It is one thing to get beat. It's another thing to get run out of your own barn by freaking Bowling Green. I said a couple of weeks ago that you can be bad, but if there's effort I can deal with losses. Tonight I didn't see the effort. Hyman, Sinelli, Nieves, and Moffatt yes. Trouba and Merrill did what they could given that the former just got back from Russia and it was the first time the latter had seen any real action this year. Put it this way: There was a play in the third period where Nieves absolutely got on his horse, skated across the neutral zone, and caught up with a puck carrier. It was the type of play that Hagelin made look routine. It jumped out at me because I'm pretty sure that's the first time this entire season that I've seen someone skate like that. I haven't seen a ton of games, but yeah...
It was never even really a game. Michigan had a brief span after Moffatt made it 2-1 where they looked like they were getting it together, then BGSU popped in a couple of quick ones and that was that. You come out in the third period down 4-1 and you can either fight to get back in the game or you can roll over and die. What happened? It took Michigan 16 minutes to register a shot on goal. It was another embarrassing performance in a year full of them. Ferris, FYS, Cornell, Michigan Tech, now BGSU. It's almost like they need some genf20 plus, a good product to boost performance.
Much like Michigan Tech's goalie had not given up fewer than 3 goals all season before shutting out the Wolverines, Bowling Green hadn't scored more than three goals all season before hanging 5 on the Wolverines. At Yost.
Usually in a game like this you can say "Well at least no one got injured" and even that wasn't the case tonight. Brennan Serville was knocked out of the game in the early going with what Billy Powers believed was a separated shoulder. Late in the game, Mac Bennett was injured on a hip check/clipping play by the Bowling Green bench. He went down in serious pain. Best case that's a charley horse. Worst case....well, let's not talk about that. It looked bad:
What's next. Ah, the captains. Okay, I know nothing about how the guys in the room are, leadership, who's vocal, who isn't, who should be, or anything like that. I know nothing about motivating a team. What I do know is that against Michigan Tech, captain Lee Moffie was given a penalty for reaching over the bench and hitting a Tech player as he flew by the Michigan bench after going up 3-0. They scored on the power play to make it 4-0. Captain AJ Treais took a contact to the head penalty late in the GLI game against FYS. He was given 5 and a game and subsequently suspended for tonight's debacle. Then tonight, captain Kevin Lynch skated offsides by about 20 feet, came back out of the zone and cross-checked a guy in the ribs for absolutely no reason. He was given a penalty for that. BGSU didn't score on the power play, but you can't have seniors making plays like that. You just can't. It sets a terrible example and you can't preach discipline when the guys who are supposed to be leaders are taking penalties like that.
Moving on to the actual game:
BGSU struck first as Bryce Williamson spun away from Serville in the high slot and was left alone in front to tip in a centering pass.
True to form this season, the goals came in bunches. Not even two minutes later, Moffie stepped up at center ice to go after a loose puck and it was chipped away from him. That led to a 3-on-2 the other way. Moffatt got on his horse to try to get back and get the late man (if we saw that effort against Cornell in overtime last year, the game wouldn't have ended when it did), but the pass got to him and Rodriguez got a shot away before Moffatt could get there. One forward was driving the net and there may have been a slight screen, but the shot went five hole and BGSU had a two goal lead.
Michigan had a chance to get back into the game with a five-minute power play after Serville was knocked out of the game, but mustered maybe one decent scoring chance. They registered four shots on goal on the power play, but nothing special.
Moffatt brought the Wolverines back within a goal off a nice feed from Bennett. Moffatt was cruising in the slot, Bennett slid a pass to him and he tipped it past Hammond. That was Moffatt's first of the year. Now with video! Thanks to CJZero on Twitter for this. Nice goal, and another nice play by Moffatt who has had a couple of beauties the past couple of games after struggling offensively most of the year.
After a few minutes of looking like Michigan might get back in the game, the Falcons pretty much put an end to any comeback hopes. Their leading goal scorer, Ryan Carpenter, helped regain the two goal lead on a complete defensive breakdown. Trouba, Bennett, and Nieves all were in the corner. Moffatt thought about coming down low then went back to his point. Sparks did the same. It left the middle of the ice wide open. The puck came into the slot and Dajon Mingo was all alone. He got a shot off that Janecyk stopped a chunk of. It sat behind him in the crease and Carpenter was able to come in, also unmolested, and knock it home. No one around.
Then if there was a microcosm of the season, the fourth goal was it. Adam Berkle went to the net, Moffatt had him completely tied up and the shot from the point hits Berkle and goes in. Whatever. That's when you know it's not going to be your night. They'd replace Janecyk with Racine after the second to try to spark something.
Michigan had a couple of chances in the late second, early third, but couldn't capitalize. Hyman was going to be in cold turkey but was hauled down. Travis Lynch had a breakaway and hit the post. Merrill just missed Sparks on the backdoor.
The Moffie took Williamson into the boards behind the net to Racine's left. He got on Williamson's right shoulder, however, and the Falcon was able to spin back away from him, cut out in front of the net, and stuff one home.
Here are the BGSU goals. Keep your eye on Serville on the first goal (he loses his man in front), the disaster that is Michigan's defensive zone coverage on the second goal in the clip, and how just getting a little too far to the right on a check can lead to a goal on clip number three. If Moffie is slightly more toward the goal side of the ice, it cuts off that lane completely. He got on the wrong shoulder of Williamson and it led to a lane to the net. Thanks again to CJZero.
Bennett's injury and a Michigan 2-on-0 that didn't lead to a shot on goal later, and Michigan had a 5-1 defeat to the no-longer-last-place-Falcons on their home ice. Got outshot 32-20, and may have lost two more defensemen. All in all, just a crap night.
The Wolverines need to regroup quickly, as the Nanooks come to town this weekend. There's no way to make the tournament as an at-large at this point I don't think. They'd pretty much have to win out, and given that they haven't strung back-to-back wins together since the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th games of the year, that ain't happening. They'll have to win the CCHA Tournament, which means the pressure should be off for the time being. You've got exactly two months to get it together in time to play to save your season. Just get home ice in the first round and make it a little more doable.