Sunday, March 2, 2008
We are the (regular season CCHA) champions, my friends!!!!!!!
And we'll keep on fighting till the end. da na do do
You know i had to do it.
Anyways, Michigan clinched their first regular season CCHA championship since 2005 beating Ferris State in a wild one on Friday 5-3. A game in which Michigan gave up an un-Wolverine like three power play goals. Kevin Porter and Max Pacioretty both scored helping the maize and blue to a win on senior night.
The real story about that night should be about what happened after the game. Chad Kolarik skated onto the ice for the first time since doing the splits and injuring his hamstring against Lake Superior State two weeks ago. The alternate captain could return to action as soon as the second round of the CCHA playoffs.
The fact that he was able to skate out there seems to imply that when the appointed time comes he will be ready. If he is Michigan certainly needs him out there because the team has been executing very poorly on their penalty kill without him on the ice. Kolarik's ability and will to do whatever it takes to kill of penalties is indicative of how much this team needs him. Sure he scores a lot of goals, but so do a lot of guys on the team, he does more than that, he gets down and blocks the shots, he poke checks the puck away at key moments on other team's power play and he makes the extra pass when it needs to be made. He's as valuable a player to the team as Kevin Porter.
Another player of value to Michigan is Billy Sauer, this was demonstrated by Red Berenson benching him in Saturday's overtime loss in favor of Freshman Bryan Hogan (i seriously wonder how many chants of mono did he have to endure). Although the Wolverines hate to lose, one can't help but think that the game meant a lot more to the Bulldogs than it did to Michigan.
That being said the championship is nice and Michigan has stuff to work on over the week off. For starters, their penalty kill. Secondly they will probably have to re-integrate Chad Kolarik back to Michigan's top line. The Wolverines have to do this in order to get the magic back in time for the second round, because even if the team they're playing is no match for them, they want to demonstrate to the conference that they are ready to take on any comers at the Joe and that whoever's waiting in Detroit better watch out, the best college hockey team in the country is heading in your direction.