"Whenever somebody tells me I was traded for a bag of pucks, I have to politely correct them — because a bag of pucks would’ve been a lot more expensive. But I loved it, because the whole story just added to my underdog mentality."
Per an NHL agent, verified account.
This B1G Tournament is Red's last stand.
Hearing University of Michigan Hockey program has their new head coach. Great choice UofM. Great choice...— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@DMilsteinHockey) March 15, 2017
Dean Blais informed his team Tuesday that he is stepping down as UNO's hockey coach.
In eight seasons with the Mavericks, Blais posted a 146-133-30 overall record, advanced to two NCAA tournaments and the school's first Frozen Four appearance. UNO went 17-17-5 during his final year.
Blais has also coached at North Dakota. I haven't followed his career lately, but I seem to remember that he's a solid coach with a pretty good reputation.
I know that Mel is still the #1 choice, but does Blais become a person of interest, if, as widely expected, this is Red's last season behind the bench?
(James Coller) It was your night. Zach
FIRST: Well, it was better than last night's first period. But not by much. The Wolverines tallied a 9(2)...and not many were close to the HP, outside of those couple. Again, they took advatage of their one opportunity when Lockwood got into the slot and Jones coughed up a rebound. Winborg was right there to finish it. Penn State is a great high-possession team, so you're not going to have as many looks as they do...but still. You have to find a way into the slot more than once.
SECOND: Well, they got into the slot, anyway. Michigan only tallied 11 even strength attempts...but 6 did come from the HP. They had quality looks, just not many total looks. But...that's what happens when the puck is in your end the entire period and your goalie is doing cartwheel saves. I don't have much else to add.
- THIRD: Michigan's even strength came on a great tip from Adam Winborg, who got into the low slot and redirected Cecconi's centering pass behind Jones to seal the game. That made the game 3-0 with just over 3 minutes remaining. Once again, Michigan took advanatge of they few chances they scrounged up against an overwhelming Penn State attack. They ended the third with a 12(5). Keep PSU out of the slot, score on the power play, and finish your best chances. For the most part, that was what Michigan did. Michigan finished with a 32(13) and 41% of their even strength attempts coming from the HP. Low volume but high quality.
FIRST: This was reminiscent of last night. Penn State bombed away for 25 even strength chances but were only able to get into the HP for 6 tallies. Still, that's almost all of Michigan's total even strength chances of the period. Michigan did a decent (not great) job of keeping most of those chances to the points and boards, though. This is what Penn State does, though...fire away from anywhere, always. The only time they got one past Nagelvoort was after the whistle...after a Nagelvoort awful turnover. I predict a ton more attempts in the second.
SECOND: Well, I was right. Penn State ripped 24 more even strength attempts at Nagelvoort, including 9 from the HP. I can't say that the defense is playing well...because they're still not getting the puck out enough (or keeping PSU out of scoring areas), but Nagelvoort is more than making up for it. He is the story so far, tonight.
- THIRD: Michigan got bombed, again, in terms of volume. 26(7). That's a 75(22) and a 29% from HP. The defense did an ok job of keeping the puck as far from Nagelvoort as they could, but shots just rained all period (and game) long. Penn State just isn't a good matchup for Michigan in terms of skating and possession. The story here is Zach Nagelvoort who saved all 46 on frame to get his Senior Night shutout. It seems every game, whomever is in net is Michigan's best goalie. Zach seemed to channel J-Bart and live in the future knowing and seeing everything that came at him. The kick-stretch save (that I later pasted a video to) was just unreal. From his to 5v3 penalty kill to his crazy stretch save to always being in the right place, seeing the puck and control his rebounds...just a crazy impressive performance. Steve Shields seems to have pushed him to his very ceiling.
FIRST: Both team had two penalties in the first period. Each had a full power play and created a few looks. Penn State's Zach Saar ripped a great one-timer from the slot (unchecked) right into Nagelvoort's chest. Michigan had a few chances, as well, but nothing as good as Saar's. Both teams second power plays were shorter, as the penalties overlapped. Penn State's will carry into the second for about 30 seconds. Nothing earth-shattering to report here.
- SECOND: Michigan took two penalties in the course of a minute in the second period. Penn State spent the first 90 seconds in the zone on a 5v3 and had chance after chance after chance, but Michigan's scrappy three and Zach held on long enough for Cutler to come back from his first penalty. Finally, Michigan got their clear and turned it into a 2v1 shorthanded where Shuart ALMOST tapped one in. It would have been apropos for him, as he has a few of those this season. Michigan did get a power play with a minute left in the second. It will carry over into the third.
