Monday, February 15, 2010
Michigan Hockey: Michigan swept at UNO
Posted at 12:00pm -- 2/15/2010
Michigan Icers Swept At UNO, 4-3 & 4-1
A tired Michigan hockey team traveled for the third time in ten days only to have their NCAA at-large chances pretty much ended at the hands of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The Mavericks- losers of only two games this season at home- swept the Wolverines this past weekend and vaulted over Michigan into fourth place.
Friday night started well for the Wolverines, as they came out flying and generated good scoring chances. Michigan was awarded a power play opportunity and Chris Brown tipped in a Chad Langlais point shot to give Michigan a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the game. But, soon after, the wheels fell off as UNO rallied for three unanswered goals. The first mishap was created by a careless giveaway right in front of Bryan Hogan by Steve Kampfer, just over a minute after Brown scored. Joey Martin scooped up the puck after Matt Abroz intercepted Kampfer and slid it past Hogan to tie the game. Just over two minutes later Martin struck again, this time banking a centering pass off of Tristin Llewellyn’s stick to give UNO the lead. Freshman sensation Terry Broadhurst made good on an odd man, power play rush to extend the lead to 3-1 with three minutes to go.
Louie Caporusso brought Michigan to 3-2 at 3:32 of the 2nd period to give Michigan life. But, Michigan, on the wrong end of seven minor penalties for the evening, took a bad penalty and UNO capitalized again. Broadhurst banged in a deflected pass at the crease to make it 4-2. In the third period Michigan shot themselves in the foot, negating most of a five minute boarding major on UNO by taking two penalties during that power play. Steve Kampfer did tally at the 9:00 mark while both teams were playing 4x4 hockey to give the Wolverines a chance to tie the game. But, UNO held off the Wolverines to earn the victory. Hogan stopped 27 of UNO’s 31 shots, while UNO goal tender John Faulkner stopped 29 of Michigan’s 32 shots. Michigan was 1-4 on the PP while UNO was 2-4.
Saturday night was a much different story with similar results, as UNO jumped on Michigan early, yet could not score until late into the first period. John Kemp scored a PPG at 16:51 to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead. Michigan was slow to the puck all evening, and continued to take dumb penalties-at one point six consecutive calls- to keep UNO’s momentum going. The game remained 1-0 until the 13:09 point of the second period, when UNO extended the lead to 2-0. Michigan pressed the Mavericks, badly outshooting them, but did not generate good chances. Ben Swanson scored a pair of goals: 23 seconds apart midway through the third period to ice the game and give the Mavericks their first ever series sweep over Michigan Louie Caporusso spoiled Faulkner’s shutout bid with 3:30 left. Hogan made 24 saves, while Faulkner held the Mavs in the last two periods, making 36 saves. Michigan was 0-4 on the PP, while UNO was 1-7.
Michigan returns home to Ann Arbor to meet the NMU Wildcats next weekend in what will be Michigan’s last gasp effort to move up to at least a fourth place position in the CCHA. UNO travels to league champion Miami to finish the regular season conference schedule. Michigan now trails UNO by four points with two games in hand. Alaska is in a tie for 5th place with NMU, two points in front of Michigan. Alaska will also finish league play this weekend at home against 8th place LSSU, which is two points behind Michigan. A Michigan sweep, combined with favorable results from the UNO/Miami series, and at least a split between UA and LSSU will jump Michigan back into fourth spot. Right now that is the only optimism I can project. Michigan must secure their next four games (three at home) to secure a first round bye.
Michigan finishes CCHA conference play against UNO with an overall record of 24-6-3 . The only opportunity Michigan will have to play the Mavericks now (unless they play them in this season’s CCHA tourney) will be in regular season tournaments or the NCAA tournament.
Louie Caporusso has now scored four goals in his last three games, giving him 11-14-25 on the year. Carl Hagelin added two assists this weekend, as did Luke Glendening, and Steve Kampfer added a goal and an assist.
Michigan has fallen out of the top 25 in the PWR rankings, meaning that it will be next to impossible to move up to the top 14-15 spots for an at-large bid to the NCAA tourney. Keep in mind that auto bids are only given to the conference tourney winners, and if any upsets occur, it typically bumps out the “bubble” teams in the 14-16th place spots. Currently only one CCHA is secure enough that they will make the NCAA tourney and that is Miami. Ferris and MSU are still classified as bubble teams based on their current PWR. Ironically, the two teams cited above play each other this weekend, also.
Yostmeister three star selections:
1. UNO - Joey Martin- 2G and 1A on the night
2. UNO - Terry Broadhurst- 2G, including the GWG
3. UNO - Matt Ambroz- 3A
1. UNO - Brandon Richardson- 3A for the third liner
2. UNO - Terry Broadhurst- 2A
3. UNO - Ben Swanson- Backbreaking 2G in the second period, 23 seconds apart
Written by Yostmeister
Go Blue -- Wear Maize!