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.


Anonymous said...

Don't know if you watched the CC game on TV, but they showed the obligatory 1996 national title game highlights. As I watched the Morrison goal my mind immediately jumped to your twitter picture. First time I knew where that came from since I was 6 at the time and they don't show college hockey on ESPN Classic.
I don't know what the point of telling this was, but I probably made some people feel old.

Todd said...

Wow lots of info. Sweet blog.