Michigan tied the game, then won the shootout. Which doesn't count, but it feels like it should. The reason the shootout victory won't go down as a W for Michigan is because not every conference has a shootout so it doesn't provide an even playing field by which teams can be compared. So they "tied." I'm not one to rip the shootout. I like it. It's fun. It's a great showcase for great talents. But when the NCAA selection committee looks back at this game, they won't see a Michigan win, they see a tie. A tie they should feel pretty fortunate to get.
In a first period marred by bad turnovers and seemingly endless odd-man rushes against, Nagelvoort was good, then fortunate, then good again. After Ferris Forward Kyle Schempp lifted a backhander over Nagelvoort to take the lead, Andrew Copp banked in a centering feed of a Ferris back-checking forward. Truly one of the luckier goals Michigan is likely to score. Then Ferris hit a few posts, had a centering feed slice off a forward's stick in front of an open net, and carried the play all through the first 20 minutes. Michigan's D was turning the puck over and making some bad pinches at the blue line which could have burned them worse than it did. Mac Bennett turned one over which gifted Ferris a clean chance in which their leading scorer, Garrett Thompson, he rang it off the crossbar. That sentence encapsulates the first period. Some of this can be attributed to Michigan's over-zealous D activating into the play, but more than that, it was the little things that weren't sharp. A sign of a week or so off, sure, but it wasn't good. Ferris outshout Michigan 14-4.
Then the Teddy Bear toss, which saw 1,071 plush animals hit the ice:
The second was a lot better for Michigan. Guptill got the party started early with a great quick release 38 seconds into the period, beating CJ Motte stick-side. Michigan carried the play, especially Moffatt, Guptill and PDG. The guys who you'd think of as grinding, cycling types were really effective. Those three and Copp and Hyman were all good down low most of the night. The Freshmen looked ok, but not amazing. You could tell Tyler Motte wanted to have a good game. He did, but CJ Motte was better in net for the Bulldogs. He played big against his little brother's team. Shots were 18-8 in the second for Michigan.
The third was tighter with both teams playing pretty well. Except for some D turnovers, including one uncharacteristically from Mac Bennett. Speaking of Mac, a night to forget for him, for sure. He had a turnover in the first that led to a 2on0 breakaway which Nagelvoort stopped. Tyler Motte had an active period, but his big brother stoned him twice as he was streaking in off the left wing and jamming away at a rebound. When Ferris scored to make it 2-2 it was a screened shot from the point that was well placed. Not a lot of blame to go around, just a goal that happens a lot in hockey.
OT was decidedly non-eventful, not a lot of chances either way and just a handful of shots. Tie.
Oh, hell the shootout goal. Kile's game winner was a beauty, and Michigan fans will love it as some sort of homage to Pavel Datsyuk, but it really doesn't mean anything in the Pairwise rankings. Michigan gets to go home with a tie-win and Ferris with a tie. Here's the goal:
The bottom line is this was a good game. Nagelvoort was excellent and really looks confident. Had Ferris put up 4 in the first, then it might have been different. That was a very real scenario based on the way the game started. We saw bad Michigan, good Michigan and then we saw two teams evenly matched. Ferris is good? Ferris is good. Never mind the patty cake schedule early on, they deserve the lofty ranking. Count on a highly seeded Ferris in the NCAAs. That's a good team with some scoring punch and good team speed.
Up next for Michigan- The GLI with Western Michigan and then Michigan State/Michigan Tech. Michigan will be without Copp, Compher, and probably Motte, too. We'll be watching them for at the World Junior Championships in Sweeden.