Michigan Hockey 15-16, Game #38: North Dakota 5, Michigan 2

Michigan Hockey 15-16, Game #38: North Dakota 5, Michigan 2

Submitted by NastyIsland on March 26th, 2016 at 9:57 PM

If this is Goodbye, then thank you for our program [Patrick Barron]

North Dakota was just better.  Period.  Michigan had a ton of trouble getting anything going consistently.  From any line.  There were chances; good chances. But Cam Johnson was just equal to pretty much everything the Wolverines threw at him.  M got into the slot and a couple of times into the crease, but not with any regularity at all.  For most of the game, I almost considered 'offense' as just getting the puck into the the NoDak end.  Both of the goals essentially came on the power play.  It would have been nice if a couple more chances could have been finished, but when you play a team with an unreal forecheck, equal speed, tremendous defense, and is backed by Cam Johnson...too many locks to pick.  Credit to NoDak for just overwhelming Michigan and exploiting matchups.
Oh, hello, most of the game [Patrick Barron]
The defense was not very good.  It was brutal a lot of times, in fact.  To some extent, that is just what happens when you play against a superior opponent.  Aside from North Dakota just being better, it was the same ugly foes that Michigan fought all year.  I dug deeper into this team because I wanted to see the impact of the odd man rushes that M gave up on a consistent basis.  (SPOILER ALERT: 6, tonight...but no goals).  In doing so, the D Zone TOs kept jumping off the screen.  That is really what did Michigan in on the first couple goals.  Nieves had one that lead to the first goal, Boka/Compher each had one that lead to the second.  There were also too-many-to-count failed zone clears.  Its all nothing new, really.  These things have been present for the entire season.  North Dakota just put a microscope on all of them and forced Michigan to play an absolute perfect game.  They did not and it really could have been a lot worse.  
Still couldn't stop M's power play [Patrick Barron]
Michigan actually won the Special Teams battle (kinda).  Both Michigan goals came via the power play.  They technically had two opportunities.  The first lasted 24 seconds and Compher scored just after the penalty ended but before the penalized player got back into the play.  Power play goal?  No...but yes.  JT's second goal was actually on the power play, tying the game at 2, midway through the third.  Let's say 19 of  their last 31. 
Michigan dug in on the PK and killed 3 NoDak penalties.  Which...is saying something because the entire first period seemed like a power play for the opposition.  Shots were 24-8 after the first.  They did give up a PP goal on NoDak's fourth opportunity, late in the third.  That just about ended the game.
When you've given your all [Patrick Barron]
Steve Racine has been ragged on all season (regardless of the OMRs, DZTOs, poor PK), but if you rag on him tonight, go find a new sport to watch.  He was beaten four times, but someone show me what he could have done on any of them.  Unlucky bounce on rebound, wide open shot from the slot, tipped shot that still hit his glove, and wide open dude in his face who redirected the shot about 3 feet from him.  He also made 44 saves -including a breakaway, a couple OMRs, and countless stops that came when his defense hadn't cleared the puck in minutes.  It could easily have been 9-2.  He had his share of luck (somehow) as NoDak missed some wonderful chances wide of the net.  He probably didn't reach Hunwick-level, but given the quality of defense in front of him, it sure felt like it, sometimes.  At one point in the first, shots were 15-3.  NoDak was on pace for 70+ shots.  Yet, it was 0-0.  He's had his issues for sure, but for the most part, since taking over the starting spot in the second half of the season, he's been an unsung hero of this team.  All the credit in the world to the most fun line I've ever watched in college hockey, but the last couple weeks -and certainly the last couple days- have given me a new appreciation for Steve Racine.  You can't say he didn't do his part.
I touched on this above a bit.  There was 6, tonight.  And a handful of others that were close.  None resulted in goals, surprisingly.  There were three 3v2s, two 2v1s, and then a breakaway that Racine just stoned.  Three OMRs lead to misses of the net, one that turned into nothing, and then two saves, including that break.  I'm actually a little surprised there weren't a few more, but it was the DZTOs, not the OMRs that doomed the Wolverines, tonight.

Michigan Hockey 15-16, Game #36: Michigan 5, Minnesota 3

Michigan Hockey 15-16, Game #36: Michigan 5, Minnesota 3

Submitted by NastyIsland on March 20th, 2016 at 12:00 AM

BIG TEN CHAMPS [Patrick Barron]



I thought Michigan's offense was very lively tonight.  They played another skilled team and had the better scoring opportunities.  The game went through stretched of carrying play for both teams, but it seemed that Michigan was able to consistently get deeper and closer to the slot for their chances.  Shots on Target ended close to even, but I think Schierhorn stopped a few more difficult opportunities.  

