Michigan 5 - AIC 2
Michigan 6 - AIC 3
The final score says Michigan won comfortably, easily handling an overmatched opponent on home ice and getting a tuneup before Penn State comes to town.
The eye test told a different story.
Red Berenson and the Wolverines needed to leave no doubt by putting away this team and silencing their critics for at least another week. Instead the voices have gotten louder.
Offensively everything went as expected. The Wolverines dominated the possession category, shots on goal and won a large number of their faceoffs. Andrew Copp had a huge weekend and the combination of Max Shuart, JT Compher and Boo Nieves played like a line who could stay together through Big Ten play.
The problems started when the defensive pairings were changed again. The blueline predictably looked disjointed, pinching at the wrong times, getting caught out of position and allowing the Yellow Jackets to get countless odd man rushes on Zach Nagelvoort.
Michigan suffocated AIC by pressuring in the offensive zone for the majority of both games, but when the Yellow Jackets countered they easily found quality scoring chances. When the defense had their way on Saturday cutting down mistakes, Nagelvoort wasn't able to keep the puck out of the net and the Yellow Jackets were able to not just stay in the game, but put Michigan on the ropes early.
I've been optimistic pointing to youth and chemistry as reasons not to panic and why their mistakes could be fixed, but how can they build anything when the lineup is changed before every game? Why can they not put together a complete game, even against the weakest competition? A quarter of the season has gone by and none of the questions have been answered, in fact, we find ourselves with more questions than we started with.