Friday, December 31, 2010

GLI Champs!

Michigan 4, Michigan Tech 2
Michigan 6, Colorado College 5

Well we sure didn't do things the easy way this weekend, did we? Despite outshooting Michigan Tech 31-13 through two periods, the Wolverines had just a 1-0 lead. The Techsters tied it back up, we took the lead again just under a minute later. They tied it back up two minutes after that. Then a minute and a half later, AJ Treais put the Wolverines up for good. Luke Glendening added an ENG and Michigan was off to the Championship.

That game against CC was weird. I don't think I've flip-flopped between being happy and being really pissed off that much during a game in a long time.

Michigan got off to a great start. First shift of the hockey game, the Wolverines put a ton of pressure on. Finally Ben Winnett was able to corral a rebound and flip it past Howe to put Michigan on the board.

A few minutes later, we capitalized short-handed thanks to a great effort by Carl Hagelin. He read the play and stole the puck. Since he's fast as all hell, he beat everyone down the ice and made a really nice move on the goalie. Howe made the stop, but kind of took himself out of position when he did. He slid out of the net to the left, Glendening was following the play and he was able to slide the puck in for a 2-0 lead.

The excitement was short-lived as CC scored their first goal on the very same power play. Shot from the point. Imagine that. Traffic in front, Hunwick never saw it.

3 minutes and two Michigan penalties later, CC had another goal. With Vaughan and Caporusso in the box, Schultz was able to put a shot from the point past Hunwick to make it 2-2.

Michigan went back on top with an effort play by Langlais, a great feed from Wohlberg, and a little luck. There was a 50-50 puck by the Michigan bench and Langlais gave up his body to get to it. He slipped it to Wohlberg who took it by the boards and made a nifty little pass to spring Caporusso. The defender dove to try to knock the puck away, but Caporusso's shot ended up deflecting off the defender's stick past Howe into the net.

Michigan also received a power play immediately after the goal, but Rust took an offensive-zone slashing penalty on the forecheck (read: a bad penalty), which wiped out our man advantage and gave them a short power play, which they capitalized on. Nick Dineen made an absolutely gorgeous tip of a shot from the point.

After another abortion of a power play where we didn't do a whole lot but turn the puck over and force Hunwick to make a great save, the Wolverines regained the lead yet again. Rust redeemed himself somewhat for his penalty by taking the hit to make a pass to Hagelin. Hagelin slid it to Glendening, who was able to backhand one into the net to put Michigan up 4-3. Three captains combining for a big goal right there. (Rust was also 24 for 35 in the faceoff circle this weekend, which is stellar.)

The rest of the period was all the CC netminder. He made a fantastic stop on AJ Treais. Sparks made a good play to rush into the zone and find a passing lane. He centered the puck for Treais and I'm not sure how Howe got over there to make the save. CC then got caught out on a long shift and Howe made two really nice stops right at the end of the period to keep it a one-goal game heading to the third.

Things started to go South for Michigan. Winnett had a chance to get the puck out of the zone and completely toe-picked. The puck stayed in for another 30 seconds or so, Guentzel made a cross-ice pass and Schultz roofed one as Hunwick tried to stack the pads.

Llewellyn was called for a cross-check on the play as well--his third penalty of the night. Burlon got walked and Johnson scored his 12th goal in 13 games by putting a beeeautiful shot up under the bar.

After one fairly uninspired power play and another that had nothing going for about 1:50, Moffie got the puck from Hagelin and delayed, delayed, delayed as he slid toward the middle of the ice and waited for some traffic in front. He half-slapped it on goal and it beat Howe to tie the game back up at 5, with 6 minutes to play in regulation.

1:56 later, AJ Treais scored his second game-winner on the weekend. It was an accidental goal, but he was rewarded for a great effort. CC either won the draw or Treais tapped it ahead. Either way, he jumped around the center and beat him to the puck in the corner. Sparks was driving the net and Treais threw it in front. The puck hit the defenseman's skate and deflected up into the top corner of the net.

Michigan came close to getting an insurance goal when the puck stuck on the side of the net. One of the CC players tried to clear it out and inadvertently nearly put it into his own net. He may have, but the replay didn't show anything. What the replay did show was the defenseman covering the puck in the crease, but Brian Aaron failed to blow the whistle for the first time all game.

CC had a few chances down the stretch, but Hunwick stood tall, the defense blocked some shots and cleared them out, and Michigan won their third GLI title in four years.

Hagelin, Glendening, and Hunwick were all named to the All Tournament Team. Glendening was named MVP, with three goals on the weekend, including two tonight.

You want to talk about unlikely heroes stepping up? The goals last night were Sparks, Rohrkemper, Treais, and Glendening. Coming into the night, they had combined for five goals on the season. Tonight, Winnett, Glendening (2), Caporusso (not as unlikely), Moffie, and Treais. So you had three players score their first goals of the season this weekend. Glendening exceeded his goal total for the rest of the season. Treais had a pair of game-winners. Nice to see.

What wasn't nice to see was the performance of the special teams. The power play was 1 for 7 on the weekend, though they got one when it mattered (Moffie tonight), though even that power play was absolutely brutal up to the instant of the goal. CC's power play was 4 for 5 on the night, and our penalty kill was just 4 for 9 on the weekend.

So it wasn't the most well-played game in history, but the Wolverines pick up another big win over a WCHA foe. We now return to CCHA play against the Spartans next weekend in a home-and-home. Friday night's game is at Munn and is on the Big Ten Network. I'm sure there are plenty of good seats available! Feel free to go help take over Munn again. It was so much fun during the playoffs last year. Saturday's game is at Yost and will air on Fox Sports Detroit.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

GLI Preview: 10 Things to Know About Michigan Tech

The Wolverines return to the ice for the first time since The Big Chill in the 46th edition of the Great Lakes Invitational. After winning the 2007 and 2008 GLI Championships, Michigan was thwarted by RPI in last year's tournament. Their first opponent this year is the Michigan Tech Huskies. Michigan State takes on Colorado College on the other side of the bracket.

Here are ten things to know about the boys from Houghton:

1) They are 3-11-2 on the season (1-10-1 in the WCHA) but two of their three wins have come against the CCHA. They're 1-1-1 against Northern Michigan and also beat LSSU.

2) They've lost 11 games in a row and have given up fewer than four goals just once in that span, a 3-1 loss to Nebraska-Omaha.

3) After scoring 24 goals in their first five games, they've scored just 21 goals in their last 11. They've been outscored 54-21 in this 11 game losing streak. For the season they average 2.81 goals per game, which is 32nd in the country. Redshirt freshman Milos Gordic has 9-4--13 on the season and has scored points in every weekend series.

4) For a team that has had all sorts of trouble scoring goals as of late, they're actually pretty good overall on the power play. They're #8 in the country at 23.9%. The PK is avert-your-eyes bad, though, at 73.4% which is third-worst in the country. Then again, Minnesota's was that bad as well and we made them look like superstars.

5) Jordan Baker and Brett Olson are the only players who have scored against Michigan. Both players are out, according to College Hockey News's injury report. Olson had 4-3--7 in the 9 games he had played.

6) They're apparently really decimated by injury and have only been playing 8 forwards or so, according to some posters at USCHO. There are 28 players currently listed on the roster. Alan L'Esperance was added to the roster from Brighton High School. They've also added Tyler Gubb to the roster for the GLI. Apparently he was supposed to be on the team but had an eligibility issue that is cleared up.

7) Louie Caporusso has been great in the GLI, scoring 5 goals in 6 games. David Wohlberg has 5 points in 4 career games at the tournament. The Wolverines will be without Jon Merrill and Chris Brown due to the World Junior Championships, and Bryan Hogan due to injury. Hunwick gave up 1 goal on 4 shots against RPI last year after replacing Hogan.

8) The Tech defense is giving up a whopping 4.38 goals per night, which is also third-worst in the country. But you know, they play in the WCHA, so that's really like giving up 2 goals in any other conference. Total.

9) Sophomore goalie Kevin Genoe has been seeing more and more ice time as of late. He's 2-8-1 with a 3.92/.893. Junior Josh Robinson is 1-3-1 with a 4.73/.882.

10) The Wolverines have won 9 straight in the series, which shocked me since it seems like yesterday that I was sitting in the Joe watching us give up goal after goal in a terrible loss to them. Hard to believe that was a decade ago. In those nine wins, the only time we scored fewer than 4 goals was in that 1-0 double OT win back in 07 that snapped our GLI drought. We've averaged 4.67 goals per game to their 2.00. They've scored just four goals in the last four meetings, though three of those were last year.

Based on the way Tech is playing (they've lost 11 in a row and are giving up a ton of goals), their injuries, and our track record against them, it seems very reasonable to expect the Wolverines to put up some goals and advance to the Championship Game against the winner of CC/FYS. This is a good chance to pick up a win against a WCHA team, which would help out in the PWR a little later on.

No TV for tomorrow's game, though the championship game would be on FSN-Detroit.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Having a Seat Over There: John Gibson and Brennan Serville

(More from MGoBlog and MHNet)

We have our stud goalie commit!

Michigan picked up a pair of commitments this week: US NTDP goalie John Gibson and Stouffville defenseman Brennan Serville.

Not to dimish Serville's commitment in any way, because he sounds like a pretty darn good player as well, but Gibson is the guy that should have Wolverines fans jumping for joy. A former OSU-verbal, Gibson is one of the top goalies in his age group and that blue-chippah that we've been waiting for since Jack Campbell decided to head for the OHL.

Kyle Woodlief from Red Line had Gibson as the #31 prospect in the upcoming draft, and said that he is one of the biggest risers on his draft board.
“His improvement has been dramatic over the course of the past 18 months,” said Woodlief of Gibson, who stands 6-foot-3, 185 pounds. “He was always a taller kid who didn’t have great lateral agility or quickness because he had grown length wise, but his body hadn’t really grown into that. As he has grown into his frame and gotten stronger in the lower half of the body, he is much quicker and more nimble on his feet.”
HT to MGoBlog for this one: One of the writers for had Gibson as one of three goalies who could potentially be a first-round pick. 

