The Wolverines and the Fighting Irish faceoff tomorrow in the front-end of a Thursday/Saturday series to determine who the biggest underachievers in the conference are. If you're a masochist, the game tomorrow night is on Fox Sports Detroit and Saturday's game will air on the Big Ten Network.
Michigan sits in 7th in the CCHA, 5 points behind Alaska and 4 points behind UNO. Both of those teams have finished their CCHA slate of games. We're also two points behind NMU, who has LSSU at home. So basically we need two wins this weekend--even if one is in a shootout, we would have more regulation wins than Alaska and I'm pretty sure that's the first tie-breaker--as well as a non shootout loss by NMU. If they lose in a shootout and win in regulation, then we'd need to win both our games in regulation. Got that? If all that happens, the Wolverines take fourth place and don't have to play next weekend. Otherwise we're playing in the first round of the CCHA tournament and could face a second-round trip to Alaska.
The Irish are worse off. They sit in TENTH in the CCHA, with an 8-11-7-2 conference record. They need two regulation wins and help this weekend to not have to go on the road in the first round of the CCHA Tournament.
Calle Ridderwall is the only player on the team with more than ten goals. He has a 17-8--25 line. A whopping ten of those goals have come on the power play. Ryan Thang, in his seventh year, has 9-11--20. They have three defensemen with 17+ points.
Freshman Mike Johnson has gotten the majority of the time in net. He's 8-10-5 with a 2.47/.915. Brad Phillips hasn't played a full sixty minutes since Thanksgiving. He's gotten yanked in his only two starts.
ND is only the #49 offense in the country at 2.41 goals per game. They give up 2.47 a night, good for 12th nationally.
So yeah, hopefully the televised games this weekend are actually watchable.