This was definitely a game for the CCM line, most of the damage coming on the Power Play.  However, the game-tying goal in the early third was something to behold.  Compher has just been a wizard with the puck the entire season.  With a guy in his sweater, he had a cross-ice pass to an open Connor who just ole'd Schierhorn (who probably played the situation correctly) from inside the dot and beat the charging defenseman to the post, sneaking the puck in the open net.  Adam will have fun with that one.  It was the Hobey cherry on top of his Hobey sundae season.  He has 35 goals and 34 assists.  He is NOT JUST A SHOOTER.  Connor now has an nine point lead on the second place point-getting...his center, JT Compher, who has a six point lead on their linemate, Tyler Motte.  Compher also leads the nation with 46 assists, 8 more than 2nd place.  Connor and Motte are first and second in goals with 35 and 31, respectively.  Michigan has NINE players with double digit goals; nine players with 20 or more points; and six skaters with 30 or more.  I don't know what else to say about this offense.


Another terrific game defensively for the Wolverines.  Again, they allowed 33 shots to get to Racine, but -just like yesterday- most of them came from a distance and away from the dangerous areas near and in front of the net.  Minnesota does have quality players and did generate a few nice scoring chances, but Michigan limited them -for the most part- to what Racine was able to see and stop. Also, Piazza looked just fine playing for a suspended Downing.  Compher talked about the first goal in the intermission, saying that it was on a forward not locking up the trailing Bristedt (who notched his 20th of the season...no slouch there).  The defensemen seemed to have dramitically improved in the second half of the season (minus the OSU series), looking more comfortable on the puck, riding attackers away from the net, and staying sound defensive position.  I'm starting to believe that this level of defense can take them far.


Goodnight Minnesota [Patrick Barron]


Michigan top Power Play line is just bonkers.  The entire Power Play is nuts.  They were 14 of 25 in the last five games entering the B10CG.  And went 3 for 4.  17 of 29, 59% in last six games, now.  The top line gets all three goals, tonight, as Motte, Compher, and Werenski all score...Werenski with the winner late in the 3rd.  Its really not even just the goals.  There were multiple opportunities where the puck could have easily gone in before it actually did.  The puck movement and passing is just incredible.  Each player knows where to be and seems to be in slow motion as the pass always seems to go to the open player...the entire point of a power play.  You honestly just cannot take penalties against this team. 

Michigan did a fantastic job staying out of the box, tonight, conceding only one man advantage.  Unfortunately, they were unable to get the kill.  Minnesota kept the puck in the zone the entire time and eventually Compher lost his stick.  The puck soon found its way to an open shooter on JT's side and Racine really didn't have much of a chance.  You don't like to give up Man Advantage goals, but if you're only in the box once, I can live with that.



Steve Racine was fantastic, tonight.  And actually, he has been for a while.  He's been criticized for a few clunky goals allowed -and he's had a few- but he's also saved the day on more occasions than are credited to him.  Again, the defense was sound for the most part, keeping the majority of shots away from the dangerous areas, but Racine was up to most of the ones that leaked through...including flashing the glove and stoning Tyler Sheehy midway through the third to keep the game tied.  He also had a ridiculous kick save off a deflection a few minutes later.  

You can probably place a little blame on him for the second goal.  While it does appear that there was some contact to his pad/skate, he looked a little gumpy and slow trying to get back across the crease to defend the wraparound.  I don't think it was entirely on him, but that was definitely very awkward. It also might have been Martin that hit him, making the entire sequence rather unlucky.  Other than that, he was very strong to start and end the game



I only had two.  There were a couple I was close to tallying but decided against it.  The first was late in the opening period, a 3v2 with De Jong and Piazza back.  Nothing of note came of it.  The second was a little dicier.  A neutral zone turnover lead to a 2v1 that Martin made a perfectly time dive to smother the pass and take the puck to the corner.  This is very good.  I will keep taking this.