Some scouts thought that Gibson (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) was in and out at the NHL Research and Development camp this summer, but he has looked very solid in showings subsequently. He gets high marks for his agility in the crease and he goes post to post very well. With Campbell last year and John Gibson this winter, it just might be that the USDT is becoming what Quebec was for many years -- the leading hothouse for goaltending prospects.

Central Scouting had him as the top goalie in the USHL in their preliminary rankings.

The Hockey News liked how he looked at the NHL R&D camp:

Another American who looked good at the R&D camp, Gibson has a great new-school NHL frame at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds. He moves fairly quickly for a goalie his size and considering he was handicapped by rule changes and in facing the best offensive players his age group, fared well. Draft eligible in 2011.

So far this season, Gibson is 6-6-2 with a 2.89/.917, which is very, very good. He made 44 stops in the NTDP's 3-0 loss to the Wolverines earlier this year. He was 3-0-0 in the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge with a 1.33/.957, including a win in the championship game.

Brian made a good point that it's probably unlikely that he's headed for the OHL after flipping his commit midway through the season. It's also exceedingly rare for goalies to head for the pros at such a young age, so the chances are probably pretty good that he'll be in maize and blue for at least a couple of seasons.

He won't have to be "the man" right away, with Hunwick proving that he's a more-than-capable goalie at the NCAA level, but I'm sure Gibson will see icetime-aplenty next year. This is a huge pickup for the program, and taking him from Ohio State makes it that much better. The much-needed goalie spot has been filled.

Also committing to the Wolverines was former Canisius commitment Brennan Serville. From MHNet:
Serville plays for Stouffville of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, the same league that the likes of Louie Caporusso and Brandon Burlon came from.  The 6’3, 180 pound defenseman has eight assists in 17 games this season.  He had 3-12-15 in 43 games last season.  A former Canisius commit, USHR says Serville is “a great skating defenseman with size who is good on the breakout, has good hands and sees the ice well.”
Good size, good speed. He now has 2-10--12 in 20 games. He's currently riding a four game point streak where he has 2 goals and 5 assists. He was selected to play for Canada East in the World Junior A Challenge despite missing the evaluation camp and only playing 9 games to the point of the team being selected. Canada East won a silver medal and Serville played in all five games, but didn't register a point. He's projected as a 3rd-5th round pick in the Draft.

We're scheduled to have six defensemen coming back next year (in addition to Serville and Michael Szuma coming in), so provided that no one leaves and Jon Merrill doesn't run for President or something, we'll be in really good shape on the blueline.

Here's an article on Serville from back when he committed to Canisius. And Stouffville sure likes him.

There was a very interesting article in the Windsor Star that seems really premature, but is surely fun to think about for those of us that root for the Wings and Wolverines: Bob Duff says that he has heard rumblings that the Rangers will not sign Carl Hagelin after the seasons and that he could be headed for Motown:
Currently the property of the New York Rangers, who selected the 5-11, 176-pound left-winger from Sodertalje, Sweden with the 168th pick of the 2007 National Hockey League entry draft, word around the NHL is that the Rangers won't be signing Hagelin, who would then become a free agent Aug. 15, 2011. “I wouldn't be surprised to see Detroit sign him,” said one NHL scout at Saturday's game.
That would be awesome. Ranger blogs aren't buying it, however. The Prospect Park says:
If Carl Hagelin does not sign with the New York Rangers, it would be because Hagelin did not want to sign not because the Rangers did not want to sign him. We know that last summer that the Rangers made a serious attempt to sign Hagelin and get him to leave school early.

Hagelin (who had been named captain of Michigan's hockey team) turned them down, whether it was because he wanted his degree or he wanted to win the Hobey Baker this year we can not confirm. But what we do know is that the Rangers tried to sign him and that they will try again as soon as Michigan's season ends.
The Rangers do want Carl Hagelin end of story, if he does not sign it will be because of Hagelin not because of the Rangers.

Canyon of Blueshirts points out that just a few weeks ago, Glen Sather mentioned Hagelin as a prospect who has an opportunity to be a good player.

This report doesn't seem to pass the smell test. There's a direct, positive quote from Sather about Hagelin from just a few weeks ago, and it seems pretty early to have made up your mind that you're not going to make an effort to sign one of the better prospects in your organization. That being said, it sure is nice to think about. It'd be nice to finally have a Wolverine back in a Wings jersey. And I wouldn't have to stop yelling "Bork, bork, bork!" at every opportunity. Dinky doooooooo!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I'll have something more up later, when (if?) I am ever able to plow through the ice and snow and make my way back to Madison and a residence that has a WiFi connection.

Yesterday was absolutely perfect. It started with the shockingly beautiful weather, continued on with Michigan absolutely jail-sexing the Spartans, the presentation-making it into an event-was fantastic, and the day ended with rekindling some old friendships and sharing a lot of laughs at Ashley's and Frazier's since it might as well have been Homecoming with all the people that came back.

Shawn Hunwick wrote another chapter in a pretty incredible story. Ironically, it was another Bryan Hogan groin injury that paved the way for Michigan's miracle run to the NCAA tournament last year. This time, he was thrown into the fire minutes before the game and was admittedly scared to death. MSU may not have had a ton of great chances, but Hunwick made at least 6 or 7 really nice stops, controlled rebounds on a lot of chances with people in front, and knew when to shoulder the goal post off its moorings.

But it was a freshman defender who was the #1 star of the day. Jon Merrill, who has lived up to every ounce of the hype, got Michigan going with a great shot on an early power play (with a little help from a defender's stick) and followed it up with another goal on a nice feed from Matt Rust.

That play was horribly defended. Rust brought the puck up with two Spartan players back and Merrill following, but at the end of a shift. Rust went to the outside and the near defender slid way to his right, Rust cut middle and the far side defender came over as well, leaving Merrill completely alone going down the middle of the ice. Rust fed him, Merrill put in a great shot and it was 2-0 good guys.

MSU never really recovered from a waived-off goal and a subsequent Michigan tally on a goal by Carl Hagelin, who had a huge cheering section over from Sweden. Hagelin would later add a second goal on another sweet no-look feed from Rust.

David Wohlberg put the icing on the cake, by batting a shot out of midair into the net and nearly drawing the first excessive celebration penalty in hockey history (at least in games I've seen) by having Burlon act as the holder and kicking a PAT. Hilarious, though I would have been pissed if someone did that against my team.

The hockey gods smiled down as an MSU shot hit the crossbar with .1 second on the clock, preserving Hunwick's shutout and cementing this as arguably the most memorable of the nearing 600 sporting events that I've attended.

Absolutely perfect....
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Big Chill Preview: Michigan vs. Michigan State

First and foremost, the ice is really good. I got to play in the media game last night. We skated straight through for an hour and a half. Even though there was quite a bit of snow out there by the end, the ice was still good. I didn't have the benefit of skating on new ice at Wisconsin, but once it was skated on for awhile, it was really choppy. Everyone in attendance who had skated at Wrigley said that this ice was better. There were a couple of iffy patches behind the north net, but aside from that it was really awesome.

The other thing I noticed is that there really isn't very much jump in the boards. I've never played hockey at Yost, so I'm not sure how it compares, but I know a few times last night there was a decently hard shot that came in off the end boards and it just died. It certainly was nowhere near the bounce that they have at Joe Louis--those things really are every bit as springy as they look on TV...if not more so. I know Merrill has taken to going all Nick Lidstrom and intentionally missing the net on some shots, so that could come into play as well.

I didn't have any trouble blocking out the fact that I was playing in an iconic football stadium, or that it was really cold out. Once the game started, it was just like any other game. The only time I really looked around was before a faceoff. I'm sure it'll be different with 113,000 people going crazy, but the adjustment really might not be all that big. And Michigan has an advantage in a few ways: One, the crowd is on their side. Two, a pretty good percentage of the players have played in an outdoor game already. Three, we've had a lot more icetime at the rink than MSU has had.

Reminder to everyone coming to the game: The golf courses will NOT be open for parking due to the wet conditions.

MGoBlog (Michigan, natch) and The Only Colors (MSU) have already written solid previews.You can check out some more detail over there.

A few things of note:

The Spartans come in 6-8-3 overall, and 3-7-1-0 in conference. As their record indicates, in conference they've been pretty crappy. Out of conference, they've been solid (3-1-2 against a fairly tough schedule of two against Maine, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and two against Huntsville). They were unbeaten (in regulation) in their first six, won one of the next seven, and have split the last four. They're just 2-5 away from Munn, but did win their latest road tilt, up in Big Rapids.

One player has more than 5 goals on the Spartans: Brett Perlini. After scoring 9 goals in his first two years (46 total games), he has exploded for 11 in the first 17 this year to rank 17th in the country in goals per game. Torey Krug has popped in 15 points from back on the blueline, putting him tops in the CCHA and #8 in the country amongst points per game by defensemen. Derek Grant is right on pace to match the 30 points he scored as a freshman, though his goal total is down.

Brian made a good point that Daultan Leveille might be someone who could take advantage of the big ice. He hasn't really lived up to his first-round draft status to this point, but he can definitely fly. If I remember right, he was thought of as quite possibly the fastest player in the draft. I know Red really liked the idea of Olympic ice, because it theoretically should be an advantage to his team. Leveille is the big Spartan hope to have that come back to bite us in the butt.

Drew Palmisano, who if you haven't heard is from Ann Arbor (and yes, I will continue to make that joke as often as we get "DREW PALMISANO IS FROM ANN ARBOR HEY GUYS DID YOU KNOW DREW PALMISANO IS FROM ANN ARBOR" stories), has played most of the minutes for the Spartans in net. He's 6-7-3 with a 2.44/.914. He had a ton of success against Michigan in the early part of last season, but that's been about all he's had against the Wolverines. After giving up 2 goals on 50 shots in a weekend sweep, and then making 22 stops in a third win, he gave up 5 on 35, 5 on 25, and 2 on 8 shots in the final three games, including the playoff sweep at Munn. In 08-09, the Wolverines put 6 goals on 56 shots past him over a game and 8 minutes. He has a 3.72/.889 against Michigan overall.

