Sunday, November 25, 2007

Statement Made

Tonight, as I watched the #2 UM Ice Hockey team absolutely dominate the perennial powerhouse (and currently down-on-its-luck) Minnesota Golden Gophers, I felt excitement well within me. I came into the season expecting a low seed early exit NCAA Tournament season from this team. It seemed to me that a team led by Kevin Porter had no chance of missing the tourney but I felt that the loads of freshman (12 who play regularly!!) and the inconsistency of Billy Sauer was too much to overcome for this year's squad. The first weekend got the ball rolling and I was happy with my prediction, this team was not gonna fall like everyone said they would but still were not good enough to beat the Minnesotas of the world. Then they beat Northern, then BU, then UNO on the road, the wins just kept piling up. Everyone on the college hockey beat though were unimpressed, asking for the victories against the ranked opponents and pointing to the College Hockey Showcase as the time where we would find out how the Wolverines stacked up. Well, I think the statement was made emphatically, as Michigan not only swept this weekend's games but swept them convincingly minus an 18 second lapse in play towards the end of the Wisconsin game. The Wolverines not only beat the #12 Wisconsin Badgers 3-2 Friday night, but followed that up with the biggest statement of the year, a 5-1 thrashing tonight of the #13 Golden Gophers, a team that beat them 4-3 earlier this year in St. Paul, Minnesota. No longer will Michigan be overlooked this season, no longer will the CCHA be considered extremely inferior to the WCHA (still nowhere near as tough, but much closer than years past), and no longer will the Wolverines be considered a team fattened up on a cupcake schedule. I end this post with a message to all UM fans reading this: If you get the chance, go out to Yost and catch a game. You will not regret it, as this team is so much more fun to watch now that they play their hearts out night in and night out and very well could end up raising multiple banners to those lofty rafters over the ice at Yost after this season is completed.

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