"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Hockey @ WMU 1/8 Liveblog
So I'm home, I'm watchin' the game. Might as well liveblog.
7:38 PM: Puck's about to drop. Dammit. It's Wilkins. Set expectations to 'monkey.'
7:42 PM: Nice pace to start the game, no stoppages in play for almost four minutes. Dest with two more turnovers. Sticks eveywhere... must have shattered about four.
7:43 PM: Jesus. Puck is sitting in the crease for about three seconds, Montoya can't cover it and Ryan Mahrle knocks it in. Completely Montoya's fault. 1-o WMU.
7:46 PM: Chippiness sighted five minutes into the game. Last year's game at Lawson was pretty ugly, as many road hockey games against punk MAC schools are. Coincidental double minors.
7:51 PM: Rogers gets boarded... marginal call. UM PP.
7:53 PM: Gajic picks up a deflection in his office at the faceoff dot and scores! Clever shot there, Bellissimo seemed to relax when he saw the puck deflect and Gajic made him pay. 1-1.
7:56 PM: Bodies flying everywhere, Rogers with a nice defensive play 1 on 1 against the unspellable Bronco... Szchehura or something. Porter sends one off the post.
7:57 PM: Ebbett high-sticked, sort of. His head was probably at the Bronco player's waist. UM PP upcoming.
7:58 PM: I have been asked to join the fight against AIDS by using a condom. Uh... okay. Sounds better than joining the fight against cancer.
8:00 PM: They're interviewing Culhane during the game. Which is pointless because coaches never say anything. We're busy shooting pucks into Broncos on the PP.
8:01 PM: Someone just took a stupid $*ing penalty... Ebbett. Absolutely no point... uh. The replay shows that this is the WORST CALL IN THE HISTORY OF HOCKEY. Ebbett didn't even touch him. *#$&ing Wilkins.
8:03 PM: Oh you've got to be frigging kidding me. I believe UM is going to be 5x3 now on another awful call. And instead of figuring out this critical decision in the game, they're talking to Designated Flowerpot Shireen Saski. Ok, no extra minor for UM, still 5x4.
8:06 PM: A series of nice passes sets Vince Bellissimo up with a gaping net... he hammers it home. 2-1 WMU. Can't blame Montoya for that one. WMU is levelling Wolverines left and right.
8:10 PM: Color guy is defending Montoya. He's wrong. Michigan gets a 2 on 1 and a WMU defender absolutely plows Bellissimo (goalie version). He's down, and staying down to take away a UM scoring chance. Or maybe legitimately hurt, but he isn't leaving the game. High sticking call on Ryznar. Let's see a replay. That's frigging weak, too.
8:17 PM: Tripping call on Dwyer.
8:20 PM: First period is over, WMU leading 2-1. Pretty even first period. WMU was significantly more physical, laying on some really hard, clean checks.
8:35 PM: UM 25-17 in bouncy. Petway blocks a 3 and John Andrews draws a charge. McCormick says he's slowly falling in love with him... uh. Andrews immediately turns it over. Petway blocks another shot, this one ridiculously. Kaleniecki takes a dumb penalty over at Lawson. Back to hockey.
8:40 PM: Kaleniecki gets out of the box and can't handle a pass that would have put him in all alone on Bellissimo.
8:43 PM: A couple of good saves by Montoya. And instead of watching the game we're talking to Shireen Saski again.
8:45 PM: *#%$. Crosschecking call on UM when it was two defenders vs. one Bronco. Bad penalty. It's Ryznar again for his sixth minor of the weekend.
8:48 PM: Slashing call on WMU's Pierce as he took a whack at Montoya.
8:50 PM: Nystrom just killed Lupa (sp). But it's sort of power play which ends up with absolutely nothing for UM. Bleah.
8:53 PM: Wow, Culhane said they're going to get the puck in deep, play physical, and get some pucks on net. I feel like I am about to reach the sixth circle of enlightenment.
8:55 PM: Kaleniecki ties it, pulling in a pass in the slot, one-timing it, and blowing it through about three Broncos. Definitely looked to be deflected. 2-2.
8:56 PM: Werner gets caught on a pinch deep, 3 on 1 turned into a 2 on 1 by Tambellini's backcheck, and then UM's off to the races with their own 2 on 1. Tambellini slides it over to Kolarik, who manages to bat a bouncing puck twice and in. UM 3-2.
8:57 PM: UM immediately gives up another 2 on 1. Okay, the last one worked pretty well but you can stop now.
9:00 PM: Okay, catching up with the goals. Nice play on a rush for the first one. Can't blame Bellissimo... Jesus! Kal from Moss, Kal unchecked in the crease and Moss finds him. 4-2 UM and Lawson is mighty quiet.
9:01 PM: Did I mention that Moss was horribly, blatantly hooked on a partial break right before the goal and there was no call? Ten to one Wilkins is about to call some meaningless coincidental minors to "get control".
9:02 PM: Floodgates open! Tambellini blows it past Bellissimo off another clean faceoff win. Absolute laser into the top corner. UM 5-2!
9:05 PM: Game's not over yet guys. WMU is putting on a bunch of pressure, including a breakaway that Montoya stoned.
9:06 PM: Wow, here's a damning Montoya statistic for you: He is 54th in save percentage. And then the color man says he's 7th in win percentage as if that's somehow his doing and not Hensick and Co's. Brown and Ponto are going at it a bit, here come my meaningless minors...