If the game goes to overtime, we might be in for a long one since neither team seems to want to win in the extra session. The Spartans are 0-2-3 in the extra period this year, while Michigan...I forget what the number was that someone posted on The Yost Post earlier in the week, but I think we were into double-digit OT games since we've won one.

Dustin Gazely has 3-5--8 in 15 games against Michigan. Leveille has 1-4--5 (11 games) and Krug has hurt us with 5 assists in six games. No other Spartan has more than 2 points against the Wolverines, and every player that has scored a point has played in at least 6 Michigan/MSU games.We've done a good job against Grant. Despite putting up 30 points as a freshman, Michigan held him to just one goal and he was -7 in six games.

As for the Wolverines, given that a lot of our scorers played against MSU during the "AVERT YOUR EYES!" season a couple years ago, we've got a lot of big point totals. Caporusso has 7-6--13 in 15 games. Hagelin has 6-6--12 in the same number. Wohlberg has 5-7--12 in 11 games. Rust has 5 goals and 10 points in 14 games. Burlon has 8 points in 11 games. Winnett (!!!) has 3-4--7 in 12 games--for his career as a whole he averages .3 points per game. He's at .58 against MSU. Treais, Brown, and Pateryn also average more than a half-point a game. The one guy that is surprisingly absent from that list is Chad Langlais. He has just 3 assists in 15 games against MSU.

Hogan gets the nod in net for Michigan. He's 6-3-0 against MSU with a 2.46/.893. He hasn't won in his last 4 starts against the Spartans, however, and has given up 3 or more in four of the last five.

Final Thoughts:
The Wolverines look to have an edge in this matchup. They're at home, they're playing in front of 113,000 fans, it's on Olympic ice which should favor their speed, MSU has been terrible in conference. There are a few "Yeah but"s in here though.

The teams split six matchups last year. The Wolverines looked pretty bad in the first three before waking up and finishing the season strong. Unfortunately, the play this year so far has been strangely reminiscent of the earlier part of the season last year--maddening losses, a lifeless power play, etc.

It really could go either way. I've had too many special events turn out poorly for the team I'm rooting for to get over-confident about this one.

Outdoor hockey is something special. I don't understand anyone who argues that the novelty is wearing off or that it shouldn't be a semi-regular occurrence. We should be playing MSU outdoors at least once per class (i.e. kids that stay four years get to play in an outdoor game). The fans absolutely love outdoor games, the players absolutely love outdoor games, Red was actually smiling when talking about the outdoor game. The open skate at Camp Randall put ridiculous smiles on the faces of everyone there, and I'm sure the one at Michigan Stadium will be no different. Michigan went one step further and invited what? 50 high school and junior teams to play on the rink? All of those kids had an experience they'll never forget--and you never know, maybe we did a little recruiting in the process.

It's going to be an amazing day tomorrow, and hopefully we'll finally see the Wolverines win one of these damn things!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

10 Things to Know About Ohio State

Sorry for the lack of content over the past few weeks. My laptop died and it was more of a problem than I originally thought it was. I bought a new laptop last night, so I'm back in business!

Michigan comes into a classic "trap" weekend against Ohio State this weekend. It would be easy to look ahead to The Big Chill next weekend--Lord knows I am--but there's some business to attend to first: A pair of games down in Columbus, where we'll hopefully avoid the "Just Like Football" chant, and instead get a "Just like life!" chant going.

Friday's game is on the Big Ten Network, while Saturday's will be streamed on

1) Michigan enters play this weekend two points behind Miami for first place in the conference (we have 2 games in-hand) and one point behind Notre Dame with the same number of games played. The Buckeyes are in 10th at 2-5-1-1 in the CCHA and 5-7-1 overall. They're really not very good. In this young season, they've lost to Quinnipiac and Bobby Mo. They have won four of the last six, however.

2) Coach Mark Osiecki is in his first year at OSU. Previously he was an assistant coach with North Dakota as well as Wisconsin. Hopefully, for our sake, he didn't bring the Badger power play.

3) The Bucknuts are heavy on seniors. Their five leading scorers--and six of their top seven--are in their final year with the program. Sergio Somma--who it feels like has been there for about ten years--has 6-7--13 on the season. John Albert and Danny Dries each have double digits in points, and Dries has matched Somma's six goals. They've got three defensemen who have more than 1/2 a point a game. Shane Sims has 1-8--9 to lead the blueliners.

4) In goal, it's been Cal Heeter all the way. He has a 2.57/.909. Last year he was 9-6-2 with a 3.19/.897. He played against Michigan twice last season, stopping 42 of 45 shots in a win, and giving up 2 on 36 shots in a loss. He also gave up 4 on 16 shots against us in half a game back in 08-09, when he was a freshman.

5) The Buckeye offense scores 2.92 goals per game, which is good for 26th in the nation. The defense gives up 2.69 goals per game, 23rd in the country. Not as bad as you'd expect in either account. To be fair, they've played a schedule that their school president would probably consider to be the weak sisters of the poor: Quinnipiac, Bobby Mo, Ferris, NMU, Huntsville, FYS, and Alaska. They lead the CCHA in shots on goal per game with 33.3 a night.

6) Their power play is very middle of the pack at 18.3% (they have given up 3 shorties) but their PK has been pretty awful, ranking 43rd in the country at 78.6%. Then again, we made the Gophers 56th ranked PK look like world-beaters.

7) Michigan leads the all-time series 65-30-11. In Columbus we're 28-15-5.

8) Interesting stat: Ohio State is unbeaten this year when they score 4+ goals, but have yet to win a game (and have only tied once) when scoring fewer than four times.

9) I had a feeling that Somma was kind of a Wolverine-killer. He has had 8 points in 8 games against Michigan and is +8. Sophomore defenseman Devon Krogh had two points and was +6 in the two games last season. Junior defenseman Sean Duddy hails (see what I did there?) from Ann Arbor. He's a traitor like LeBron.

10) Louie Caporusso has 3-7--10 in 6 games against Ohio State. Chad Langlais has 8 points in 8 games. Chris Brown has 4 in 2. Bryan Hogan is 4-2-2 against OSU with a 2.01/.918. Hunwick has never faced the Buckeyes.

Other stuff:
Michigan announced an open skate for the day after the Big Chill. There are 8 30-minute sessions. Admission is $15 a person and you can buy tickets the day of the event, cash only. That seems really pricey, but some of the proceeds are going to Mott's, which is nice.

Also, for the lead up to the Big Chill, Michigan posted a poll for the ten top moments in Michigan hockey history. I'm disappointed that the Molly game isn't in there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

10 Tweets to Know About Notre Dame

Computer troubles so it's a lot harder to write a full preview. I'm doing this from my phone so I apologize in advance for any embarrassing auto-corrects.

Here are ten tweet-style things to know about whoa oh whoa oh whoa Notre Dame:
1) 6-2-1 on the season, 4-1-1-1 in the ccha. Split with BGSU last weekend.

2) They currently reside 1 point ahead of the Wolverines in the standings and this is the only regular season series. With both games at Yost, it is a huuuuuuge weekend.

3) Win over BC, impressive. Loss to BGSU, tie against WMU, not as much.

4) Their three senior forwards have combined for 7-23--30 this year. Ridderwall is second on the team with five goals. Frosh Anders Lee has 7.

5) There goes my shirt up over my hea......whoops, wrong Tweet-style. Mike Johnson is 4-1-1 with a 2.15/.925

6) #10 offense, #23 defense.

7) Power play bad. 13.8%. PK exceptional. 88.9%. They have given up 5 ppgs and have scored three shorties.

8) Friday is on we hope. Saturday is on Comcast.

9) Louie, Rust, and Hagelin have combined for 11-9--20 in ten games against the Irish.

10) The teams have split the last four but Michigan is just 5-8 in the last 13 against ND.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Thursday, November 04, 2010

10 Things to Know About Alaska


2. They come into this weekend 5-2-1 on the season (2-1-1-1 in the CCHA). They're unblemished in their home rink, however, having won all four games on the big ice at the Carlson Center (and they're unbeaten in their last 11 home games). They swept BGSU, lost to FYS and beat them in a shootout, beat CC, Union, and Air Force, and lost to North Dakota. They're #15 in both polls.

3. Despite the solid record, they've struggled a little bit to score goals. They beat BGSU twice last weekend by 4-1 margins, but only scored 7 goals in their previous five games. That said, they've given up more than one goal just one time in their last 6. That team always has a friggin' goalie.

4. Said friggin' goalie is still junior Scott Greenham. He has played every minute for the Nanooks so far this year and has a 1.73 goals against (7th nationally) and a .928 save percentage (19th nationally). Our Bryan Hogan is actually top 5 in goals against and 7th in save percentage. Last year, Greenham shut out the Wolverines in the season opener, but gave up three goals in each of his other two appearances. In the first of those two, he got the hook after twenty minutes.

5. The offense is led by senior captain Kevin Petovello, who has 5-5--10 in 8 games. He has already exceeded last year's point total and is well on his way to establishing career highs in goals, assists, and points. (He had 6-12--18 as a sophomore.) Freshman Cody Kunyk has four goals. Joe Sova has chipped in six assists from the blueline, to lead the team.

6. They're tied for 36th in offense in this young season, with 20 goals in eight games. Defensively, they're #2, giving up just 1.75 goals per game. BC is the only team that has been better.

7. They're #16 overall in penalty minutes, averaging 16.5 a night. Michigan has actually fallen back into the teens. We're at 19.9 minutes per game now, #4 nationally. Woot! The power play is middle of the pack at 18.2%. Actually, for as good of a defensive team as they are, they're middle of the pack on the PK as well--28th at 82.9%. They've only given up 14 goals all season, but half have been when they are short-handed. Their PK was actually at 77% before they went 10 for 10 last weekend against BGSU. Their power play has 6 PPGs on the year, but four game last weekend against the Falcons. They were languishing at 9% prior to that series.

