In their last non-conference game before the start of the regular season, Michigan got off to another slow start against the visiting Bentley Falcons. The Wolverines trailed 1-0 after the first period after giving up a relatively soft goal about halfway through the first period. Although overall I’m optimistic about the goaltending, we should really know something after this weekends games with Miami. Bentley didn’t have any really strong goals against the Wolverines, but did manage to tally a soft goal and a couple of rebounds. Racine, who was in net after his win over RIT didn’t show anything in particular that would say he is ready to take over the starting reins. I still expect to see both Rutledge and Racine this weekend in the series vs. Miami.
The defense seemed more in sync this week, even with the loss of Merrill and Clare. In a lot of ways Racine depended on his defense to help clear the big rebounds he was leaving to the walls and our “D” seemed very much up to the task. As in other areas, I think the Defense will have a big test with Miami this week, but this part of the game seems solid!While I didn’t get to ask them personally, I know both Jack Johnson and Matt Hunwick were in the crowd and seemed to be enjoying the game. I can only imagine that they might have wanted to hit the locker room and suit up! See pictures below.
I’d say that 6 goals was a great offensive effort, and in fact it probably was. But you want to score more goals on 53 shots than that. This team is definitely not selfish. They share the puck well, sometimes too well in the offensive zone. What do I mean? Well sometimes that extra pass is just perfect, but if you tack on 1 or 2 more extra passes, you lose the advantage and end up with a poor shot. That seemed to happen from time to time throughout the night.
Bentley was a test, and we passed, but in retrospect, Bentley was probably just a practice test when compared to Miami. Let’s give some general grades to the team as we head into the weekend.
- Offense: B+, Solid efforts, plenty of goals on the board, need to hit the empty nets when presented with them.
- Defense: B+, Also solid efforts, good job clearing the puck for the most part, have to watch turnovers in the defensive zone.
- Power Play: C, Nothing spectacular here against Bentley, although we have looked decent overall. Didn’t generate scoring chances during a long 5-3 with only 4 shots on goal.
- Penalty Kill: A-, Bentley didn’t manage a shot on goal in their one Powerplay opportunity. In fact, I don’t believe they were even in the offensive zone with possession of the puck for more than a few seconds.
- Goalies: C, It’s hard to fault a win, and the previous play of the goalies hasn’t been bad. But we’re going to need a better effort against Miami.
And now that I’m done rambling, here are some shots I took during the Bentley game. I even had a chance to take a few shots from down in the Northeast corner. I hope you enjoy them. See you next week after the Miami series. Go Blue!