Michigan Hockey Releases Non-Conference Schedule Comment Count

Adam Schnepp May 13th, 2016 at 2:27 PM

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[Barron/MGoBlog]

Michigan announced its non-conference schedule today, and while there are certainly better home games than last season they may not do much to bolster Michigan's tournament resume when March rolls around.

Michigan's two marquee matchups are two-game home series against Michigan Tech, which finished 15th in RPI, near the end of October and Boston University, which finished ninth in RPI, in early November. BU is a young team that returns three of their top five scorers and managed to finish as high as they did in RPI despite a rash of injuries. Meanwhile, what Mel Pearson's done in Houghton has been nothing short of remarkable:

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A one-off November road tilt against Arizona State, which finished 59th in RPI (out of 60), and a two-game home series against Lake Superior State are the real anchors of the non-conference schedule. It's nice to keep some of the old CCHA connections, but two games against a team that finished 44th in RPI makes that a series that Michigan has to sweep; if they do they stay put in RPI/PairWise, and if they lose a game or two they're in trouble.

Meanwhile, a two-game home series against Union and one-off road game at Ferris State are roughly comparable to games against Ohio State. An east coast road trip in late October has Michigan take on Vermont, which finished three spots below OSU in RPI at 35th, and Dartmouth, whose 22nd-place finish in RPI puts them one spot below Penn State. In other words, the only possible RPI boost in that portion of the schedule would come from Darmouth moving up two spots in RPI in 2016-17, and that's not likely to happen considering they lose three of their top six scorers and their top two goaltenders.

The Great Lakes Invitational features a guaranteed game against Michigan Tech and then a game against either Michigan State or Western Michigan; both finished in the mid-forties in RPI and are uninspiring second-round opponents.

Comments

PurpleStuff

May 13th, 2016 at 2:43 PM ^

Do not care about the RPI implications, very excited to play at ASU.  Can't wait to head to Phoenix and catch that game.  Guessing there are a lot of other west coast alums who haven't seen a game in a long time that would make that trip as well.

robrip2

May 13th, 2016 at 5:17 PM ^

Can't wait for November 4th!  As a Michigan fan and native but graduate of ASU and living in Phoenix this makes be very happy.  Although for purely selfish reasons it would have been way better if that had joined the Big Ten so I could see them even more.  Now I am going to have to settle for Western Michigan.

JClay

May 13th, 2016 at 2:55 PM ^

For those who care, Homecoming (Michigan Tech and Illinois) is the only opportunity to catch both a hockey and basketball game in Ann Arbor this year.

gwkrlghl

May 13th, 2016 at 4:20 PM ^

Feels like we play the same teams every year

Ferris
Boston U
Union
Michigan Tech

Otherwise, even if they are deadweight, it'll be cool to play ASU. And it looks like Lake State is done being pissed at Michigan after Ferris was the only former CCHA school not pissed at us for the last 5 years. Let's see if we ever play Miami, BGSU, Northern or Western again...

Mgodiscgolfer

May 14th, 2016 at 1:16 PM ^

so fondly of? Forgive my ignorance in advance.

Is he a possible coaching candidate in the near future? For maybe if and when Red retires? 

Remember! as far as I know he could be the town librarian.

Save Us Mel

May 14th, 2016 at 3:35 PM ^

He was an assistant coach at Michigan from 1988-2011, including being the Associate Head Coach from 1999 on.  He turned down other head coaching opportunities until taking the head job at his alma mater, Michigan Tech, in 2011.  Tech was awful, going 4-30-4 the season before.  Mel has turned the program around with winning seasons the last two years.

Some of us consider him to be almost as important as Red in turning Michigan into a hockey power.  The program has clearly falling off since Mel left.  I'm eager for Red to retire and Mel to return as the head coach.

Mgodiscgolfer

May 14th, 2016 at 8:11 PM ^

Ok cool I see you are obviously in the Yes we all love Red, now we all want to be at his retirement party and see the man off in the most respectful way possible. This Mel Pearson is obviously a very likely candidate to become the next coach. While I agree the program is becoming more beatable than they have in the past also the showing against N. Dakota was not as close as the score said it was. I was personally disappointed in that game because of the opportunity presented the players and the recruiting would have a nice feather in their cap to say national champions again. I believe its time for a change but.........

The only change the team should seek is a change that would move the program closer to the mountain top. If this is the guy who can do it by all means lets get him down here from Tech and don't waste a min. of daylightes saving time in the process. Thanx for the help I now have a name to throw out there 

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