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....
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Becky said...

The TV commentators said that Hunwick was the only player from either team who attended the Cold War. And for him to go on to get a shutout in this game, oh my god. Movies have been made about less epic triumphs than that.

Packer487 said...

Yeah, that really surprised me. These kids would have been like 10 or 11 during The Cold War, most/all of them hockey fans at that point. I'm really surprised only one guy was at that game.

I'm really happy that the team remembered how to play in front of him, too. I was about ready to call this year's goalie battle in Hogan's favor, but maybe it is still game on.

streaker said...

I saw the PAT too! Hilarious! Had a great time in sec 21, row 40. Good for Hunwick and Merrill, too. Michigan athletics needed a positive event like this.

Anonymous said...

Ok, you guys had some sweet stuff going that day, weather,atmosphere, band,stealth flyover. I was impressed with Red's handling of the week and all the hype. Good team effort by M,showing balance and depth. Hunwick was the man again. My question to you all, what did you think of the coaches outfits worn by the lame MSU guys? That was laughable, like their team.

Becky said...

Comley's hat! I died laughing at that one.

Scott said...

I wish I knew you were at the media game. I would have introduced myself. What team were you on, I was playing d for the white team.