NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Semifinal
Friday, March 25, 2016
Michigan 3, Notre Dame 2 (OT)
SELMAN GOAL, MICHIGAN
UM 1 ND 0 EV 10:31 Assists: Kile & Downing
Nieves wins the draw back to Downing. The wingers go in motion off the draw, with Kile going from right to left. This picks up the attention of the defender in front of the net, who takes a few steps with him. Meanwhile, Selman is skating through the faceoff circle, now left unoccupied thanks to the defender being drawn out toward Downing.
Two defenders are watching Kile as he receives the pass from Downing. Nieves has locked up the defender nearest Selman in the high slot; he did so immediately off the draw, and this is just where they ended up. Selman is blitheringly open, though ND goaltender Cal Petersen is square to Kile. Selman's shot catches him off guard, and he isn't able to move across and re-square before the puck's behind him.
[You already know the OT winner is after THE JUMP why have you not clicked yet]
Saturday, March 19, 2016
#20 Minnesota 3, #7 Michigan 5
MOTTE GOAL, MICHIGAN
MINN 0 MICH 1 PPG 09:33 Assists: Connor & Werenski
Werenski moves the puck to Connor as the rest of Michigan's power play works to establish position.
Connor holds the puck and the defenders all look like they're infested with lice, moving and twitching and adjusting and readjusting while Connor just holds and holds and holds a little longer. The defenders, especially the one nearest Connor in the faceoff circle, seem very worried about the cross-ice one timer to the opposite wing.
That works to Michigan's advantage, as everybody just forgot about Motte in front of the net. Connor passes and Motte spins in a circle and shoots. Schierhorn stops the first shot, but Motte flips his own rebound into the top corner; he regularly puts the puck top shelf from angles that seem like it should be impossible to lift the puck.
COMPHER GOAL, MICHIGAN
MINN 0 MICH 2 PPG 01:31 Assists: Werenski & Connor
Werenski's pass for Connor hops over his stick and goes to the corner, but the puck's eventually reversed back to Werenski. He sees how bunched up and shifted the defense is and how open Compher is on the other side of the ice and makes the easy pass.
When Compher receives the pass he has a wide open half of the net, but he can't settle it and doesn't regain control until where he is in the screen shot below. He throws a backhander on net that Schierhorn stops.
Compher manages to stop quickly and chop at the puck, which is sitting in front of Schierhorn's pad. One of Compher's hacks lifts the puck up enough to get over his pad.
[After THE JUMP: a comeback, an undressing, a tournament championship]
Saturday, March 12, 2016
#9 Michigan 6, #14 Penn State 1
CONNOR GOAL, MICHIGAN
UM 1 PSU 0 EV 06:27 Assists: Martin
Martin banks the puck off the boards and up for Connor, and you can see from how many defenders are low in the PSU offensive zone that there’s going to be an odd-man rush.
As expected, an odd-man rush does develop, and it just happens to feature two of the highest scorers in the nation. Connor carries in and has Compher a step behind. Brooks is shaded toward Compher, and he has his stick in a position where he could feasibly take away the pass even if he doesn’t drop it.
Connor then takes a couple of quick strides and Brooks realizes his only course of action is to lunge and stab at the puck. Technically speaking he did what he was supposed to in not allowing a pass to Compher; still, there are few things more terrifying than Connor streaking down the wing unopposed, so Brooks’ attempt to help doesn’t have a downside. McAdam gets beat over the near-side shoulder. For what seems like the hundredth time this season, look at that release. The puck comes off his stick so quickly that goaltenders at this level have and will continue to have an incredibly tough time stopping it; add his seemingly perfect accuracy and you can see why he has 30 goals.
[After THE JUMP: the beauty of being on the right side of #chaoshockey]
Friday, March 11, 2016
#9 Michigan 7, #14 Penn State 1
Sturtz goal, Penn State
UM 0 PSU 1 EV 02:25 Assists: Glen & Goodwin
The puck’s careening around the defensive zone when Cecconi comes to close to gathering it, but a Penn State skaters swipes at it and knocks it toward the net. Sturtz fires a backhander that misses, hits the boards, and travels toward the top of the zone.
