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.