Michigan 6 - Ohio State 3
Record (12-18-2) (9-15-2 CCHA)
“That’s probably the best weekend of hockey Michigan has played all year. The penalty killing was good and the power play was good. Our third period tonight was one of the better ones we’ve had all year. It felt like everybody on the team was having a better weekend.”
Photo from Insidehockey.com
For one weekend this long season everything was right. It wasn't easy, it wasn't pretty but it when it ended everything that was supposed to be was. When Michigan headed to Columbus this weekend they took their road record and tossed it out the window, in front of the biggest crowd Ohio State hockey had seen all year Michigan pounded them. In front of an audience eager to see their beloved Buckeyes get a senior night win, Michigan came out and pounded them again. There's a first for everything and tonight was the first time I have ever heard a college hockey team booed out of their own rink. That's what Michigan hockey is supposed to be about.
As much as we dominated this game, it didn't come easy and Michigan fought for everything they got tonight. Both teams came out physical and the officials called the game tight to keep control, that gave OSU an early powerplay and a quick 1-0 lead. From that point on Michigan rode the Buckeyes hard and Copp put the Wolverines on the board just a few seconds later, another Michigan surge ended with Selman cashing in. It was senior night and Ohio State still had fight left in them, Racine still looked shaky and the red hot Tanner Fritz tied the game at two.
Somewhere along the way Michigan didn't get the script. This is where they are supposed to lay down and give the Buckeyes the game, it was the trend all season so it shouldn't be different here. Even after Di Giuseppe sent a pass off an Ohio skate into their net Racine still didn't have it and they tied it again at 3, in my head I had no faith he could finish this game and I expected a 10-9 finish with Luke Dwyer in the net. After a breakaway save I figured that he was bound to get one, then a 3-1 break came his way and he had another, the rest of the period they threw everything they had at him and nothing found the net. The Buckeyes went into the locker room defeated, they didn't come back out.
The third period was Michigan playing a shell of a team, the Buckeyes who wanted to win in front of their families and friends never came out. Instead a Michigan team who had been beaten by every team they oppressed for the last two decades got to take their frustration out on another team who just wanted it to be over. Guptill started it with an inside outside move on senior defensemen Brandon Martell and put it through the legs of Hjelle, ending the night of two seniors. Sinelli was next coming out of the penalty box and snapping a wrister by Olson and effectively ended his night before it started. Di Giuseppe put in the empty netter and for just a little while, everything was right.
1) Steve Racine
I owe an apology to Racine, after the first period I questioned his ability and didn't even think he would finish the game. The response was outstanding and Racine played one of his best games of the year. We have two games left, I think he should be in serious consideration to finish the year. If he can be consistent it will go a long way in determining how next year will look between the pipes.
2) Weekly Copp praise
It's going to keep coming. His first period goal brings him to 7-7-14 on the season, defense is solid, his penalty killing is excellent. It's uncommon but I would be more than alright with Copp getting an A as a sophomore.
3) Selman, Sinelli, Merrill
I put these together because I couldn't pick just one to talk about. All three players were tremendous tonight, especially Selman and Sinelli after being regular scratches. We all knew Jon Merrill could play like this, he just needed time after the injury. I think it's safe to say that he's back.