Hobey Baker Runner Up Kyle Connor Shreds the Preds

Hobey Baker Runner Up Kyle Connor Shreds the Preds

Submitted by stephenrjking on May 6th, 2018 at 12:36 AM

The Winnipeg Jets played a crucial game five in Nashville tonight, and Michigan Man Kyle Connor was on it.

Filthy move from Connor before the return pass to Scheifele to put the Jets up 3 pic.twitter.com/Fp9f5VpOvn

— Born Salty (@cjzero) May 6, 2018

This dazzling assist polished the game off, but it was Connor's two goals earlier in the game, his first two of his career in the playoffs, that did the heavy lifting to push the Jets to the brink of advancing to the conference finals. A terrific performance in a 6-2 road win.

For no particular reason I would like to point out that Jimmy Vesey accounted for 28 points this year for the Rangers, who are not in the playoffs. Isn't that nice. 

How Jimmy Vesey Stole the Hobey

How Jimmy Vesey Stole the Hobey

Submitted by stephenrjking on April 11th, 2016 at 11:28 AM
Chris Dilks provides some helpful information about the Hobey Robbery. Notable: at least one voter privately admits regret about their vote.

http://www.sbncollegehockey.com/ecac/2016/4/11/11397810/how-jimmy-vesey…

I wouldn't worry about a bunch of people trapped in a narrative echo chamber of they weren't so bad for the sport. Burn it all down.

NCAA Hockey: Burn It All Down

NCAA Hockey: Burn It All Down

Submitted by stephenrjking on April 8th, 2016 at 7:59 PM

I've been patient.

My credentials as a certified college hockey fan are long. I have spent seasons seeing virtually every game Michigan has played. I have traveled to college hockey games in seven states, in venues as diverse as Omaha, Marquette, Minneapolis, Madison, and even Dayton. I come from one college hockey town (Ann Arbor) and I live in another (Duluth). I have attended two Frozen Fours and many NCAA regional games. I have written loving reports on great moments in the sport's history. So know I do not say this lightly:

I have a hard time calling myself a college hockey fan right now.

Yes, this is prompted by the recent, absolutely disgusting snub of Kyle Connor from the award. Jimmy Vesey is a nice player, but the Hobey Baker has allegedly never been a career award. Awarding it to Vesey this season on the strength of 46 points and 1.39 ppg over a player who scored 71 points and half a point more per game cannot be anything other than a career achievement award or a consolation for losing to another freshman who scored exactly the same number of points last year.

But it is far more than that.

College Hockey, as an institution, seems dead-set on destroying itself. And it does so with the eager approval of much of its groupthink intelligensia that exists east of Pennsylvania.

NCAA Tournament

Let's consider, for example, the unjust and completely disastrous NCAA Tournament Regional system. Much effort has been wasted discussing it, including not inconsiderable amounts of my recreational time, because there is nothing quite so idiotic as broadcasting games on television that are alleged to be the most important of the season and seeing thousands upon thousands of empty seats on ESPN. 

I used the word "unjust" advisedly, because the reason the regional system persists as it does is that it actually well serves two important constituents: Small, low-money schools, which predominantly exist in the East; and larger, bigger-money schools that are also in the East.

It serves the small schools well because an empty arena is an easier place to pull an upset, especially against a #1 seed that had to fly hundreds of miles because the closer arena happens to be reserved for the hosting team. And it serves the larger Eastern schools well because most of them are clustered in such close proximity that they have not one but two regionals that they may attend in easy driving distance.

Seriously. Since the four-regional system was introduced in 2003, all "Eastern" regionals save one (there are two per year; the sole exception is Rochester in 2007) have been located within in a quadrilateral encompassed by Albany, Bridgeport, Providence, and Manchester. (The favorite regional location, Worcester, is right in the middle of that space). The longest driving distance between those cities is 2.5 hours, between Manchester and Bridgeport; all other distances are shorter. 

The result is that a team like Boston College almost never has to travel far for the NCAA tournament. In fact, since the four-regional system debuted, BC has attended a regional within an hour's drive of Boston in every season except two: 2011, when they had to travel to St. Louis, and 2009, when they did not make the tournament. 

