Sorry for the lack of content. I'm out in Billings, MT for work so I've basically been in work-eat-bed mode.
Michigan ended up completing the sweep of Ferris last weekend, winning the second game by a 4-0 margin. Shawn Hunwick made 24 stops, the Wolverines killed off 7 Ferris State power plays, and got goals from four different players.
Alex Guptill got things going 5 1/2 minutes into the game. Luke Moffatt threw him a nifty little between-the-legs pass to complete a give-and-go and Guptill roofed one.
In the second period, Travis Lynch and AJ Treais struck a couple of minutes apart to blow the game open. Bennett's shot from the point bounced around and Lynch took it right off Wohlberg's stick. It looked like it surprised Motte a little bit.
PDG then blocked a shot and took off the other way. He centered it for Chris Brown. A sprawling Motte kept it out of the net, but he knocked it right to Treais, who lifted it up over him into the net.
Later in the period that same trio struck again. This time it was Brown putting the puck in the net. Di Giuseppe fed Brown and he lasered one high up over the glove.
That was all the Wolverines needed. Ferris outshot the Wolverines 9-3 in the third period, but Hunwick was perfect and the Wolverines had a sweep of the #6 Bulldogs.
Travis Lynch was 13 and 2 in the faceoff circle. He has been a really pleasant surprise, though you could say that about any number of the freshmen.
Mock Drafts, Honors, and Suspensions:
It was a fairly eventful week off the ice.
Phil Di Giuseppe's OHL rights were traded from Niagara to Windsor as part of a big trade that also involved Jack Campbell. Windsor is clearly not the team you want your player to be on if you'd like to keep him in the NCAA. The thought seems to be that we don't have that much to worry about this season, but expect Windsor to take a run at him during the summer. It sounds like he was more of a guy they were taking a flier on, since he's clearly turned into a helluva find.
Speaking of PDG, he was named CCHA Rookie of the Month for October. He has 5-4--9 and a +9 rating in 8 games. Hunwick was honored as CCHA Goalie of the Month thanks to his 6-0-1 record with a 1.37 goals against and a .949 save percentage.
Di Giuseppe was also mentioned as a potential first round draft pick in a couple of mock drafts released by NHL.com. Jacob Trouba was cited as a top-ten pick in all three of them. Boo Nieves is listed as a mid-to-late first round pick in all three of the drafts. Di Giuseppe goes 11th in one of them and 28th in another.
Also check out the link above for a roundup of how our recruits have been doing this season.
Defenseman Jon Merrill was allowed to rejoin the team in practice, but has had his suspension extended from 12 games to "indefinite". Credit Red Berenson for having the balls to suspend arguably his best player for what appears to be half the season. Also, we don't know what he did, but credit Merrill for sticking it out. It would have been the easy move to sign with the Whalers, but it appears he really wants to be a Wolverine. Hopefully he can get everything straightened out off the ice and get back to being the ridiculous defenseman that we know he can be.
One player who has benefited from Merrill's absence is Mike Chiasson. The rookie blueliner is +14 and has not been on the ice for a single goal allowed this year. He also leads the team in blocked shots with 11. It's hard to believe that Michigan could have expected any more than what they're getting out of Chiasson. I was really impressed with him (Lynch, and Di Giuseppe as well) during the Niagara game, and they've all continued to be impressive as the season hits the 20% mark.
The Wolverines already have 12 players with 5+ points. If you would have told me that 8 games into the season Kevin Lynch, Zach Hyman, and Luke Moffatt would have combined for 3 goals, I would not have liked Michigan's chances to be ranked #3 right now and rank #2 in offense. They're getting goals from everywhere right now, and that's a great sign given that three of Michigan's really talented players haven't cranked it up in the goals column just yet (though 2 of them are still averaging .5 ppg, which certainly isn't bad...that projects to a 20-21 point season).
Hyman and Lynch look like the new Rust and Caporusso in the faceoff circle. How do you replace two of the best faceoff guys we've had? By bringing in two freshmen who are killer in the dot. Hyman is at 65.1% (!) right now. Lynch is just behind him at 62.1%.
This weekend Michigan welcomes in the fourth-ranked Western Michigan Broncos. They come in 5-0-3 under Head Coach Andy Murray. (Side note: Whoever gave Yale a first place vote should have their ballot rejected. Didn't we learn that lesson last year?) Western has played to a win and three ties on the road so far this year, a pair of ties against Union and a win/shootout win up in Alaska. They swept NMU last weekend at home.
WMU's 5-2 win over Michigan in the CCHA Tournament Semifinal last year snapped a 7-game Michigan winning streak in the series. Michigan has won 18 of the last 21.
Chase Balisy returns after a 30-point freshman campaign. He currently leads the team with 3-6--9 on the young season. Classmate Shane Berschbach had 29 points last season and has 4-4--8 so far. Every skater who has dressed aside from Matt Stewart (one game played) has at least a point. Defenseman Matt Tennyson had 7 goals on the PP last season. He's yet to tally a PPG this year, but he does have 5 points. He'll be one to watch when we're down a man.
Junior Nick Pisellini and freshman Frank Slubowski have split the netminding duties so far this year. Pisellini is 2-0-2 with a 1.68/.931. Slubowski is 3-0-1 with a 1.47/.918. Pretty stout, the both of them. They haven't gone with the Friday/Saturday split. Pisellini got both games at Union and one at Alaska. Slubowski played both ends of the NMU sweep. Western actually held NMU to 29 shots the entire weekend.
They're the #12 offensive team and rank 4th on defense, giving up just 1.62 goals per game. Their power play is just 15% on the year, possibly because they haven't gotten Tennyson going just yet. The PK is at 88.6%.
If Michigan is going to get Kevin Lynch out of his slump, this might be the week to do it. He has 3-5--8 in 5 games against the Broncos.
Friday night's game will air on Fox Sports Detroit, while Saturday's contest will be on Comcast Local.