I spent the morning thankful for speedy internet connections and the magic of in-home laundry. I hope that your post-Thanksgiving Monday contained at least half as much gratitude.
Three things from this weekend, quickly:
1. Michigan is not ready for prime time. With three wins in their last 10 games and a 5-1 loss to Cornell in Madison Square Garden Saturday night — in front of 18,200 people, no less — the Wolverines prove that they have a long way to go this season. Earlier in the season, UM had the top scoring offense in the country; now the Wolverines are tied for 10th, averaging 1.6 goals per game in their last five. UM allowed five goals on 23 shots against the Big Red with freshman Steve Racine in net. Allowing 3.46 goals per game on average, Michigan now has the 52nd-best defense in the country.
2. The Buckeyes are alive. With 15 points, Ohio State is tied for second place with Notre Dame and Ferris State, two teams that I thought would be more likely to inhabit that spot than would OSU. A split in Sault Ste. Marie is what brought OSU closer to the top and perhaps clarified which Buckeye should be starting in net. Senior Brady Hjelle had both decisions but freshman Collin Olson started for OSU in Saturday’s 3-2 loss, giving up two goals within the first nine minutes of play. Hjelle gave up one in relief but OSU’s anemic offense — No. 50 in the country, 2.08 goals per game on average — offered no support. Hjelle transfered from Minnesota-Duluth after the 2009-10 season and he saw time in eight games for OSU last year; this year, he’s 3-2-2 with a 1.45 goals against average and .950 save percentage, third in the nation in each category.
3. Jeff Jackson says what’s on his mind. Following Notre Dame’s 2-1 loss to visiting North Dakota Friday, Jackson had some choice words for a goal that was waved off in the final minute of play, with goaltender Steven Summerhays pulled for an extra attacker. Junior Anders Lee seemed to have scored after tapping in the puck when the puck rolled off the leg pad of North Dakota goaltender Clarke Saunders. Referee Keith Sergott waved it off. Quoted in the press release issued directly from Notre Dame hockey media relations following the game, Jackson said, “It was just an awful call. The puck was free between his legs. I could see it from the bench.”