Thursday, April 23, 2009

Calgary, you're welcome. Sincerely, The Michigan Wolverines

To recap, Calgary has tied up their series with Chicago at two games apiece.

They've scored 13 goals in the four games, not counting the one empty-netter. Of those, six have been scored by Wolverine players. David Moss leads the team with 3 tallies.

Eric Nystrom had the game-winning goal and two assists tonight to lead them to a 6-4 win. Last game--a 4-2 Flames win--Eric Nystrom scored the first goal and David Moss sealed the game with a pair of third-period goals.

So yeah, Calgary, you're welcome.

Other stuff:
USA Hockey had an article about Kevin Clare, who is taking advantage of his increased ice time due to a couple of dmen getting called up to U18s.

Michigan's power play this year was the worst it's been since 1984-85. Ouch.

Matt Hunwick had his spleen removed but hasn't been ruled out of the playoffs just yet. They said on XM that he's out of the hospital.

The Port Huron Times-Herald had an article about JMFC.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

USA Takes Gold at World U18s

Jack Campbell, by the powers vested in me by the Michigan blogosphere, I officially dub thee JMFC.

The Americans flat out dominated the Russians in a 5-0 victory in the championship game of World Under 18s. They scored two in the first, added another early in the second period, and Campbell was perfect in net.

Kevin Lynch made a gorgeous feed to Matt Nieto for USA's second goal (Chris Brown assisted on it as well). Brown also scored on a vicious wrist shot early in the third to give USA a 4-0 lead.

Lynch was named one of USA's three most outstanding players in the tournament. He's an impressive player. Great on draws, kills penalties, put up a ton of points in the tournament. I think he's going to fit in just fine.

Somehow the Russian goalie was awarded Best Goalie over Jack Campbell, despite giving up 10 goals in two games to the Americans (and getting beat 5-0 by our guy tonight). I know he faced a ton of rubber and played most of the games for Russia, but he had a 3.33 goals against. JMFC gave up 1 goal in the semis against Canada and backstopped USA to a shutout victory in the title game. He was named to the All-Tournament Team by the media, however. And he got the gold, which is clearly the most important thing. To me, it's pretty clear who the best goalie in that tournament was.

Check out these numbers for our future goalie: 4-0-0 record, 0.75 goals against average, .967 save percentage, two shutouts, and zero even-strength goals allowed. He's from the U17s playing in the World U18s and he put on a show. In international play he's 11-0-1-0 (that's 11 wins and an overtime loss) with a 1.04 and probably something around a .955 save percentage to go with 5 shutouts. Eww. Eww eww eww.

While he wasn't overly busy tonight in terms of saves, he had several fantastic stops. Russia had a partial breakaway or two, a couple other odd-man rushes, and Campbell stopped them all. Actually Chris Brown's goal came off a USA rush immediately after JMFC made a great save on a short-handed chance for the Russians.

Final numbers for our other guys in the seven games:
Kevin Lynch: 5-5--10 (tied for 2nd in points, 2nd in goals), a +9 which was tied for the team best, and a team-best 31% shooting percentage. And, at least tonight, he was automatic on draws.
Chris Brown: 4-3--7, +6
AJ Treais: 2-0--2, +2
Jon Merrill: 0-2--2, +1

Before, I was of the opinion that Campbell would see a decent amount of ice time as a freshman, but that Hogan would still be our starter. We've still got a long way to go, but now I'm starting to wonder if Hogan won't get Billy Sauered his senior season. This kid looks like he might be too good not to play. If he makes it to campus, of course.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

USA Downs Canada, Advances to U18 Championship

Jack Campbell was the USA Player of the Game, making 32 saves in a 2-1 victory over Canada in the U18 semifinals. The lone goal he gave up was on a 5 on 3 in the second period. The Americans outshot Canada 21-7 in the final frame and netted a pair of goals to steal the win. They'll take on the Russians on Sunday at 7:00 Central for the gold medal.

The Russians are the only team to beat USA in this tournament, winning a 6-5 decision after USA blew a pair of leads. I like our chances. We didn't have any trouble putting in goals in the last meeting and we'll have Campbell in net this time.

