With Michigan being a B1G Conference member, these two tems are definitely rivals. The fan base doesn’t care if they are in the same conference, they still want Michigan to lose. Michigan came into Friday night’s contest with a (7-11-2, 2-7-1-0 B1G). Like the Irish they have been struggling to score. With every ND versus Michigan, there is strong feeling to win and not let the Wolverines get a sense of confidence especially in a Notre Dame sports building. As my media buddy John Fineran said to me once, “sometimes you meet up with a goalie that just stands on his head.”
The Irish came out firing but seemed to be just a step behind the Wolverines. Crowding the net and getting in close to the crease was not in the cards during the first period. Cal Burke added some early excitement as he launched a one timer deep in the right face-off circle and hit the goal pipe. The Wolverines played a little chippy that baited Colin Theisen into a two minute minor for SLASHING at 6:46. At 7:04, eighteen seconds into the Michigan Power Play, Nick Pastujov put the puck in the net just in front of the crease and past Cale Morris. The Wolverines go up 1-0 early in the first period.
The Fightin’ Irish Spent another two minutes in the “Sin Bin” this time Cam Morrison is called for SLASHING as well. The Irish successfully killed off the penalty this time not allowing the Wolverines to score. Moments later the Irish actually get an opportunity to go a man up. They Irish were not able to put the puck in net the with the man advantage. Michigan took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Strauss Mann was keeping the Irish at bay and showing them, Michigan came to play.
The second period showed that the Fightin’ Irish made adjustments during the break. A lot more attempts in front of the crease and keeping Mann hard at work. The Irish kept the Michigan offense away from the crease and forced them to play from outside. The Irish also allowed the Wolverines to only to eleven attempts and five shots on goal. At the other end, the Irish attempted twenty two shots, with thirteen of them were shots on goal. The wolverines also defended two Irish power plays. The power plays came at 9:46 and 19:18. Mann continues to be strong in front of the Irish Puckers. At the end of two periods, the Wolverines still lead 1-0.
As well as the Irish can make adjustments in the second period, Michigan did the same thing in the second intermission. The Wolverines wasted no time putting the puck on net. Like the first period, Nick Granowicz puts the puck on net. But, it wasn’t simple because of where it was shot from. After the review, the goal is allowed and the Wolverines have some insurance points on the board. Michigan goes up 2-0 at 1:47. Both teams were playing not to allow the other to score after the early goal. The Irish offense was forced to the outside, while the Wolverines were able to get in front of the crease more often.
The one thing a you don’t want to see is the goalie out the net if you are the home team and you are in the last period and down 2-0. In order to try and put some additional pressure on the Wolverines, The Irish pull Morris at 16:44 in order to gain a man advantage. The plan did not go as planned. After an initial miss by the Wolverines, they score the “empty netter” at 17:47 ensuring them a victory in game one. The Wolverines win game one 3-0.
The Fightin’ Irish will be back in action this evening at 6 PM EST at Compton Family Ice Arena.
Cheers and Go Irish!🍀🏒🥅🚨⚡