Saturday, January 03, 2009

At Least the Under 17s Have Goaltending

So the Americans will fail to medal at the World Junior Championships again, getting knocked out in the quarterfinals by Slovakia. Flip the goalies and that's a 15-0 victory for the Americans. Thomas McCollum was brutal in net for the Americans (good thing the Wings still have Larsson and Howard) while Jaroslav Janus probably played the game of his life for the Slovakians.

USA lost that game in the first five minutes when they couldn't put the puck in the net despite at least a half-dozen grade A scoring chances, including a penalty shot. Then Slovakia comes down and scores a horrifically bad goal on what must've been their first or second shot of the game. I had a feeling at that point that things weren't going to end well for the Americans.

At least the Under 17 team is faring much better at the World Under 17 Challenge. The Americans are through the preliminary round with a 4-0-0 record, having outscored their opponents 29-5. Jack Campbell is 3-0-0 with a 0.67 goals against and a .971 save percentage in the tournament. I look forward to losing him for a couple of GLIs in the future. Maybe all the Americans need to bring the gold back is another Wolverine goalie! The Americans take on Canada Pacific tonight in the semifinals.

Edit: I guess I completely MATW'ed this one. USA lost 6-5 in overtime to Pacific (a team we beat 11-0 in an exhibition) in the semifinals. Campbell gave up 6 on 31 shots. The Americans were down 3-0, scored five straight in a ten minute span in the second, gave up a late goal in the second, a late goal in the third, and a goal five minutes in to overtime. They're playing West for the bronze right now, but Campbell isn't in. USA leads 1-0 on a goal by Michigan commit Jacob Fallon.

Little Brother helped the Wolverines out last night, scoring two late goals to beat Alaska 2-1. Those were MSU's first CCHA points since November 1. Alaska's loss leaves them 5 points in front of Michigan, but the Wolverines have 3 games in hand. The two will face each other again tonight, so worst-case, we're 7 back of the Nanooks with 4 in hand.

The Unofficial USHL Hockey Blog offered up a midseason report card of the Waterloo Black Hawks and had some nice things to say about future Wolverine Lee Moffie:

Lee Moffie is someone who has really stood out to me. When the pre-season rolled around, it sounded like Moffie was just there to get looked at and didn't have much of a shot to make the squad. He showed the coaching staff he was worthy, and he has been pretty impressive for such a young kid at this level. He is tied for the team lead in points by a defenseman with 14 and is a +5 on the year.

A reader created a Michigan Hockey fan page on Facebook. Here's the link if you'd like to sign up.

Lastly, I don't know how many people check the comments, but Wolverine in Exile posted some interesting information about the possible Michigan/Wisconsin outdoor game:

I know a guy in the right place in the AD and from what he told me is that the only hold up with the Wiscy outdoor game is Pearson is discussing the possibility of a home and home outdoor series with Wisconsin where the return match would be, you guessed it, a post GLI outdoor game between Michigan and Wiscy at The (remodeled) Big House. Apparently one of the benefits of the remods at Michigan Stadium is that the electrical power grid input to the stadium is being upgraded and the new infrastructure is good enough to power the refridgeration equipment and temporary lights. The Wings have made an inquiry to the AD about bidding for a future Winter Classic using Michigan Stadium and requested the infrastructure info.

That wouldn't be cool at all, eh?

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