so much for that
David Wohlberg was named the Offensive Player of the Week by the CCHA, while Alex Guptill was named the Rookie of the Week. What's up with the rest of the CCHA that our players keep winning these things?
Also, you can vote for the Hobey Baker here:
I already gave it away, but our nominee is Shawn Hunwick (!?) Am I crazy or is this crazy? I miss having multiple nominees but having a shot at the tourney is much more important and somehow this team still has that shot. Thoughts?
John U. Bacon's latest in Michigan Today is the story of the hockey team's late season surge and Shawn Hunwick's key role.
The story's narrative isn't new to us, but some of the personal recollections by Hunwick give some nice insights into how hard it must have been to muster the confidence required for the former practice goalie to lead his team to the CCHA tournament championship and the NCAA regionals.
Besides, it's Bacon, so it's a must read.
Because of their seventh-place finish, the Wolverines not only had to run the table, they had to do it the hard way. They would have to play the first round of the league playoffs, instead of enjoying their usual bye, for the first time in two decades; and if they won, they would have to travel to their opponents' rink for the next second, instead of playing at home. To say the outlook was bleak would be to understate the case considerably.
They all felt the weight, but none more so than their substitute goalie. "I had a decision to make," Hunwick recalls of the long bus ride back to Ann Arbor. "I could keep my confidence up, or I could pack it in."
Wolverine players swarm goalie Shawn Hunwick after U-M won the CCHA hockey tournament to keep alive its streak of 20 consecutive NCAA playoff appearances. (Photo: Scott Galvin, U-M Photo Services.)
But - remember December and January. Realize that this hockey team finished better than last year's team. (2nd round exit vs. 1st). The 2008-09 hockey season ended with us getting embarrassed, a number 1 seed ousted in the first round. This year's ending sucked too for all the reasons I listed above.
Just like last year's tournament was an ominous warning for the hockey team's performance this year, this year's postseason makes a GREAT case for the future of Michigan hockey (and how 2010-11 will be a great year for M sports in general).
Keep in mind that a month ago we were a seven seed in the CCHA tournament. Our #1 goalie just went down with a groin injury, and we were all clamoring for the hockey season to just end so that we could put a final nail in the coffin of the worst Michigan sports year in recent memory and kill 2009-2010 Michigan Hating God. But then... we swept Lake State at Yost. Then, this happened http://mgoblog.com/content/kobayashi-porcelain-co (sweep of State) and we ended State's hockey season and booted them from the NCAA tourney. Then a weekend sweep at the Joe happened and... for the first time since the ND game, we had Muppets. We had our own version of Rudy (but better than Rudy cuz ND sucks and Hunwick is amazing) lead us to a CCHA Tourney Title and we get to hang a banner in Yost.
We had Yost West in East Lansing, Yost East at the Joe, and Yost South in Ft. Wayne. For three weeks it was GREAT to be a Michigan fan again. The Board wasn't full of "I hate Sparty" "Denard at [insert random position here]" posts (well...) It was all about Michigan Hockey. We had hope, we had purpose, we had a great Cinderella run. We went toe-to-toe with the #1 team in college hockey for 85+ minutes and lost. Yes we lost in a shitty way, but look back on the past three weeks. Would you have taken a sweep of MSU and said "well, hockey sucked this year, but that was sweet"? I would have.
We won the CCHA Tourney. We made the NCAA's for a record 20th consecutive time. We played into double OT with the #1 team in the land. For me, Michigan Hockey 2010 was a success. A big "came out of nowhere" success.
And we got screwed out of a Frozen Four that would have been epic in Ford Field. And we're pissed. And if you think that a bunch of random dudes on the internet are pissed off about this game, then words cant describe how upset the hockey team must be. 3 posts in overtime, etc. etc.
But - that lights a fire. This team will come back next year with more fire and passion and things to prove than a Michigan hockey team has in a while. Any time Red needs any motivation all he has to tell his team is "Fort Wayne" and this team will come back with a drive to succeed.
Yes, we got screwed, our soul dongs got punched yet again... but I'll take the last month as a huge positive. Consider those calls as the last piece of bad karma we've banked in 2009-2010... and I can't wait to collect.
Your 2009-2010 Hockey Team. CCHA Tournament Champions, and most motivated team of 2010-2011. I can't wait for next year to start in all 3 sports. Go Blue
Not trying to take anything away from the AMAZING tourney that Hunwick had, but I'm wondering if anyone agrees with me on a "backup theory"
The comment was made during the open thread that Michigan was NOT allowing anything in front of our net. The D, wings, everyone was collapsing and eliminating second chances in both games this weekend. I think this was a direct result of the team knowing that they didn't have a superior goaltender.
As a goalie growing up, I was usually the starter (squirt through high school). Oftentimes, I'd notice that the team would play better in front of the backup goalie. I naturally found it frustrating, but I felt like the team psyche was "We don't have the same last line of defense, so let's really pick it up in every other area." I think that's exactly what happened for Michigan.
As a goalie coach for a high school team this past year, I had to explain to our goalies on numerous occasions that they were not pulled for their play. Sometimes we put the other goalie in just to try to get the rest of the team to raise their level of play.
I really think that the team did a GREAT job in front of Hunwick in the tourney, and I think that Hunwick played his ass off. He was amazing.
the point of the topic is.... do you think this "backup theory exists? Does this have a parallel in other sports? Does an O-line play better/smarter/etc. when a backup QB comes in? I know in basketball a coach often takes a technical to "fire up the team" and in the NHL players take it upon themselves to get in a fight to get things going... are there other examples out there?
Let's hope the whole team and Hunwick bring their A game to the NCAAs, Lets go Blue.
(I know this is long for a board topic, as I'm still pretty new I didn't feel like making this a diary. If it should be, please move it. Thanks.)