Michigan Hockey: Wolverine Hockey Falls Flat in Exhibition; Preps for Boston College Opener — Preview
What: #11 Michigan (18-19-3 in 2012-13) Vs. #4 Boston College (22-12-4 in 2012-13)
When: Thursday 10/10/13 7:00 p.m. Yost Ice Arena, Ann Arbor
TV/Radio: Comcast Ch. 900 and on the Michigan IMG Sports network (1050 a.m.) with Al Randall and Bill Trainor
Wolverines Tripped Up:
The new look Wolverines took the ice Sunday evening for their opening action of the season and dropped a tight 2-1 decision to Waterloo University. Michigan dominated the action for the most part, firing 35 shots at Warrior goaltending. Waterloo opened the scoring halfway through the first period on a rebound. Michigan tied the game early in the second period on an Andrew Copp goal off of a goaltender miscue. Waterloo struck back late in the period after Michigan got caught on a 4x 2 break. The Warriors were stopped by Steve Racine on the original shot, but got to the rebound in the crease and flipped it home. Neither team threatened on their special team’s chances. The Wolverines were stymied by the bigger, more experienced squad from Ontario and seldom created any quality scoring chances.
Coach Berenson was pleased with the effort for the most part, save the end result. Most of the freshmen saw action, including back up netminder Zach Nagelvoort.
Here Come the Eagles:
Boston College enters the 2013-14 season with a sour taste in their mouths after the abrupt ending they experienced last season. The Eagles were trying to repeat as NCAA Champs and dropped their final two games-first in the HEA conference semi-final to rival BU, and then to the surprising ECAC’s Union in the NCAA East region’s semi-final.
Gone are several seniors including their goaltender, Parker Milner. In steps ten freshmen from a heralded class to compliment what appears to be a fine corps of returning players.
Four seniors pace the Eagles including Captain Patrick Brown (5-6-11.) The Bloomfield Hills native is flanked by Alternate Captains Bill Arnold (17-18-35) and defenseman Isaac MacLeod (2-5-7). Kevin Hayes (6-19-25) adds punch to the top six forwards. The catalyst of the offense is junior forward Johnny Gaudreau (21-30-51) who led the nation last season in points per game. A trio of freshmen NHL draftees are expected to make an impact: Ryan Fitzgerald (Boston), Adam Gilmour (Minnesota) and Chris Calnan (Chicago) join Arnold and Gaudreau up front.
Look for a heavy dose of youth on the blue line, though. Sophomores Teddy Doherty (1-17-18), Michael Matheson (8-17-25) and Travis Jeke (2-3-5) are expected to join MacLeod on the starting rotation as well as freshmen Steve Santini, Scott Savage and Ian McCoshen.
The junior class adds forward depth as well as what may be considered the unknown quantity on the Eagles squad- goaltending. Brian Billett only saw action in 2 games last season (0-1-0, 3.96 GAA, .853 save %) and will battle with Brad Barone (1 GP, no stats) as well as uber- freshman phenom Thatcher Demko (USNDT). Both Demko and Billett are BIG netminders, checking in at over 6’.
The Eagles may be young, but they are big and fast- with early expectations to share the top spot in the HEA with U-Mass Lowell. Last season BC was 8-5-2 on the road and carried a 34th ranked defense (2.82 GPG) while scoring at a 3.4 GPG clip (2nd in the nation.) They return 67% of that offense. BC’s special teams cash in typically (21% PP last season to go with an 83.6% PK) and average about 12.6 PIM’s per game.
BC last met the Wolverines at the GLI in December, 2011 and fell to Michigan 4-2. Ironically, Brian Billett took the defeat in that game. The Eagles launched their season by dumping St. Frances Xavier 8-2 in their exhibition opener on Sunday.
Junior Forward Alex Guptill was welcomed back to practice, yet is expected to miss the opener against BC after violating team rules during the summer. No timeline is set on his return- and being that this is a reoccurring trend for the big forward, look for Berenson to send the appropriate message regardless of how the young Wolverines start the season.
Michigan TV Schedule:
Maize and Blue fans will be able to enjoy 28 (or more) games on TV this winter, with the games split between The B1G Ten Network, Comcast local, FSN and other outlets. The upgraded schedule and B1G Ten conference affiliation is feeding this exposure. Check www.mgoblue.com for the entire schedule.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Yostmeister
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