Notre Dame 17 - Michigan 8
Ian King drew first blood in Michigan's first-ever meeting against the Fighting Irish on Saturday, but the Wolverines couldn't get on the board again until 47 seconds to go in the first half. By that point, Michigan was down 9-2 and seven different Irish scored on Gerald Logan, who finished the day with 16 saves--now the third-most in a game.
Michigan had scored an average of 15.5 goals in their first two games, but the Irish went into Saturday's game as one of the premier defensive teams in the country and walked out with that status unchanged at ten points given up per game so far. Maybe Michigan's first two opponents weren't on par with Notre Dame, but scoring only 50% of what had been scored the previous two weeks stings no matter what.
The so-far steady Brad Lott was 3-8 at the dot, while his replacement, Chase Brown, went 9-18. Overall, Michigan was a disappointing 12-29 on face-offs against Notre Dame, which is their lowest win total since winning 15 against Bellarmine. Their eight goals were also their lowest of the season by seven.
Will Meter (2), Mike Francia (1), and Mike Hernandez (1) rounded out the scoring for the Wolverines. Mack Gembis forced two turnovers, while Parker McKee and Brad Lott led the team with four ground balls each.
Notre Dame's Mickey Wynne and Michigan's King matched each other with four goals, but King had two assists to Wynne's one--hey, I'm trying to find the positives, here.
And speaking of positives (at least from a season standpoint), at least Michigan is still doing well when compared to their opponents in Man-up chances (40% to 25%); ground balls (96 to 77); caused turnovers (36 to 20), and face-offs (54% to 47%). But there's still a lot that needs to be done if Michigan wants to hang tight against a top team in the country.
So even though Michigan lost yesterday, it's not time to panic; it's just one loss to a very good program. The Wolverines will have an opportunity to get back in the win column at 1 p.m. ET on February 28 as they welcome Canisius to Oosterbaan Field House for the last of five consecutive home games.