Tony Molina Leaving…..

I interrupt the regular Michigan Hockey Photo blog with this important announcement.  In response to a tweet I sent after the game on Saturday night, Mr. Molina responded and said that Saturday was his last game as he was moving out of state soon.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I was bummed by this news.  I tried to go and see if I could figure out how many years he has been on the Blue Line for Michigan games, but for some reason they don’t list years of experience for Hockey Referees.

Why was I bummed?  Well, not only is Tony a great Linesman, (or is that Assistant Referee), but he has a personality!  He regularly engages with the @childrenofyost and others.  He generally operates with a smile in everything he does, even in the thankless job of being a College Hockey Linesman.  In his last game, he made a controversial icing call that eventually got overturned by the referees, but he even took that in stride.

It’s going to be different at Yost without someone who really embraces the fans and the atmosphere.  Who will pick up his legacy of throwing candy to the fans and or snow from around the goal crease.  Checking the net and even climbing inside at the encouragement of the students.  The loudest cheers for a referee were always for Tony Molina.  We’re going to miss you.   If you’re ever back in town, I’m sure we can find a spot where you can share the game with us.  The Mayor has already volunteered.  Best wishes wherever you go, and I hope your memories of Yost will be fond ones.

Looking sharp in the B1G warmup!

Looking sharp in the B1G warmup!

Make sure the guys in the box have candy!

Make sure the guys in the box have candy!

Throw some candy to the @childrenofyost

Throw some candy to the @childrenofyost

Candy flying through the air!

Candy flying through the air!

Continue with the warm up skate!

Continue with the warm up skate!

A common spot, the faceoff circle.

A common spot, the faceoff circle.

After making the controversial call.  You have to be confident in your calls.

After making the controversial call… You have to be confident in your calls.

This still holds true.  I tweeted this picture out after last season when I saw it.  I think the @childrenofyost would agree.

This still holds true. I tweeted this picture out after last season when I saw it. I think the @childrenofyost would agree.

Wolverines Beat Team USA NTDP 7-4 in Exhibition

Exhibition games are usually a good experience for the team.  You get a chance to see some of the players in a game where they may not normally get ice time, and often that includes a number of the freshmen.  The trick is in making sure you still win those exhibition games and leave them with momentum heading into the season.  Last year the NTDP team came back to win the game against us in overtime.

This game again started with an early defensive miscue and the NTDP team took advantage and notched a goal to go up 1-0, but that was the only time it was really close as Michigan outshot Team USA 41-18.  Both teams played aggressively and there were plenty of penalties taken on both sides.  I thought this was good as our PK and PP teams got plenty of action.  At the end it got a little chippy though and the last thing you want in an exhibition game is an injury.  Michael Downing (#5) did leave the ice late in obvious pain with what looked to be a leg injury, so I’m hoping he is ok.

For this post I tried to take some different pictures to capture the players, so first of all, here are the Goalies, #35, Zack Nagelvoort, #1, Steve Racine, and #29, Luke Dwyer.

Zack Nagelvoort stretches before the game.

Zack Nagelvoort stretches before the game.

Steve Racine skates around during warmups.

Steve Racine skates around during warmups.

Luke Dwyer warming up before the game.

Luke Dwyer warming up before the game.

I also captured a nice shot of the back of Racine’s helmet which is a little different than most!

Who is on the back of his helmet?

Who is on the back of his helmet?

Next, I tried to get pictures of all of the freshmen and I was more or less successful.  The freshmen this year are #4 Cutler Martin, #8 Sam Piazza, #13 Zach Werenski, #16 Alex Talcott, #17 Tony Calderone, #19 Dylan Larkin, #28 Niko Porikos, and #39 Dexter Dancs.  Calderone and Porikos were scratches and are in the first photo, then rest follow.  Talcott didn’t seem to see much ice time so I don’t have a very good shot of him.

The scratches included Freshmen Tony Calderone and Niko Porikos joined by Mike Chiasson, Andrew Copp and Brendan Serville.

The scratches included Freshmen Tony Calderone and Niko Porikos joined by Mike Chiasson, Andrew Copp and Brendan Serville.

#4 Cutler Martin

#4 Cutler Martin

#8 Sam Piazza

#8 Sam Piazza

Zach Werenski #13 is challenged as he moves the puck in the zone.

Zach Werenski #13 is challenged as he moves the puck in the zone.

Alex Talcott #16 hovers just inside the blue line

Alex Talcott #16 hovers just inside the blue line

Dylan Larkin #19 skates with the puck in warmups.

Dylan Larkin #19 skates with the puck in warmups.

Dexter Dancs #39 getting positioned on a faceoff.

Dexter Dancs #39 getting positioned on a faceoff.

I do have a few of the obligatory pregame photos to share as well.  I always like to get the team when they are out at the blue line for introductions as well as the early huddle.

Everyone at attention for the National Anthem.

Everyone at attention for the National Anthem.

When the National Anthem is done there's always a salute with their sticks.

When the National Anthem is done there’s always a salute with their sticks.

First home huddle of the year, Sinelli and Selman climb right up on the top of the cage to get in on the action.

First home huddle of the year, Sinelli and Selman climb right up on the top of the cage to get in on the action.

And what kind of a photo blog would it be without at least a few action shots.  Hopefully I’ll get more in the weeks to come.  The glass at Yost really needs to be cleaned and action shots were not so great this week.  Maybe I’ll volunteer to bring my glass cleaner.

A NTDP goal when Tkachuk splits Selman and Sinelli and gets the puck over to Downing's man to put it past Nagelvoort.

A NTDP goal when Tkachuk splits Selman and Sinelli and gets the puck over to Downing’s man to put it past Nagelvoort.

Nieves skates in hard and stops to pick up the puck sending a shower of snow up on the boards.

Nieves skates in hard and stops to pick up the puck sending a shower of snow up on the boards.

Motte gets loose with the puck at the top of the circle and lets one fly.

Motte gets loose with the puck at the top of the circle and lets one fly.

It's early in the season, but freshman Dylan Larkin is already seeing a lot of action in the faceoff circle.

It’s early in the season, but freshman Dylan Larkin is already seeing a lot of action in the faceoff circle.

I’m going to miss this weeks exhibition game against Wilfred Laurier, but I’ll be back soon with another installment.   Please let me know what you think of the blog and the photos.  You can respond here or send me a tweet via @jfk81.  If you are interested in using any of my photos, you can contact me the same way.  See you next week.