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Monday, March 24, 2008

We did a rundown of Niagara's games against Big Three And A Half foes earlier today; here's a similar treatment for Michigan's potential second-round opponents. These are common opponents only.

St Cloud's games of interest:

Michigan TechW5-2
Michigan TechW4-1
Michigan played Tech in the GLI final, winning 1-0 in overtime. St. Cloud obviously did better than that; one mitigating factor was the absence of four Michigan players due to WJC commitments.
WisconsinL 3-4
Wisconsin (Playoffs)
Wisconsin (Playoffs)
W4-3 (ot)
A 3-3 overall record against meh Wisconsin, who Michigan beat 3-2 in the Showcase in a game that wasn't really that close. (Michigan led 3-0 until there were under three minutes left, at which point they gave up a couple sloppy goals.) Four of those games were at home. Total goals: SCSU 16, Wisconsin 14.
This was a sparsely attended holiday tourney game at Value City Arena in Columbus, so the teams may not have been full strength due to WJC commitments. St. Cloud played well, outshooting Miami, but didn't get an even strength goal.
SCSU faced Minnesota just as they were reaching the breaking point with headcase goalie Jeff Frazee. Kangas played the first game, making 32 saves on 35 shots. Frazee got one period in the Saturday game that ended up a tie, exiting after giving up one goal on six shots. Kangas played the rest of the game. So these results aren't bad. Nor are they particularly good, since Minnesota is a pretty mediocre team this year.

And Clarkson:

Solid win versus HE champs not so encouraging.
In one of the weirdest games I've ever seen, Michigan got outshot 50 to 21 by the Friars and won 6-0. Two periods into the game Michigan had five goals on 14 shots. Providence did something similar against Clarkson, outshooting them 28-20 and failing to score. Woo Providence.
Lake StateW4-0
Lake StateL1-5
Ugly split against one of the worst teams in the CCHA is encouraging, even if Michigan had two uninspired wins of their own versus the Lakers.
Boston CollegeW4-2

That's it as far as common opponents go. There is another series worth noting: in early February Clarkson traveled to CC and got smoked 5-2 and 6-1. Many factors -- road game, altitude, Olympic ice -- that won't be relevant worked against them then; hopefully that's a sign of systemic weakness against fast teams and not just "arrrgh I can't breathe and why is this rink so damn big"*.

*(Enjoy, Spartans!)