Things were going well, Michigan was up 2-1 in the third period and with Lee Moffie in the box, Steve Kampfer took as dumb of a cross-checking penalty as you're ever going to see. Michigan goes down two men, BGSU scores just before Moffie's penalty ended. They stay on the power play, score again. Then Hogan leaves a juicy rebound and gives up his token soft goal another minute or so later. It's suddenly 4-2 bad guys, and a previously 1-8-1 hockey team who got blown out by the effing NTDP was skating out of Yost with a win.
Not to say there weren't positives. Louie Caporusso woke up offensively with a highlight-reel goal, where he split two defenders, danced around a diving defenseman, and then slid it into the net while he was falling to the ice. Robbie Czarnik had a freaking laser into the top corner to put us up 2-1. The two of them also did some great work on an first period penalty kill. The power play showed signs of life and even scored a goal (!) (Caporusso's). Even Hogan made some big stops in the first couple of periods.
But none of it matters. Too many odd-man rushes given up. Too many penalties--and stupid-ass penalties to boot. Too many rebounds. Too many soft goals. Not enough offense.
Five losses in a row. Four losses at home in a row. 4-7-0 on the season. 11th place in the CCHA, 14 points out of first. 28 goals in 11 games. This is a complete disaster. There's still time to fix this (again, I'll bring up that North Dakota seemingly does this every year) but the margin of error in order to make the tournament is slipping away. We've already got seven losses (more than we had in the Frozen Four season two years ago, by the way). Miami squeaked into the tournament last year with 12 losses. This can get fixed, but it needs to get fixed quickly, or this will be the first Michigan team in two decades to be sitting at home come tournament time.
Lucas Lessio was named to Team Ontario for the World Under 17 Challenge.
McKeen's just spoke with Mac Bennett. They offered up this glowing assessment:
Bennett has already impressed by displaying a level of puck poise rarely seen by defensemen in their rookie USHL season, even if his 1 goal and 3 assists in 8 games prior to playing for Team USA at the 2009 World Junior A Challenge weren't on pace to match those of his RoughRider predecessors Donovan and Phillips. However, the Montreal Canadiens prospect's future looks every bit as bright, if not more so, than the New York Islanders' Donovan or the Chicago Blackhawks' Phillips.
NTDP Coach Kurt Kleinendorst offered up his assessment of his players that were ranked highly on the CSS list, including Jon Merrill and Jack Campbell. He said he's never seen a goalie his age handle the puck so responsibly. He also said you could make a case for Merrill as the #1 defenseman on the list, instead of the seventh spot where he's currently ranked.