Tonight's performance means that Campbell now has a .99 GAA and a .961 save percentage in the tournament.

The U17s tied up their series with Mahoning Valley at 1 with a 6-4 win. Jacob Fallon had 3 points (1-2--3) and Luke Moffatt had an assist in the game.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Recruit Updates

It wasn't a great few days for future Wolverines. Lindsay Sparks and the Oakville Blades were defeated in the OJHL Championship series 4 games to 2. Sparks ended up fourth on his team in playoff points with an 8-18--26 line in 27 games. He also had 50 PIMs.

Lee Moffie and the Waterloo Blackhawks were swept out of the USHL Playoffs by the regular-season champion Green Bay Gamblers (4-1, 4-3 (ot), 8-2). Moffie didn't have a point and was -3 in the three playoff games.

The USA U-17 team dropped the first game of their second-round series against bastard-souvenir-puck-snaring-goalie Jordan Tibbett* and the Mahoning Valley Phantoms by a 4-1 margin.

Then the USA U-18 team blew 2-0 and 4-3 leads and dropped a 6-5 decision against Russia. Chris Brown had the second goal for the Americans. They outshot Russia 55-26 in the loss.

Due to the loss, the Americans had to take on the Czechs in the quarterfinals, rather than get a bye straight through to the semis. They won 6-2. None of our guys had points, but Jack Campbell played between the pipes and made 21 saves. USA outshot the Czechs by a 58-23 margin.

They'll play the Canadians in the semifinals tomorrow night. It will be realllllly interesting to see who they go with in goal. Since they went with Campbell in an elimination game tonight I have to believe he's the guy the rest of the way. It's quite a story that the U17 goalie is playing for the Americans in the World Under 18 Championships.

Other stuff: Al Montoya and Jack Johnson were named to Team USA for the World Championships in Switzerland. Those games will take place from April 24-May 10.

The new Central Scouting rankings came out. Treais, Moffie, and Mac Bennett rose in the rankings. Kevin Lynch dropped (though I bet the CSS wishes they had a do-over on that one with the way he's played at World U18s) and Brown dropped a slot.

A reader passed along a great article about Brandon Kaleniecki, who is working his butt off in the ECHL. His coach said he thinks he would have made the AHL by now if not for injuries. He was just named an alternate captain for his team in the playoffs.

A commenter pointed out an article that was on the front page of the Fargo newspaper (the U18s are in Fargo) about the NTDP, mainly the guys who are coming to Michigan. Definitely enjoyable if you're a Wolverine fan.

*Tibbett and the rest of his team (I think it was Honeybaked but I don't feel like looking it up) were sitting in front of me at Yost a few years back. A shot came over the glass and was headed directly for me. I've never caught a puck before, I collect hockey pucks, it's something I've always wanted to do (my dad has caught two, including a Bobby Orr slapshot). Anyway, and I swear this is true, Tibbett reached back after the puck was by him and somehow snagged it. I mean that thing was headed right for me. I was pissed. Amazed, because it was a helluva catch. But I was pissed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Vote for the Michigan NHL All-Star Team

MGoBlue just put up a poll where you can vote for the members of the Michigan NHL All-Star Team.

You get to pick 3 forwards, 2 defensemen, a goalie, and for Rookie of the Year.

The Yost Built ballot was:
Michael Cammalleri
David Moss
Andrew Ebbett (edging out Mike Knuble)
Mike Komisarek
Matt Hunwick
Marty Turco

Hunwick edged out Andrew Ebbett for my Rookie of the Year vote.

So, fair readers, who you got?

Monday, April 13, 2009

USA 12, Slovakia 0


The Americans hung a dozen on Slovakia tonight en route to a 12-0 victory. I know I sound like a broken record, but again it was the future Wolverines leading the way.

Kevin Lynch, whose stock must be going through the roof, scored the first two goals for the Americans, later added an assist on Chris Brown's goal, and was a team-high +3. Brown had an assist in addition to his goal, which was the 10th of the game. Jon Merrill had a pair of assists, including one where he sprung Kenny Ryan on a breakaway. Treais, Cam Fowler, and William Wrenn were the only skaters who didn't register a point. Treais missed on a penalty shot.