- THIRD: Griffin Luce took Michigan's two penalties in the third, but only one resulted in a man advantage.. Penn State threatened but didn't score on their lone chance. Michigan's penalty kill -which had not looked good for a while- was again great tonight, kill all five of PSU's man advantages. That means Michiga has killed all nine penalties they took, this weekend. That's rather impressive against PSU's strong power play. Michigan also tallied a power play goal. Tony Calderone poked one past Jones to double Michigan's lead. They had one other power play but did not score on that. Michigan ended the night 1/5 on the man advantage.
(James Coller) Thou Shall Not Pass
FIRST: Zach Nagelvoort gets the start on Senior Night. And he's playing like it's his last game in Yost. Penn State has given him plenty of chances to make saves and he's obliged, very nicely...stopping all 14 that have come on frame. He had one awful giveaway at the very end of the period that Sturtz managed to get by him (after Nagelvoort passed it right to him NHL 94 style), but Zach was bailed out by Trevor Hamilton losing his helmet behind Michigan's net...just before the shot crossed the goalline. Aside from that, he's been fantastic.
SECOND: Nagelvoort was unreal in the second. He had 22 saves. I don't even want to look at the corsi. There was a 1:05 stretch where PSU had a 5v3 and the puck didn't leave the zone for about a good 90 seconds. Nagelvoort had to have had 5+ saves in the stretch. He was literally everywhere. Sometimes a goalie just has a game where his mind is almost ahead of the play and just sees everything coming...this is that game. Nagelvoort is just out of his mind, right now.
- THIRD: https://twitter.com/umichhockey/status/840755721264279553
ODD MAN RUSHES
FIRST: I saw no OMRs! This is three periods in a row!
SECOND: PSU got one OMR in the second period. It was a 2v1 and the shot went right into Nagelvoort's chest. To be fair, its hard to have many OMRs when you spend the entire period in the attacking zone.
- THIRD: No OMRs, again! One OMR in the last five periods. Perhaps, they are getting more disciplined?
(James Coller) A freshman finished on Senior Night
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Penn State 75(22), Michigan 32(13)
www.collegehockeynews.com had: Penn State 76, Michigan 32
Nagelvoort with 46 saves and the shutout!! Michigan scored 3 third period goals. Outshot 2-1 again but who cares! Great win second night in a row.
(Bill Rapai) Tony Calderone provided the finishing, tonight
FIRST: So...Michigan tallied a 6(3). That's not very good. In fact, its pretty bad. It didn't seem as bad during live play because Michigan was able to create a few nice looks on both their power play and penalty kill. But six even strength attempts, man. That's about it.
SECOND: Michigan's offense was a little bit better in the second period. A little bit. They generated 12 even strength attempts with three coming from the HP. Unfortunately, a lot of their looks were from rather poor angles or from quite a distance. Their goal was a Calderone snipe on a 2v2 rush that he let go from the top of the circle. It was well-placed...but probably could/should have been saved. More chances from the slot, please! Lost in the numbers is Will Lockwood. He's made some supremely outstanding individual plays. He's worth the price of admission.
- THIRD: Michigan took 14 even strength attempts in the third period. They got into the HP for 4 of those 14 chances. Again, that's not the best. Most of their attempts came from quite a distance or a poor angle. Against a high pucl possession team, though, looks at the net seem to be at a premium, though. They did manage to take advantage of their quality chances, though. Tony Calderone came in on a 2v1 and ripped a flare over Jones's shoulder to tie the game. Brendan Warren hustled and outskated a PSU defenseman on a free-for-all and attempted to cross the puck through the crease to a waiting James Sanchez, but the Nittany Lion defenseman broke up the pass with his stick...and it slid right through Jones to give Michigan the lead. Sanchez would have had a tap-in from a few feet out if he doesn't deflect it, though. Very few teams are going to out-skate and out-possess PSU, so the way to beat them is to take advantage of your rushes and opportunities when they give them to you. Michigan did just that, tonight.
FIRST: There has yet to be a shot that a Penn State player has decided to pass up. They will literally shoot from almost anywhere at anytime. That's how you end up with even strength 22 attempts. Michigan only allowed three of those to come from the HP, though. So, my hottaeks say that Penn State just shot from anywhere inside th blue line. This period was probably more even than the stats say...at least in terms of quality looks. The PSU goal came with under five seconds left in the period as Kris Myllari heaved a puck at the net (because PSU shot) and it floated above Lavigne's blocker. Probably not on the defense, as much as Lavigne...but you just cannot surrender goals with just seconds left in a period. I would say that was borderline acceptable defensive period...until the last few seconds.
