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Saturday, March 26, 2005

As predicted, Michigan throttled Wisconsin tonight 4-1. The Badgers were never really in the game, going down 4-0 before scoring a meaningless goal with under five minutes to go in the game. Michigan outshot the Badgers in the first period 18 to 4 and controlled the entire game save for a few instances of sustained pressure Wisconsin managed in the second period.

There was absolutely no criticism that can be made about Michigan's performance tonight, but the same cannot be said for the referee, Hockey East's Hansen, who let UW get away with hooking, holding, and the whole variety grab-bag of interference penalties the entire night and refused to call numerous dangerous instances of boarding and charging by UW. A properly officiated game would have seen UW playing a man down the entire game. That wasn't even the worst of the officiating atrocities tonight. The worst was an obvious Chad Kolarik goal being ignored by the video replay judge. Why have the replay if you are going to completely ignore the evidence presented to you?

Anyway, Wisconsin reminded me more of an overmatched CCHA team with no offensive clue than a high-powered WCHA dynamo. That expected WCHA dynamo will show up tomorrow when Michigan faces off with Sertich, Sterling, and, oh yeah, a bunch of other guys in Colorado College uniforms. The NCAA's top four scorers will all take the ice tomorrow, with the CC duo running 1-2 and Tambellini and Hensick following up in third and fourth, respectively, after a combined 7 points tonight.

Should be a barn-burner, but CC will have to play much better than they did in squeaking by what should have been an overmatched Colgate team 6-5 with a late third period goal. It says here that they will, but Michigan will come with fire and brimstone and grind out a solid victory.