Michigan split a pair of one-offs against BU and UMass-Lowell over the weekend, completing their prolonged non-conference allotment of teams from Hockey East for the season, pending the NCAA's.
Friday Night: 2-1 W over Boston University
- Michigan peppered BU. They had good jump and persevered. Although Michigan couldn't break through until the third with BU up a goal, they kept with it and got the result they deserved. Motte scored on a one-timer from Mac Bennett at 7:16 and Guptill got a penalty shot that he converted a few minutes later. It held up for the W.
- The goal from Motte made 4 games in a row for the freshman with a goal.
- Michigan outshot BU 44-19, that is excellent. Obviously, shooting percentage, not good, but that's an impressive game. Any time you outshoot a medium-to-high caliber opponent by over 2 to 1, that's a good deal.
- Guptill's penalty shot slash GWG was impressive. It was no-nonsense. Good shot, clear idea of what he wanted to do. So many times the puck rolls on people not named Datsyuk (obligatory) when they try to deke, if your best attribute is your shot, please make sure you get one off.
Saturday: 2-1 L to UMass-Lowell The undefeated dream is dead. Sorry folks.
- Good hockey game here. Lowell and Michigan traded chances, with Lowell scoring first about 1 minute into the second period. Evan Allen responded on the next shift and we were deadlocked. But, the defining moment was a 5 min major penalty to PDG for checking from behind 8 minutes into the third period. It was in the Lowell zone and that's a double whammy. All reports seem to be that it looked pretty gruesome, but wasn't as bad on the replay. Lowell notched the winner in the final minute of the power play. Michigan couldn't muster any grade A scoring chances down the stretch and lost their first game of the year.
- Nagelvoort was good. I don't think this is a goaltending controversy yet, but through over 3 games, it's another new guy that came in ready to play. The hit rate on the freshmen has been solid this year.
- Nothing crazy with the lines. It seems that the lines are more of a buddy system +1 this year. Meaning there's a distinct Center/Wing combination that Michigan goes with and inserts a third winger based on form and fit. Your buddies are Copp-Deblois, Nieves-Hyman, and Compher-Motte. That leaves a lot of rotating scoring punch with PDG, Guptill, and Evan Allen/Moffatt filling out the wings.
- Mac Bennett was very good again this weekend. Thank goodness he stayed for Michigan's sake. He is a one-man zone entry and will likely play half the game. If he goes down, that young defense is in trouble. They are turnover prone. It's an issue. Will be more of a problem on the road when teams with a big time first line can avoid Bennett and target the less proven blue liners.
- Good time to get a loss if there is such a thing. 3-1-1 to Lowell/BU/BC/UNH(x2) is a good stretch and will be impressive if Michigan needs an at-large bid to the tourney.