Well that was thoroughly uninspiring.
After a great start to the game--two goals, and POWER PLAY(!!!) goals to boot--in the first 3 1/2 minutes, and a gorgeous play by Kampfer and Lebler to set up a Czarnik goal, things quickly went downhill. The Wolverines were probably fortunate to get out of this one with a 3-2 victory in the home opener.
AJ Treais got Michigan on the board early in the first. Didn't get home from work in time to catch the start, so I turned it on right when we had taken a 1-0 lead.
The second goal came when Burlon and Pateryn played catch out at the point. Pateryn eventually let one rip and the puck deflected to Matt Rust. Rust fed Carl Hagelin down by the goal mouth and, with the goalie down, he had quite a bit to shoot at. Nice goal.
Czarnik would put the Wolverines up 3-0. Kampfer led the rush and dropped the puck to Brian Lebler just inside the blueline. Kampfer drove to the net down the right wing side and Lebler got the puck back to him. Kampfer sent one cross-crease to Czarnik for an easy goal. But it was great to see him score it. He's already off to a better start than last year.
After that, it was just kind of an ugly hockey game. Lots of penalties, nothing going on the power play, and a couple of chances for Niagara late that could have tied the game.
The Purple Eagles got back within two late in the first when Hogan stopped a shot and pushed the rebound back into the slot. It got tipped to his left and the Niagara player had a pretty easy goal.
Michigan had a couple of nice chances early in the second that they couldn't convert on. Wohlberg hit the post off a beautiful feed from Caporusso. That play was started by Llewellyn coming right out of the penalty box and killing the puck-carrier.
The Wolverines had another power play and controlled the puck for almost the entire two minutes but didn't get a whole lot out of it. Lynch took a silly charging penalty, but the Wolverines killed that off. Burlon fed Caporusso on a home-run pass, but Cappy got stoned.
During a later power play, the Wolverines somehow gave up a 2 on 0 the other way. Hogan robbed the guy with his blocker, but lost his stick in the process. It almost looked like he dropped it to try and catch the puck with his blocker hand. Langlais gave Hogan his own stick while Niagara controled the puck in our end for a good 20-30 seconds. Eventually Langlais got beat by his man and the pass got to him for a goal.
Each team had a few chances in the third, but both Hogan and Avramenko made stops and Michigan held on for the 3-2 win.
That Avramenko kid was something else. He robbed Vaughan, Rust, Glendening, and Rohrkemper in the third period alone.
Another play that should get singled out. Vaughan had a great pass to Caporusso to set him up with an empty-netter, but Ross on Niagara busted his hump to get back and lift Caporusso's stick right as he was going to put the game away. That kept Niagara alive. Just a great play.
-I thought Scooter Vaughan was very good. They moved him up to the top line to play with Caporusso and Wohlberg, and he definitely held his own. For a guy who's been a defenseman for a long time, he didn't look a bit out of place. Had some great chances, set up a couple of his teammates....I think I noticed him more in that game than I did the rest of his career combined (and it's a compliment that I didn't notice him much his freshman season).
-Someone needs to track how many times I write this, but it's one of the true joys in sports to get to watch Carl Hagelin kill penalties. Him and Rust are so fun when they're out there.
-Before the final faceoff, Niagara had 7 skaters on the ice. Their center got tossed from the draw and someone noticed the extra guy and got him off the ice. Don't think I've ever seen that before. Though, if it was anything like the Pittsburgh Penguins, the refs would just warn them that they had too many guys so one could go to the bench.
-A would-be Niagara goal was reviewed in the first period but I don't think the puck ever crossed the line. Regardless, the Niagara player was called for goalie interference on the play, so I'm not really sure why it mattered if it went in or not. Doesn't seem like that should stand. This isn't NHL 95 on Super NES when you could just crash into the goalie, have the puck go in, take the penalty, and have the goal count.
-I really liked the Rohrkamper, Glendening, Lynch line at times. They had a couple of really good shifts where they mucked around, dug the puck out and created something. They got robbed three times late in the game.
-We had a LOT of powerplays and didn't get a whole lot going outside of the two goals early on. At one point, we went 3 or 4 straight PPs without a shot on goal.
That's all I've got. BU tonight, and you should be able to see the game via PPV on the Terrier website. I'm not going to be able to catch this one...