SECOND: Michigan constrained the trigger-happy Nittany Lions to only 15 even strength attempts...with 7 coming from the HP. It was odd, though, that almost all seven HP attempts were literally on the edge of my drawn HP shape. So, nothing from the slot, just the very fringes. PSU shooting 15 times is actually probably on their lower end...and giving up nothing TOO Grade A seems like a win. The goal was another fling from the boards that slipped through Lavigne's arm. That's not on the defense.
- THIRD: Looking back at the first couple periods, Michigan limited PSU's quality chances. They gave up a ton of looks but not many great ones. In the third, Penn State was able to conjure up 26 (!!) attempts on net in even strength...but again, they only got 6 from the HP. I'm going out on a limb and say that Michigan's defense was actually good, tonight. They did surrender a 63(16), which seems like a lot. However, due to the nature of PSU's offensive gameplan, you're just going to give up attempts. They seem to shoot just for the sake of shooting. To keep them to around 25% of their shots from HP, though? I think Michigan can live with that...especially with Michigan's goaltending being its strength. Its not fun to watch, per se...but when you have great netminding and limited offense, packing in the defenders and finishing your limited offensive chances is your best bet. Oh geez...we're Michigan State. :(
FIRST: Michigan drew one power play in the first period and looked very dangerous. They created about 3-4 really good looks at the net and hit the post. Not having the puck much doesn't allow you to draw many penalties, so the Wolverines are going to have to make them count, tonight. Michigan took two penalties and actually looked better offensively than Penn State did on their first. The Nittany Lions threatened a lot more on their second and Lavigne made a few outstanding saves to help kill of that PSU man advantage.
SECOND: Each team had a power play in the second period and both ended the same way: with just as many chances for the PK as the PP. Odd. I would not have expected that from either of these teams.
- THIRD: Michigan did not draw a penalty and took one penalty in the third period. Penn State had a couple decent looks, but nothing overwhelming. Michigan's penalty kill stoned four PSU advantages, tonight, and didn't really give up that many good looks...which is refreshing. That has not been the case, lately.
(James Coller) I'M BATMAN
FIRST: Hayden Lavigne started tonight. He played extremely well through the first 19 minutes and 50 seconds, stopping 13 shots on as many attempts. Unfortunately, a late chuck from the point/boards snuck over his blocker. Perhaps he was screened? Tough to tell. Either way, I think he's going to want that one back. Before that, though...Lavigne was fantatsic, including multiple stuffs from the low slot during some multiple skater scrums right in front of him. His positioning was very, very good, as well.
SECOND: Lavigne, again, had a similar period to the first. He made a few fantastic saves and kept Michigan in a tightly played game. The goal he gave us was another head-scratcher. The puck was thrown from the point/boards (again) and just seemed to leak through his blocker side arm. He seemed to be in the right spot, but...the puck just got through. Screen? Maybe. But...it also seemed kinda soft, even on replay. These couple of goals have been uncharacteristic of him...especially given how he's played the rest of the time.
- THIRD: Lavigne was great, again, saving all 13 shots he faced in the third. And...no fluky fluff goals! I've commented on his positioning before, but I really thought he was in the right places and saw the game develop in front of him very well, tonight. He had those two hiccups, but they were not for lack of being in the correct spot. I truly am thinking, now, that Steve Shields is the catalyst behind this goaltending resurgence. He transformed Racine into a dependable college goalie, and he's also pushing all three of Michigan's netminders to the top of their games. The Wolverines truly are getting elite play from all of their goalies. Hayden Lavigne is the latest piece of evidence.
ODD MAN RUSHES
FIRST: Michigan gave up 2 OMRs in the first period. The first came early on and the got lucky as the the shooter broke his stick and whiffed on the pass. The second was a tremendous break-out pass that lead to a 2v1. The shot was high and wide, but it was a great chance. M cannot skate end-to-end with PSU.
SECOND: I saw no OMRs in the 2nd. Yay!
- THIRD: Nothing. Yay! Hottaek: Michigan's defense got better as the game progressed.
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Penn State 63(16), Michigan 32(10)
www.collegehockeynews.com had: Penn State 64, Michigan 31