Thoughts on Michigan's second win of the season, keeping in mind that the Comcast feed didn't come in until about halfway through the game.
-Congrats to Tristin Llewellyn on his first career goal. I heard it was kind of fluky--it hit a rut in the ice--but they all count the same and when he tells the story 20 years from now, it'll be a rocket into the top corner. It's kind of funny how our three sophomore defenders went all of last year without scoring and now two of them have popped in career goal #1 in the first game of their sophomore seasons.
-Aaron freaking Palushaj!!! The first goal was very nice. Hagelin brought it down the left wing on a three on two. He centered it for Rust who one-touched it (kind-of-sort-of-maybe-intentionally) to Palushaj to the goalie's left. Palushaj buried it to give Michigan a 2-0 lead. Then, when St. Lawrence had tied the game at 3 and had all the momentum in the world, he had an absolutely unbelievable individual effort to put Michigan ahead for good. I think my exact reaction was as follows:
"HOLY SHIT! WHAT A GOAL BY AARON PALUSHAJ! WHAT DID HE JUST DO?!! OH MY GOD!"
Watch the highlights on MGoBlue when they put them up. That might be the prettiest goal he'll ever score. He came in one-on-one, deked the crap out of the defenseman, kicked the puck up to himself, and then put one up over the goalie as he was falling to his knees. Absolutely incredible.
-Michigan has been really successful with the centering pass from the left or right boards in the early-going this season. Our third goal came off a gorgeous centering pass by Travis Turnbull. He somehow got it through to Louie Caporusso and Louie made no mistake.
-The final goal came with 8 seconds left. Czarnik and Lebler broke in 2 on 1 and Czarnik worked it to absolute perfection, drawing the defenseman and getting a pass over to Lebler who blasted one into the top corner (knocking himself down in the process).
-Give a ton of credit to the Saints. They didn't look like a team that should finish eighth in the ECAC. I'm happy to be out of this weekend at 2-0, because the Saints are a scrappy team that wouldn't go away. They work hard, and they came back from 2 goals down twice tonight. They had Michigan on the ropes with about 5 minutes left until Palushaj came through with that incredible goal.
-The SLU fans bitched about the officiating a TON this weekend (and get ready because we're playing NMU next weekend so you know there's more of that to come) but they got massively jobbed late in the third period. With the score 3-2 Michigan, they appeared to tie the game up. The puck bounced to the front of the net and Summers ran into Hogan. The puck hit Summers in the knee and slid into the back of the net. The whistle hadn't gone, the net hadn't come off the moorings, and the SLU player wasn't in the crease. They waived off the goal on the ice, and upheld that call upon looking at the replay. I would LOVE to know the logic for waiving that one off, because there's no really no reason that goal shouldn't have counted. I guess I couldn't see the post to Hogan's left, but I don't see how that could've come off the mooring before the puck went in. I'd be livid about that one. The hockey gods appeared to agree with me, as SLU scored a fluky goal just a few seconds after the return to action.
-As for Hogan, I didn't see the first half of the game, but I didn't think he did anything special. The third goal was pretty ugly. It looked like it hit the Michigan guy in front of the net and then Hogan missed it with his glove as it went along the ice. It hit his pad and slid into the net. That came just seconds after we got a really lucky break where the SLU goal was waived off.
-The other two goals weren't great moments out of Scooter Vaughan. On the first, Wohlberg got deep into the offensive end and turned it over when he tried to dangle around the defenseman. Immediately, Mike McKenzie shot up up and they hit him with the pass. He beat Vaughan and Elmblad down the ice and made a nice deke to put it past Hogan.
-The other goal came about 10 seconds after we went up 3-1 and Vaughan got toasted again. Rough night.
-I missed his great opportunity in the first period but I was pretty impressed with Glendening. He seemed to really get after it and made the plays that a guy fighting for icetime needs to make. He absolutely leveled one of the Saints right in front of their bench. He was like a guided missile on that one.
-As expected, Brandon Naurato was out of the lineup tonight. Red's always seemed to be pretty tough on him, and it wasn't too hard to predict that he'd be sitting tonight after two bad penalties that hurt us last night.
-The Saints really switched things up. I guess 7 guys who didn't play last night were in the lineup tonight. They also changes goalies after the second period when it was only 2-0. And they put in the third goalie on their roster, not the guy that stood on his head last night. Strange. I guess it's a good atmosphere to test what you've got in your young'un, but it was kind of weird.
-The power play was like 1 for 19 on the weekend, with the lone goal coming with 8 seconds left in the game.
-I was really impressed with Robbie Czarnik. He had a pair of assists tonight and he really looks like he's going to be a player. He had a really nice defensive play in the third period, lifting an SLU stick and stripping the puck right by the Saints' blue line and bringing it right back in for an opportunity. We've got a good one there.
-Lots of penalties again. We actually saw some 3 on 3 in this game.
-Mitera will be out for "an extended period of time". They will wait for the swelling to go down before determining if he needs to have surgery. If he does, he's probably out for the year. Even if he can come back, it probably wouldn't be until 2009 at the earliest. Balllllllls.
-Pretty good night for Wolverines in the NHL. Comrie and Hilbert both scored for the Islanders and Hilbert was the #2 star in their win. Also, Kevin Porter picked up his first point on his first NHL shift. Congrats to Kevin!