8. Defenseman Aaron Gens was CCHA Defensive Player of the Week last week, and Kunyk was Rookie of the Week. Gens had 1-2--3 including a GWG. Kunyk had 1-3--4. The Nanook special teams really were the story last weekend. It sounds like they dominated both games, but really took it to the Falcons when they weren't playing 5 on 5. Even shorthanded, at one point they outshot BGSU 2-0 when BGSU had a five minute power play.

9. Not gonna lie, I really like their yellow jerseys. I really like BGSU's throwback look too, actually. The games will be shown the B2Network this weekend. Each game is $7. They'll faceoff at 11:05 pm EDT.

10. Michigan is 39-8-1 all-time against the Nanooks, We're 16-4-0 at Alaska's home rink. The last meeting between these teams was the first time a game has gone to overtime in the 48 game history of the series. This will be just the third series where both teams have come into the weekend ranked. The last time was in 2005. In both cases, the teams split the series. Michigan won the first 18 meetings. Since then, we haven't won more than 4 in a row. Michigan is 3-2-1 in the last six. Louie Caporusso has 2-5--7 in eight games against Alaska. Rust has five assists. Bryan Hogan has gone 3-1-1 with a 1.58 goals against and a .923 save percentage.

I'm expecting a couple of low-ish scoring games, though only three games in the history of the series have featured fewer than three goals. Prior to Greenham's shutout in the opener last year, you have to go back almost a decade. Alaska has never gone back-to-back games without losing to the Wolverines, so that bodes well for Friday night since we tied the last contest.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Did We Know This About The Big Chill?

I was bumbling around the web and came across the following release from Salisbury Prep:

Crimson Knight fans--mark your calendars! The Salisbury School Varsity Hockey Team will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to take on Kent School in an outdoor game played in historic Michigan Stadium. This game will take place on Friday, December 10, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. No pre-purchased tickets are necessary for the Salisbury vs. Kent game.

The following day, Saturday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m., the University of Michigan Hockey Team will play Michigan State in front of a potential record-breaking crowd of 110,000 fans. (Please note that tickets for varsity hockey team members and their parents have already been reserved.)

I'm not sure if this is news or not. That's the first I've heard of it, though. It's relevant to Michigan fans because Kent is coached by former Wolverine Matt Herr. Salisbury is the school that gave us "Other". I'll refrain from the obvious "Hide your credit cards, hide your wives" joke.

I wonder if there are any players that we might be, ya know, recruiting that weekend. That'd have to be the most impressive recruiting visit of all time.

Friday, October 29, 2010

10 Things to Know About Ferris

Just realized that I never got around to writing up a weekend wrapup for the UNO series. Yet again, couldn't watch the games--they weren't on because of technical difficulties.

Something about 4-0 leads this year. This time we got down 4-0, got the steady stream of power plays to try to get us back into the game. Finally capitalized (even strength) a couple times within a minute to bring us back to 4-2, but they couldn't get that third goal in to make things really interesting, though it sounds like they came extremely close on several occasions. Lynch and Wohlberg had the goals, sounded like there were a couple that Hunwick might like to have back, and there may have been some lapses in our own end, though the defense kept the shots down pretty well. Holding UNO to 26 is pretty good. Without looking it up, I think that was a season low.

The next night it was the reverse. 4-0 lead for the Wolverines. After getting down 4-0, the Mavericks got 4 power plays in the final ten minutes of the second period, got away 10 shots, scored on one. They wouldn't get any closer, though, as Glendening and Winnett scored in the third. Michigan won going away, by a 6-1 score. Bryan Hogan made 35 saves, including 12 with UNO on the power play.

Scooter Vaughan stayed hot with a pair of goals and a +2 rating on Saturday. The goal scorers were a nice mix of guys that you expect to put the puck in the net and guys who it's really nice when they can provide some secondary scoring: Wohlberg, Hagelin, Glendening, Vaughan (2), Winnett. Not a bad mix there. Caporusso and DeBlois both had a pair of assists. Much better night!

Anyway, that didn't hurt us in the standings since UNO isn't in the CCHA any longer. The Wolverines do get back to CCHA play this weekend with a home and home (or away-and-home, if you prefer!) against the Ferris State Bulldogs. Here are 10 things to know about the kids from lovely Big Rapids.

1) They come into this weekend 4-2-0 (1-1-0-0 in the CCHA). They split at Alabama-Huntsville (Ehht!), swept St. Lawrence, and then split with Ohio State at home. They also lost an exhibition game to Ontario IT (EHHHHHT!). In their four wins, they've given up four goals. In their two losses, they've given up nine.

2) As you'd probably expect, defenseman Zach Redmond is leading the way offensively with 3-3--6 through six games. He had 6-21--27 a year ago. The Bulldogs graduated their top four forwards, so Redmond is the only returning player who had more than 20 points last season. Five of Redmond's six goals were on the power play, and three were game winners. One of those goals came against Michigan. Redmond was mentioned as a darkhorse in USCHO's 2010-11 Hobey Baker Preview.

3) As far as the forwards go, the top returners are Mike Embach (9-11--20) and Justin Menke (8-10--18). Matt Kirzinger is the leading returning goal scorer, with 9 as a freshman last year. Senior Nate Hennig has four goals so far this season. He had just two goals in 35 career games prior to this season.

4) They do have a very good goalie in senior Pat Nagle. As a junior, he was 12-10-3 with a 2.13/.923. He's 4-1-0 with a 1.60/.932 so far this season. That's good for #4 in GAA and #11 in save percentage. Taylor Nelson gave up 4 on 24 shots against Alabama-Huntsville in his only action this year. Nelson did play in 16 games a year ago, going 9-3-3 (2.49/.915), so he's not bad either. Nagle played both games against us last year and gave up 4 goals on 65 shots for the weekend.

5) They're averaging 3 goals per game this year, which ranks 19th in the country. The defense is #9 at 2.17. Grain of salt in that UAH and St. Lawrence are 2 of the 10 worst offensive teams in the country. Middle of the pack in PIMs (Hey, we're not #1 anymore! Thanks Northern!). 23.1% on the power play so far, 77.8% on the kill.

6) Friday night's game will air on the B2 Network, pay per view. I've always had a good experience. Sadly, I have a conflict and can't watch. Saturday's game airs on Comcast. So yeah, yet another weekend with no watching Michigan hockey for me. This blows.

By the way, who thought it was a good idea to have two sets of home-and-homes between Michigan and Ferris? I guess it's probably cheaper to bus it twice than to get two nights of a hotel for the team, but man. You do that with Bowling Green or Western. That drive to Ferris sucks.

7) Our four captains all have a pair of goals against FSU in their careers. They're the only players on Michigan's roster with multiple goals against the Bulldogs. Cappy has 2-3--5. Wohlberg has 1-3--4 in 4 games as well.

8) Bryan Hogan has done very well against Ferris. He is 2-2-0, with a 2.00 goals against and a .932 save percentage. He shut out Ferris in his lone appearance against them at Yost. Shawn Hunwick has yet to face Bob Daniels's team.

9) The Wolverines have been dominant in games at Yost (37-10-0), but the series is much closer to .500 back in Big Rapids (23-18-2).

10) The most recent contest between the two teams is the only time since 2003 that Ferris has beaten Michigan in regulation. The Bulldogs are 4-0-1 in overtime during that stretch however. Since the 2000-01 season, Ferris has held Michigan below 3 goals in just 4 of the 27 contests. That includes the most recent two games, though. The games last year were the only times that the teams have met where Ferris was ranked and Michigan was not.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Having a Seat Over There: Michael Szuma

The Wolverines picked up their second commitment for the incoming class of 2011 today as Michigan Warriors defenseman Michael Szuma committed to Michigan. It's unknown at this point if he'll be receiving scholarship money or if he'll be more of a preferred walk-on. Both his parents attended Michigan.

According to Warriors Head Coach Moe Mantha:
“He's a mobile defenseman,” Mantha said. “He can play at both ends of the ice. When I spoke with them about Mike, that's one of the thing they liked. And Mike has a nice character. He's got a good attitude.”

Szuma has 1-2--3 with 21 shots on goal in 12 games this year. He has a -1 rating and 8 PIMs. He's listed as 6'0", 195. He has 4-5--9, with 30 PIMs for the Green Mountain Glades of the EJHL last season. He also played for Catholic Central, where he was on the Oakland Press's Second Team All County.

10 Things to Know about UNO

1) If you've been under a rock, or simply don't follow college hockey much in the offseasonn, they're in the WCHA now, and they're off to a 4-0-0 start overall and a 2-0-0 start in their new conference, following a sweep at Minnesota last weekend. They also have wins over RIT and Clarkson. Currently, they sit at #10 in the USCHO poll.

2) They sit first in the nation in scoring, averaging 5.50 goals per game over their first 4. There are 15 players in the country right now who are scoring 2 points per game or better. UNO has four of them: Rich Purslow (3-6--9), Joey Martin (1-7--8), Matt Ambroz (that's the extreme version of being Matt Ambrose) (5-3--8) and Alex Hudson (3-5--8). Ambroz is second in the country in goals (Carter Camper), and Martin is tied for first in the country in assists.

3) In net is John Faulkner, who has started and finished every game. He has a 2.25/.928 early on this season. Last year he was 13-10-4 with a 2.60/.905. He got the nod in net in both games against Michigan, giving up 4 goals on the weekend. In the Saturday night game, he stopped 36 of 37 shots. Their 2.25 goals per game allowed is good for 10th in the country right now. Defenseman Eric Olimb was named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week after putting up a 0-4--4, +4, 5 blocked shot line against Minnesota last weekend.

4) They're also 10th in the country in PIMs at 20.5 per night. That's still far behind Michigan's national lead at 26.2 minutes a night. You know the CCHA officials are salivating. Don't expect much flow to these games.

