Friday, February 9, 2018
Michigan State 1, #19 Michigan 1 (T, SO W)
MSU 0 UM 1 EV 5:06 Assists: Porikos & N. Pastujov
Nick Pastujov does a really nice job getting to the puck just before it goes out of the zone. He smacks the puck backwards in an effort to get it deep.
Pastujov’s hack ends up being a perfect pass, as the puck lands perfectly on Quinn Hughes’ blade.
Hughes turns on the puck and, upon seeing Ghafari’s stick in his shooting lane, pulls it back and decides to dangle.
Hughes pulls the puck back and shows one of the more intuitive responses I’ve see in the last few seasons. He has a defender in front of him and feels the pressure of the one encroaching from behind, so he counters the pressure by sliding the puck on a diagonal behind himself.
Hughes is able to spin on his right foot and get the back of his blade on the puck with just barely enough of an upward flick to lift the puck over Lethemon’s extended stick.
Hughes pulls off a spin in a phone booth with unreal puck skills, and Lethemon does a good job to even get a stick near the shot.
[After THE JUMP: Quinn Hughes is now illegal in four states]
MSU 1 UM 1 EV 15:17 Assists: Hirose & Khordorenko
Khodorenko carries into the zone and does a nice job looking past Gatt, who would have had two defenders converging on him, and finding Hirose trailing.
Becker throws on the brakes and tries to get his stick on the puck, but Hirose is able to walk around him into the high slot. Becker manages to keep his stick out and in a lane to the point that I’d expect a shot if I’m Lavigne. It really looks like Becker has taken away the passing lane to the backside.
Hirose’s patience wins the day, though. He holds the puck long enough that Becker slides a skosh ahead, which leaves Hirose a small triangle of space to pass through. Hughes starts to turn once he reads that a pass is coming, but Gatt’s going to get the pass just by virtue of being a left-handed shot.
Lavigne doesn’t even push across, instead sort of stabbing with the glove as the shot’s already in. He didn’t have much of a chance on this one, but he also didn’t help himself. Gatt snaps the puck high and in.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
#19 Michigan 3, Michigan State 2
UM 1 MSU 0 EV 4:22 Assists: Calderone & Luce
Calderone tries to pass to the high slot for Warren, but the pass comes before Warren can get there and is poked toward the top of the zone by a Spartan defender. Khodorenko holds his stick out and the puck hits his blade. Lewandowski then tries to stop the puck with the blade between his skates, but the puck hits and hops over.
Luce steps into a shot that Lethemon stops.
He allows a rebound, though, and Calderone is in perfect position to snag it and shoot. Lethemon sells out on this near certainty.
The defender in front of the net gets his stick out in an effort to take away the pass to the Michigan skater standing near the far post. That’s a solid decision, but that doesn’t work in a situation where there’s a skater breaching the low slot. Calderone sees Marody skating down the middle and pushes the puck over. From there all Marody has to do is tap the puck in, as Lethemon is square to Calderone and in his butterfly to take away the bottom of the net on a shot that never comes.
UM 2 MSU 0 PPG 18:30 Assists: Winborg & N. Pastujov
Winborg shoots from the wing and misses the net. The puck hits behind the net and bounces out the other side, at which point Miller gets the puck and throws it to the corner.
Miller’s just trying to rim the puck around, but the loose stick in the corner has other ideas. The puck hits the end and slows enough for Nick Pastujov to gain possession. He then throws the puck behind the net for Winborg.
Rosburg leaves Winborg once Winborg goes behind the net and instead tracks the puck to the corner, which leaves him scrambling to get to the side of the net once Winborg has it. That also leaves Winborg the time he needs for a wraparound.
Winborg gets a second chance; Lethemon allows a rebound off the wraparound, and Rosburg slides himself out of the play. The second attempt hits Lethemon and ricochets to the top of the crease, where Becker happens to lie in wait.
It looks to me like Miller actually gets his blade on the puck first, but Becker hacks at it and knocks it off and into the net. Yet another example of good things happening when he goes to the front of the net.
UM 2 MSU 1 EV 00:21 Assists: Khodorenko
Khodorenko wins the draw straight back. Hirose comes in for the puck as Norris sees it and charges. Hirose counters by backhading the puck, which gets it under Norris’ stick and on the other side of him.
That leaves Raabe the lone guy who can impact the shot, and he gets close but not close enough. Hirose does a really nice job regaining possession and firing before the puck gets knocked away.
Lavigne can see this and he just whiffs. It was comforting in its own way, though, as he met his one-head-scratcher-per-game quota early in the period.
UM 3 MSU 1 EV 14:06 Assists: Cecconi & Marody
Calderone gains the offensive zone and drops the puck for Marody, who throws on the brakes and passes cross-ice just ahead of a retreating Spartan defender.
Cecconi stickhandles for a second before taking advantage of Keefer dropping to block a potential Cecconi shot. He sees Hughes looping through the bottom of the opposite faceoff circle and hits him.
The pass creates a Hughes-Lethemon one-on-one matchup, and Hughes takes it from there. He toe drags and creates his own space, freezing Lethemon with the move and finding a hole (five-hole?) to shoot.
UM 3 MSU 2 EV 15:25 Assists: Khodorenko & Gatt
Khodorenko carries into the zone and starts to turn sideways after he slips past a Hughes pokecheck; Luce gets his stick out and essentially forces Khodorenko to turn by taking away the more direct path to the net. Khodorenko has Keefer trailing and throws the puck his way.
Hughes tries to pick off the pass and comes within about a puck’s length. He misses, which allows Keefer to drag the puck around. He looks to pass and has zero options.
Keefer takes the shot and lifts it top corner. It’s a well-placed shot and it doesn’t look like Lavigne is out of position so much as he just doesn’t track this puck well. It seems like he was doing his best to seal and take away everything short-side and was hoping the puck would just hit him.
Links of note:
Brian wrote an excellent post about the various result-dependent outcomes Michigan can expect with regard to making the tournament.