Michigan Hockey: #4 Icers Steal a Tie and an OT Win at UNH; Entertain #13 BU And #18 UML — Preview
What: #4 Michigan (3-0-1) Vs. #13 Boston University (3-1-0) and #18 U-Mass Lowell (1-3)
When: Friday/ Saturday 10/25-26 7:00 p.m. both nights. Yost Ice Arena, Ann Arbor
TV/Radio: Comcast Local; Michigan Hockey IMG Radio Network (1050 a.m. Al Randall, Bill Trainor)
www.mgoblue.com for audio streaming.
Taming The Wildcats In Hampsha:
The Maize and Blue hockey team continues to surprise even themselves by posting a hard fought 1-1 tie last Friday, followed by an impressive 3-2 come from behind victory in OT on Saturday. UNH was the beneficiary of eleven U-M penalties on Friday, dominated the shot board and the chances, but could only muster one goal past starter Steve Racine. Tyler Motte had staked Michigan to a 1-0 lead on a PPG in the first frame. UNH tied it in the second period and soon after Racine had to leave due to injury. Zach Nagelvoort was stellar the rest of the way in preserving the tie. On Saturday, Nagelvoort was solid in Michigan’s 3-2 win, which featured a more disciplined effort by the team. Both the Wolverines and the Wildcats took advantage of their PP opportunities, though, as Alex Guptill tied the game at 1-1 in the first period while Luke Moffatt scored his 3rd PPG of the season to give Michigan a brief 2-1 lead in the second. A UNH PPG re-tied the game just minutes later. The offensive hero of the weekend was freshman Tyler Motte, who was set up for the game winner on a 3×2 rush in OT. Motte banged in a perfect pass from the edge of the crease to send the Wolverines home victorious. The win was Nagelvoort’s first career victory as a Wolverine.
Terriers And Riverhawks Invade Yost:
The B1G Ten-Hockey East Challenge concludes this weekend with Michigan, MSU & Minnesota taking on BU, UML and Boston College respectively. (HEA has a sizable lead in the Challenge, unfortunately.) BU visits Yost arena for the first time since the 2007-08 season when the Wolverines manhandled the Terriers both nights. BU returned the favor in 2008-09 and 2009-10 by beating Michigan in single games held in Boston- with the last meeting four seasons ago. The Terriers edged Michigan 3-2 on a late goal to push the overall series to 12-10-0 in Michigan’s favor.
BU is led by five seniors, with two playing prominent roles on the ice. Terrier’s Captain (Defenseman) Garrett Noonan (2-4-6) is an offensive threat as well as a presence on the blueline. Captain Patrick MacGregor (0-1-1) is a stay at home defender that is big, nasty and physical. Sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen (1-6-7) is a PP specialist and is leading the Terriers in points. Junior sniper Casey Hohmann (2-4-6) hails from Plymouth, Michigan and is pacing the offense for the forwards. Both of Hohmann’s goals have been during odd man advantages. BU is really young, with 19 sophomores and freshmen already seeing action this season.
The goaltending is handled by the sophomore tandem of Matt O’Connor (2-0-0, 2.50 GAA, .924 save %) and Sean Maguire (1-1-0, 2.03 GAA, .942 save %.)
The Riverhawks have had quite an ascension in the college hockey ranks since they last visited Yost arena. (UML were perennial last place finishers in HEA and were bombed 8-1 and 5-1 in 1999 by the Mike Comrie led Wolverines.) The preseason #1 team in the country has staggered out of the gate, including a home loss to college hockey doormat Sacred Heart from the Atlantic Conference and two losses to 2012-13 National Runner Up, Quinnipiac. (Last season, UML was knocked out of the Frozen Four by the ECAC’s Yale.) UML is a veteran team, in contrast to both the Wolverines and Terriers, featuring seven seniors including all HEA conference goaltender Doug Carr (1-1-0, 2.51 GAA, .912 save %.) Sophomore Connor Hellebuyck is 0-2-0 with a 2.57 GAA and a .900 save %. The biggest issue for the Hawks has been their offense, which has only produced three goals in their three losses-which has also been hampered by excessive penalty killing. Sophomore Ryan McGrath (2-1-3) leads the offense along with senior Joe Pendenza (2-0-2). Junior defenseman Jake Suter (0-2-0) has NHL bloodlines and is an offensive threat from the blueline.
Look for both teams to match Michigan’s high tempo offense although the Hawks have more size and physicality. Michigan holds an overall 2-0-0 mark against UML.
-Alternate Captain Andrew Copp is leading Michigan’s offense (2-4-6) with Phil DiGiuseppe (2-3-5). Three others are tied with four points and four others are tied with three points. Overall, Michigan’s offense has been balanced this season.
-Michigan is capitalizing on their PP chances, with a 37% connect rate (6/16.) The PK has yielded 3 goals in 22 opportunities, a sparkling 86.4% kill rate.
-The second period continues to haunt Michigan, as they have given up 7 of their 8 total goals in that frame.
-Pollwatch: Michigan jumped a spot to #4 this week, while fellow B1G Ten conference mate Minnesota is wearing the #1 target. Wisconsin has dropped to #11 following their 9-2 and 7-3 losses last weekend to BC and BU.
-Racine update: The sophomore netminder left the Friday night game with an apparent groin injury and will be questionable for this weekend. He was credited with the tie at UNH (2-0-1, 2.23 GAA and .931 save %.) Freshman Zach Nagelvoort (1-0-0, 1.41 GAA and .949 save %) will get the call Friday against BU and possibly Saturday against UML.
-Michigan’s hockey program is only six victories shy of reaching 1,600 wins in its storied history. There are only six teams currently in Division I hockey that holds a winning/tied record against Michigan: Minnesota (117-128-15), Air Force (1-1), Cornell (3-4-1), Dartmouth (3-3), Northeastern (3-3) and RPI (3-7-1). Dartmouth is the only team Michigan has not faced in the last three decades (1979).
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Yostmeister
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