5) If there are a lot of penalties, we'll see two of the hottest power plays in the country. The Wolverines are tops in the country at a blistering 41.2% (7 for 17). The Mavericks come in 7th in the country at 31.6% (6 for 19). Both teams have done a good job killing off penalties as well. UNO is at 88.2% and Michigan is at 86.7% (though we have two shorties).

6) Both games this weekend will air on It looks like it'd be $7.95 to get all the streaming Michigan games for the next month. According to the MGoBlue schedule, they're also covering the Michigan/Notre Dame game on 11/12, so 3 games for $8 isn't too shabby. (Assuming they go by full months and not calendar months).

7) After being a big-time scorer in juniors (27-55--82 his last year in the USHL), Purslow hasn't done much in his college career, though he's off to a great start this year. He has 30-37--67 in 111 games. He has 3 goals and 2 assists against Michigan in 6 career games.

8) Michigan has quite a few guys who have lit the lamp against Nebraska-Omaha, despite that debacle of a series last year. Louie Caporusso has 4-5--9 in 7 games. Hagelin has 4-3--7 in 8 games. Langlais has 6 assists and Glendening has 3-2--5 in 4 games against the Mavs. I feel like I would expect to see both goalies this weekend. Bryan Hogan is 1-2-0 with a 3.84/.849. Hunwick saw, I believe, the first action of his Michigan career when he came in for a couple of minutes in a blowout win in the CCHA Playoffs a couple of years ago.

9) The Wolverines are 14-1-0 all-time against the Mavericks at Yost. UNO's only win came back in the 04 CCHA Playoffs. I recall being really pissed off after that one. This is the first time we've played a ranked UNO team since 2006. They took 3 of 4 points from us that weekend. This is the highest UNO has been ranked when we've played them since 2001 when they were ranked 7th, and we took 3 of 4 points from them.

10) UNO has never started a season 5-0-0. The fewest shots they've put up in a game this year has been 35, and they cracked the 60 mark against Clarkson (who must be just awful again).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Michigan 3, UNH 3

One of these days, I'll actually get to watch a game!

Led by a great performance out of the power play and a sparkling performance out of Shawn Hunwick, Michigan played UNH to a 3-3 tie in Durham. The Wolverines never trailed, but UNH capitalized on a power play late in regulation to send the game to overtime. Both teams had chances to win in the extra session--though UNH held an 8-1 shot advantage in the extra session--but the 3-3 score held up and there was no pointless shootout.

The teams alternated goals. Michigan never trailed, but they also never led by more than a goal. All three of Michigan's tallies were on the power play. Michigan scored on all three of their power play chances, and actually they scored on all three of their power play shots. It took a total of 2:39. Now that's efficiency!

Michigan continued to see semi-unlikely players contribute their goals. This game it was Vaughan, Brown, and Burlon. Hagelin and Rust each had a pair of assists.

The star of the game was Hunwick, though. He made a career-high 45 saves, including 8 in overtime. He also made 11 stops during a 5:32 span where the Wolverines were continuously killing penalties.

These penalties are kind of getting ridiculous. Just one of UNH's 5 power plays came when the Wolverines didn't have the lead. 7 of Mercyhurst's 8 power plays came while they were trailing (and the other was in overtime). 15 of Bowling Green's 17 came while they were trailing. So if you're counting, Michigan is 2-0-2, and yet 26 of the 30 power plays we've faced have come while we've had the lead.

One thing that I've noticed is that it seems like Scooter Vaughan is all over the place. He added another goal, led a 2-on-0 shorthanded breakaway, and has 3 points in 4 games. At least according the line chart, they elevated him up to the third line, and it seems that he's earned it. From the limited amount that I've heard, it sounds like he's off to a really great start.

48 is more shots than you'd like to give up, and it's disappointing to blow another third-period lead, but going on the road and getting a tie against a top ten opponent is a solid performance. Hunwick is proving that the end of last season wasn't a fluke--he's a legitimate goalie on this level. The power play is clicking, it seems like Merrill has stepped in and been everything they were expecting. There's definitely reason to be optimistic thusfar. They've got to clean up the penalties, though. We can't keep putting ourselves down a man (or two) for 5 minutes at a time and for half a period (or more) a game.

This week we've got a pair at home against the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks. It's a good chance to pick up a couple of wins against a WCHA-foe, which would help in the PWR at the end of the year. I'll talk more about the Mavericks later in the week, but they do come in with the #1 offense in the NCAA, averaging 5.50 goals per game. They're 4-0 with wins over Clarkson, RIT, and a pair at Minnesota (tear).

One other thing that I'd like to mention: Minnesota-Duluth equipment manager Chris Garner is battling MDS (formerly known as pre-leukemia). He is undergoing treatment, including a bone marrow transplant. As  a way of helping to offset some of the costs of this treatment, Jeremiah Minkel, SCSU's equipment manager, has organized an online auction which will begin on October 24th.

The items aren't up on the site yet, but they've got a pretty great collection of jerseys, sticks and other memorabilia. It's definitely worth checking out next week. They've got a Michigan jersey on there as well as some Mike Modano stuff, for you Wings fans out there.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Piss-Poor UNH Preview

Let's face it. It's an hour before kickoff. You're probably not going to read this. But if anyone happens to subscribe to the YostBuilt twitter feed and happens to notice that I posted during a TV timeout or something, here's a quick and dirty UNH preview.

They're 1-1-0 on the season, having split a pair of 6-3 decisions at Miami last weekend. You have to give them credit for starting off the season with a pair of games against hockey's version of the early-60s Celtics and then following it up with a game against the Wolverines.

They had 9 different players score goals last weekend. Senior Phil DeSimone led the way with 3 points. Junior defenseman Blake Kessel (yes, that Kessel) is another one to watch. He is the nation's top returning scorer amongst defensemen and had a pair of assists last weekend. He should be a strong contender for the Hobey this year.

Their goaltender is junior Matt DiGirolamo, who takes over from Brian Foster between the pipes. He gave up 8 goals on 79 shots against Miami, but made 36 saves in their win on Saturday night. Even though he is a junior, he's very inexperienced, having only played 8 games prior to this season. His career numbers are now 3-3-1 with a 4.17/.872. His lone decision last year was a win over Providence where he made 32 saves on 35 shots. As a freshman, he tied Northeastern and then got lit up in a big way against BC and UMass-Lowell (7 goals on 36 shots, and 8 goals on 35 shots).

Last year the Wildcats had the #10 offense in the country, just a tick ahead of Michigan. Their defense was #36, giving up 3.13 goals per game. Paul Thompson is their leading returning scorer. He had a 19-20--39 line last year. Kessel ended up with 38 points from back on the blueline. DeSimone just missed a point per game, with 37 points in 39 games.

Laptop battery is about to die, so the quick upshot: UNH should be a good team, per usual, and having gone on the road and beaten Miami shows that. It'll be a tough game, but I fully expect an entertaining, high-scoring contest, since it doesn't seem like they played much defense last year, and their goalie doesn't appear to be very good (albeit in limited action).

What could be the deciding factor? New Hampshire was the least penalized team in all of college hockey last year, and the only team to average fewer than ten penalty minutes a game (9.6). We're averaging 31 minutes per game this year (granted a lot of that are misconducts associated with being ejected for hits from behind). Stay out of the box!

Friday, October 08, 2010

10 Things to Know About BGSU

Michigan's first CCHA opponent of the year is the Bowling Green State University Falcons. Again, Fridya's game will air on Comcast and both games can be purchased on the B2Network. Here are ten things to know about the team that's just a quick trip down US-23.

1) This is the first time we've gone to Bowling Green for a weekend series since 2004. While we've won 3 straight in the series by a combined 10-2, Bowling Green has won 4 of the last 11 contests. They've only beaten Michigan twice in their home rink since the 99-00 season, in 2006 and 2007.

2) While the Wolverines were busy "choking" last weekend in their opening regular season contest and playing a tougher-than-expected exhibition game, the Falcons nearly blew a lead of their own. They got out to a 3-0 lead on Wilfrid Laurier before the Fightin' Lauriens (not really) came storming back to cut the lead to 4-3. That's where it ended, however. Nick Eno stopped 12 of 13 shots in the game and Andrew Hammond stopped 11 of 13.

3) The Falcons scored three power play goals, which was more than 1/8th their total from all of last season. They ranked third from the bottom in power play percentage at 11.7%. Their penalty kill was worse, giving up fifty power play goals on the season, coming in at 74.9%. Only Michigan Tech was worse on the PK. They were also one of only five teams to not score a short-handed goal all year. None of that is a good thing when you are the fourth-most penalized team in the country.

4) BGSU is coached by longtime Miami assistant Chris Bergeron. He replaces Scott Paluch, who took a position with USA Hockey. From everything I've read, it sounds like Bergeron was a really solid hire. He played at Miami and coached there for ten seasons, also helping out with their excellent recruiting.

5) The Falcons are coming off a dreadful season where they won just five games. One of those, unfortunately, was against the Wolverines at Yost. They also scored a season high (matched 4 other times) four goals in that contest. By contrast, they gave up 4+ on 18 occasions and only held teams below two goals twice.

6) Last year, Bowling Green's leading scorer was freshman Jordan Samuels-Thomas, who returns for his sophomore season. He led the team in goals (11), assists (14) and points (25), as well as power play goals (4). They actually lose six of their top eight scorers from last year's team. Samuels-Thomas and senior David Solway (5-13--18) are the two that return.

7) Senior Nick Eno and sophomore Andrew Hammond pretty much split time last year. Eno played 27 games and picked up all five of the Falcons' wins, going 5-13-4 with a 3.30/.896. Hammond was 0-12-2 with a 4.30/.880.

8) They've actually come up with some jerseys that aren't butt-ugly. They're going to a throwback-style, similar to the jerseys they wore in their national championship season of 1983-84. I actually really like the white ones, apart from the captain letter. The brown ones aren't nearly as bad as some of the jerseys they've had over the years.

