Thursday, October 27
Michigan 5 –Ferris State 2
5-1-0 (1-1-1-1 CCHA)
Friday, October 28
Michigan 4 –Ferris State 0
6-1-1 (2-1-1-1 CCHA)
Michigan rebounded nicely from last week at Northern, taking on previously unbeaten Ferris State at home. The first period was pretty ugly for the Wolverines, as they were outshot by Ferris and generally couldn’t get anything going. Hunwick played well in goal, however, keeping it scoreless going into the first intermission. Michigan came out for the second period looking like a different team. From the get go the offense played much better, keeping possession and moving the puck well, and Di Giuseppe cashed in on a power play goal four minutes into the period to give the Wolverines the 1-0 lead. Four minutes later came the key point of the game. It started with Bulldog player being called for a delayed penalty. Michigan had possession, got the puck into the offensive zone and Hunwick came off for the six on five. The Wolverines nearly turned the puck over at the blue line but somehow managed to keep control, and continued to get good movement with the extra attacker. The delayed penalty culminated when Travis Lynch tipped in a Bennett shot for a 2-0 lead.Michiganstill got the power play from the delayed penalty, and on the man advantage Wohlberg pushed it to 3-0 with a beautiful in and out shot that it took replay to call. Michigan made Ferris pay and broke the game open, turning one minor penalty directly into two man-up goals. The Bulldogs did manage to get on the board with a power play goal of their own with three minutes left in the second, but went into the second intermission trailing 3-1. Michigan pushed the lead back to three with a Deblois tally seven minutes into the third, although Ferris again answered with another power play goal. The Wolverines put the nail in the coffin with the game’s final goal, making it 5-2 with two minutes left in about the most embarrassing fashion possible. With time winding dwindling and down two scores, the Ferris goaltender was visibly looking for an opportunity to come off. He finally went but couldn’t have picked a worse time, as Ferris turned over the puck right as he left the crease. Di Giuseppe brought it the other way, but the goalie kept on towards the bench, not realizing what was happening until he was nearly there. He turned around and threw his stick in desperation as Di Giuseppe put it into the wide open net, picking up an unsportsmanlike minor for his trouble as well as being credited with the goal against since he was still on the ice at the time (despite being nowhere near the net). Michigan killed off the final 1:53 on the man advantage and claimed their first CCHA victory of the season. The Wolverines ended up being outshot on the night, 30-28, but did edge Ferris in the faceoff category 35-32 behind another unbelievable night from Hyman (11 of 13).
Michigan continued the strong play on Friday night, getting off to a fast start and taking a the lead five minutes into the game on a Guptill goal. Michigan survived five Bulldog power plays as Ferris managed to outshoot the Wolverines in the first, but the Wolverines took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The second period was all Michigan, as Travis Lynch score three minutes in and Treais two minutes later to push the lead to 3-0. Brown scored the final goal of the period with just under six minutes left, and the Wolverines took a 4-0 lead into the second intermission. The Bulldogs came on strong in the third, tripling up Michigan in shots, but Hunwick was stout in net and preserved the shutout. This time Michigan edged Ferris in shots, 26-24, and also won the faceoff category 34-27 behind an even stronger performance from Travis Lynch (13 of 15) than Hyman’s the night before. Hunwick’s shutoff was even more impressive considering that Ferris had seven power plays for over ten minutes of icetime with the man advantage.
Some thoughts on the weekend: well, maybe the team listened to me gripe about the power play, at least on Thursday. Yet Michigan could only get one half of its special teams working at a time. On Thursday it was the power play, as Michigan scored on two of five chances (essentially two of four since the last spanned the final 1:53 where Michigan was just killing the clock). However, on Thursday the Wolverine penalty kill also gave up two goals on only three attempts. On Friday Michigan stoned Ferris on all seven Bulldog power plays, yet couldn’t convert on any of their four. If the Wolverines can ever combine Thursday’s power play with Friday’s penalty kill it will be a dangerous unit.
Also, Di Giuseppe continued the tear he’s been on, scoring two goals on Thursday to go with two assists on Friday for a four point weekend. He’s in a three-way tie for the team lead in goals. Further, he was just named the conference rookie of the week and rookie of the month. Now being considered a possible top-10 pick in the NHL draft, it’s pretty safe to say he’s been the most pleasant surprise on the team so far this season. To add to freshman successes, Hyman and Travis Lynch lead the team in faceoff win percentage among players with more than two attempts (and it’s not even that close; the next closest player is almost .100 lower). These two have been killing it of late, and if they keep it up they’ll have a bright future anchoring the top two lines.