In contrast, teams like Minnesota-Duluth and Michigan Tech can NEVER hope for a Regional closer than 2.5 hours away and if they make the tournament almost invariably have to travel much further. The Colorado teams only have a hope of a close regional in those rare instances one is placed in Colorado, and a team like Minnesota State can have a dream season ruined by a "luck of the draw" regional where the only available "Western" Regional is in South Bend, 8 hours away. And in this context regionals have been awarded to places like St. Louis and Cincinnatti, cities with zero college hockey support.

Plenty of better alternatives have been proposed. I've proposed them. Others have proposed them. The reason they have not been taken can no longer be attributed to "neutrality" or "let's see how this works." The reason is that the people making the choices don't care about the teams and the fans that aren't near the Eastern Regionals.

Frozen Four

But the Frozen Four is great, right?

I dunno. Plenty of tickets are available for the Frozen Four in Tampa, which is hosting its second FF in four years. Other college hockey non-hotbed destinations include cities like Washington DC, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. Since the turn of the century, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Boston, and Detroit (the three locii of regional college hockey, flagships of states that have most of the best teams and fanbases) have been granted five Frozen Fours total. It has been a couple of years since the FF has even sold out ahead of time; if they cared about casual fan interest, they might hold the event in places where fans actually cared.

There is a serious fanbase for the sport out "west." Despite the indignity of distant regionals, fanbases like North Dakota and Michigan regularly send thousands of people on drives of three hours or longer to watch their teams play. Michigan Tech sends large groups of fans 8 hours downstate for a holiday tournament. Places like Duluth build fancy new arenas and give their teams the star treatment. 

Yet, it is harder for these fans to engage with the way the sport is structured. Right when a dedicated fan of the sport should be getting most engaged, the games are taken away from them. 

Burn It All Down

I could engage in serious western suspicion of "Eastern Bias." It's getting harder, in the wake of decisions like today's, to overlook it. But Occam's Razor suggests that the conclusions I should draw as a frustrated fan are less sinister, but more discouraging: A lot of people making decisions about college hockey honestly don't care. They don't care about the product, they don't care about the teams, and they don't care about the fans. 

The truly dreadful thing about this is that even corrupt leagues like the OHL seem to be better run and more authentic. They even took strong steps in a situation like what happened in Flint, leadership that does not exist in college hockey. And it sickens me to say it.

I'm never going to stop rooting for Michigan Hockey. And I'll probably continue to follow what goes on nationwide.

But I care less about the sport as a whole than I used to. And as long as the sport continues to wreck itself, many will feel the same way.

Do stupid stuff. Ruin the NCAA tournament. Choke out the Frozen Four. Let small schools with decent fans struggle and die. It's not worth my effort to pay attention. It's tempting to just say, "let it burn."

It's hard to care anymore.

Sights of the NCAA Hockey Tournament

Sights of the NCAA Hockey Tournament

Submitted by BlueBarron on March 27th, 2016 at 3:09 PM

I started photographing Michigan sports in Spring of 2012. I had just finished my Sophomore year of Undergrad in engineering and wanted to do something with my photography skills, so I joined the Michigan Daily. The 2011-2012 season was Michigan's 22nd consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. Photographing this 2012-2013 team was obviously a very special opportunity for me and one that I was excited about.

But apparently I was a curse that led to a three year NCAA tournament drought. Or at least many have told me this. Sorry, guys.

But this weekend the curse was broken as Michigan played in the NCAA Tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Since most Michigan could not make the trip, I wanted to make a Diary that gives a feel for what the atmosphere was like. Away games/environements have always intrigued me. Unfortunately I chose the last game of the year to start one but better late than never, right?

The Notre Dame game was a fun preview of the years to come. Fans of both teams travelled well. When teams took the ice, it was a battle of the bands with the fight songs. "Let's Go Irish" chants were drowned out by "Let's Go Blue" chants, and vice versa.

Not every Michigan player dressed, but they did all travel. As a fan, it's tough watching your team go into overtime because there's really not much you can do. As a player though, it must be much worse. They looked far more nervous than any fan (as seen above).

