It's finally here! Michigan kicks off the 2009-2010 season with exhibition games against the NTDP and Windsor this weekend. Here are 10 Things to Know about the upcoming weekend.
1) The U-18s come in 1-1-1, beating Tri-City, falling to Sioux City in a shootout, and then losing to Des Moines. Jon Merrill has one of the Americans' 6 goals and Jack Campbell is 1-1 with a 2.02/.905.
2) Anyone who reads this site knows that there are several future Wolverines who will be skating at Yost tonight: Goaltender Jack Campbell, defensemen Kevin Clare and Jon Merrill, and forward Luke Moffatt. Jacob Fallon will not play.
3) Michigan is 9-0-0 all time against the NTDP. The past couple of games have ended in semi-blowouts (5-1 and 4-1 the last two years), but the youngsters have come dangerously close to breaking through a few times: (6-5, 4-3, 3-2 in ot the previous three games).
4) Michigan has had 24 players come out of the NTDP, including seven players on the current roster (eight if you count Patrick Summers who stepped in as the backup goalie late last year).
AnnArbor.com has a nice preview story with quotes from the future Wolverines.
5) Michigan is 2-0 all-time against the Windsor Lancers, including a 12-1 win in their last meeting in 2004. I could be wrong, but wasn't that the controversial game where the band didn't play the Canadian anthem? Maybe I think that about every Canadian team, but I could swear it was against Windsor.
6) They're opening the season against Miami of Ohio (yeah, you're damn right I said it) tonight, so there's not much to go off of with this current team.
7) The roster on the website hasn't been updated for the current season, so the players I mention below may or may not still be on the team.
8) Kyle Nishizaki is the 57th-leading scorer in school history with a 14-33--47 line. Josh Gaynor (15-15--30) and Jon Ryan (not the former Packers punter--who is also Canadian--who they never should have cut, but that's another story) also rank in the top 100.
9) Goaltender Jim Watt is the 5th leading goaltender in school history with...umm...a 3.75 goals against average. #16 on the list has a 5.33. Methinks I would have cut that list off a little sooner. Watt had a .932 save percentage last year and was an All-Star. Head Coach Kevin Hamlin (not Dale Earnhardt's old crew chief) was named
10) Defenseman Steve Ferry (Steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeve Ferry! Dude, we promised no Journey psych-outs!) played 5 seasons in the OHL and was said to be a prized recruit added to the team for this season. He was top-20 in OHL scoring amongst defensemen last year. Christian Steingraber is a former Plymouth Whaler, Kyle Tront and Anthony Tapper also played in the OHL last year.