Michigan football on the road in New Jersey for the game against Rutgers. The football team struggling. Michigan Hockey opener on the road, but only 3 hours away. It was a cause for hope and an excuse for a road trip!
What can I say, I had a great time on my first road trip to watch Michigan hockey, and outside of the first minute of the game, it was awesome! Michigan gave up 2 early goals and then battled back to a 4-3 defeat. The great news, they kept fighting and never let up until the clock read 0:0. The not so great news, we have some work to do with our defense.
All in all though, the stadium was interesting if small, the fans were nice, although the students heckled @umich_hockey04 when he came in the door (I think he might have brought that on himself). The game was exciting and I was able to meet the scratches and some of the parents.
First, the stadium. Small is probably an understatement. When you walk in the lobby area seems reasonably sized and very modern. The students were all lined up early to get into the student section known as the Dog Pound. They cover the endzone at the Visitors bench end of the stadium. They all brought their thundersticks and a couple of white boards (more on that in a minute). There was piped in music that made it seem loud, but the low ceiling didn’t really let the sound carry, so although the overall noise level seemed intrusive, the student section didn’t seem nearly as loud as the @childrenofyost, even with their thundersticks. I sat in the other endzone up near the top in the corner. The best part was that I sat in the same area as the scratches and most of the parents. I brought up the football game on BTN2Go on my phone, so there was a lot of football discussion as well. Between not a very good camera angle, the net being in the way, and having the phone with the game on in my hand, I didn’t get as many pictures as normal, but I will share the best of those. The players were all very friendly, if somewhat unhappy to be in suits in the stands rather than in uniform on the ice. These pictures are of the arena and the stands.
Now on to the game. Drop the puck….Bam, goal for the Bulldogs….Drop the puck again….Bam, another goal for the Bulldogs. I think it was 2-0 before anyone broke a sweat. At this point I’m pulling out my phone and watching the football game hoping it’s outcome would be better than this hockey game seems like it’s going to be. A couple of defensive miscues and you’re down 2-0 to the #9 team in the nation at their house. I was nervous, but this team didn’t fold. They fought back and ground it out staying in the game. They could never quite make it over the hump, especially after giving up a shorthanded goal on what looked to me like another defensive miscue.
Still, I’m encouraged with the grit and determination to get back in the game. I also saw some offensive skill and I’m looking forward to seeing guys in front of the net looking to deflect in shots while screening the goalie. Ferris is a good team, no question, but if you take away the first minute of the game, I think we outplayed them and would have won.
Here are a couple of photos from warmups and game action:
Just a few pictures to finish off the post. Hope you’ve enjoyed them all. You can click on these shots for larger versions, which you’ll definitely want to do below.