Friday, March 21, 2008

CCHA Semifinals: Michigan vs. Northern Michigan

Michigan wins 6-4! Here's Tony Bolton and Christian Montgomery calling the empty netter for the final highlight of the night. You can hear all of the highlights that the internet at the Joe would permit at the WCBN Sports Podcast. We're packing up, so no recap for now. Wish us luck driving home from the Joe. Good night and go Blue!

-- 10:57 --

EMPTY NET GOAL!!! Michigan will win the game 6-4, as Ben Winnett puts the capper on a huge, tough-fought win for the Wolverines over NMU. I'm working on a goal highlight and a recap, but we may have to leave, so I can't promise one now, but you can rest easy for one more night, as Michigan survives a crazy game at the Joe and will play Miami tomorrow night in the CCHA Finals.

-- 10:53 --

Michigan went offside with 1:15 remaining. Northern had held the puck in Michigan's zone for about 30 seconds, but Stewart stayed in the net. Now, with a minute remaining and Northern in control of the puck, Stewart has gone to the bench.

-- 10:49 --

By the way, yet again, the internet failed me as it is just not fast enough for streaming audio, so there will be no highlight of the 5th Michigan goal. Billy Sauer does not look good, so this game is far from over, but 1:54 remains, as there will now be a face off in front of Stewart. Look for Stewart to come to the Northern bench soon.

-- 10:47 --

GOAL!!! Kolarik shoots the puck from the near-side circle and AGAIN the puck bounces off a Northern defenseman. They're giving the goal to Tim Miller (his second of the game as of now) and the assist goes to Kolarik. Welcome back to the top line, Tim Miller, who seems to enjoy playing in place of Pacioretty. 5-4 Wolverines.

-- 10:44 --

What a crazy game. We've been going end-to-end with scoring opportunities, as Caporusso couldn't convert against Stewart, and then Sauer left a fat rebound out in front, but covered up on the subsequent shot. 4:20 remaining, still tied at 4.

-- 10:42 --

The goaltending in this game warrants a serious conversation. Michigan has been shooting at Stewart, who is big and positions himself well but is by no means mobile, while Sauer has ignored positional fundamentals, playing one of his most sporadic games of the year. 5:51 remaining in the 3rd with the game tied at 4.

-- 10:39 --

Stewart has stood on his head, almost single-handedly killing off the Michigan power play. Michigan led 4-3 with seven a half to go, but NMU has tied up the game yet again on a goal by Jared Brown from Matt Siddall. The internet was too slow to stream the NMU goal, but you can go back to the good times and listen to Tony and Christian's call of Michigan's 4th goal by clicking HERE.

-- 10:34 --

Mark Olver continues the trend of dirty play by NMU, as he stuck out his leg to try and trip Kevin Porter by the knees -- he'll go to the box, and we'll play at four-on-four for a 1:12 before Michigan goes on the PP.

-- 10:30 --

After an NMU defenseman covered the puck in his defensive zone, Turnbull hit at the puck but got called for a hit from behind... "c'mon Shegos," says Andrew Seid, and I agree -- that's a weak call. We'll be playing at four-on-four before NMU goes on the power play.

-- 10:28 --

Tonight's attendance has been announced at 9,471... I'll give the fans a pass given the horrendous weather, even though the Joe can fit about 21,000 people. Gregor Hanson just took a slashing penalty, so Michigan now goes on the PP.

-- 10:25 --

GOAL!!! Mark Mitera took the shot from inside the blue line, and it looked like it deflected off of both NMU defenseman Blake Cosgrove and Michigan forward Travis Turnbull before it beat Stewart. Turnbull scores from Mitera and Kampfer and now Michigan leads 4-3. Goal highlight to come....

-- 10:21 --

Billy looked a little shaky on the last Northern rush, but Nick Sirota took a penalty in the NMU offensive zone on the fore-check, so with 15:01 remaining, Michigan has a PP.

-- 10:18 --

Michigan is getting beaten to nearly every puck, but Sauer has stood tall so far in the 3rd. They've announced that Chad Langlais picked up an assist on the Miller goal, which you can listen to by clicking HERE (it's Tony and Christian Montgomery now).

