Michigan Splits The Weekend With UNH

What a difference a day makes.  On Friday, the Michigan team came out full of energy in the first period but couldn’t manage to find the net.  After taking a penalty late in the first period, UNH scored on the power play after Nagelvoort went down and couldn’t quite corral the loose puck which eventually was banged into the net with less than a minute to go in the period.  Michigan came out in the second, UNH scored a couple more goals, and all the energy that Michigan came into the game with seemed to flow out.  The third period seemed to degrade into a lot of individual efforts to score, rather than teamwork, and only a late goal saved the game from being a shutout with a final tally of 5-1.

On Saturday, the start was similar.  Michigan came out with their game faces on and took the game to UNH, but there was no score after 1 period.  Early in the second, Michigan broke through for 2 goals, and then held off UNH late to win 2-1.

What was the difference between the two games, well honestly, not a whole lot.  A couple of big factors. First, instead of giving up a weak powerplay goal to start with a deficit, Michigan scored the first goal, and it was huge for momentum, with the second goal coming quickly.  This team needs to the positive momentum and I believe finding a way to score first will be important.  Second, Racine found a way to make saves that the team needed.  This isn’t to say he played flawlessly, or even better overall than Nagelvoort, but in key situations he made a stop where on the previous night a goal might have gone in.  Stopping one extra goal on Friday wouldn’t have won the game, on Saturday it did.

Things the team needs to improve on:

  • The team still needs to tidy up the defensive lapses.  Everyone must have a defensive mindset and make sure that we don’t hang the goalies out to dry.  They are good goalies but they aren’t yet great goalies and they aren’t going to win the game by themselves.  They need help.
  • The goalies still need to make key stops.  Until the scoring machine gets going, the goalies will have to come up big to make key stops when the opportunity arises.
  • We must have better traffic in front of the net.  Check out the video of the game or even look at some of the pictures below.  All do often there is no traffic in front of the net and no one there to make a deflection or pick up a rebound.  Almost all of our goals this year have come off of deflections or rebounds, or the very least a big screen.  At Ferris, Motte notched his goals in front of the net.  We are going to have to concentrate on that kind of traffic.

Energy and momentum are going to be important for this team, so we need all of the crowd support we can get!  Be there! Be Loud! Support your team! Cheer along with the @childrenofyost.

And now, what you’ve been waiting for…at least I hope.  Here are my pictures from this weekend.  Please remember that if you would like to use these pictures I’m asking that you contact me first.  I’m not placing watermarks on them, and I am making full size images available.  I can be contacted on twitter using @jfk81 if you would like to use some of my images.  Hope you enjoy and Go Blue!

Dexter Dancs heads onto the ice for warmups!

Dexter Dancs heads onto the ice for warmups!

Cutler Martin was a scratch on Friday night, but played in place of Serville on Saturday.

Cutler Martin was a scratch on Friday night, but played in place of Serville on Saturday.

Michael Downing stretching during warmups.  He made his presence known with a few big hits this weekend!

Michael Downing stretching during warmups. He made his presence known with a few big hits this weekend!

Luke Dwyer was moved up to the #2 goalie on Saturday has Nagelvoort was nursing a hamstring injury.

Luke Dwyer was moved up to the #2 goalie on Saturday has Nagelvoort was nursing a hamstring injury.

Mike Chiasson was active for both games this weekend on defense.

Mike Chiasson was active for both games this weekend on defense.

Steve Racine got the start on Saturday and notched the 2-1 win.

Steve Racine got the start on Saturday and notched the 2-1 win.

The starting lines are announced....

The starting lines are announced….

At some point we'll get seamless glad in the meantime there is always a stanchion in the way of my photos somewhere.

At some point we’ll get seamless glad in the meantime there is always a stanchion in the way of my photos somewhere.

Steve Racine, the starting goalie on Saturday night.

Steve Racine, the starting goalie on Saturday night.

The team huddles before the game.

The team huddles before the game.

Downing moves the puck up ice.

Downing moves the puck up ice.

Kevin Lohan with the puck in the offensive zone.

Kevin Lohan with the puck in the offensive zone.

De Jong let's a shot go from the blue line...notice no traffic in front.

De Jong let’s a shot go from the blue line…notice no traffic in front.

The team celebrates after the first goal on Saturday, scored by Downing.

The team celebrates after the first goal on Saturday, scored by Downing.

Sinelli finishes a check while Lohan tries to keep the puck in the offensive zone.

Sinelli finishes a check while Lohan tries to keep the puck in the offensive zone.

Alex Kile steers the puck into the zone around a UNH defender.

Alex Kile steers the puck into the zone around a UNH defender.

Alex Talcott moves the puck down low.

Alex Talcott moves the puck down low.

Copp with the faceoff. Molina dropping the puck.

Copp with the faceoff. Molina dropping the puck.

Tyler Motte waiting for a faceoff.

Tyler Motte waiting for a faceoff.

Boo Nieves with an offensive zone faceoff.

Boo Nieves with an offensive zone faceoff.

Dexter Dancs puts the puck on net.

Dexter Dancs puts the puck on net.

Zach Werenski with a shot from the top of the circle.

Zach Werenski with a shot from the top of the circle.

Lined up for the faceoff.

Lined up for the faceoff.

Michael Downing lets a shot go from the blue line.

Michael Downing lets a shot go from the blue line.

Travis Lynch heads for a puck in the corner.

Travis Lynch heads for a puck in the corner.

JT Compher gets off a shot

JT Compher gets off a shot

Zach Hyman takes a 2-hander while trying to play the puck.

Zach Hyman takes a 2-hander while trying to play the puck.

Andrew Copp with a faceoff win back to Lohan

Andrew Copp with a faceoff win back to Lohan

Downing with a shot (again, no traffic)

Downing with a shot (again, no traffic)

Kile moves in with Larkin

Kile moves in with Larkin

Copp with the opening faceoff

Copp with the opening faceoff

Saturday nights final scoreboard.

Saturday nights final scoreboard.

Saw this sign in the stands, so snapped a picture.  Anyone want to enlighten me?

Saw this sign in the stands, so snapped a picture. Anyone want to enlighten me?

 

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.