Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Minnesota- Part 2 Comment Count

Adam Schnepp March 1st, 2016 at 4:59 PM

Friday, February 26, 2016

#20 Minnesota 3, #6 Michigan 2 (OT)

1st period


MINN 0 MICH 1 EV 07:18 Assists: Selman

Nieves dumps the puck in so Michigan can change, but Dancs heads in to forecheck. He takes away the passing lane behind the net, so Seeler carries it up the boards and passes across for Glover.

min sat 1-1

Glover decides he’s going to spring someone with a stretch pass before he looks where he’s passing; he doesn’t see that Selman’s entering the zone through the same lane he plans to use.

min sat 1-2

Glover digs in to try and start skating backward, and Selman uses that gap to his advantage, passing it through Glover’s legs and giving Marody a one-on-one with Schierhorn.

min sat 1-3

Marody pulls the puck to his backhand and leaves it there long enough to get Schierhorn to hit the ice. He doesn’t seal the ice, but there’s not enough of a gap to entice Marody to shoot.

min sat 1-4

Marody instead pulls the puck around Schierhorn, who makes a valiant effort to poke-check the puck away that barely misses.

min sat 1-5

[After THE JUMP: Tyler Motte’s signature shot, deflections, disappointment]

Lettieri goal, Minnesota

MINN 1 MICH 1 EV 11:00 Assists: Sadek

This play has a pretty innocuous start, with a battle for the puck in the corner ending in it being knocked up the boards and Sadek getting the puck near the blue line.

min sat 2-1

Sadek swings it to Lettieri, who one-times it. The puck hits Porikos’ skate and changes trajectory.

min sat 2-2

I’ve drawn lines parallel to the puck before and after it hits Porikos’ skate. Here’s before, with the puck traveling low and parallel to the ice.

min sat 2-3

And here it is after it has hit the skate, now quickly rising and wobbling.

min sat 2-4

Racine misses it over his shoulder without making more than a slight stab with the glove to counter it. This puck either really surprised him, or he really whiffed on it.

min sat 2-5

2nd period

Bristedt goal, Minnesota

MINN 2 MICH 1 EV 07:17 Assists: Lettieri & Gates

Lettieri wins a battle in the corner and passes ahead to Bristedt, who skates it out of Minnesota’s defensive zone.

min sat 3-1

Bristedt skates it through the neutral zone, checks where Michigan’s defensemen are and how good their gap control is, and decides his best course of action is to play chip-and-chase.

min sat 3-2

The puck bounces once in front of Racine, going in over his extended glove. Ooof. I won’t pretend to be a goaltending coach, but it seems like Racine doesn’t track the puck very well here; if he was I’d assume he’d push left instead of trying to use his glove like a shortstop.

min sat 3-3


MINN 2 MICH 2 EV 17:19 Assists: Connor & Downing

A shot from the point hits bodies in front of the net and slides to the corner, where Seeler has a step on Connor and gains possession.

min sat 4-1

Seeler flips it up in an attempt to clear the zone, but the puck falls short and bounces off another Minnesota player. Downing picks up the loose puck and passes down to Connor. (In this admittedly unusual case, it paid off for Connor to be a step behind Seeler.)

min sat 4-2

Connor skates in off the boards and, to the surprise of no one, both defenders freak out. They do an excellent job of taking away the passing lane to Motte, but Connor still finds a way to saucer it over their outstretched sticks.

min sat 4-3

Motte one-times it, placing a rapidly rising shot just under the crossbar. Schierhorn has no chance at stopping what’s quickly becoming Motte’s signature shot.

min sat 4-4

3rd period

No scoring


Fasching goal, Minnesota

MINN 3 MICH 2 EV 00:57 Assists: Reilly & Novak

Minnesota gets the puck in their defensive zone and passes to the neutral zone, where it’s knocked away. The puck skitters into Michigan’s defensive zone. Nieves goes back to retrieve it, playing it behind the net for Cecconi, who sees Dancs in front of him and makes the short outlet pass.