Michigan Hockey 15-16, Game #35: Michigan 7, Penn St 2

Michigan Hockey 15-16, Game #35: Michigan 7, Penn St 2

Submitted by NastyIsland on March 18th, 2016 at 8:41 PM

This happened a lot (Patrick Barron)

My first note is "KyleLOLConnor"  He's the best player in college hockey.  He will win the Hobey.  I don't think its very close.  He showed an array of reasons why that is the case, tonight.  His ability to get the puck off  instantaneously and use defenders as screens is unreal.  JT also had a ho-hum five assists.  Droppin' dimes, droppin' dimes!  Playing next to Connor clearly agrees with him.  Boo Nieves is driving a lot more play, lately, as well.  He added a tally tonight.  That line is humming along very well.  Even the fourth line looked very dangerous tonight, as Max Shuart scored in his third straight game.  Obviously the CCM line is untouchable, but there's not much noticeable difference between the rest of Michigan's three lines -and that's a good thing!  I don't remember that being the case in a very long time.
Despite the high Shot on Target total for Penn State, I thought that Michigan's defense played well, tonight.  Penn State did bring 20 skaters, tonight, so perhaps last weekend was not as much about their lack of numbers.  For the most part, Penn State was kept away from the more dangerous areas on the ice.  The majority of their attempts seemed to come from the perimeter or with a defenseman in the shooter's face.  Penn State has the 6th highest scoring offense in the country and they were predominantly kept at a distance.  Michigan did have trouble getting the puck out of the zone in the beginning stages, but overall, there was nothing egregious.  
Steve Racine played very well in net, tonight.  He let a few rebounds get away from himself early, but remained very steady throughout.  Again, as mentioned previously, he faced very few scary chances and was not relied upon the save the game for Michigan.  He did stop 40 of the 42 shots that reached him.  There was nothing he could do on either of PSU's goals.  The first one Selman seemed to get caught puck-watching in the slot and Kevin Kerr slid a one-timer in the back door.  The second was very similar.  Great puck movement from PSU's highly ranked Power Play forced Cecconi to choose between taking away the guy in slot and the backdoor pass.  A good backdoor pass went through the defense and that was it.  Again, no real shot for Racine on either.
This was the fun part.  Michigan went 3 for 5 on the Man Advantage.  Connor with 2 and Kile with 1.  The puck movement from the top line is just phenomenal.  Motte even looked off a defender before finding a wide open Kile for the first tally.  Even the second unit looked to almost score a couple times on the second power play chance, coming very, very close.  Connor then took over and netted his couple.  The PK was not great.  After a great kill to start, they gave up a couple of goals with players getting a little lost on who to check.  Motte did have a fantastic clear on a 4-on-3 that saved a tremendous scoring opportunity as the second period ended.  
This is part to talk about what put Michigan in a couple of  those PKs.  Nieves took a silly slash before a faceoff.  Boo had an overall nice game, but that penalty was maybe the second dumbest event of the night.  The first followed soon after when Downing slammed a PSU player in the back of the head -far away from the play- as they were heading off the ice.  Downing was tossed and should miss tomorrow's Championship Game, as well.  Brian had tweeted something about how he had been playing much, much better lately (and I agree), but sometimes old habits...  Not good.  At that point, M was up 5-1 neither penalty was defend-able by any stretch of the imagination.
Another great game for Michigan, concerning OMRs.  I counted four in total.  The first three (despite the third technically being a 4v1 -the other two were 3v2 and 4v2) generated nothing threatening at all: a shot from the wing that Racine saw easily and stopped.  The fourth was a half breakaway on a lob into the offensive end on a Michigan PK that got behind everyone.  Racine was able to steer the attacker wide and reached back to keep the puck from trickling across the line.  Given the first few months of the season, I would take tonight's chances surrendered in most future games.

CCM Line all Hobey Baker Finalists

CCM Line all Hobey Baker Finalists

Submitted by VCavman24 on March 16th, 2016 at 2:53 PM

The 2016 Hobey Baker Finalists were announced today, and not surprisingly, all three of Tyler Motte, Kyler Connor, and JT Compher were selected.  

This is the first time all members of a complete line have all been named finalists, is only the third time ever that three members of the same time have been selected as finalists (it has been awarded 36 times), and is the first time since 2000 that it has happened (Boston College).

Michigan was the first team to achieve this feat.  In 1994 David Oliver, Steve Shields, and Brian Wiseman were all chosen.

The Hobey Hat Trick (final three) will be selected later in March, and the winner is chosen in early April.