-- 10:16 --

Game on! 16:37 remaining, as Sauer covers up after a flurry of NMU shots.

-- 10:14 --

We have a stoppage in play because of a large crack in the boards. You can't make this stuff up. 3-3 Michigan with 18:49 left in the 3rd.

-- 10:10 --

GOAL!!! MICHIGAN TIES THE GAME!!! It is now 3-3, as Tim Miller passed the puck in net and it bounced off the skate of T.J. Miller into the net, as Stewart was moving from post-to-post and had no chance. Goal highlight to come....

-- 10:08 --

Michigan has killed off the final few moments of the power play, and so we are now skating at full strength.

-- 10:05 --

NMU's 3rd goal highlight from Tony and Andrew can be accessed by clicking HERE. I'm glad that didn't take 2 hours... you can visit the WCBN Sports Podcast to listen to all of the goal highlights from the CCHA Tournament, as well as WCBN Sports podcast shows.

-- 10:02 --

As I've said, the internet here is really slow, and it fades in and out, so while I was able to upload the first two highlights in a matter of seconds, it now tells me that the 3rd highlight will take 2 hours, so we'll see if we can get that up sooner rather than later. We are now in the 2nd intermission, and there's not much we can say at this point. Michigan leads NMU in shots 27-8, yet Northern has beaten Sauer three times, including twice in the final five minutes or so of the 2nd period. It's not as though Michigan is playing badly, even defensively, but NMU has converted on seemingly every major scoring opportunity they've had, and Brian Stewart has been up to the task against the firepower that Michigan brings on offense. The real problem is that Michigan's defensive blunders have been far more glaring than Northern's. It is inexplicable that Mark Mitera would decide to pinch on a power play opportunity when NMU has two men coming the other way through the neutral zone. The 3rd goal was simply a great wrister, but conservative play by Scooter Vaughan and Mark Mitera could've enabled Michigan to avoid giving up the first two. Added to that, you've got the officiating of Shegos and the large Northern contingent in the crowd, and the feeling here is not positive from a Michigan standpoint. I'm nervous, to be honest. 5 minutes left in the 2nd intermission -- lets hope that the Wolverines can figure out a way to beat Stewart by then.

-- 9:59 --

Here come the bad highlights. Check out Tony and Andrew's call of NMU's 2nd goal, which tied the game at two-a-piece by clicking HERE.

-- 9:49 --

If you'd like to go back to when things were going well, check out Tony Bolton and Andrew Seid's call of Michigan's 2nd goal by clicking HERE.

-- 9:46 --

Michigan has taken a penalty, as Chris Summers retaliates after being slashed with a trip -- it is 3-2 NMU, who will end the 2nd period on the power play.

-- 9:45 --

NMU now has the lead at 3-2. They have now scored on half of their shots, as a wrister from the near-side circle by Matt Siddall beats Billy Sauer.

-- 9:43 --

Tie game, 2-2. Kevin Porter got tackled amidst an odd-man rush for NMU, and when the puck bounced out in front of the net, Billy Sauer missed on a poke-check giving Mark Olver an open spot in Sauer's five-hole, and he was not to be denied. This is very disappointing, considering Michigan leads in shots 25-5, yet NMU has converted on two of those five shots.

-- 9:41 --

NMU has taken a bench minor for too many men with under 7 minutes remaining in the 2nd period. NMU just had a short-handed opportunity after a blunder by Mark Mitera, but Billy Sauer held strong and Michigan still holds their 2-1 lead, as they go to work on the PP.

-- 9:36 --

GOAL!!! Travis Turnbull takes the feed from Louie Caporusso and slides the puck past Stewart to give Michigan a 2-1 lead. Considering how well NMU has been playing this period, this was a HUGE goal to give Michigan a lead at the midway point of the game. T.J. Miller then took a penalty for tripping while Michigan got a bench minor, being served by Brandon Naurato, for too many men on the ice. A goal highlight is to come.

-- 9:33 --

Michigan has killed off the penalty with the help of a Tristin Llewellyn blocked shot. Llewellyn limped off the ice, so we'll have to watch to see if his injury is serious. On a positive note, Chris Summers has been playing well since being hit into the boards head-first in the 1st period.

