Michigan Hockey: Hockey Holds Off RIT; Travel For Weekend Series At #13 New Hampshire — Preview
What: #5 Michigan (2-0-0) Vs. #13 New Hampshire Wildcats (1-1-0)
When: Friday/ Saturday 10/18-19 7:30 / 7:00 p.m. Whittemore Center, Durham, NH
TV/Radio: Fox College Sports (DirecTV Channel 623); Michigan Hockey IMG Radio Network (1050 a.m. Al Randall, Bill Trainor)
www.mgoblue.com for audio streaming.
Wild Offensive Ride In Rochester:
No one said that playing on the road is easy and the Wolverines proved it last Saturday night. Michigan traveled to New York to take on a feisty RIT Tiger squad in front of over 10,000 fans. Everything seemed to start out well for the Maize and Blue as they coasted to a first period 4-0 lead on goals by DiGiuseppe (2), Nieves and DeBlois. One of PDG’s goals was on the new look power-play that only saw two opportunities versus eight RIT power plays. The Wolverines were sluggish in the disastrous 2nd stanza, as the Tigers mounted a four goal comeback on the strength of six power play chances in which they cashed in on two of them. But, just as RIT has stolen back the momentum, Evan Allen threw a shot from a poor angle at the RIT cage and it found its way home late in the period to give Michigan a 5-4 advantage. It was Allen’s first career goal and the game winner. The Tigers controlled play in the early stages of the 3rd period and rattled a shot off the iron that fortuitously bounced under Michigan netminder Steve Racine. Freshman Tyler Motte added the sixth goal of the night (his first collegiate goal) with five minutes left that essentially finished off the Tigers. Alternate Captain Andrew Copp added an empty net goal to complete a 7-4 victory. Racine stopped 42 of the 46 shots directed at him. Alex Guptill was reinstated and added 2 assists. Kevin Clare (3 assists), Zach Hyman (2 assists) DiGuiseppe (2 goals, 1 assist) and Andrew Copp (1 goal, 1 assist) all led the offensive fireworks.
From Tigers to Wildcats:
Michigan will travel next to New England to take on the dangerous UNH Wildcats in a rare weekend non-conference road series. The Cats are led by their seven member senior class and six member junior class, featuring Sr. defenseman Eric Knodel (2-2-4) and Jr. blueliner Trevor Van Riemsdyk (2-0-2). The forward crew is led by senior Kevin Goumas (1-0-1) who potted 10-32-42 last season to lead the offense. The remainder of the lineup is balanced, adding grit and size on the wings. The offense is predicated around Van Riemsdyk’s rushing skills and on their potent special teams.
The goaltending chores are handled by junior Casey DeSmith (0-1-0, 3.05 GAA, .912 save %) and senior Jeff Wyer (1-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .971 save %.) DeSmith will probably get the bulk of the starts and dropped a tough 3-2 loss to Minnesota in the Ice Breaker Classic held this past weekend. Wyer allowed one goal in a 4-1 win over Clarkson in the Cats opener in the tournament.
The Cats were an NCAA playoff team last season and dropped out of the regionals with a tough loss to their interconference rivals from U-Mass Lowell. They are expected to compete for the Hockey East Title, although taking a back seat in the pre-season rankings to UML and BC. Adding Notre Dame to the HEA mix has made the conference even tougher. UNH is typically displays an up tempo offensive style that could produce another high scoring affair- especially since this weekend is the home opener for the Cats, where they throw caution at the wind on their large Olympic ice surface.
Michigan last met the Wildcats in Durham in 2010 and it produced a back and forth game that ended in a 3-3 tie. Shawn Hunwick stopped 40+ shots to preserve the tie.
-Sophomore Alternate Captain Andrew Copp was given the inaugural Big Ten First Star Award for his 2G 3A effort last weekend. The First, Second and Third Star award names the top three players in the conference each week.
-Michigan is a sizzling 3 for 7 on the PP so far after two games (42.9%) while surrendering 2 PPG’s in ten attempts (80%).
-The Wolverines have outscored BC and RIT a combined 8-0 in the first and third periods, but have been outscored 5-2 in the second frame.
-Moving on up: Michigan shot up in both major polls, from #11 to #5 this week after their two wins. Three of the six B1G Ten teams are in the top five in the national polls, with the NCHC’s Miami Redhawks at the top of the chart this week.
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 Big Ten Network, Fox Sports Detroit, CBS-SN, NBC-SN, ESPNU, ESPNews, Fox Sports College, and Comcast local. The upgraded schedule and B1G Ten conference affiliation is feeding this exposure. Check MGoBlue for the entire schedule.
Come to the message board and give us your thoughts, agree or disagree.
Just a reminder you must be a member to participate on the Message Board. Here is the link for the registration page for those people interested in becoming a GBMWolverine member of our message board. GBMWolverine Register.
Please comment on our GBMWolverine Message Board about this article and read what others comment. Make note that our message board has changed so make sure you change your favorite/bookmark as well for the direct link.
You can contact us at our e-mail address: GBMWolverine
Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Yostmeister
Go Blue — Wear Maize!