As all of the Michigan defenders in the frame gravitate toward the puck, Sturtz slips in behind the defense and heads for the front of the net. Juha carries up the boards for a split second before dropping the puck back for Goodwin.
Connor carries Juha to the top of the zone, so Compher comes over to the wall to cover Goodwin. This opens the middle of the ice, and Glen notices; he cuts underneath Motte and gets himself ready to receive a pass off the wall. Both defensemen step forward once he gets the puck, and no one sees that Sturtz is in Racine’s face.
Goodwin releases a really strong shot without anyone close enough to alter it, and Sturntz, who’s still unchecked, tips it in.
CONNOR GOAL, MICHIGAN
UM 1 PSU 1 EV 15:14 Assists: Compher
Juha sees that the forechecking pressure is soft, and he has time to think through his next move before passing. He decides his best outlet is up the boards, but his pass misses Kerr and is intercepted by Compher.
Compher immediately dishes to Connor, who is cutting underneath Kerr. All three PSU skaters in the area jump in to defend Connor; he manages to outskate them all.
Connor stickhandles once—just once!—and it causes McAdam to almost hit the ice. It seems almost like his muscle memory led him to do so, because he immediately bounces up and tries to push to his right. That’s the Kyle Connor Effect; he doesn’t even make a true move and goalies are worried to the point they’re getting themselves out of position before Connor’s even attempting to shoot. Look at Connor and you can see that this shot doesn’t come off a huge windup; he’s basically going to shovel the puck on net, but his release is quicker and stronger from that position than most everyone else’s in the nation.
McAdam essentially falls over himself trying to do the aforementioned get-up-lateral-push-butterfly-again move.
[If you don’t hit THE JUMP you’ll miss more Connor insanity and you’re smart, you wouldn’t do that]
Sunday, March 7th, 2016
Ohio State 6, #6 Michigan 5 (OT)
Joshua goal, Ohio State
OSU 1 UM 0 PPG 10:15 Assists: Brevig
Joshua gets the puck on the wing and cuts to the middle. There’s a 2-on-1 opportunity and he tries to force the pass through the defender, but it bounces off of him…and right back to Joshua.
Joshua fires a perfect shot just under the bar. Racine read pass and started to push across, but he course-corrects and drops to the ice when he sees a shot coming. He pulls his blocker up but doesn’t get a piece of the puck.
Kearney goal, Ohio State
OSU 2 UM 0 EV 15:45 Assists: Dalrymple & Parran
Kearney cuts to the slot with Cecconi draped all over him. He skates through the outstretched stick…
and is able to pull the puck under while flipping his stick over. Racine hit the ice too early and is now forced to try and poke check the puck away.
Kearney can’t get back to the puck until he’s at a very sharp angle, and even then he’s only able to throw the puck horizontally across the crease thanks to Racine’s outstretched leg and Cecconi’s stick. The puck hits Racine’s skate and goes in because that’s just the kind of weekend it was.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest]
Friday, March 4th, 2016
#6 Michigan 4, Ohio State 7
COMPHER GOAL, MICHIGAN
UM 1 OSU 0 PPG 03:41 Assists: Motte & Connor
Connor picks up a loose puck along the boards and gets hit. Both players spin for the puck, with their blades connecting at the same time. The puck rolls ahead, and Connor gains possession again.
Connor somehow pulls the puck across the defender’s face in the tightest of spaces, and he then throws a backhanded pass to Motte.
Motte catches it on his backhand and stickhandles for a few seconds to buy time. With only one defender low, he just has to wait for someone to head toward the net to create a 2-on-1. He sees Compher skating in, and the defender seems to as well: he drops his stick to take away the passing lane and seems to do a pretty good job until Motte fires a pass that somehow gets under the stick.
The puck’s already off Compher’s stick and Frey’s halfway to getting across to square to Compher. That’s not going to work.
Frey sees that the puck’s rising and going away from the direction that he is, so he tries to jump off his right leg and stick out his left pad and glove. He misses, but when you’re already sliding across the crease and the puck’s headed to the far side, might as well try a Karate Kid stop on the off chance one of the flailing limbs gets a piece of the puck.
[After THE JUMP: It kind of felt like a four-goal shutout]