Friday, January 30, 2009

Looking out for the no. 1

Jeff Jackson's Irish fighters have finally discovered the keys to having a good offense in college hockey, getting lots of shots on goal and having goal scorers. With guys like Christian Hanson (son of one of the infamous Hanson Brothers of Slap shot) and Calle Ridderwall, the second and fifth leading goal scorers in the CCHA. On top of that they still have the second best goaltender in the conference in Jordan Pearce.

Notre Dame is not ranked No. 1 for nothing they haven't lost since before Halloween, and the only blemishes on their record since then have been three shootout wins against Lake Superior State and Western Michigan. Granted the most challenging teams they've beaten are an overrated Boston College team and an Alaska squad who have traditionally had problems winning on the road.

That being said this is going to be the toughest home and home for the Wolverines all year. They have to beat a team that has a strategy that has frustrated them two years in a row, and now they've added something extra to that strategy, goal scoring. Michigan has to score first in each game they can't afford to fall behind against them in any case, playing behind a Jeff Jackson team is always costly. In this case they absolutely have to come out aggressive and alert at the same time. They can't afford to make mistakes, something that the Irish thrive on making their opponents do. Last but not least the winged helmets on ice have to be confident that when the going gets tough their tough get going. If they have to play without Kampfer use him as an inspiration for a victory do not let him be hurt in vain.

And where do you go when it's all done?



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