The next 3 games are all 50/50 for me right now, just a heads up...
(Patrick Barron) Not all JLF's fault...but hockey is sad, these days
FIRST: Michigan definitely had their chances in the first. They had a couple OMRs (one came shorthanded, though), and got into the slot and crease a few different times. By the numbers, Michigan generated 19 even strength attempts with 9 of those coming from home plate. This is great! They didn't get one to go but created many nice looks and flubbed a couple of their best chances. This is equivalent to the first couple periods of the OSU series a couple weeks back.
SECOND: Once again, Michigan generated some decent looks in the attacking end. They created 15 even strength attempts and got 6 from home plate. They're above 40% from the dangerous area. This is above their average. They missed a few great chances, including a breakaway and another 2v1. Michigan started and finished the period very strongly but got caught up in the penalty fest in the middle of the period. While Berry is making some good saves, they're also not getting a lot of their best chances on frame.
- THIRD: The eyeball test said Michigan had a great third period. They held the puck deep in the Badger zone for multiple long stretches and kept pressure in the attacking end for most of the third period. Except...no one could find (or hit) the net. Finally Wisconsin Michigan'd a lovely DZTO right to Winborg who slid it across to Allen along in the low slot and he beat Berry to tie the game. The shot chart backs this up as Michgan has a 16(7) in the third. I guess I was expecting a bit higher, but a 50 is actually one of their better scores on the year. That's also 44% from HP on a relatively high volume...which means they couldn't get anything past Berry or any of their best looks on frame. Ugh...this season.
FIRST: Michigan allowed 16 even strength attampts and 7 from home plate. This is not so good. The overall total isn't the worst but the near 50% HP ratio is not great. They also had some trouble clearing the puck and breaking out. Going to need a better 2nd period. With a crazy assist to physics, the first period goal does fall on the defense. The puck is shot wide of the net an took an odd bounce around to the other side of the net. Unfortunately, no one was marking Trent Frederic. He waited for JLF to drop and lifted it to the roof of the net. Probably need to check that guy.
SECOND: Almost an idential period for Michigan on defense, again. Wisconsin goes 16(6) in the 2nd. Still a little too easy for Wisconsin to get the puck into dangerous places, though. The goal was when Michigan was down a man, so it technically isn't going against the defense. However, it was poor man-marking that lead to the goal as no one checked the guy bringing the puck into the zone. That needed to be addressed in this section.
- THIRD: It started so well and then dropped like a sack of flour. Michigan actually gave up the most chances in the third: 17(10). At least half of those had to have come in the last five minutes as the wheels were flying off like one of Pharaoh's chariots in the Red Sea. Michigan was dominating in the attacking end and then all of a sudden everything came sliding back to their own end. After JLF took a curious clear, Luce marked his man in the slot, but didn't really touch him and Frederic was able to tap a centering pass behind LaFontaine. Then, a gorgeous behind the back pass finds Zirbel between two more M defenders who goes upper 90 on poor Jack. The 5th goal also came from just outside the crease after another silly DZTO. There were certainly enough of those all night, but eventually the lack of marking and puck clearing came back to blitz Michigan's beleaguered defense. In the end, they gave up 49 shots from even strength and 23 from inside home plate. That's 47%. That's awful. It's also the 2nd highest percentage M has surrendered this season. Only the trip to Vermont was worse.
FIRST: Michigan draws no penalties in the first. They take one, though...but it was soft. Nothing comes of it, though. Wisconsin barely got their power play set up.
SECOND: Michigan gets their first power play due to lazy miscommunication on the Badger bench. The Wolverines quickly set up their 1-3-1 and a dot-to-dot feed from Slaker to Marody gave Michigan a power play goal. When they can get their power play set up, they've been very dangerous. Michigan took two more penalties and it came back to bite them. Wisconsin scored on their second opportunity. A simple give and go at the blue line and neither Cutler nor Shuart stayed with Hughes and he walked right in on JLF and scored.
- THIRD: Not much special teams action in the third. Michigan got a power play early and created numerous great looks but could not score. It was similar to their overall offense from the night: a lot of swarming puck control with good chances but not enough on frame or obviously in the net. They also got another power play late, after the game was 5-2. I don't know how that one looked. Obviously.
FIRST: Jack LaFontaine started in net and look good to start. I don't put the goal on him. He was bumped on one side of the net, thrown off balance, lost his stick, and had no chance to make the save on the opposite side of the net. Crazy bounce off the boards. He did show nice positioning and made a few stops with attackers crashing the net around him. Apparently, he's over whatever hurt him midway through the game, last Saturday. He had 10 saves.
SECOND: JLF was mostly solid in the middle frame. He stopped 10 more shots and was betrated by lazy defending for the second goal. The only slip was a shot from a 90 degree angle that got into has pads. As he reached back to check, he fell back into the net and the puck squirted out across the goalline. Fortunately for him, the whistle had already blown. Since the ref had lost sight of the puck, blowing the whistle was probably the right move, but it would have been a soft goal, otherwise. Aside from that, he minimized chances and was up to anything that was thrown at him.
- THIRD: Another up and down period for JLF. Stoned a breakaway. Hung out to dry in his crease as the puck is turned over time and time again below the dots. Still, with Michigan dominating the third period, tied at 2, JLF has the puck behind his net and clears the puck around the left boards with no Wolverine player in its path and a Badgers steps in and keeps the puck in the zone. A couple of passes later and the puck is in the net. Now, the defense didn't help later, but it started with a curious clearing decision. The last couple goals were not on him, but just a good -not great- performance in net. He definitely showed what he was capable of doing, but JLF also had a couple of whoops moments, as well. He's still only a freshman. He had 26 saves.
ODD MAN RUSHES
FIRST: Michigan surrendered one 2v1. Attacking Badger may have had his skate grazed but was losing control on his own. Didn't get a shot away, regardless. Boka did go to the box, though. Nothing else.
SECOND: Wisconsin gets a 3v2 that turns into a 5v5 and a shot from the point that doesn't go in. So...eh. But they follow that with a 2v1 that Boka gets caught flat-footed at the Wisconsin blueline. The pass was behind an open Besse or else the Badgers would have had an OMR goal.
- THIRD: On a powerplay, Michigan gave up a breakaway. JLF stoned it for his best stop of the night. Four OMRs tonight. The total is creeping up the last couple weeks. At this point, whatever, I guess.
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Michigan 50, Wisconsin 49
www.collegehockeynews.com had: Michigan 53, Wisconsin 47