Saturday, November 28, 2009

GBMW: Michigan Hockey -- College Hockey Showcase -- Minnesota Recap


Rivalry games have dotted Michigan’s early schedule, and last night was no exception. Unlike their performance this season against Michigan State, the Wolverines attacked Minnesota from the outset, getting some fortuitous breaks, and cruised to a rather easy 6-0 victory at Yost Arena.

Michigan failed to convert early odd man rushes and other opportunities, mostly due to Minnesota’s sloppy play. Minnesota nearly converted midway in the period, as Mike Hoeffel drilled a shot from the high slot past Hogan and directly off of the left goal post. Michigan also hit iron twice, including a glorious point blank effort by Fr. Kevin Lynch. It appeared in the period that Michigan dominated so far on the shot board, would remain scoreless, until David Wohlberg accepted an off wing pass from Louie Caporusso, cut in and lifted a backhander that somehow squeaked over the trapper of Gopher goalie Alex Kangas at 18:47. The soft goal lifted Michigan to the 1-0 lead and the momentum entering the 2nd period.

The Gophers began taking some careless penalties and Michigan responded with a pair of power play markers. Brandon Burlon scored his second goal of the season, smoking a shot from the left faceoff circle that hit a Gopher stick and deflected stick side high over Kangas. About six and half minutes later, Louie Caporusso banked in a crease pass off of a Gopher skate for a 3-0 advantage. Just over two minutes later, Lee Moffie sprung Carl Hagelin for the first of his two breakaway goals, and Michigan sailed into the locker room with a 4-0 advantage.

Hagelin struck for his team leading 7th goal of the season at the 7:00 mark, tracking down a Matt Rust pass (after he made a splendid defensive zone play) and went blocker side on Kangas, shorthanded, to make it a 5-0 runaway for Michigan.

Ben Winnett added the sixth Michigan tally at the 11:28 mark, breaking in from the left wing on a 3x1 and holding the puck until he lifted a wicked short side wrister over Kangas’ glove. From that point, Michigan tried to preserve Hogan’s shutout bid.

Hogan had an outstanding game, stopping all 24 Gopher shots, including several terrific glove saves late in the game. More importantly, he communicated flawlessly with his defense as Michigan played perhaps one of the team’s best defensive games of the season. They limited the turnovers and Hogan prevented any comeback opportunities by not allowing rebounds.

Here is what Red Berenson had to say:

“From my perspective, it wasn’t a 6-0 game. It was a game of chances, and whose chances go in, and who got the bounces. It was one of those games where even though we were getting some chances and getting pucks to the net that were going in, on another nights they wouldn’t have gone in. They (Minnesota) go down and hit the post and we go down and score. It was that kind of game.”

Red added these comments about his team’s defensive zone play:

“We were good in our own zone except they still had a few point blank shots from the slot in that area that’s tough to cover. That’s where he (Hogan) earned his shutout tonight, with three or four point blank shots- bang! He made the save, he’s in position and no rebounds.”

Minnesota coach Don Lucia commented that “we were sluggish and we’re not a good enough team to come out and play sluggish. We had a few chances, hit a few pipes to get ourselves back in it, but Michigan was a better team and deserved to win.”

Minnesota (4-8-1) moves up I-96 to tangle with Michigan State on Saturday, while the Wolverines (6-7-0) await the red hot Wisconsin Badgers, 7-3 victors in East Lansing on Friday night.


Berenson held out Sr. Defenseman Tristin Llewellyn, again, from Friday night’s game. Brian Lebler also sat due to a one game suspension for his second HFB game misconduct in last week’s win against BG. Fr. Lindsay Sparks and Sr. Eric Elmblad also were scratched.

Sr. Anthony Ciraulo and Fr. Jeff Rohrkemper were inserted in the revamped lineup, as well as Jr. Scooter Vaughn, (who was a ball of energy all night).

The Gophers suffered their 4th shutout of the season and Michigan earned its first shutout win of the year, after being blanked twice this season by Alaska and MSU.

The PP actually looked dangerous, converting 2 of 7 on the night, while the PK was superb, stopping the Gophers all seven times they had the man advantage, including a late PP bid to spoil the shutout. Hogan did the splits to snare a particularly dangerous chance during that final PP.

Michigan secured the Renfro/Mariucci Trophy for the 3rd straight season. The trophy honors Michigan legend Al Renfro and Minnesota icon John Mariucci. Michigan now has held the trophy 9 times in the 17 CHS meetings between the teams.

Yostmeister three star selections:

1. Mich- Bryan Hogan- 24 saves and flawless in goal

2. Mich- Carl Hagelin- big time effort, with 2G to lead the offense

3. Mich- Steve Kampfer- anchored a solid defense and added 2 of the defense’s 6 pts on the night.

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Written by Yostmeister

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