically also against Nebraska-Omaha in the playoffs. I didn't know at the time that I was going to spend another three years in Ann Arbor, so I spent a good hour walking around the arena, taking pictures (including one at center ice that a staff member was gracious enough to allow/take), reminiscing, and soaking everything in. Yost is a special place. I only got to one game this season at the Old Barn, and the students weren't there. It was an ass-kicking of Minnesota, so that was pretty great, but not a Friday/Saturday night goes by that I don't miss that place. Fantastic column and I echo a lot of the sentiments (though personally, I enjoy the game itself way too much to get drunk beforehand).
It's impossible to overstate what Kolarik has meant to this team. I've been through this before. He deserves to be one of the ten Hobey Finalists and it's going to be a travesty when he's not.
Elmblad did a nice job pressed into duty in a tough situation.
No Ann Arbor News stuff this week in protest of them letting Jim Carty continue his agenda against the University of Michigan and certain academic programs, and for printing a lot of one-sided trash this week with a few valid points mixed in. Unless there's something really great, I'm probably not linking to them until next season.
Friday's and Saturday's game stories from MGoBlue.
The UNO Viewpoint:
The Friday and Saturday articles from UNO's website.
Friday's story from the UNO student newspaper. The majority of their coverage won't take place until the March 25th issue, sadly.
Mike Kemp was "bitterly disappointed" about this season. The Mavericks lose a ton of offense (Marshall, Lawrence, Scero) but he's more concerned with improving a horrid defense.
Friday's game story from the Omaha World Herald. Kemp called the game "Probably the most dominating performance I've seen by a team in an awful long time."
Saturday's game story. I feel for Bryan Marshall. Sad that a player as good as he is had to end his college career in the press box instead of on the ice.
They combine for 55 goals, 102 points, +52, 310 shots on goal, 11 game winners, 19 power play goals, and five short-handed goals, but Chad Kolarik and Kevin Porter have just 38 PIMs between them. Pretty impressive.
With 69 goals, the three players that traditionally make up our top line outscored Alabama-Huntsville (60 goals) and Brown (67) this season. Add in contributions from other players taking the place of Kolarik or Pacioretty due to injury/WJC and they likely outscored Minnesota-Duluth (74) and Merrimack (71) as well.
We had 56 goals (42 power play, 14 short handed) on special teams last season but allowed 59 (47-12) for a net of -3. This year, we have 50 goals on special teams (42-8) and have allowed just 32 (30-2) for a next of +18. Big difference right there.
At this point, Mark Mitera's +30 rating is tied for the second-highest mark we've had in ten years (David Rohlfs, +33 last year).
Chad Kolarik's seven game winning goals is the third highest total over the last ten seasons (Muckalt and Dale Rominski each had 8. This is also the first time in ten years that we've had a player net three hat tricks in a season.
Kevin Porter's 14 power play goals are the most by a Wolverine in a season in the last ten years. With one more PPG, Kolarik will tie Bill Muckalt for the second-highest total in that span. Max Pacioretty's eight would have led last year's team.
It's kind of a down year for scoring in the NCAA. Porter's 56 points would be just the eight-best single-season total in the last ten years for Michigan and yet he appears to be a shoo-in for the Hobey (though in points per game he's #3). #1, of course, would be Hensick's year last year, which evidently wasn't good enough to even be in the Hobey Hat Trick. Lunacy. Just a reminder to Hobey voters, Porter has no misconducts this season. It's ok to vote for him.
Kolarik led last year's team in shots on goal by 35. In just 34 games this season, he has bettered last season's 41 game total. Bombs away! Porter is in close proximity to him this year (20 behind), though he's also played four more games.
The goals against average for the team has gone from 3.14 to 2.01 while the offense has only dipped slightly (about a quarter of a goal per game). The team save percentage is also 31 points higher.
The penalty kill is an impressive 85.7%. If you account for SHGs scored, it improves to 89.6%. Last year's squad was 80.5%/86.3%.
We've actually gotten worse at faceoffs (47.7% this year).
We could very reasonably have 12 players reach the 20 point plateau (8 have already done so). Since 99-2000, only the 04-05 team has had more than 12 players reach the 20 point mark (they had 13).