Additionally, Jack Campbell got the start tonight and made 18 saves in the shutout win. That was his fourth shutout in international play this year.

Lynch was USA's player of the game. It was the first time he's received the honor, despite registering 3 points in each of USA's first three games of the tournament. Treais was Player of the Game in their first win.

The Americans will take on Russia tomorrow and would receive a bye into the semifinals with a win.

Meanwhile, the USA Under 17 team defeated Alpena 3 games to 1 in their first round NAHL Playoff series.

Game 6 of the Oakville/Kingston series is also tomorrow night. Kevin Clare is tied for the team lead in points with a 1-3--4 line. He's also +4. Jacob Fallon had a goal and two assists. Luke Moffatt had an assist.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oakville Stays Alive

Oakville beat Kingston 5-2 tonight to close within a game of Kingston in the best-of-seven series. It now stands at 3 games to 2. Lindsay Sparks had the game-winning goal and an assist on an insurance goal. Lots of bad blood late in this one. Check out the box score.

Thanks to a commenter for posting a link to the highlights of USA's win over Finland. It includes the goals by Treais (nice shot!), Lynch and Brown, as well as a spectacular save by Adam Murray which was very Hasek-esque.

Lynch is third in scoring for the tournament thusfar, with 6 points in two games. There are a pair of Russians ahead of him (10 and 7 points), but they've each played three games.

USA will take on Slovakia Monday night at 8:30 Eastern.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another Huge Night at U18s

First off, congrats to BU and thank you for not being the second Boston school in three years to blow it against a CCHA team that I didn't really want to win the title.

This is going to sound like a "Thank you Ken Daniels" comment, but hear me out. BU won this tournament because they were that talented. They didn't play well in the tournament. They should have lost to UNH. They probably shouldn't have beaten Vermont. I fully expected Miami to win the game tonight because they're better than either of those teams and they were getting good goaltending and were playing well. And Miami was a minute away from pulling it off. But BU was talented enough to win even when they weren't playing well. What a fantastic goal to tie it. BU was the best team all year, it was a well-deserved championship.

Up in Fargo the U-18s beat Finland 4-3 and once again it was the future Wolverines carrying the Americans. AJ Treais scored the first goal, Kevin Lynch assisted on the second goal, Lynch scored the third goal, and Chris Brown scored the game-winner from Lynch.

Lynch has six points in two games so far. How much is his stock going up?

Oakville lost last night and now trails the OJHL Championship 3 games to 1. Not looking real good for Lindsay Sparks's team.

Louie Caporusso and Aaron Palushaj were named West All-Americans. Congrats to them. This is the fourth time in the last five years that Michigan has had multiple guys named All-America.

Al Montoya had another impressive performance in a win over the President's Trophy winners. Kind of makes me think that he could lead us to some wins over JP Lamoureux and the UND all-stars, no? ::evil grin::

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Michigan: The NHL's Farm Team (Part Two)

I could have edited the last post and popped this in there, but I figured enough people saw the original that the update might not get seen.

Here is the link to the entire list (PDF) of ex-college hockey players in the NHL.

USA got off to a good start at the World Under 18s with an 8-0 win over Norway, and again the future Wolverines played a big role. Kevin Lynch had 2-1--3 and was +3, AJ Treais had a goal and was +2, Chris Brown had an assist and was +1. Jack Campbell "split the shutout" with Adam Murray. Actually he played 58 seconds and made one save. The US outshot Norway 65-16 (OWWWWWW).

The Americans will be back in action on Saturday against Finland.

Oakville has battled back to tighten the OJHL Championship Series to 2 games to 1 in favor of Kingston with a 5-4 overtime win in Game 3. Lindsay Sparks got back on the scoresheet with Oakville's third goal. They blew a 4-1 lead but were able to pull it out at 19:33 of the first overtime. They head back to Kingston for Game 4 tomorrow night. They alternate home games in this series.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Michigan: The NHL's Farm Team

Michigan is the best at putting guys into the NHL and it's really not close.
compiled a list of every ex-NCAA player to play in the NHL this season. There are 279 former college hockey players who played at least one game in the NHL this season. Nearly 10% of those went to the University of Michigan.