Unlike the Big Ten Tournament, plenty of Michigan fans showed up to cheer on the team. This was to be expected, as Ann Arbor to Cincy is about 4 hours, versus 12 hours to St. Paul. The stadium still wasn't full and the upper deck was tarped off, but there were certainly enough there to create a decent atmosphere.

The hockey bands really gave the college sports atmosphere. The arena still played RAWK MUSIK (actually it was a lot of hip-hop mash-ups that they probably pulled from a YouTube playlist), but hearing Notre Dame and Michigan's fight songs back-to-back was a refreshing sound. Even the Northeastern band traveled quite well (as did their fans, though to a lesser extent than all the other teams).

Speaking of Northeastern, they were thoroughly handled by North Dakota. Despite scoring the first goal, they found themselves down 5-1 in the 2nd period to UND. The above photo pretty much sums up the game.

Steve Racine played lights out all weekend. This save above was a wrap-around by Notre Dame in overtime that was saved by the blade of Racine's skate.

Moments later, Michigan scored, players celebrated, and Notre Dame fans went home looking sad.

The next day, North Dakota fans arrived with strong energy. Though they are now officially the "Fighting Hawks", "Let's Go Sioux" chants echoed all game long.

Also in attendance: Michigan AD Warde Manuel. I don't think he changed facial expressions once all game.

 

The Sioux Fighting Hawks had some supporters from Ohio, too, celebrating in front of some Miami (Oh) and OSU fans. Something tells me they were cheering more for not-Michigan rather than North Dakota.

"Fighting Hawks" doesn't appear to be catching on any time soon.


 


If you're looking for a moral victory, after the North Dakota player scored he got taken out by the ref. So there's that.

It took until the 3rd period for North Dakota to take a 4-2 lead in this game. They dominated most of the pace and you couldn't help but feel that it was only a matter of time until they went ahead. In the first period, shots were 22-5 in favor of North Dakota. The players received a lot of support as they left the ice, Racine especially.

Red Berenson gave no mention of retirement at his press conference. He did applauded the efforts of his seniors, and praised the efforts of North Dakota. Could this have been his last post-game press conference?

If you were unable to attend the tournament in Cincinnati, I hope this has helped give you a feel for what it was like! A thrilling overtime win over Notre Dame and 2.5 periods against one of the best teams in the country made for an exciting weekend of hockey. (This is also my first Diary post so go easy on me!) I'd like to make more of these when I travel to away games in the future.

See you in the Fall!

-Patrick Barron
MGoPhotog
Twitter:@BlueBarronPhoto

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]

 

OFFENSE

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.

DEFENSE

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]

SPECIAL TEAMS 

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.

 

GOALTENDING

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

 

BONUS: ODD MAN RUSHES

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)

 
OFFENSE
 
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.
 
DEFENSE
 
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.  
 
 
GOALTENDING
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.
 
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
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.
 
 
BONUS: ODD MAN RUSHES
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

Michigan Hockey15-16, Game #34: Michigan 6, Penn St 1

Michigan Hockey15-16, Game #34: Michigan 6, Penn St 1

Submitted by NastyIsland on March 13th, 2016 at 4:21 PM

**Since Adam and I are doing a rather interesting behind-the-scenes hockey stats project, my access to Michigan Hockey has increased expotentially.  There is still a lot of working out how everything will come together and what it will reveal but we're both pretty excited.  Since we've began to look at some that stuff, I figured it might not be a bad idea to reflect some overall ideas on a per game basis for the Michigan Hockey team.  This may develop, stay remotely similar, or disappear completely.  Hopefully, more of the former.  We'll start with four areas and go from there.**

 

OFFENSE

If you've followed Michigan Hockey this season, there's really not a lot left to describe about this offense.  They generated 57 shots on target, last night, rather evenly throughout the game (18, 22,and 17).  Many of these looks came from dangerous areas: around the crease, in the slot, and inner halves of the faceoff circles.   Kyle Connor had 2 more goals; Boo Nieves also had 2 on Senior Night; Motte, Werenski, and Selman each tallied a couple of assists, as well.  As will be emphasized throughout, Penn State only dressed 16 skaters.  There's no question that this played into Michigan's ability to control play all night long.

