Who: American International at Michigan
Where: Yost Ice Arena
When: 11/14/14 - 11/15/15, 7:35pm
The Yellow Jackets are led by Gary Wright, who joined the staff as head coach in 1984 after 5 years as an assistant at Maine. At the time AIC was a DIII program until they moved up to D1 in 1998; they have not had a winning season since.
Through 8 games the Yellow Jackets have not been able to score goals averaging around 2.25 a game, but 9 of their goals have come from two players. Austin Orszulak and Alex MacMillan headline this group as the only goal scoring threats on the roster. One defensemen on this team has scored a goal.
After a royal beating the Wolverines took from Michigan Tech two weeks ago, the blueline needs a tuneup to get started in the right direction. This is it. Defensively Michigan isn't going to have problems with this team, but special teams and situational areas that have been lacking need to get worked out.
That means line changes, transition opportunities and penalty kill need to be prefect. Each individual player has played well, it's time they play together as a unit.
For a team that struggles to score goals, the Yellow Jackets haven't done any better keeping the puck out of their own net. Ranking 53rd in goals allowed, the Jackets turned to freshman Alex Murray who guided them to a sweep of Niagara before being crushed by UMass.
The goal for the Wolverine forwards is the same as the defensemen. Get back on track. Michigan hasn't been able to find scoring outside of their second line, the first line seems to be unsettled, and there's almost no production from the third.
This is an opportunity for JT Compher, Boo Neives and everyone else who hasn't been able to find the net to get started in the right direction before a series against an up and coming Penn State team.
This is an important series not just for the Wolverines, but for Red Berenson as well. At 2-5-0, the team is not where they need to be and Berenson's critics are starting to get louder. They can right the ship, but it starts here. Anything but a sweep is not an option.