9:12 PM: Wilkins is reffing, we're in KZoo, and Michigan's leading by three. Er... two. Montoya lets in a shot from just inside the blue line off a clean faceoff win. And now Ebbett is going to the box for crosschecking before the next faceoff. Unbelievable. Obvious call, too. Just retarded. The team is clearly beginning to show frustration with Montoya's sieve impression. And hey, look at that, Montoya lets in a five-hole goal and loses it, coming out of the crease and putting a Bronco in a headlock. This is absolutely ridiculous. We're leading by three in a dead building and all Montoya has to do is keep his head in the game for 40 seconds to basically salt the game away and they drop in two goals. This is ridiculous. I want Ruden.
9:17 PM: Dear Bronco students: you are still losing. You are nobody's daddy.
9:18 PM: Hunwick crosschecked Dwyer right after the goal and he's in the box. The team is flipping out and Montoya's antics feed the whole thing. Did I mention Ruden stopped almost 95% of the shots he faced in the GLI?
9:20 PM: Second period finally ends, UM 5-4. I think no carryover penalties. Bouncyball up 49-33.
9:23 PM: Montoya is probably 55th in save percentage by now.
9:25 PM: Montoya drops to 56th.
9:26 PM: The four year old who played Score-O last night just scored on Montoya.
9:27 PM: Seriously.
9:37 PM: Puck drops for the third. Ruden is still on the bench.
9:41 PM: Montoya completely screws up a shot from beyond the blue line, which is luckily wide.
9:43 PM: Five minutes gone in the third. Uneventful, thankfully.
9:44 PM: Big save by Montoya, moving all the way across the net and out to cut off the angle. Back up to 55th nationally.
9:47 PM: That chick is hot. Yeah, that one.
9:48 PM: WMU scores but Wilkins waves it off immediately.. . for what? Szczczczczcura was in the crease, in the crease a *lot*. Culhane looks like a six-year old. "What the f* was that for?" is my lip-reading attempt.
9:50 PM: That almost-goal also went five hole. I feel like Tim Cheveldae has risen from the grave.
9:51 PM: It occurs to me that Cheveldae probably isn't dead. Oh well.
9:52 PM: Just great. Moss gets cross-checked into the WMU goalie and gets a charging call. Absolute trash.
9:53 PM: Bellissimo (forward version) had the puck in the slot all alone and passed... just shoot five-hole dude. I'm panicking on every shot towards the net but UM is doing a good job of blocking them before they get to Cheveldae.
9:56 PM: I feel bad for CSTV. There's ESPNU and Fox College Sports on the way. They're screwed. They might show a crapload of college hockey. Why are we killing a penalty? WTF? Wilkins calls the always popular dive-and-hook-at-the-same-time. Should have just called the dive.
9:58 PM: Seriously, why are we killing a penalty? Am I insane or did the announce crew not inform us at all about it?
10:00 PM: WMU scores on this phantom PP. This is retarded. Not much Montoya could do about it. 5-5. Could easily be a 6-5 WMU lead. 7 minutes left. Culhane is a tool.
10:02 PM: Oh, wow. Marhle just got nailed with a terrible interference call. UM with an undeserved PP.
10:04 PM: Kal hat an atom of his skate in the crease and Wilkins blows it dead. Actually, he wasn't in hte crease at all. The announcers try to cover the fact that Wilkins is retarded. WMU kills off the PP.
10:06 PM: Announcers confirm that Wilkins doesn't know the contents of the rulebook. But we knew that already.
10:09 PM: Good god. I expect every shot on the UM net to go in. Ponto takes a tripping minor with 2:19 left. Waiting for a replay... which is not forthcoming. Thanks dudes. Culhane calls Sczczczura "Chewy". Probably a good idea.
10:12 PM: Score! 6-5 UM! 53 seconds left. Kal from TJ and Gajic, who fanned on a shot, got behind the goalie (and net), and threw it out in front, where Kal shoveled it into an open net from almost behind the goal. That's a hatter for Kal.
10:14 PM: Hunwick and Rogers were just out there for the PP... who's out now? WMU took a timeout and it's WERNER and DEST? Am I on drugs?
10:15 PM: Montoya makes a monster stop with about a second left in the game. We're done. 6-5 UM final.
Uh... so. Right. Montoya made a couple of huge saves. WMU got 36 shots to follow up their 37 from last night... but come on. 5 more goals? A sixth that was fortunately waved off? Pucks are going right through Montoya. At the end of the second period the entire team lost its cool because they're frustrated with Montoya's goaltending. Ebbett got that crosschecking penalty that led to WMU's 4th goal for no reason whatsoever, really. A WMU guy came across the line, goading him a little bit, and he just unloaded. This is Andrew Ebbett, folks, not exactly Bob Gassoff. And then after the PP goal at the end of the period, everyone just flipped out. We should have gotten an extra two out of it but Wilkins' incompetence saved us.
There were signs of frustration yesterday at Yost when Montoya left the soft third goal in and it boiled over tonight. Ruden should play Friday against UAF. Montoya needs a wakeup call, and we need to establish Ruden as a viable option in case Montoya takes this evil twin thing all the way into the playoffs.
A couple of fun games this weekend that should have been blowouts. A lot like the rest of this season. If Michigan didn't have the nation's best offense Montoya would have eaten bench a while ago. It's time. Let's get this controversy started.