Apologies for the lack of coverage the past few weeks. I've been out of town for work, and it's really hard to get inspired to write something of any substance when I've gotten to watch about two periods worth of hockey so far this year. There's only so much you can gather from box scores, Gametracker, and radio calls.
Michigan was swept at home for the first time since 2001, when Craig Kowalski was taking out his frustrations on us all Brett Favre-style. This time they fell to Miami 3-1 and 5-1.
I listened to the first two periods Friday night before I had to head out to my own game and I actually came away feeling pretty good. We were down 2-1 when I left, but it sounded like Michigan absolutely dominated the game in the second period and were well on their way to a come-from-behind win. Didn't happen. But it sounded like they had a strong effort and played a good game--the puck just didn't bounce their way. I heard at least 3 goal posts, we had a waived off goal, missed a penalty shot....one of those nights.
Saturday night was apparently a different story. After a David Wohlberg goal on the first shot of the game, Michigan was held off the scoreboard the rest of the night and gave up 5 unanswered to the RedHawks.
After the game Coach Berenson called out his team, saying he was disappointed in the effort and calling the performance unacceptable. Does anyone else feel like this type of performance in a big game is alarmingly common? It seems like at least one time a season we come out with absolutely no heart in a game that shouldn't require any motivation to get up for. Maybe that happens throughout the course of a season, but you can't give up 6 points at home to one of the teams you'll (theoretically) be battling with for the CCHA title.
This sets up a big weekend against a surprising FYS team that has gotten out to a 4-1-1-0 start in conference play. Once again, no extra motivation should be necessary, with Corey Tropp making his return to Yost for the first time since his attack on Steve Kampfer last year. And the game will be on Fox Sports Detroit, so I can actually watch! Woot!
What good are ESPNU, CBS College Sports, and the Big Ten Network when a #1 vs. #4 series gets relegated to Comcast 900?
Way, way too early to panic--North Dakota shows pretty much every year that you can sleepwalk through the first couple months of the year and still be comfortably in the tournament--but it would be nice to get the offense going (and the goaltending solidified) sooner rather than later.
The USA Under 18s won the Four Nations Cup in Finland. Jack Campbell stopped 18 of 19 shots in a 4-1 win over host, Finland. Jon Merrill had a 1-2--3 line in the three USA victories.
The US was also victorious in the World Junior A Challenge. Mac Bennett was named to the All Tournament Team. Derek DeBlois was on the USA roster as well. Lucas Lessio played for Canada East.