The Michigan Wolverines’ hockey team ended the Great Lakes Invitational by playing one less game than originally thought, and it ended with their first scoreless tie in 67 years.
Due to having five players absent at the World Juniors Championships (which was also canceled), the Thursday contest was canceled against Western Michigan.
But Wednesday’s game against Michigan Tech marked a scoreless tie for the first time since 1954 for the Wolverines. Erik Portillo stopped a penalty shot in overtime to keep U-M in it, but the offense was missing four of it’s top five scorers. Michigan’s style of play was different for this game, which tends to happen when your five best players are all unavailable.
Both teams failed to score on their two power play opportunities in this back and forth affair.
No 2nd game
Everyone has made a big deal on social media about Michigan “ducking” WMU last week since it was the better of the two games. I have two thoughts on that, and these are both just opinions; I don’t have a source on the inside.
1. I have played back-to-backs while missing about 10 guys, and let me tell you IT IS HARD. Everyone can say the Wolverines were dodging WMU but unless you have tried playing with more then several guys out, you understand how physically taxing playing back-to-back games can be for players.
2. I would have to guess (again I don’t have an inside source) that due to Michigan Tech being a far distance away, it was probably easier for administration to tell WMU “no thanks” and have them go a few hours down the road back to Kalamazoo then to head all the way back Houghton.
There’s no telling either way if that’s what ACTUALLY happened, but it’s a bummer the game had to be canceled in general.
Michigan gets those five players back this week as the Wolverines take on UMass Jan. 8-9 at Yost Ice Arena.