|#17 Notre Dame (19-16-3) at #4 Michigan (21-11-4)|
|3/9/12 7:35pm (Not Televised)|
|3/10/12 7:35pm (Comcast)|
|3/11/12 7:35pm (If Necessary)|
|Billy Maday||Right Wing||12-14-26||61||-3||28||17|
|Austin Wuthrich||Right Wing||7-10-17||60||+4||34||12|
|Bryan Rust||Right Wing||5-6-11||73||+1||16||16|
|Jeff Costello||Left Wing||5-6-11||52||-6||56||8|
|Michael Voran||Right Wing||5-4-9||68||-9||18||13|
Straight out of Compton Ice Arena, Notre Dame comes into the series with a much different offense then we have seen before. Led by 1st Team All-CCHA T.J. Tynan, the Irish pose almost zero threat to score out of a set offense, but run one of the most dangerous breakouts in the NCAA.
As you can see from the chart above they are very skilled at center, which can pose a major threat to our lower pairings. A third line who can run the breakout like this doesn't match up well against Clare-Serville.
The key here will be the discipline of our blueliners. Moffie and Merrill pinch more often on the offensive side, which is something we need to avoid here. The Irish love to skate, so we need to stay back and force them to run from a set.
Off a Missed shot by Di Giuseppe, Notre Dame gathers and turns on the jets.
The forward gets his defender to pinch early, notice the other blueliner is shading left. When the forward gathers the puck over the line he has the entire right side of the ice to work with.
This is what makes Notre Dames transition offense so good, everyone understands their role. One guy is going to the net, everyone else is finding an open space to sit in.
Look at how many options they have created for themselves.
On the defensive side the Fighting Irish are lacking a true shutdown pair. In fact they aren't very good at defense at all as the +/- would indicate. Some of this could be attributed to goalie play, but even with good numbers from Summerhays they still aren't getting the job done.
One thing they are good at is skating with the forwards on the break.
Here is another transition goal for the Irish, once again we have a forward crashing the net and the trailer setting up behind the play. Calabrese has intentionally held up because Michigan has lost him.
Calabrese does a great job of finding the open space behind the defenders and buries the shot.
This is a head scratcher for me. Looking at the numbers it's clear Mike Johnson is not the guy you want in net but for whatever reason he still gets ice time, chalk this one up to a coach being stubborn.
Steven Summerhays is the kind of goalie who can carry your team or let in a bunch soft goals to lose it. It all depends on the day because when he's hot he dives across the crease and catches the puck with the handle of his stick, when he's cold he gets beaten 5-hole and glove side with relative ease.
|Phil Di Giuseppe||10-12-22||99||+20||14||20|
Scoring has been dominated by the top line, we live and die by their scoring. Scorers 1-3 are on the top line, 4-6 are on the second line. Third line is good for a goal every once and a while and the fourth is never going to score.
It was very surprising and kind of a shock to see Jon Merrill get his pocket picked by Bowling Green for the game winner. This has become much more frequent than Michigan fans would like to see, I've seen Merrill cough the puck up and get turned around by forwards more this season than ever before. Hopefully he can get this problem resolved.
Keep being awesome, that is all.
Ill keep this short since I'm trying to get this up quick. Michigan wins in three games, we take game one and Notre Dame takes game two before we close it out Sunday night.