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Michigan Hockey Weekend Preview: Wolverines Travel to New York for a Series with RPI

The Wolverines hit the road for a weekend series in New York state.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Who: Michigan at Union; Michigan at RPI.

When: Friday, 10/23/15, 7:30pm. Saturday, 10/24/15, 7:00pm.

After a home sweep of Mercyhurst, the Wolverines will get their first big test of the season in week two with a road series at Union on Friday and Rensselaer Saturday.

The Union Dutchmen enter Friday's game ranked 18th with a 2-0-2 record beating BU and Maine to start the year. They've gotten off to a great start defensively allowing 1.25 goals per game and are a perfect 14-of-14 on the penalty kill; in net junior Alex Sakellaropoulos has been spectacular posting a .941 sv% and a 1.58 goals against. At forward Mike Vecchione leads the team in scoring with a 1-3--4 line through four games.

A year ago Rensselaer came to Yost and played a tough series, this year we head to their rink for a Saturday game. The Engineers enter the weekend holding a 1-3-0 record with their win over a Boston College team that was ranked number one in the nation.

This team is better than the record indicates. At forward freshman Evan Tironese has made an instant impact recording points in each game while Riley Bourbonnais has three goals. In net for RPI is senior Jason Kasdorf, who is the kind of goaltender that gives his team a chance to win every night.

What to watch: Michigan

Goaltending will be the biggest question mark for the Wolverines this weekend. I expect Zach Nagevoort to start Friday; I did say that going into last weekend, but with Racine and Nagevoort each getting a start and Zach looking better he should get the call.

It's early to start worrying about defensive pairings, but already the 2nd and 3rd pairs have flipped. For a few years now Red Berenson has had a quick trigger shuffling his defensemen if a combination doesn't work right away. I'd like Cutler Martin and Nolan De Jong have the same partner for consecutive weeks. I have a feeling one of the freshman will sit for Kevin Lohan. We'll see what Red decides to do.

The freshman have been impressive. Let's see what they can do on their first road series.