Michigan came up with a monumental three points to take a lead in the CCHA standings, as well as undoubtably the National rankings. Michigan got some monumental performances from Max Pacioretty, Kevin Porter and Billy Sauer.
First i want to talk about Patch, i was originally gonna call this post "Goodbye Zatkoff, Hello Pacioretty" (**wink wink** Desmond Howard). Pacioretty scored four goals this weekend including a hat trick tonight, all of the goals came within at least ten feet of the goal with the exceptio of his last, a superfast wrister from the point on the power play. Another remarkable thing about the hat trick was that all the goals were scored in the first minute of each period in regulation. His goal on friday was just plain taking what was given to him a bouncing puck that came to him in front of the net, went five hole against Zatkoff and put it in!!!! A stick salute to Max Pacioretty.
A second salute is going to Kevin Porter. The goal he scored on Friday was just frickin amazing. If you didn't think that was enough to just give him the Hobey Baker on the spot you must be smoking something nastier than what got Kevin Quick kicked off the team (possibly). A stick salute for Kevin Porter.
Last but not least i gotta give it up for my main man Billy Sauer.
Yeah he gave up five goals in tonight's game, but he came through in the clutch getting the save to preserve the tie on the Redhawks last second shot from point blank range. Sauer came up huge on Friday too, killing off a two man disadvantage in the third period after giving up two goals in the period. Billy has earned his name back from Bilfy at WOLV and he's earned his manhood stripes too. A stick salute for the man in the mask in front of the net.
Although Red Berenson has to pleased that they didn't lose this weekend, he knows that there are things that this team has to seriously address. The top thing on that list now has shifted from playing D without Kevin Quick to getting their third period groove back. Ever since the Michigan State weekend the Wolverines have been outscored in four straight games in the final interval. This is not what the team was doing in the first half of the season, they would build up in intensity against their opponents in the first two periods, before turning on the heat in the third. The Icers will have a chance to get back to this against Lake Superior State.
On a side note i hope they do get back to the ways of third period dominance and back to the ways of consistantly winning. My parents are coming to the game on friday and i'm hoping their presence will be able to spark the team into a momentum that'll carry over to keep the Wolverines in first place, that way they'll be able to keep up the momentum and get the regular season CCHA title for the first time in three years.
All and all Michigan's really impressed me this weekend and i'm really looking forward to the last three weeks of the season with a first round bye already wrapped up.