min sat 5-1

Dancs moves the blade of his stick to stickhandle the puck before it’s fully settled, and it hops up and over, rolling out of Michigan’s defensive zone and into the neutral zone.

min sat 5-2

Reilly (I’m pretty sure Reilly and Novak should be switched on the scoresheet) picks up the loose puck near center ice and skates back and laterally to create space and set up a zone entry feed.

min sat 5-3

Nieves skates out to challenge Reilly, but he’s able to thread a pass through the area in front of Nieves’ left skate and behind his stick. Novak takes the pass and skates to the faceoff circle to Racine’s left.

min sat 5-4

Fasching, who’s the skater in the last screen cap directly above the word “skater,” has looped through the near half of the neutral zone and is entering Minnesota’s offensive zone when turns to look for a trailer and finds exactly that. Fasching rips a one-timer that beats Racine over his blocker-side shoulder.

min sat 5-5

From this angle, it looks like Racine’s never quite square to Fasching. He reads the pass from Novak to Fasching but doesn’t push to his right, and it seems like this would hit him high instead of going over his shoulder if he had.

min sat 5-6

At some point this was going to happen. Over and over again Michigan has been either been in a close game or behind in the third period until their superlative offensive abilities take over and the dam breaks, leaving a stammering goaltender and skittish defensemen in its wake. It happened again on Thursday, with Michigan holding a 2-0 lead entering the third before taking a 6-0 lead after a four-goal deluge in the latter half of the period. On Friday, however, Minnesota Michigan’d Michigan. A 2-2 tie after two periods saw Minnesota with a slight edge in shot attempts (41 vs. 37), but Michigan’s 10 blocked shots held them in the second period and set the stage for another high-tide third period.

Minnesota put up 22 of their 54 shot attempts in the third period, keeping Racine busy. His workload was exacerbated by Michigan’s complete inability to generate shots in the third; Schierhorn only had three shots actually make it on net that period. Even worse, Michigan had one shot attempt below the faceoff dots in the offensive zone the entire period, and it missed the net. That Michigan was able to escape the third period without getting scored on is something of a minor miracle, and though the loss dropped them from the top of the Big Ten standings, looking over the shot charts makes remaining sixth in Pairwise seem almost as lucky as Minnesota’s goals on Friday.

Should we freak out about goaltending? The hot taeks were flyin’ Friday night, with a number of people trashing the team from different angles. One popular approach was to blame Steve Racine, who was excellent Thursday and very good for most of Friday. The first goal he allowed Friday came via a puck deflecting off his teammate’s skate. The other two were frustrating, but I’m not going to jump off the Racine-is-hockey-Rudock train until he’s had two or three games in a row with those types of goals allowed. As it stands I think what happened was just an anomaly, an anomaly that any starter experiences at some point during a season.



March 1st, 2016 at 5:17 PM ^

Steve Racine in no more hockey-Rudock than Dan Quayle was John Kennedy.  (Youngsters look it up).  Rucock was was a guy with certain talents who got better throughout the year as he learned the system he was running and further developed his talents by learning from the coaches.  Racine is the same old Racine.  Fundamentally an unsound goalie who can get hot and lucky at times but he will always struggle from lack of concentration, lack of vision,  and bad technique that causes him to make bad plays like goal 2 and 3 on Friday.  They have been a staple of his repetoire from the beginning.  


March 1st, 2016 at 10:25 PM ^

What I find a little odd is that nobody seems to have noticed that Cecconi stepped slightly into the shot and probably caused a slight delay in Racine's ability to track the puck properly out of the skates. As a goalie myself I have been in Racine's skates before and my "expert" analysis is that he was focused mainly on Novak and the shot from Fasching not only surprised him, but also came out of the skates of Cecconi which was the perfect storm for a bad goal. In the end you expect a senior goalie to make that save but you also have to give Fasching some credit....it was a heavy ass shot and perfectly placed.

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