Game 1: UMD 2, Lake Superior State 2
Sharp 1 (M. Connolly), 9:17 2nd period (PP). Connolly (Mike) stole the puck near the LSSU blue line, skated in and took a shot. The LSSU goalie made the save, but left a big rebound to his right that Sharp stuffed in from a bad angle.
Meyers 1 (Oberg), 2:17 3rd period (PP 5X3). After a Connolly (Jack) faceoff win, Oberg and Meyers played catch for a few seconds before Meyers ripped a wrist shot from the right point that eluded Inglis.
It wasn't a crisp performance by UMD, but it wasn't terrible, either. Kind of looked like a season opener, with both teams struggling to move the puck at times.
The Lakers were victimized by forechecking pressure from both Connollys, who looked really strong in that area. The Bulldogs forced LSSU to pass the puck up the ice instead of carrying it, and it make them really uncomfortable for a time.
Stalock recovered from a slow start to play well, but outside of a couple flurries in the third period, he wasn't tested much overall. Lots of long shots with little traffic, as if the Lakers thought they could get more goals like their second one, which was a long shot with little traffic (the kind Stalock will stop 499 times out of 500, in all likelihood).
The penalty kill started horribly but played very well in the last two periods. The best scoring chance on LSSU's power plays in those periods was probably a UMD rush.
Offensively, UMD struggled. They had a lot of chances, but Connolly (Jack) whiffed on a couple chances close-in, and they just missed on a couple of passes. I expect to see more crisp play out of the top lines tonight, as they did look like they were developing some better chemistry as the game wore on.
Northern Michigan, the opponent tonight, scored five goals on 11 shots against Michigan Tech last night. Tech goalie Rob Nolan stopped four of nine shots (!) before getting the hook.
So NMU, outshot 30-11 on the night, has some goaltending. The question is how are they going to handle not scoring on every shot? Methinks Stalock will be sharp from the start, and that will make things tough on the Wildcats.
I'm already in Marquette, having driven over after the game last night. I look forward to not being at this hotel anymore, as the entire sixth floor reeks of cigarette smoke. No idea where it came from, since the wing is entirely "non-smoking". Good thing I'm not allergic.