(Bill Rapai) The Captain certainly did his part
FIRST: Michigan gets 14 attempts in even strength. Of those 14, 5 came from the home plate area. Both of Michigan's goal also came from even strength. Slaker drove and created the first as he ripped a shot that was deflected behind the net. He got to his rebound and threw it back at Minney who got it lost in his pads before kicking it into his own net. A bad goal to surrender but props to Slaker for putting the pressure on Minney. The second goal was a scramble in front and Shuart poked one into Minney who lost a second puck through himself into his own net. Michigan got deep in the slot/crease as the period progressed and it paid off in this period.
SECOND: Michigan had a productive offensive period. They generated 16 even strength attempts, including 5 from the dangerous area. They also got 10 shots on frame. While most of their attempts were from distance, the did drive most of the play and controlled the puck. It ended up paying off with a couple penalties and that's where Michigan tied the game.
THIRD: Michigan had its best offensive period in the third, registering 18 attempts in even strength and getting 9 of those from in the dangerous area. Lethemon made a couple of game-savers with his team down a goal or else Michigan would have had this put away. The one goal they did generate was a snipe form De Jong (again) from above the circles. Cutler Martin looked to screen and De Jong buried his 4th career goal. Michigan was able to get into the home plate quite often, creating 40% of the attempts from a dangerous spot. That's above their 34% season average and their 30ish% average against State earlier this season.
- In OT, M had a corsi score of 5(2), with a couple nice looks to win the game.
FIRST: Michigan's defense was not as bad as it first seemed, watching the game live. They gave up 13 even strength chances but only 3 from the dangerous area. When in even strength, Michigan did a good job of keep the chances to the perimeter. The even strength goal did come from an unmarked guy (not great) but he was below the dot and Lavigne had position but weirdly moved on the shot. They did have some giveaways and bad clears but overall limited the quality looks.
SECOND: A great defensive 2nd period from the Wolverines. They only allowed three shots on goal, eight even strength attempts, and ONE from the home plate area. That's one of the best defensive periods that Michigan has played during this season. Granted, Michigan had two power plays and MSU did not have any, but minimizing MSU's even strength attempts and keeping them away from the center of the defensive zone is a cornerstone of defensive success. Well done, this period.
THIRD: Michigan, again, only allowed 14 even strength attempts. That's higher than earlier in the game, but still managable. Unfortunately, 7 of those came from the home plate area. That's not a great ratio. The one goal was off a bad giveaway by Luce in the defensive end. He lost the puck in his skates and an attacker centered it to an open man in the slot who tied the game, late in the third. Adam and I debated on twitter if the blame was more on Luce for the DZTO or Boka for not checking the slot attacker. Either way, neither is a good look and it ended up costing Michigan a win. State ended up with 41 attempts and 13 coming from the home plate area. That's about 31% which is slightly lower than Michigan's season average of 33%. In their previous series, State got 28% of their attempts from dangerous areas. So, an blah third period after two much better periods...and then one terrible sequence.
- In OT, M allowed a 6(2) corsi score and a lucky bounce off the pipe and Lavigne's head to get to a shootout.
FIRST: Not great. Michigan did not draw a penalty, but took two penalties. Cutler Martin blasted a Spartan really late after the puck was way gone. Hotaek says that Martin is very fired up for MSU games and plays a bit too physical, wanting to wreck somebody. The second penalty was Appleton stick-handling through all four M skaters before being taken down by the other Martin. That was just lazy defending all around. State ended up getting a 5v3, the puck never left the zone, and a tried Michigan trio was late to harassing the crease-front tap-in. No chance for Lavigne.
SECOND: Michigan's first power play chance was effective but they did not convert. Minney made a couple nice saves to limit their threat. On their 2nd PP, they were able to convert, though, as Nolan De Jong waited and then ripped a shot from just outside the dot that went past a terrific screen in front of Lethemon. Michigan also did NOT take a penalty in the second period. Hooray!
- THIRD/OT: There were no power plays for either team in the third period.
FIRST: Not a great period for Lavigne. He's beaten short side from a wide angle shot...on which he's on the post. While the shooter wasn't marked, Lavigne was seemingly where he needed to be and it still got by him. He also looked a little sloppy in his rebound control and even some positioning. He settled down as the period went along, though. Lavigne ended up with 7 saves.
SECOND: Lavigne had another uneven period. He was tested a lot, facing only 3 shots. He did let one get past him, though. A shot from the boards to his right hit a couple bodies and changed speeds. As the puck finally approached him, he vacated his spot on the right post and an attacker immediately poked the puck between his recently moved skate at the post. Not sure where he was going. Very un-Lavigne-like game, so far.
THIRD: Lavigne had his best period. He faced six shots on frame and the only one he didn't stop was bad turnover deep in the defensive zone that was finished by a one-timer in the slot of an unchecked attacker. He also made 2-3 very good saves and was more consistent with his positioning and puck control. Not a great game, overall, but got better as the game progressed.
- OT: Lavigne stopped one shot and headed one away after it hit the crossbar. He was also 4/5 in the shootout.
ODD MAN RUSHES
FIRST: I did not see Michigan give up an OMR.
SECOND: Another OMR-less period.
- THIRD: MSU had a 2v1 after forcing a turnover at the Michigan blue line. Lavigne made a relatively routine save to squelch that. That's all.
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Michigan 53, Michigan State 41
www.collegehockeynews.com had: Michigan 51, Michigan State 43