The Wolverines led all schools with 25 guys in the NHL. The next highest? Boston College, North Dakota, and Wisconsin with 16 each. That's a rather sizable gap. FYS has 15 and Minnesota has 14. I don't see the list online, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Additionally, there are 197 guys who played college hockey this year whose rights are held by an NHL team. 13 of those are Wolverines. (That doesn't count Travis Turnbull who signed with the Sabres despite being undrafted.)

With Montoya up in the NHL now, you could officially make an entire team using former Wolverines:

Andy Hilbert
Andrew Ebbett
Jed Ortmeyer
Mike Cammalleri
Mike Comrie
Andrew Cogliano
Mike Knuble
Brendan Morrison
Max Pacioretty
Kevin Porter
David Moss
Eric Nystrom
TJ Hensick
Jeff Tambellini
John Madden
Mike Brown
Dwight Helminen

Mike Komisarek
Mike Van Ryn
Matt Hunwick
Jack Johnson
Aaron Ward
Kevin Quick

Marty Turco
Al Montoya

Not a bad roster.

So let that be a lesson to you young'uns out there. If you want to play in the NHL, come to Michigan :-)

Brandon Rogers AHL Man of the Year

Great story about our former defenseman representing the university in the best way. Brandon Rogers was named AHL Man of the Year for his contributions to the local community and charities. Congrats--and applause--to him.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Catching Up

Stuff you've no doubt read elsewhere, but I'll mention/comment on just in case:

-Aaron Palushaj is gone. No shocker there, he signed with the Blues Thursday night. From the sound of it, the Blues didn't put a lot of pressure on him and let him pretty much make up his own mind. He wanted to leave, so he did. It's frustrating to see another star player bail, but it's not like this should have surprised anyone. I think we pretty much knew from the middle of his freshman year that he wasn't going to be a four-year guy. It would've been nice to get three out of him, but I wish him well at the next level and I have no doubts that he'll be another addition to the list of Wolverines in the NHL before too long.

-Speaking of additions to the list of Wolverines in the NHL, Al Montoya's NHL career has gotten off a pretty good start. He shut out the Avalanche in his first outing and then allowed just one goal in game #2, both wins for the Coyotes. He finally got properly inducted to the NHL in game #3 when the Kings scored 6 on 32 shots. Still, Montoya is giving the Coyotes something to think about for next season. It's nice to see him finally get his shot, and it was even nicer to hear the compliments paid to him after his second start.

-Chris Summers was officially named the captain of the 09-10 Wolverines. Cappy won team MVP and Summers was named Best Defenseman. Billy Sauer was named the Best Team Player, which was well-deserved. He handled this season like a champ.

-The Wolverine now has an official blog run by Ace from The Ace of Sports, which is no more. One of the first articles was an interview with Mike Spath about the 08-09 hockey season.

-Timmy Miller signed with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL. Travis Turnbull ended up with the Portland Pirates of the AHL, on a two-way contract with the Buffalo Sabres.

-The Oakville Blades won Game 7 against the Wellington Dukes to advance to the OJHL Finals. Lindsay Sparks had an assist in the game to extend his scoring streak to 10 playoff games. They are taking on the Kingston Voyageurs and trail the series 2-0 after a 5-4 overtime loss and a 4-3 defeat. Sparks has been held off the scoresheet in both Finals games.

-Lee Moffie and the Waterloo Blackhawks will take on the USHL Regular Season Champion Green Bay Gamblers in the first round of the playoffs. The best of five series will begin in Green Bay on Thursday.

-The USA Under 18 Team is in Fargo for the World U18 Championships. Jack Campbell and Jon Merrill are on the roster as well. The Americans downed Germany 9-0 in their opening exhibition game. AJ Treais had a goal and Chris Brown had a goal and an assist.

USA won their other exhibition tilt 4-3 over Sweden. It was a pretty darn good night for future Wolverines. Chris Brown assisted on the first goal. AJ Treais assisted on the second goal. Kevin Lynch scored the third goal. Jon Merrill scored the fourth goal. Jack Campbell made 33 saves in the victory.