9) Louie Caporusso has had 3-3--6 in six career games against the Falcons. Chris Brown had 5 points in 4 games as a freshman. Matt Rust (3-1--4 in 7 games) is the only other player with multiple goals against BGSU in his career. Bryan Hogan is 5-1-0 with a sparkling 1.84 goals against average in his career vs. Bowling Green. Shawn Hunwick has yet to face the Falcons.

10) In the 112 meetings between the two teams, there have only been five shutouts--four by Michigan. Interestingly enough, four of the shutouts have come in the last ten meetings. You have to go all the way back to 1993 for the other.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Michigan 4, Mercyhurst 4...or Mercyhurst 5, Michigan 4...

...what the hell is the proper final score of that game to put in a game wrapup? Michigan 4, Mercyhurst 4 (Mercyhurst wins shootout 2-1) maybe?

Whatever. No matter how you slice it, we blew a 4-0 lead to a team that didn't win or tie a game out of conference all season. It goes down as a tie in the record books for PWR purposes, but they went to a shootout and we lost.

I caught the third period--so most of the meltdown--on the radio and it sounded like, unfortunately, it was a flashback to the bad part of last season. Lots of defensive zone turnovers, lots of penalties (which isn't really unexpected with Sergott calling the game), lots of continuing to run into the freaking goalie David Wohlberg Louie Caporusso.

MHNet tweeted a great quote from Matt Rust: "I think we did well for the most part until we choked."

Glendening called most of the penalties "unnecessary", though from most accounts the one that really hurt (Hagelin getting tossed) was a terrible call.

On the bright side, Caporusso scored. We got some goals from guys who don't normally put the puck in the net (Pateryn and Vaughan) and it sounded like Vaughan was making quite a few good things happen out there. He darn near won the game during overtime and had 4 shots on goal in the game. They had almost 13 minutes of power play time and the net was 0. They had one PPG and we had a shortie. And we slaughtered them on faceoffs. It was especially nice to see that Treais won 10 of his 14, since he was at about 48% last year. Hunwick made a career-high 33 saves, and it sounded like he had a few blockbusters.

The downside to that: Hunwick needed to make 33 saves.

The next night, we beat Western Ontario 4-2. They're supposedly a very good team for a Canadian university. Their goalie was a veteran of 70 or so OHL games.

Glendening had 2-1--3 in the game, Wohlberg had a goal and an assist, Caporusso had 0-3--3. Hogan stopped 27 of 29 shots, and one of the goals deflected in off a defenseman. All good signs. I love seeing Louie piling up points early on, even it was an exhibition game.

What wasn't so good? After UWO scored 20 seconds into the third period to make it 4-2, the Wolverines gave them six power play chances in the final 20 minutes--including a too many men on the ice call and a pair of penalties on Llewellyn that each put us down two men.

We'll open CCHA play this weekend with a pair of games at Bowling Green. Friday night's game will be on Comcast and both games will be available for purchase on the B2Network.

Friday, October 01, 2010

10 Things to Know About Mercyhurst

1) After a 15-20-3 season a year ago, when they placed fourth in Atlantic Hockey with a 15-10-3 record, the Lakers were picked to finish second in the AHA and garnered two first place votes. I might not be a math genius, but that means that the Lakers were 0-10-0 against non-conference foes a year ago. They lost to both Alaska schools and both Colorado schools, got swept by Western, lost to Duluth and Huntsville, and got swept by Canisius in the AHA tournament. Combined goals? 48-18.

2) Even though nobody on their team really lit it up (their leading scorer, Mike Gurtler, had 14 goals and 30 points), they were 18th in the country in offense at 3.18 goals per game (about a tenth of a goal per game behind Michigan). Phil Ganand ranked fifth on the team in offense as a freshman before missing most of last year with an injury. Grant Blakey, who hails from Canton, had 11-16--27 as a freshman playing on the top line. He was also second on the team with a +16 rating and finished the year with 12 points in the final 11 games. Scott Pitt had 15-30--45 as a sophomore before a bit of a down year last year (7-18--25).

3) Defensively, they ranked 34th a year ago, giving up 3.11 goals per game. Gone is their top-scoring defenseman, along with another senior who played in 30 games last year. Senior Jeff Terminesi was a team high +17 last year.

4) Senior Ryan Zapolski got most of the work in net last year, going 15-17-3 with a 2.79/.918. His save percentage matches the guy starting in the nets for Michigan, Shawn Hunwick. Backup Max Strang was 0-3 with a 4.39/.875. They also bring in Jordan Tibbett, a one-time Michigan State commitment who played for Detroit Honeybaked back in the day.

5) Tibbett sat a row in front of me at Yost one time and denied me of the best chance I've ever had to catch a puck. A shot came into the seats and, I kid you not, the kid reached behind him and snared it as it was going by. My jaw hit the ground. The coach laughed and said "That's our goalie!" I had to tip my hat to him because that was a helluva grab. If he plays, call him a sieve a few extra times for me! Or if he's sitting on the bench, call him a backup sieve a few extra times for me!

6) Their power play was brutal a year ago. 13.4% and they gave up four shorties. Matt Fennell scored all six of his goals with the man advantage last year, to lead the team in PPGs. He graduated though. Brandon Coccimiglio had 4.

7) The PK was also subpar-just 79.8%-but they did score 8 shorties. Only St. Cloud, Boston U, and Army had more SHGs. Matt Gurtler, their leading scorer and a load at 6'2" 222, put in four of those to lead the nation. Gurtler actually scored three of those shorties in the same game, becoming just the seventh player in history to accomplish that feat.

8) These teams have played twice in their history. Michigan won the first meeting at an NCAA Regional in Grand Rapids by a 4-3 score (leading to the game against St. Cloud the next night where Miss Molly would grow to hate the "horrible people" that are Wolverine fans). In 03-04 they met again and Michigan prevailed 5-3.

9) Mercyhurst's head coach Rick Gotkin is looking for his 400th career win tomorrow night. He would be just the 11th coach to win 400 games at one school. Red Berenson is also going for his 700th career win tonight. So unless they tie, it is a milestone night for someone.

10) This is the only game in the nation that will be played this weekend which counts in the standings.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

2010 Michigan Hockey Season Preview: The Defensemen and Goalies

Forwards down, now it's time to take a look at the guys primarily responsible for keeping the puck out of the net: The defensemen and goalies.

While up front we only lost one major contributor, on the back end we lose a pair: Steve Kampfer and Chris Summers (along with Eric Elmblad). Summers may have been the captain and the most talented, but God was Steve Kampfer good last year. If you want to talk about a kid who got a lot better during his time here, look no further than our former #5. (Maybe it's a number thing. It happened with Brandon Rogers too. Wait, what's that? Jeff Jillson wore #5? Ahhh never mind then.) After scoring 34 points in his first three seasons combined, Kampfer exploded for 26 last year, and was a +18 to boot. He closed the year with 9 points in his last seven games, and had 2 assists in the game that should have put Michigan into the Frozen Four. He faced a lot of adversity as a junior and responded with a huge senior season. We're going to miss him.

Same with Summers. I think everyone had fantasies about him playing forward for an extended period at some point in his career, but bad things seemed to happen to fellow teammates whenever it would look like he was going to move up front. He was always a really solid blueliner who could chip in on the offensive end. While he didn't necessarily have his best year as a senior, he was a good player.

Replacing them are three noobs: Mac Bennett, Kevin Clare, and Jon Merrill. Bennett was a third round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the 09 Draft and comes from a long line of hockey players. He skated for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the USHL and was named to the All-Star team as well as the All-Rookie team. Hard to imagine that he's not an immediate contributor.

Clare was another one of those USA guys that were pretty highly touted and then didn't have a great year last year. He actually spent quite a bit of time down with the U-17s. That said, he's a big kid (6'1", 210) and from what I understand he's a pretty solid stay-at-home guy, which was can always use because we've got some talented offensive defensemen already. He'll be in a battle for ice time in this deep defense corps.

With Campbell deciding to play in the OHL, Merrill is the prize of the class. He was a second-round pick of the New Jersey Devils and most people were surprised he didn't go a little earlier. He's huge (6'3", 209) but disciplined (only 14 PIMs in 47 games), offensively gifted (30 points), and stepped it up in big games (he was named one of the three best Americans at last year's Under 18 challenge). He's going to play a major role early (In The Wolverine Blog's interview with Mike Spath, Spath indicated that he's been practicing with Langlais on the top pairing). It seems like forever ago that he committed and it's nice to see that he finally made it to campus.

Greg Pateryn became a mainstay on the blueline toward the end of last season and started to play really well. He's another big body (6'3", 214!), and seems to have curtailed his penalty problems as he only took 9 last year. He has a nice shot, and was 4th on the team in blocked shots despite only playing 33 games.

Burlon had a bit of a sophomore slump last year. After a freshman season where he put up 15 points and was +17 in just 33 games, he didn't make the kind of leap you'd expect. He tallied just 14 points (in 45 games this time) and was +12. He was second to only Steve Kampfer in blocked shots and does a nice job of staying out of the box. I expect big things out of Burlon this year.

I've always liked Chad Langlais and it's hard for me to believe that he's a senior already. We didn't really know what we were getting when he came in as an overager, but he's been great since day one. Last year he put up 5-16--21. He does take penalties (second to only Wohlberg in PIMs and minor penalties), but he's a good power play quarterback and he does a fine job in his own end.

Lee Moffie is an interesting one. After being in and out of the lineup in the early part of the season, he became a regular and played in 13 straight games. After a blunder against Bowling Green, he fell out of favor and started sitting again. He still ended up with 4-8--12 in 29 games. He's definitely more of an offensive defenseman than someone that you're going to confuse for a stay-at-home guy. He was worst amongst our defensemen at +2. When we were struggling with offense last year, there were definitely people who suggested sliding him up front because of his offensive talents. He did end up getting picked by San Jose late in this year's draft.

