Well the extra day off certainly didn't hurt the Wolverines. Michigan scored three goals in the first five minutes, including a Chris Summers goal 28 seconds in, chasing Reichard. They survived a little scare in the second period, but otherwise had the game in control, winning a huge 5-1 decision over the Miami RedHawks.
Apparently Comcast got hit with a load of bricks falling from the roof or something, because they didn't get the feed on until 4 1/2 minutes into the game. At least we only missed two Michigan goals, who wanted to see those anyway?
Summers backhanded in a rebound and three minutes later Brandon Burlon wristed one on net that was blockered aside. The richocet hit the Miami defenseman and deflected into the net. I'm not sure if this stat really means anything, but that's the first first-period power play goal Miami has allowed since early November. I read that in Miami's release and it stuck in my head, so it gets mentioned.
Right when the feed came on, Chad Langlais got a stick on a Miami player who was left all alone in front and sent his shot awry. The Wolverines came down and Burlon let a shot go. Naurato's shot at the cage was blocked by a RedHawk defender, but the rebound came back to him and he buried it on his second opportunity to put the Wolverines up by 3 just five minutes in.
That was it for Reichard. I told you we were going to jack up their goaltending situation due to the postponement of last night's game!
Turnbull somehow ended up with the extra two in a scrum after the whistle and we were shorthanded late in the period. There was a faceoff deep in Miami's end with 10 seconds left and Rust shot the puck toward the net when it was dropped. Hagelin jumped on the rebound and put the Wolverines up by four headed to the intermission. We missed that one too, since Comcast was showing a fairly useless replay at the time. If you're counting, we saw one of the four goals that period. Though, it's because of Comcast that we were seeing the game anyway, so I probably shouldn't complain too much.
The second period wasn't overly exciting. Miami scored with Hagelin in the box on a holding penalty that probably had Mickey Redmond shaking his head somewhere. It was on the cheap side. Steffes waited for Summers to slide out of the way and made a really nice pass to Palmer in the slot. He could've shot, but he slid one to the other post where Vogelhuber was streaking in. It was an easy tap-in, but Vogelhuber blew a tire and was falling to the ice when the pass was coming. He somehow got a stick on it and Miami was on the board.
Michigan had a couple power plays of their own that didn't result in much. The camera caught Blasi saying "That was bull. So bad." after one call. I guess he missed what they called on Hagelin to give Miami the power play where they scored their only goal.
Vaive popped Burlon in the head twice, then knocked him down when he didn't have the puck. On the way down, Burlon clamped his arm on Vaive's stick. Shegos looked at that and felt that holding the stick on Burlon was the proper call. Had to make good with Rico, I guess. Brian Hill was impressed with that call.
Miami was buzzing late in the period and Hogan had to be sharp. The Wolverines finally got the puck out of the zone after running around for over a minute. Naurato tried to dump it in, but didn't hit the angle on the boards right and the puck went about 8 feet. Michigan got caught on a change and Hogan had to make a big stop on Steffes.
Miller and Wohlberg were fantastic on the PK that period. Wohlberg had a fun play where he fell to his knees around the Miami blueline, continued to stickhandle the puck, and dumped it into the empty corner.
Miller went to block a shot but the guy didn't shoot. He tried to dangle around the prone Miller, but Timmy swept his stick along the ice and knocked the puck out to center. Later, on a different power play for Miami, Miller singlehandedly killed off a good half-minute by forechecking the hell out of them and winning battles on the boards. The crowd gave him a huge ovation for the effort.
We need to get the Elias Sports Bureau on this one: Early in the second period, both teams were called for too many men at the same time. I'd be surprised if that's ever happened before. When Shegos was explaining the call, both coaches looked like they swallowed a lemon.
In the third, Cannone (goon) had a great chance after a Michigan turnover, but Hogan made a nice shoulder save. Kampfer was able to stay in the passing lane on a slow-developing 2 on 1 and he broke up the pass to prevent a scoring chance.
Hagelin had a nice kill where he did a lap around the offensive zone then fed the puck back to our defense out at center ice. I love watching him do that.
Caporusso was kind of in disbelief when he broke in on the net and had his stick slashed out of his hands. Shegos was looking right at it, and despite it being one of the most obvious penalties you'll ever see, the whistle wasn't coming out for that one. But I look forward to the article in the Miami Student saying that he gave us this game.
Michigan then had a 2 on 1 of their own the other way. Turnbull got forced wide by Weber so he couldn't pass it as quickly as he wanted. He got the pass over to a streaking Naurato, but the pass was in his skates.
The Wolverines put the game away when Tim Miller won a draw clean to Brian Lebler. We never got a replay, but it looked like he absolutely uncorked one.
Nothing much happened the rest of the game in terms of actual hockey. Miami started some rough stuff to try and send a message for tomorrow. Wideman cross-checked Rust in the face and they were roughing it up a little bit, then Pateryn and Steffes got involved. I'm pretty sure Wideman would want no part of Rust if they were actually allowed to fight.
After the final horn apparently there was a lot of jawing (shoving?) going on. Turnbull, Naurato, and Roeder were having words when the camera got on them. Then Rico was reading the riot act to Berenson, who was just giving him a blank stare. I think my money would be on Red in that battle. Rico comes up to his nose. It was hilarious to see Blasi going buck and Red just staring at him like he was from Mars.
-It was a great effort from Michigan. They jumped on Miami early and often, and the game was never really in doubt. The RedHawks scored a power play goal, but the penalty killing was fantastic for the most part. The second period wasn't so great, but they played a good game overall.
-It's great to be scoring so many goals and not have Caporusso, Palushaj, or Wohlberg put one in the net (though Caporusso and Palushaj had a pair of assists apiece).
-Michigan has found their offense. They have 32 goals in the last six starts for Hogan. Fittingly, in Sauer's one start in there, we got shut out.
-Miami wasn't nearly as physical as they were back in Oxford. Kevin Roeder was hitting everything that moved that weekend, but I only heard his name a couple of times tonight. They did a nice job of creating turnovers on the forecheck, but the intimidation factor really wasn't there. The only time one of our guys really got planted was when Winnett tried to stickhandle through four guys and only made it through three.
-A big question for tomorrow's game will be the status of Carter Camper and Justin Mercier. Camper was injured on a "good hit" (his words) in the first period. He returned the ice, but didn't come out for the third. I didn't see what happened to Mercier, but Art Regner reported he was in the locker room on the trainer's table and looked to be in some pain. If those guys can't go tomorrow, that's definitely a factor in the game.
-Hogan did a really nice job of controlling rebounds tonight. He only gave up a couple. For the most part, every time a shot was on him, he smothered it. He had a couple of great poke-checks as well and was really decisive when he went for one. Nice performance out of him.
-Can you imagine going into the NCAA Tournament with the ability to score 4 or 5 goals a night and having Summers, Burlon, Mitera, Kampfer, Langlais as your top five defensemen? Burlon is an absolute monster. I hope he hangs around for a little while because he's turning into a great player already. Summers has been dominant back on the blueline as well.