-- 9:26 --

The puck just rolled through the crease past a sprawling Billy Sauer, and on a subsequent slap shot the puck bounced off the glass and back into the crease, but Sauer covered up.

-- 9:23 --

Matt Rust has taken a penalty with a little over 14 minutes remaining. Tony and Andrew are perplexed at the call, and rightly so, as it looked like Rust barely tapped the pad of goalie Brian Stewart.

-- 9:22 --

Michigan is having a tough time gaining the zone against NMU, and now that they finally have, the power play is about to expire with Michigan still passing the puck around the perimeter. Brian Stewart has covered up, and the power play rush is over.

-- 9:20 --

With 16:58 remaining in the 2nd, NMU's Alan Dorich takes a penalty for tripping. Michigan will be on the power play.

-- 9:18 --

Tune in to hear Tony Bolton and Andrew Seid LIVE at the Joe for the 2nd period now that our technical difficulties are somewhat over.

-- 9:12 --

That's the end of the first period, with the score tied at 1 a piece. The Wolverines ended the period with some extended pressure in the NMU zone but not many scoring chances as NMU does a great job blocking any movement in the slots for the Wolverines. Shots in that period were 12-2 in favor of the Wolverines.


With 4:55 remaining in the 1st period, NMU is on the board with a goal from Matt Butcher, his 8th of the season. Assisting on the goal were Gregor Hanson and Ray Kaunisto. Just 29 seconds later, Billy Smith is hit with a game misconduct and 5 minute major for checking from behind. The Wolverines are now on the power play for the rest of the period.


With 8:16 remaining, Billy Sauer just made a nice glove save on a slap shot from the far-side circle. It's great to see Billy on top of his game early on, especially given how easy it can be for a goalie to fall asleep in a game where the first shot on goal against him comes with under 9 minutes remaining in the 1st. The shot total thus far is 8-1 in favor of the Wolverines.

-- 8:42 --

By the way, the internet here is painfully slow. Since I finished writing that delayed post, Northern took a penalty and killed it off, so we still sit at 1-0 with under 10 minutes remaining in the 1st.

-- 8:37 --

GOAL!!! Chad Kolarik scores his 4th goal since coming back from the groin injury to give Michigan a 1-0 lead with a little over 12:30 remaining inthe 1st. Kolarik swept around the net and slipped the puck past Stewart before he could move from post to post. Tim Miller and Tristin Llewellyn picked up assists on the goal. I can't emphasize enough how important it is for Michigan to pour it on early against a tough Northern team. You don't want to let these guys hang around, because regardless of how much talent Michigan has when compared to Northern, anything can happen in a close game, as evidenced by Michigan's two ties at Yost against Northern earlier this year.

-- 8:36 --

Well, we're finally here and set up at the Joe. The new technology we're trying to use for the broadcast is failing us thus far, but we're still working on getting a live broadcast up and running for you, and, if we do, the live game blog will feature goal highlights during the game. As of right now, we are a little over four minutes in and Northern is skating pretty well. Michigan had two quality scoring chances, but starting goalie Brian Stewart turned Michigan aside both times. On another somber note, NMU is better represented in the crowd, and that is very disappointing.

Finally, on a positive note, both Matt Rust and Scooter Vaughan are in the lineup for the Wolverines, with Tim Miller moving up to the top line in place of suspended Max Pacioretty. Go Blue!

--8:28 --


Greg said...

Ok am I weird? I'm watching the game and watching this blog. Thanks for covering our Wolverines.

(the camera guy)

Stu said...

no, not at all

Greg said...

Amazing! Like that wasn't a penalty taking Porter down? Wow Shegos is by far the WORST F#*#&$ ref in the world.

Shegos loves to see Michigan do poorly. Sauer needs to get his head out of his @ss too.


Anonymous said...

What the heck is going on? Porter has made some key defensive mistakes leading to goals. Michigan needs to move Stewart side to side to get more goals. None of this shot at his chest stuff.

Greg said...

Dude... It's 5-4 UM not 5-3. :)

Greg said...

Thanks for the play by play tonight. You guys rock!