Lastly, there's Tristin Llewellyn. Oh if he could just stay out of the box! He's a solid defenseman--yet another big body out there (6'2", 209). He plays a good, physical game, but he's prone to taking some of the dumbest penalties you'll ever see. He had 22 minors last year (second to Wohlberg's 23) and found himself out of the lineup on occasion because of it. When he's not taking penalties, though, he's a solid player. Hopefully maturity comes with age and he'll play with a little more control, without losing the edge that he plays with.

As you've probably noticed, that's 8 defensemen with only six slots. Langlais, Burlon, and Merrill are playing every night. Toward the bottom of the pairings, though, there's going to be some nice competition for ice time. I have to believe that Bennett is going to end up playing more often than not as well. That leaves two slots for Pateryn, Llewellyn, Clare, and Moffie. The first two out of those four will play more often than not as well--though Moffie's offensive game intrigues me. If he's learned to play some more defense he could be hard to keep out. It'll be interesting to see how the defense shakes out. Competition is definitely a very good thing.

In net, the coaches have been pretty clear that both guys are going to play. With the season Hogan was having last year, it wasn't pleasant thinking about the upcoming season with no Jack Campbell. But somewhere along the line, Shawn Hunwick went from third-stringer to the man who kept our NCAA streak alive.

In Hogan, you've got a guy who was very solid as a sophomore and might have been better than we were giving him credit for as a junior. His numbers were decent...well at least the 2.33 goals against was. The .901, not so much. But he had an unbelievably annoying tendency to give up soft goals. I don't think I'm overly exaggerating when I suggest it was upwards of one per game. Soft goals, goals at really bad times, goals after we peppered the opposing goalie for ten minutes. But I do think he's a good goalie. He certainly wasn't at his best for a lot of last season, but to be fair, neither was most of the team. They re-dedicated themselves to defense once Hogan got hurt and some of the forwards who hadn't done anything offensively all year woke up toward the end of the year.

Shawn Hunwick's story is very well known. He had hardly played, got thrown into the mix when Hogan went down, the team rallied around him and he played really well en route to the NCAA quarterfinals (going 8-3-0 with a 1.82/.918). Honest to God, if Kevin Lynch's goal counts, Hunwick goes to Detroit with a chance to become one of the greatest stories in the history of college sports. Fans went from wondering where that 2011 goalie commit was going to come from to discussing whether Hunwick would be able to take a redshirt season for 08-09 and come back.

It will be interesting to see if he just got on a roll late last year or if he really is as good as he showed. I suspect it's more the latter than the former, even if it's still hard to believe that he was "hiding" for that long. The coaches have named him the starter for Saturday's opener against Mercyhurst, and I have to believe he's going to get a long, loud ovation when he's announced.

We have some nice evidence in Hogan's favor as well. When he was competing with Billy Sauer for the starting job in 08-09, he was great. When he didn't have any competition last year, he really wasn't good. Maybe he's just one of those guys who needs to battle. As with the defense corps, competition is a very good thing. Hogan got "Sauered" a little bit last year, where maybe the team didn't play that great in front of him and hung him out to dry a lot. He's going to get his chance and I think we'll be solid in net this year. Not spectacular, but solid. Good enough to win the CCHA, and when you get to the tournament who knows.

I was in the Twin Cities last weekend and was thinking how great it would be to be back there again in April. I even went by the Red Roof Inn where I stayed back in 2002. Shangri-La! Hahaha! There are three people reading this who get that joke and they all started laughing hysterically, just for the record.

Two days til the puck drops.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2010 Michigan Hockey Season Preview: The Forwards

First up is a look at the forwards. See MGoBlog for his preview from earlier in the offseason.

Our men up front scored 126 goals last year. 109 of those goals return for another season. That's 87% of the goal scoring from our forwards that's coming back. Last year, we brought back just over 69%. The year before that we brought back just 52% (God, Porter, Kolarik, and Pacioretty were good!). The point is, we didn't lose very much up front and we have significant less work to do to replace the outgoing offense than in years past. Brian Lebler, Anthony Cirualo, and kind of Robbie Czarnik were the only losses up front from last year's roster. In their place, we bring in Jacob Fallon, Luke Moffatt, and Derek DeBlois.

Moffatt was a highly-touted recruit, once thought to be the best forward in his class. He went #2 in the WHL Draft and very likely would have gone number one had he not made a commitment to the NTDP and college hockey. After a great season for Compuware in 07-08 (37-19--56 in 30 games) he never really replicated that success with the NTDP--though he certainly didn't play badly for them. He put up 21-20--41 in 67 games on the Under 17s in 08-09 and then was 9th in scoring on the U-18s with a 13-17--30 line in 56 games last year, including 5-10--15 in 28 USHL games. Red didn't talk much about him when he signed, but mentioned that he likes his hands.

Fallon is another very talented recruit whose stock took a dive last year. He was involved in some off-ice incidents that led to him being suspended for the early part of last year. He eventually left the USA program and went to the Indiana Ice of the USHL where he struggled, managing just a goal and 8 assists in 26 games. Still, he's a kid that's going to have a chance to come in and help us on the offensive end. Bang the MGoBlog link above for lots more on the freshmen.

DeBlois is a long-time teammate and friend of incoming defenseman Mac Bennett. He scored 11-22--33 in 55 games for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL last year, good for sixth on the team in points. He also was right up there in +/- and led the team in goals in the playoffs. McKeen's cited his tenaciousness and ability to get to the net as strong suits.

Now...who's back? Carl Hagelin becomes the first 50-point scorer to return for another season since Kevin Porter elected to come back for his senior year and won the Hobey in the process. Hagelin had increases of 6 goals, 13 assists, and 42 shots from his sophomore season. He went all Kolarik, taking far and away the most shots on the team (170...the next highest were Caporusso and Brown with 122 apiece). He was also Porter-ian in his consistency--he had points in 35 of Michigan's 45 games, including 19 of the last 21. He also had 5-6--11 during Michigan's run in the CCHA Playoffs and NCAA Tournament.

Louie Caporusso had what was thought of as a somewhat disappointing season after the previous year when he was one of the ten finalists for the Hobey. By the end of the year, however, he wasn't too far off his sophomore year's totals. He ended up with just 3 fewer goals and 3 fewer assists (albeit in 4 more games). His seasons did a complete 180 though. As a sophomore he started out on fire, scoring 18 goals in the first 20 games before cooling off in the second half. Last year, he had just 5 goals after the GLI (and just 7 after the outdoor game in mid-February), but finished up with 14-8--22 in our final 15 games. If he can put together an entire season, look out.

Chris Brown ended last season just 28th in points per game amongst freshmen, but Andy Taranto, Stephane Da Costa, and Danny Kristo were the only major conference rookies who had more goals. He faltered down the stretch (2 goals in our last 16 games), but proved to be a player who could make an impact on this level, getting to the front of the net, scoring some ugly goals, and becoming a finalist for CCHA Rookie of the Year in the process.

Yost Built favorite Matty Rust put up a very quiet 40 points, an 18 point increase from the previous season. He didn't increase his goal total much, but his assists went from 11 to 27. As always, he's a solid defensive player who takes shockingly few penalties (just 12 last year) for as physical as he can be. He's a great penalty killer and he takes more faceoffs than anyone on the team.

Then you've got David Wohlberg who scored 15 goals as a freshman, but just 10 last year. I seem to remember him having some nagging injury (back, maybe?). He's another physical presence who can play at both ends. I actually kind of forgot about him and then broke into a big grin when I looked at the roster again. I really like Wohlberg and I fully expect a bounce-back year.

Keep going down the line: Kevin Lynch was an absolute BEAST against Miami in the Regional Final and scored the game-winning goal in overti......aww crap. He had just 1 point before the GLI last year, but ended up with 16. Luke Glendening (another favorite) put up 21 points and was named a captain midseason. AJ Treais never really got rolling, but showed enough flashes to indicate that he'll be a pretty decent player for us. Lindsay Sparks had 4 goals and six points in a four game stretch, but didn't play a whole lot in the stretch run. Winnett was good for 6-8--14 and had one of the nicest shots of the year against FYS in the CCHA Playoffs, though he pretty much is what he is at this point. Scooter Vaughan has moved up front permanently, and I thought he did a lot of good things even if he's never going to put points on the board. Jeff Rohrkemper never looked out of place as a walkon.

There are a lot of good forwards on this team and a lot of depth. Last year was a bit of a down year in terms of offense by Michigan's standards, but we still ranked 12th in the nation in offense by the end of the year. If guys like Caporusso, Wohlberg, and Brown put full seasons together, we're going to score a bunch of goals.

I fully expect us to have a Hobey Finalist again this year. I can't decide if it will be Hagelin or Caporusso, but I think one of them ends up in the top ten. I love Hagelin's defense, his effort, his consistency, and how he's a pretty darn underrated offensive player--50 points really isn't easy. But I keep thinking about Caporusso's ability to get on rolls where he just can't be stopped. He's had half a season of that each of the last two years. If he gains some consistency, he could have a Chad Kolarik type senior season.

Either way, assuming that Louie stays with Glendening and Wohlberg (that line caught fire toward the end of the year) and Hagelin plays with Rust and Brown, we're going to have two dangerous lines who are every bit as good defensively as they are offensively. I think we'll be up closer to 160 goals this year, which would probably put us back into the top 5 in the country in offense.

I love two things about our forwards: Our best players don't give up anything in the defensive zone and most of our guys are killer in the faceoff circle.

Hagelin, Rust, Glendening, Wohlberg....they're all top-notch defensive players. I thought that Caporusso improved and made some really nice defensive plays as well. I remember him saving a couple of goals hustling on the backcheck. It was nice to see. Maybe that will end up being another area where we can end up comparing him to Kolarik.

As for the faceoffs, check this out:
Caporusso: 57.6% of 772 draws
Wohlberg: 54.7% of 159 draws
Glendening: 53.8% of 186 draws
Rust: 51.3% of 875 draws

Winnett and Treais were the only two who took a significant number of faceoffs and weren't over 50% (and Treais was just over 48 percent, which certainly isn't bad). After years of faceoffs being a weakness, it's really become a strength of ours--except apparently when we play outside. Caporusso, Wohlberg, and Rust were all within a couple tenths of a percent of their percentages from the previous season, so there's no reason to think anything will change this year.

