After another comeback win on Friday night, the Wolverines needed to clamp down defensively, cut down on the mental errors and earn a statement win. Robert Morris was the team who made a statement shutting out Michigan at Yost, the first time that's happened since 2009.
The first period of yesterday's game went about as bad as it could have gone for the Wolverines. The Colonials jumped all over Michigan turnovers and scored at the start of the period, the halfway mark and in the final minute of the first to chase Zach Nagelvoort.
"One game doesn't make a weekend and you have to be just as hungry coming into this game as we were the game last night or you're going to get this kind of result." Berenson said postgame. "We're not that good that we can live on our laurels; you've got to come out hungry and desperate every night and anything short of that isn't going to be good enough."
It was the kind of night for Michigan where everything was an inch off. They had Grade-A scoring chances, six power plays and 34 shots but pucks were not going in for them.
The loss illustrated the pitfalls of their style of play. A team can't lapse on defense and rely on scoring five goals a game to win without ending up in games like this, something Berenson pointed out after the game.
"We've had too many defensive breakdowns. You've heard me talk about D-zone coverage and 2-on-1's, outnumbered rushes, getting beat to the net. Out-hustled, out-muscled. We saw glimpses of that last night and we got away with it; we got back in the game and we did what we do well and that's create some offense. We got some momentum and our crowd was great but we never did that tonight."
The defensive lapses plaguing this team are the same as they were a year ago and the year before that. The year before that one as well.
The defensemen want to make plays offensively whether it's joining the rush or pinching to keep the play alive. There's nothing wrong with that as long as their defensive responsibilities are taken care of.
The Michigan blueline has been allowing half a dozen odd-man rushes to reach their goaltender for the better part of 4 years and they still get caught out of position trying to jump into the play. Will it ever get fixed?
We'll have to wait at least two weeks to find out.