Michigan 9-0, 1-0 CCLA East. The bro doing The Thinker pose in the background is awesome.
In my post following the Boston College game, I mentioned that the UCSB players (who attended as spectators) were chirping a lot about how they were going to be able to beat this weak Michigan team. They weren’t being rude about it, but they certainly weren’t trying to avoid being overheard, either.
One problem: They didn’t play that Michigan team last night.
They played the normal Michigan team, the one that has lost a single contest in nearly four years, the one that’s brutally efficient on offense, tough to crack on defense, and absolutely devastating on the ride.
For a team that did at least their fair share of talking before the game, UCSB didn’t seem interested in playing with the effort that Boston College used to stay within 7 of the defending national champs. They didn’t hustle after every ground ball, they didn’t make sure Michigan’s team couldn’t get off a shot without being harassed, they didn’t run hard on every clear as though it was their last.
What they did do is give up after 2 quarters. And that is why they embarrassed themselves.
From the official recap, your tempo-free breakdown:
|Faceoff Wins||16||Faceoff Wins||9|
|Offensive Efficiency||.404||Offensive Efficiency||.000|
The tempo-free breakdown would certainly lead you to believe this game was against, say, Eastern Michigan, not a top-10 team, right? The Wolverines acquitted themselves very well on faceoffs, cleared the ball pretty well, and rode the crap out of the Gauchos for a huge advantage in number of possessions. They also made the most out of those possessions, scoring on more than 40% of them, all the while holding UCSB off the scoreboard.
Brian Greiner redeemed himself for an iffy performance against Boston College by winning nearly two-thirds (13/21) of his draws, and probably would have done a little better if not for some lazy GB attempts by his wing players. Edward Ernst came in and owned the faceoffs himself, winning 3 of his 4 attempts.
Keeping the Gauchos off the board was obviously a team accomplishment, from the offense, to the ride, to the defense. Both keepers also made at least one excellent save, and a number of pretty good ones. Both Fowler and Stone saved 6 shots.
Trevor Yealy became Michigan’s all-time leading scorer (and certainly in the “anyone, anywhere” era) with his second goal last night, passing Jeff Hadwin at 256. He went on to score four more for good measure, ending with a 6-0-6 line and 261 career scores. Yealy:
“It’s an honor, it’s something that if you hadtold me coming into school I would have never guessed, especially after the fall freshman yearbut it’s been a fun ride and we have a long way to go.”
Also in the scoring department, Thomas Paras (whose high school friend Jake Ryan, a Michigan linebacker, was in the house) notched a 2-3-5 line, and Chad Carroll had 3-1-4. Two of Carroll’s goals were absolute rips from the outside… one with each hand. I always love to point out long-pole goals, and Matt Asperheim scored two, with Austin Swaney chipping in one of his own.
I thought I was going to have a mini-scoop when I spotted Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon at the game… then he had to go steal my thunder with a tweet:
I wouldn’t read too much into it, but interesting nonetheless.
Unrelated to last night’s game, but very cool, thanks to John Niyo from the Detroit News for giving a Great Lax State shoutout.
This is capital-t capital-w The Weekend. Arizona State and Colorado State are considered the #2 and #3 teams in the country, respectively (though the order might switch with the Rams’ win over ASU Friday night). They take in the now-familiar Mitten State Tour, starting with Colorado State in Ann Arbor Friday night at 7:00.