Saturday, March 24, 2012

This is Why I Drink

You actually might not want to read this post. 

Has any school in the country had as many gut-punch losses as Michigan over the past decade or so? Miami's National Championship loss in 09 probably still takes the cake for one single loss, but when you look at the body of work I don't think there's any competition.

Going back to my freshman year at Michigan when I first started really following the team...check this out:

2001: Boston College 4, Michigan 2 (Frozen Four): Michigan gets down 3-0 before rallying and missing several chances to tie the game. BC scores an empty-netter.
2002: Minnesota 3, Michigan 2 (Frozen Four): Similar to the year before without the ENG. Got down 3-0, rallied very late, just missed tying things up.
2003: Minnesota 3, Michigan 2 in overtime (Frozen Four): Michigan dominated early, pulling out to a 1-0 lead in the first that should have been more like 4-0. They led 2-0 late in the second, but Minnesota scored a pair to draw even. Michigan scored a potential game-winner late in regulation that was waived off for no reason. Gophers win in OT.
2004: Boston College 3, Michigan 2 in overtime: Michigan had no business being in this game but led late due to a sensational performance out of Montoya. If Tambellini had taken one more stride before dumping that puck......
2005: Colorado College 4, Michigan 3: Blew a 3-0 lead. Nuff said.
2008: Notre Dame 5, Michigan 4 in overtime (Frozen Four): After playing outstanding hockey all year, Billy Sauer reverted to the Sauer of old, giving up three terrible goals in the first period and getting yanked with Michigan down 3-0 after one. The Wolverines tied the game up before ND took another lead. Hagelin sent it to OT, but after the furious comeback, it was the Irish coming out on top.
2009: Air Force 2, Michigan 0: Outshoot Air Force something like 42-13 and can't put one in. We didn't have a goal waived off, but we did have an inexplicable "lost sight of the puck" whistle when Turnbull had the puck on his stick with an empty net to shoot at.
2010: Miami 3, Michigan 2 in overtime: With a Detroit Frozen Four berth on the line, Kevin Lynch scored in overtime. It was waived off for absolutely no reason. Miami won.
2011: Minnesota Duluth 3, Michigan 2 in overtime (National Championship): Played pretty crappy, still sent it to overtime. Lost again. Had another goal waived off.
2012: Cornell 3, Michigan 2 in overtime: Would have had a 2-0 lead in the first 1 1/2 minutes but for a waived-off goal. Played crappy, but somehow tied it late. Lost in overtime.

In the last twelve tournament ousters, only the 2006 (5-1) and 2007 (8-5) losses to North Dakota weren't complete punches in the gut. That's eight one-goal losses, and a ninth that would have been a one goal loss but for an ENG with 20 seconds left. 6 of those losses came in overtime. We had goals waived off in at least four of those games, including the last three years.

I'm really not sure this is fun. I also never want to see another 3-2 game.


Anonymous said...

I really think Michigan's loss to Miami was the worst gut punch overall (even beating the Miami collapse). Having been at both of those games, all I can say is having a goal waived off in overtime, with a penality being called for you, in your own zone, with the puck in plain sight, with the rules clearly stating that if the defensive team does not control the puck, the play continues, is far worse than playing poor defense and losing by your own abilities.

Anonymous said...

I feel so bad for Kevin Lynch.
Check it: Goal scored in OT vs. Miami regional semi-final game. Waved off because Hockey East refs don't have a working knowledge of the rulebook and it's guidelines on rebounds vs. possession. Michigan loses 3-2 in double OT.

Goal scored in OT vs. UNO, by far the most controversial of the three I'm going to reference (I do think it was a good goal, I think the refs were right to count it, but I think it would have been the easiest to wave off and least anger causing). Michigan wins 3-2, gets to within an OT goal of NCAA title #10.

Goal score in 1st minute of game. Goal waved off because AHA refs don't believe hockey is a contact sport. This is the only one that wasn't at least potentially a game-winning goal, but with the caveat that anything could still have happened with so much time left, I think just about everyone believes that if that goal is counted, Michigan rolls Cornell plays Ferris on Saturday and if you go directly, Michigan wins 3-2 in regulation.

He's had more goals waved off in the tournament than most players ever score...