CCM Line takes all three 1st team B1G spots; Berenson, Werenski also honored

CCM Line takes all three 1st team B1G spots; Berenson, Werenski also honored

Submitted by gwkrlghl on March 14th, 2016 at 5:10 PM

From the Big Ten office:

The Big Ten Conference announced the hockey All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners on Monday as selected by the conference’s coaches and a media panel. Michigan’s Kyle Connor was named Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year, while also earning Scoring Champion honors. Michigan’s Zach Werenski was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year, which is awarded to a defenseman or forward. Minnesota goaltender Eric Schierhorn was named the Goaltender of the Year and Wolverines’ head coach Red Berenson was selected as the Coach of the Year.

Connor was tabbed Player and Freshman of the Year and Scoring Champion after leading the conference with 43 points and 22 goals in conference play. The freshman averaged a conference-leading 2.15 points per game in conference action to pace an offense that led all Big Ten schools with 5.35 goals per game in conference contests. Connor also led the conference with seven goals and 12 points on the power play in Big Ten games.

Werenski was named Defensive Player of the Year after leading all Big Ten defensemen with 18 points and 14 assists in conference games. Nine of his points came on the power play, tallying three goals and six assists on the man advantage to lead all Big Ten defensemen in conference contests. The Wolverines finished second in the conference in scoring defense in Big Ten play...

Berenson won Coach of the Year honors after leading Michigan to a 22-7-5 overall record and a 12-5-3-2 conference mark. The Wolverines earned the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament.

Connor, Schierhorn and Werenski were joined on the All-Big Ten first team by Michigan’s JT Compher and Tyler Motte and Ohio State’s Josh Healey, with Connor being a unanimous selection.

I always held the Porter-Kolarik-Pacioretty line as the gold standard of Michigan lines but the CCM line is truly on another level:

  GP G A Pts Rk
Porter 43 33 30 63 2
Kolarik 39 30 26 56 3
Pacioretty 37 15 24 39 32
Total 119 78 80 158  


  GP G A Pts Rk
Connor 34 30 31 61 1
Compher 34 13 39 52 2
Motte 34 29 21 50 5
Total 102 72 91 163  

Note that Kyle Connor has nearly matched Porter's production on 9 fewer games and the CCM line has 5 more points than Porter's line on less games played. Connor is a lock for the Hobey

JT Compher injured at WJC (again)

JT Compher injured at WJC (again)

Submitted by gwkrlghl on August 8th, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Michigan hockey player and noteworthy American JT Compher was injured again blocking a shot again at the World Juniors.

Compher was hurt blocking a shot during a late 5-on-3 penalty kill. His left hand and thumb were heavily wrapped when he arrived at the rink for the United States' game Thursday against Finland.

USA Hockey would not reveal the full nature of the injury.

"We got him looked at and we'll leave it at that for now," Jim Johansson, the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey and the general manager of the United States for 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, told NHL.com.


No word yet on if this will hold him out to start our season but that doesn't sound particularly good.

UM Club of Chicago Presents: The Coaches Tour

UM Club of Chicago Presents: The Coaches Tour

Submitted by Sac Fly on May 31st, 2014 at 1:38 PM




When: June 2nd, 6pm

Where: Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. 540 N. Michigan Avenue

Cost: $40 for Alumni members, $55 for non-members


The Coaches Tour returns to Chicago June 2nd. Enjoy a night out with fellow Alumni as Brady Hoke, Red Berenson, LaVall Jordan and other speakers discuss 2013 and their plans for the 2014-2015 seasons. A silent auction will take place at the end of the night.



  • Red Berenson
  • Kim Barnes Arico
  • LaVall Jordan
  • Brady Hoke
  • Dave Brandon

Honored Athletes

  • JT Compher
  • Lyndsay Doyle


Register here


So You've Decided to Watch Some Hockey: A Michigan Primer

So You've Decided to Watch Some Hockey: A Michigan Primer

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 19th, 2014 at 11:47 PM


So you’ve turned your calendar to March and watched some snow melt (finally), and your mind has naturally turned to brackets and the anxiety that goes hand-in-hand with single elimination contests. If you’ve thought about single elimination games that involve ice and rubber spheres instead of hardwood and rubber spheres then we’re on the same page.

At 3pm on Thursday Michigan plays Penn State, the lowest seeded team in the Big Ten Tournament and the team that has given Michigan more problems than first-ranked (in the nation) Minnesota. If Michigan wins, there’s a 96% chance they make the NCAA Tournament. If they lose, that drops to 40-50%. Pretty straightforward and terrifying.

