Seriously, where the hell has this been all year?
I know Lake State is awful and half their team has the flu, but that was a really nice performance *gasp* on the heels on a win the night before! Thank my lucky stars, that's two in a row!
After a 5-2 win last night in which the Wolverines led 3-0 in the early third and made it 4-1 just seconds after LSSU got back into the game, Michigan had a dominating effort, scoring 3 in the first, 3 in the second, en route to a 6-0 win to sweep their first-round playoff series.
Louie Caporusso was fantastic, scoring three of Michigan's first four goals. His first gave the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. He won a faceoff forward to himself, took it behind the net after his shot attempt was thwarted, and scored on the wrap-around.
Jeff Rohrkemper made it 2-0 with the first goal of his collegiate career. The puck slid over to him and he uncorked a wrister up into the top corner.
Caporusso made it 3-0 on a fluky goal. He had a nice rush down the right wing and threw the puck into the slot. The puck hit the LSSU defender and got through Mahoney-Wilson into the net. The net came off the moorings right when the puck went in, but after a lengthy review, the officials decided the call on the ice would stand. There wasn't a clear look, despite the officials having the benefit of all the angles. Ken Daniels said that in the college rule book, it says that a goal can be scored if the net is coming off as long as the goal is "obvious and imminent". That's very interesting if that's the case. I never knew that. If so, that was the right call. Otherwise, I'm not sure it went in before the net was off, but you couldn't tell on any replay.
Shawn Hunwick made 10 stops in net in the first period, none bigger than a stellar right-pad save when the game was 1-0. Brandon Burlon turned it over at the blueline and it led to a 2 on 1. The puck got across, but Hunwick slid to his right and got a toe on it. He then made a really nice save in the first minute of the second period, stopping a Laker point-blank in the slot. The Wolverines rushed the puck up ice and Caporusso fired a wrister by Mahoney-Wilson for his third of the night to give Michigan a 4-0 lead. That's a big save that might go unmentioned in a blowout, but it could've been 3-1 and just like that it became 4-0. He had a couple of nice stops early in the third as well. He played 50 minutes of shutout hockey after coming in for Hogan against Notre Dame, and he gets a 28-save shutout tonight. Gotta give the kid credit. That's a tough situation to be put in after going the better part of three seasons without playing.
Carl Hagelin hit the post, but then scored two of his own in the second period. His first came on a nice keep by Steve Kampfer at the blueline. Kampfer rushed the puck down the wing into the corner and he fed Hagelin in the slot. Hagelin was able to flip it in to give the Wolverines a 5-0 lead.
And not too much later, zee poock was een zee net again. Hagelin on Michigan's second wrap-around of the night.
Rohrkemper also put on off the pipe in there and Caporusso had a gorgeous chance on a well-played three-on-two. Mahoney-Wilson made a nice stop there. Caporusso really could have had six goals in the first two periods.
After six points last night, the Wohlberg-Caporusso-Glendening line was fantastic yet again. It may end up being too little, too late, but if we're going to make a run in the CCHA Tournament, those guys are going to be key. They're getting hot at the right time.
Barring Western Michigan finding a way to take two games in a row on the road against Alaska (yeah right), the Wolverines will be heading to East Lansing for a best-of-three against the Spartans next week. Someone on The Fort mentioned that the Spartan students will be on Spring Break. If true, Munn will be even more tomblike and plenty of tickets should be available.
The one downer of the night is that Chris Summers did not play in the second or third period after what they're calling a charley-horse. He's had a lot of success against the Spartans and that would be a huge loss going into next weekend if he's unable to go. That's a big weekend for both teams. Clearly Michigan needs two wins to keep their season alive, but as of this writing the Spartans sit 12th in the Pairwise and have FSU and NMU right behind him. They need to win that series to keep themselves off the bubble. It should be a great weekend of hockey, and a series that I would expect to go three games.
Edit: One thing I forgot to mention. Steve Kampfer was the anti-Derek Meech tonight. He was an incredible +6. He was out there for all six of our goals. Crazy.