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Left Wing Lock: Wisconsin

Taking a closer look at the good and the bad from Michigan's sweep over Wisconsin

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Notes

The story of the weekend was JT Compher. It's been a frustrating year for Compher; after leading the team in points a year ago, Compher has had a frustrating season on the scoresheet but he finally broke through with a goal Friday and the hat trick Saturday.

Two goals for Justin Selman brings him to 9 on the year and 18 points in 19 games.

Zach Hyman and Dylan Larkin continue to close in on milestones. With four points Hyman can pass the 50 point mark and claim the highest scoring season from a Wolverine since Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik had 63 and 56 in 2007.

For Larkin, his 40 points this year is the most from a freshman at Michigan since Aaron Palushaj had 44 in 2007.

Special Teams

There was no Jekyll-And-Hyde approach to special teams this weekend. Finally, the Wolverines delivered two solid games in a row.

The power play operated at 50% this weekend, going 4-of-8 with two goals in each game and the penalty kill was and has been outstanding, killing all six Wisconsin power plays over the weekend and currently riding a streak of 17-of-17 power plays killed since the Minnesota series.

In the faceoff circle the teams were about even. Wisconsin held a W-L record of 23-22 on Friday, 26-25 on Saturday.

Defense And Goaltending

The box score says two goals allowed for the weekend but against one of the worst offensive teams in the nation, the blueline performance wasn't as crisp as expected.

Shot total was in Michigan's favor on Friday with a 34-22 advantage but the Badgers weren't always shooting from low quality areas. The Wisconsin forwards beat the Michigan defensemen on more than one occasion in 1-on-1 situations and took quite a few shots from the 7-10 feet range.

On Saturday Michigan owned a 34-28 advantage. They allowed Wisconsin to score first, then tie the game after Michigan had taken the lead before overwhelming the Badgers for a comfortable win.

Steve Racine, on the other hand, was nothing short of spectacular. Racine posted his first career shutout and has a 3-0-0 record with a .950 SV% in his last 3 games. He's the undisputed starter down the stretch; we'll see how he handles the job next weekend at Penn State.

Lineup Notes

Nolan De Jong filled in for Mike Downing on Friday and given the circumstances, playing as the #1 left defenseman for the first time and playing his off-hand at Right D the next night, things were pretty average. That's a good sign to see positive from a guy who has found himself on the outside of the linechart.

At forward there wasn't too much turnover in the lineup. Alex Talcott, Andrew Sinelli and Max Shuart rotated in and out, but the rest of the group stayed the same.