Is the expectation that the NTDP will dominate the USHL? Aren't they essentially going to get the first 20 draft picks every year?
Step two to world domination. The hockey team is in action tonight at Ferris State. For a preview, Yost Built interviews a Ferris fan about the direction the program's taken this year (I'm having some trouble with the individual post pages, but the homepage is working).
Mark Mitera will play:
"He's as ready as he's going to be from practice so we're going to get him in a game and get him back in the saddle," Berenson said. "Unless there is a reason not to play him Saturday I'm expecting him to go both nights.
"I'm expecting that he'll come in and play solid. Obviously as he gets feeling confident we'll put him into bigger roles. He shouldn't play 20 minutes unless there's no risk, no cost of him hurting the team. But if we're planning on playing him back-to-back I just want to get him into the game, get him some shifts. If he can play 12-18 minutes that might be good."
Much of Yost will probably be watching every second of every Mitera shift, hoping to see Michigan's captain and best defender looking smooth. With a month yet before the NCAA tournament, chances he gets up to speed seem good.
Unfortunately, there's no TV for a game Michigan needs if it's going to stay in contention for a berth in Grand Rapids. However, the Michigan State-Notre Dame game is on CBS College Sports if you get that. Yes, you are pulling for Michigan State. No, it probably won't matter.
Also of interest is the NTDP joining the USHL. In addition to their usual slate of international tournaments and college exhibitions, the NTDP will now play a full 60-game USHL schedule and participate in the playoffs. This should boost the NTDP's level of competition and may lure a few more recruits to the program, and having kids already in Ann Arbor never hurts recruiting. It also might make for a couple of highly scoutable games next year when Michigan's whopping five U17 recruits (Moffatt, Fallon, Clare, Merrill, and Campbell) take on USHL teams featuring M recruits. Uh… of which there currently are none, but the Hotchkiss guys have mentioned possible moves and Michigan might add a recruit or two depending on how NHL defection season goes.
Update: oh, yeah, forgot about the nearly-official announcement that Michigan and Wisconsin will play at Camp Randall next year.
The top talent in the USHL is 18 and 19 years old. The NTDP will be playing entirely with 16 and 17-year-olds. The NTDP hasn't dominated the NAHL; they certainly won't dominate the USHL. On the other hand, this will certainly improve the "recruiting" of the NTDP.
you ALMOST slipped that outdoor game info. right past me!
I am writing from a hotel in Big Rapids. I am excited to see Mitera play tonight in person!
tried my ASS OFF to get tix. Dammit.
And poster on USCHO (Hammer). The comments in the interview are just about spot on. While Ferris hasn't really been a thump-and-bang thug team in about 3-4 years, they are still very undisciplined and quite frankly have squandered this season. All their prominent scoring has returned, and they may not hit 100 goals this season.
If it's low scoring, I like FSU's chances to get one. If the scoreboard shows a 4-3 or 5-4 game, or even higher, Michigan's chances look really, really good.
3-1 Michigan, early 2nd.
Nice 6-1 win for Michigan. The only FSU goal, was because Hogan was out of position. Mitera looked good, but out of place at times. Great win, nice fans. Except for this one FSU fan that kept pretending that UofM was Minnesota and then pretending that he had never heard of Michigan. Very ironic coming from a Ferris State Fan.
Too bad ND rolled MSU.
Yeah, but Hockey Miami lost to Ohio State, so if we win tonight (or if Miami loses -- OSU is playing for a first round bye so they should be plenty motivated) we're the 2 seed in the conference tourney. Which means we don't have to deal with a hot Northern squad, a team I definitely was hoping we could avoid.