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I won’t pretend that I’m not shocked that Michigan beat Boston College, and that the Wolverines looked to be in control for most of this game. I’ve seen UM play some passionless hockey in the first half of the season, but no one can accuse the Wolverines of anything but inspired play from the get-go tonight. If UM has awakened, the second half of the CCHA season will be even more interesting than I’ve already anticipated.

What a difference two weeks makes

The Eagles last played 20 days ago, the Wolverines 19, but each team seems to have reacted differently to the time away from the ice.

“It was important to stay in shape over break,” said UM’s Luke Glendening, who scored the empty-net goal. “That’s a key part of my game.”

Not to imply that the Eagles didn’t stay in shape during the break, but BC coach Jerry York said that the time off affected his team adversely, especially at the start of the game — when the Wolverines had a lot of jump.

“The first period was just summer hockey,” said York. “We showed the effects of the … layoff. We just stood around and watched Michigan. I thought as the game developed, we played better.”

Minus a man — or two

Both the Eagles and the Wolverines were missing players tonight, guys who are representing Team USA in the IIHF World Junior Championship. BC is without forward Billy Arnold, the team’s second leading scorer. UM is without — technically — defenseman Jon Merrill, who has spent the first half of the season suspended from play for violating team rules.

York said that programs like BC and UM expect to lose players to the WJC every year.

Attendance

The total attendance for both games today was 15,091, and the place looked pretty full from the start of the first game on. One of the ushers told me that there was a bit of confusion surrounding the start of the game; people working the game were told to be here at 2:30 p.m., but the doors opened at 2:00 and fans were allowed in. As far as I know, the fans behaved themselves — but the ushers seemed distressed.

A reader wrote in to tell me that he paid more than $5.00 for his tickets, as I wrote earlier today that tickets were available for just five American dollars. According to the Michigan Tech website, upper level general admission tickets indeed were available for $5.00 in advance online, with a code the Huskies published.

  • Yooper

    I don’t know what game you watched, but UM did not played inspired hockey. I was rooting for them, being from Michigan, and I have seen the Woverines many times when they visit NMU, and they did not bring there A game.  It was rare to see stick to stick precision and for the most part the puck was beneath their skates, behind them,
    or mishandled.  Especially in the second period.  I give BC credit for causing UM to constantly lose control of the puck, however there was no inspiration watching UM play this time.  Will UM gather momentum for the second half?  Maybe….but not
    if they play like that.  Their goalie was outstanding.

    • Paula Weston

      You and I will have to agree to disagree, Yooper.  The Wolverines played inspired hockey — especially in the first and third periods.  They were outplayed in the second, clearly, but they came out absolutely flying and forced one of the top teams in the country to make many mistakes.  I’ve seen UM play quite a bit in the first half, and this was the most impassioned game I’ve seen from them.