Anyway, those are the guys up front for the 2010-11 Wolverines. Tomorrow we'll take a look at the defensemen.

2010 Michigan Hockey Season Preview Part 1

Let's talk some freaking hockey!

First up, let me introduce the official Yost Built Twitter page.

The Wolverines open the 2010-11 season at Yost this Saturday against Mercyhurst. They'll face Western Ontario in an exhibition game Sunday.

The USA Today poll was released today and the Wolverines are the pre-season #4 team in the country, behind BC, NoDak, and Miami.

The last time we saw these Wolverines, they were skating off the ice after one of the great screw-jobs in recent memory, which denied them a trip to the Frozen Four in Detroit and denied Shawn Hunwick the chance to potentially complete one of the greatest stories in the history of college sports.

When attempting to project how this season will go, it's kind of difficult. Are they the team that damn near made it to the Frozen Four, where they would have been a scary team to play, or are they the team that needed to win six games (and the CCHA Tournament) just to keep their NCAA streak alive? For good parts of the season, they played largely uninspired hockey (culminating in that debacle of a weekend against UNO) and took an unbelievable number of insanely stupid penalties (lots of them when we had a man advantage).

That being said, they ended the year with more goals (albeit in 3 more games played) than the season before when they were a number one seed. The big difference was the defense gave up 18 more goals, though they certainly found something down the stretch once Hunwick came in. Hopefully that re-dedication to team defense carries over another year.

The power play was much better than a season before, but it was good in bunches. They scored 31 of their 48 power play goals in their 14 multi-PPG games. The PK wasn't bad, though it wasn't up to Michigan's typical standards (I'm still having Brendan Smith flashbacks). With guys like Glendening, Rust, and Hagelin, though, it should be pretty solid.

The team returns largely in tact from an offensive perspective. Thanks to the decisions of Rust, Hagelin, Caporusso, Brown, and Burlon to return to school, Michigan loses just 24 of their 148 goals from a season ago (14 from Lebler, 3 from Kampfer, 4 from Summers, 3 from Czarnik who left mid-season last year).

The blue line will look somewhat different. Gone are two-year captain Chris Summers (40 GP) and Steve Kampfer (45 GP) (along with Eric Elmblad who didn't play last season). That's a lot of minutes to replace, but there is a bunch of talent amongst the noobs. (We'll get to that in the positional previews later in the week.)

Hogan and Hunwick both return, and they're joined by freshman Adam Janecyk who replaces Patrick Summers as the third goalie.

Michigan just announced their TV schedule. Sadly, due to Comcast's general suckitude, the TV that hosts my Slingbox is now a U-Verse TV, so I won't get the seven Comcast Local games. We do have six or seven on FSN Detroit, 5 or 6 on the Big Ten Network, and a couple on CBS College Sports.

The plan is to preview the forwards tomorrow, the defense on Wednesday, goalies on Thursday, and have 10 Things to Know about Mercyhurst on Friday. I might juggle the schedule based on life (it's easier to write a goalie preview than talk about the forwards), but Ozzie is in midseason form and I'm ready to talk hockey!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Having a Seat Over There: Two Commits to Talk About

Remember me? I used to write about Michigan hockey?

Well I'm back, now that life should calm down for a little while. First off, I'd like to give a great big welcome to my new sponsor(s): Underground Printing and Moe's Sport Shops. I'm looking forward to working with them and hopefully we'll have some fun announcements to make later this season.

Next up, we have a couple of commits to talk about. One new, and one from a couple of weeks ago. (I'm particularly looking forward to talking about that one since I've had the browser window open for like 15 days.)

First up is Justin Selman. He will be playing with Des Moines in the USHL this fall. He was also invited to play for the USA Under 18 Select Team which took the silver medal in the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He tallied a goal in USA's 5-2 win over Finland and had an assist in their semifinal victory over Sweden. He's a late 93 who is slated to be a 2012 recruit. Chris Heisenberg has him listed at 6'0", 191.

He captained the North Jersey Avalanche to the silver medal at the 2010 USA Hockey Nationals in the Midget 16 AAA division, scoring 5-1--6 in 6 games during the tournament. He had 25-36--61 in 34 games last year.

A quote:
"Michigan is a powerhouse for putting guys in the NHL," Selman said. "I definitely want to be [at Michigan] for at least two years. … My goal right now is to play in college and one day the NHL."
MGoBlog has some additional hockeysfuture goodness. Supposedly he's good on draws.

The other commit is from '94 Daniel Milne out of Ontario. He played for the Toronto Young Nationals last year and had 46-54--100, with 46 PIMs in 80 games (PDF link). He's listed as 5'11", 175. Chris Dilks reported that he picked Michigan over Notre Dame and Owen Sound of the OHL. He was a third-round pick of the Attack in the OHL Draft this year, and as recently as a few days ago, it sounded like he was tearing it up in their rookie camp.

"Milne is one of those players who does all the little things really well and he goes to the areas (in front of the net) to find goals," said [Owen Sound coach] Reeds.

He's listed as being from Newmarket of the OJHL, but he's not on their roster, so I guess we'll see? I guess this is another opportunity to hold our breath for two years waiting for the kid to make it to campus while the OHL sniffs around. Hopefully it works out for the good guys this time.

Other Stuff:
MGoBlue had a great article about where the name "The Big Chill" came from, and other pop-culture references to U of M. Air Force One and Lost were the ones that jumped right to my mind. I can't believe I didn't notice The Cold War in the Burn Notice pilot. Might have to pull that one back out.

Speaking of The Big Chill, if anyone is going to have extras, let me know. I'm looking for an additional 4-6 for friends of the family. 

The roster was apparently on MGoBlue for a time. The new numbers:
9 Luke Moffatt
18 Derek DeBlois
8 Jacob Fallon
24 Jon Merrill
37 Mac Bennett
4 Kevin Clare
30 Adam Janecyk

Less than a month to go!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Meet JMFJ and Marty Turco

On Tuesday from 11 am - 2 pm at the Best Buy at Westland Mall, the NHL 2k11 RV will be pulling in, giving fans a chance to demo the game and meet the players that are helping them out. Slated to appear? Jack Johnson and Marty Turco (along with Ryan Kesler).

And I promise I'll start writing again soon.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

NHL Draft: Day 2

Jon Merrill was selected 38th overall by the New Jersey Devils, who just love picking Wolverines. According to the official Michigan Hockey Twitter page, Merrill becomes the 12th Michigan player to be selected by New Jersey.

Dallas selected Alex Guptill with the 17th pick of the third round (77th overall).

Lee Moffie went to the Sharks in the 7th round.

Luke Moffatt became the fourth Wolverine to get picked. The Colorado Avalanche selected him in the seventh round.

Kevin Clare and Jacob Fallon were not selected.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Merrill not Drafted in Round One

The first round of the NHL Entry Draft concluded tonight and Jon Merrill did not hear his name called. He should go very early tomorrow.

De-commit Jack Campbell was selected 11th overall by the Dallas Stars, which is interesting because in addition to Turco, they also drafted the last goalie to commit to Michigan and end up in the OHL instead (Jason Bacashihua). And, come to think of it, they drafted Michigan de-commit Matt Nickerson as well. Things didn't work out so hot for the last two. Hopefully things go a lot better for the goalie formerly known as JMFC. I suppose I have a thought as to where Jared Knight will end up tomorrow.

Also mentioned was that the Oilers were looking to get back into the first round and offered up Andrew Cogliano for the 15th pick, but were turned down.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Improvements to Yost Coming?

An article on from a couple of days ago mentioned that Michigan's revenues for the 2011 fiscal year are projected to top $100 million. What are they going to do with that money? AD David Brandon indicates that some improvements to Yost might be coming:
“We’re looking at some updates and enhancements to Yost ­- bleachers, the concession areas, the circulation space, lighting,” Brandon said. “And we’re looking at some real interesting things as it relates to the scoreboard and technology in all of our venues, including the football stadium.
“We’re in a situation where one of the things we have to attend to at some point in the future would be update the technology because there’s HD technology, bigger screens and higher resolution that our fans would really enjoy.” screen at Yost that does more than say "Go! Fight! Win!"

The hockey schedule is out, and it's on starting October 2nd! It's kind of interesting that we play a real game (Mercyhurst) before our yearly beatdown of a Canadian team. You've got the one-game trip out East (to play UNH, which could be fun). You've got the potential for four games against FYS in a month's span. (The Big Chill, GLI, and an early-January home-and-home. 

The College Hockey Showcase is a Friday/Sunday series this year, with our game at Minnesota coming on Sunday. 

No midweek games outside of the GLI and our exhibition game against the NTDP. 

We've got UNO coming to Yost for a non-conference series, as the Mavericks slide to the WCHA. 

It's kind of interesting that we go to BGSU for a series, rather than the usual home-and-home, but we have a pair of home-and-homes against Ferris. You could about walk to BGSU. Ferris? Not so close.

The evaluation camp roster for the 2010-11 USA World Junior team has been released as well. Chris Brown, Kevin Lynch, and Jon Merrill are on the list. So is the goalie formerly known as JMFC, who has to be a lock.

USCHO had a very nice writeup about Jon Merrill. Red Berenson had some lofty praise, comparing him to a Nick Lidstrom-type. Merrill said that he'd like to be drafted by the Wings, as if we ever take players from Michigan. He would also like to marry Miley Cyrus.

TJ Hensick was traded to the St. Louis Blues for Julian Talbot. He is an RFA and there have been rumblings about him heading to the Swedish Elite League, but hopefully he'll finally get a shot in St. Louis. Kevin Porter signed a two-way deal with the Avs.

Lastly, Coach isn't going anywhere! Red signed a three year extension, which would carry him through the 2012-13 season. It's a good thing Ted Thompson isn't our AD. He'd be getting tired of the retirement questions and would push for the coach of the future to take over.