If this is the first hockey game you’ve watched or just the first one you’ve watched this season then this guide’s for you. Think of this as a time investment. If you read it and Michigan wins on Thursday then you’re all set for the NCAA Tournament! If you read it and they don’t win then you must be some sort of human jinx, please don’t watch the basketball team.

Who to watch on offense:

#17 JT Compher, C, FR/#18 Andrew Copp, C, SO

I couldn’t split these two up and put one in the category below because they jointly set the tempo for Michigan. Both are going to forecheck hard enough to create offense, though they can create off the cycle as well. Both of these guys have the mindset of a third-line center with the hands and hockey IQ of a first-liner.

And if those guys aren’t on the ice?

#27 Alex Guptill, LW, JR

Put the puck on his stick and he’s a potential NHLer. Take the puck away from him and, uh, results may vary. He was a healthy scratch once this year essentially because he was putting in zero effort on the defensive end, but he’s since rebounded. He’s not going to win any awards for “best defensive forward,” but he has an incredible ability to move with the puck in tight spaces and keep it away from defenders.

Who to watch on defense:

#37 Mac Bennett, D, SR

This isn’t supposed to be a slight to the other defensemen but actually yeah, it’s kind of a slight to the other defensemen; Bennett is the only one that doesn’t make me nervous when he’s on the ice. He’s a senior, but more important is that he’s made strides in terms of playing a simpler, more balanced game. He’s a calming influence on a very, very young d-corps who knows when to rush the puck and how not to turn it over in the defensive zone as much as the other defensemen.

And if he isn’t on the ice?

#22 Andrew Sinelli, D, JR

He used to be a forward but the transition may be the best thing that’s ever happened to him during his time at Michigan. Sinelli will need to continue to work on little things like gap control, but he’s got the skating ability to hang with most anyone. He’s been really impressive since switching positions mid-season.

What about that guy who lets people use composite materials to throw pieces of rubber at him?

#35 Zach Nagelvoort, G, FR

Since Compher came in with considerable hype I’d say Nagelvoort is the real surprise contributor this season. He wasn’t supposed to be playing this season, but an injury to starter Steve Racine pushed him into the lineup and he hasn’t relinquished that spot since. Nagelvoort likes to handle the puck near his net and has a very good glove hand. His positioning is very good and he stays square to shooters. Hard to ask for more than that from a freshman.

What about the team, the team, the team?


Coin flip. Averaging 3.12 goals/game is good enough for 20th in the nation, but which offense shows up is anyone’s guess. They can hang six on anyone in the nation or they can score one, and they’ve done both against great and terrible competition respectively.


Coin flip. They’re giving up 2.56 goals/game, which again places them 20th in the nation. Some nights they look unstoppable (see last Saturday’s game against Minnesota) and some nights they look beyond confused (see the entire Great Lakes Invitational).

Power play:

Michigan has scored on 26 of their 129 opportunities (20.16%). This places them 17th in the nation, with the caveat being that every team ahead of them has had more power play chances. They’ve looked better in recent weeks as Luke Moffat has emerged as a legitimate special teams scoring threat. Eight of his 13 goals have come on the power play, so watch for #9 when Michigan has the man advantage.

Penalty kill:

While it’s not the worst in the nation, it’s the team’s weak spot when considering that they’re ranked somewhere around 20th in the nation in all other team scoring categories. Michigan has killed 105 of 129 penalties (81.4%), which ties them for 35th nationally with American International, which is a school that I did not know existed until I just wrote it down.

Tl;dr. What do I really need to know?

Michigan has to beat Penn State if they want to make the NCAA Tournament and start The Streak™ over. We don’t know which version of Michigan will show up; it will either be the team that can beat anyone in the nation or it will be the team that gifted Penn State two of its three B1G wins. 

Michigan - Wisconsin: Open Thread

Michigan - Wisconsin: Open Thread

Submitted by Sac Fly on February 1st, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Michigan takes on the Badgers at Yost looking for a home sweep. Nic Kerdiles is not expected to play for Wisconsin. The game is on NBCSN



Nieves-Copp-Di Giuseppe








De Jong-Serville







WJC Roster Finalized

WJC Roster Finalized

Submitted by Sac Fly on December 25th, 2013 at 2:13 PM

The final cut has been made to the World Junior roster; it's Tyler Motte. Motte played well against Minnesota State, but reportedly battled injuries and did not play in either exhibition in Sweden.

JT Compher was cut prior to the team leaving for Sweden; Andrew Copp is an alternate captain.