One 3-3 tie on Saturday versus Michigan State. Michigan is 4-0-1 on the year, 0-0-1 in the CCHA. The last three Michigan-Michigan State games have been unsatisfying ties.
- Tim Cook reverted to his old Tim Cook ways, getting stripped of the puck and letting a Michigan State player walk in on Sauer for the Spartans' first goal of the night and then taking a major and a game disqualification for uselessly checking a Michigan State player from behind. How long before Red throws the towel in, pairs him with Rohlfs, and sends them out strictly against checking lines? Probably not soon enough.
- Michigan was straight pwned in the first period. Their intermittent problems breaking out of the zone became constant and Michigan State decided to revert to their old Everything That's Wrong With Hockey ways and sit back at the blue line, intercepting passes. The freshmen obliged by throwing the puck around in places where there was no way it was going to get to a Michigan player.
- Hensick is under the impression that without Tambellini there's no one to pass to.
- Billy Sauer is very sound positionally, has good-to-great lateral movement, and occupies a lot of space. He made a lot of tough saves against Michigan State look very easy. Michigan gave up a ton of good scoring chances against; Sauer did very well to shut most of them down.
- Wilkins... can we just get one of those skating monkeys next time? Do they have skating monkeys? If not, why the hell isn't someone working on this?
- Johnson didn't have his strongest game but watching him in overtime, when he freaked out and tried to rush every puck he got into the zone and decided he was going to be a forward for five minutes, was impressive. Michigan completely dominated the OT period, pressing for a goal--Johnson wanted it more than anyone.
Yay we have a goalie again.
The CCHA performed close to expectations in nonconference play. Northern swept Michigan Tech in a home and home; Notre Dame was swept by CC and DU; Fairbanks split on the road against Anchorage. The net result is probably close to zero, though Michigan would be advised not to drop a game against the Irish if they'd like to win comparisons versus CC and DU at the end of the year.
Conference play kicked off elsewhere with a surprising Miami sweep of UNO. The Redhawks were coming off a 3-0 loss to North Dakota and the Mavs had just beaten UNH 5-3 and were looking good to start the season. League favorite Ohio State did everyone a favor by dropping a point to a Bowling Green team that doesn't look very good this year. Ferris State and Lake State played a pair of ties.
- "Happy Anniversary" directed at Jack Johnson's father... though there was no "Give Her Tongue" chant... probably for the best.
- A bunch of completely incoherent screaming from three tiny, shirtless Italian guys who freaked out whenever Cogliano did anything for three straight hours. I honestly wondered if the nipple-pierced ringleader was on cocaine.
The Next Weekend
A pair in Fairbanks, Alaska, against a Nanooks team off to a great 2-1-1 start. UAF's played nothing but road games so far and crashed Mariucci for a win and a tie on their opening weekend. Winning in Fairbanks is always tough and this seems to be one of the better incarnations of the Nanooks--a split would be okay, especially for all these freshmen on their first road trip.
Wild-ass guess: 4-3, Fairbanks and 2-1, Michigan.