The Wolverines are hitting the road for their first big road trip. They’ll be in Vermont Friday before heading to New Hampshire Saturday to face Dartmouth.
The Catamounts have been a surprise in Hockey East this season. Projected to finish 8th in HE, the Catamounts have started 2-1-1 and looked really good last weekend against #20 Omaha earning a tie and a shutout win.
This group of forwards is the opposite of what Michigan has seen so far this season. The three teams Michigan has played were bigger, grinding teams that relied on forechecking. The Catamounts are much quicker and ice a smaller, skill oriented lineup.
This team can score. Despite playing without Mario Puskarich, Brendan Bradley and Anthony Petruzzelli the Catamounts have not had trouble scoring goals. In their absence Craig Puffer, Jarrid Privitera Travis Blanleil and Brady Shaw have stepped up to carry the scoring load to the tune of four goals per game.
In net freshman Stefanos Lekkas took over for the UNO series and has posted a 1.99 goals against and a .930 save percentage.
Dartmouth has played one game this season, an exhibition tie with Harvard.
The Big Green were picked to finish 9th in both the ECAC coaches and media poll. They return a pair of scorers from last season in Carl Hesler and Corey Kalk and return most of their blueline.
In net Dartmouth doesn’t have much experience at all. Junior Devin Buffalo has a few games under his belt; you may remember he started last season against Michigan and made 37 saves in a tie at Yost.
The first four games for the Wolverines have been sounding off alarm bells. It’s early but Michigan has been outshot in every game and has had to come from behind too many times this season. It’s not a sustainable formula to win games and they need to clean it up now.
If there’s a silver lining it’s that Red Berenson was able to get his older players going offensively last weekend when Alex Kile and Tony Calderone scored. Brendan Warren is back at wing and I hope Red will use Adam Winborg at center and get Nick Pastujov on the wing.
In net both Lavigne and LaFontaine played well but gave up three goals each so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Zach Nagelvoort get a start.