 

DEFENSE

As seen by the previous section, Penn State basically had 3 lines and 3 pairings.  Michigan's defense, for the most part, was largely irrelevant.  Scanning the shot charts, there were very few shots even ATTEMPTED at Michigan's net: 60 (25 coming in the 3rd, once the game was out of hand).  Michigan for comparison had 90, with almost 30 per period.  Just glancing at where these attempts came from, maybe only 10 came from threatening areas in the first couple periods.  Penn State is 6th nationally in goals (3.69/game) and averages a shade over 42 shots target/game.  So, to be honest, I think the result was probably a little more due to Penn State's personnel limitations than Michigan's locking them down.  M did have their normal stretch of sloppy defensive play that forced some great saves from Racine (and then Nagelvoort).  

 

GOALTENDING

Again, Penn State threatened very little for the 'in doubt' first 30 or so minutes.  The defense kept most of the threats to the perimeter, aside from a few lapses.  Racine played well in his final game at Yost.  The goal came on a deflection from Cecconi as he was tracking a PSU attacker and crossed Racine's vision.  Tough luck for Racine.  He was great in every other opportunity he was presented with...though there were not a lot of them.  Because of the offensive barrage, Racine was afforded the chance to be ceremoniously taken off for last 12 minutes.  FWIW, Nagelvoort seemed to play well, as Michigan's defense sagged off towards the end of the game.  Nagelvoort made 9 saves in 12 minutes versus Racine's 21 in 48 minutes.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS 

Michigan was phenomenal last night.  3/6 on the power play and 3/3 in their first three attempts.  Once it was 5-1, M had a 5 min PP (due to a red card to Penn State's Ricky DeRosa) and then a 5-on-3 for 2 minutes.  They did not score, but at that point, the game was all but decided. The puck movement from the top line (Werenski, Kile, Motte, Compher, Connor) is just ridiculous.  Its the best I've seen in a long time at Yost.  Maybe the best I've seen?  I know Hensick, Porter, Tambellini, etc had some great ones, as well.  But that was a while ago.  Michigan's PP leads the nation at a 29.5% clip.  Last night, clearly no exception.  On the flip side, Michigan only took 1 penalty and allowed just 1 shot on that penalty kill...and it came from the neutral zone.  Again, Penn State only had three forwards lines.

 

BONUS: Odd Man Rushes

Still in the infancy of deciding how to track these and what to do with them but from what I counted last night: 4 OMRs given up for Michigan.  

  • The first 2 were soft 3v2s that didn't even result in a quality look.
  • The third was Cecconi with an awful centering pass from the blue line that was picked off and Scheid came in on a rush before Martin caught him at the top of the circles.  Racine calmly blocked the shot into the corner.  
  • The fourth was a neutral zone giveaway that left Downing back in a 2v1 but a nice back-check from Warren nullified the opportunity.

Kyle Connor Is the Most Productive Michigan Freshman in 25 Years

Kyle Connor Is the Most Productive Michigan Freshman in 25 Years

Submitted by stephenrjking on February 19th, 2016 at 10:11 PM

We know Kyle Connor is having an amazing season. How amazing?

Kyle Connor has reached 50 points. The last Michigan freshman to reach the 50 point plateau was Brian Wiseman in 1990

— Joe (@MnBJoe) February 20, 2016

 

That's astonishing. Wiseman played in a much higher-scoring era than what we know today. Since then, the list of Michigan greats not to achieve this includes Brendan Morrison, Bill Muckalt, Mike Comrie, Mike Cammalleri, Jeff Tambellini, TJ Hensick, Kevin Porter, Max Pacioretty, and Dylan Larkin. 

Connor has a narrow lead in the scoring race over New Hampshire's Andrew Poturalski. UNH plays twice this weekend to Michigan's once (and Poturalski already has three more games played than Connor), so Connor would need a big game to stay ahead... and he netted three points tonight. He currently sits at 51 points.

For reference, Kevin Porter won the Hobey Baker award with 63 points.

That CCM line is pretty good, guys.