Weekend work-up, Dec. 19, 2011: One game, three things

The only game on the docket was Northern Michigan’s 4-1 win over Michigan Tech, and it was revealing in small ways.
1. Sophomore goaltender Jared Coreau is finding his stride. Coreau — who shares the net with senior Reid Ellingson — posted a record of 3-1-0 in December and improved to 2.13 goals against and a .925 save percentage. On the season so far he’s 5-2-1 with two no-decisions, and his numbers are significantly better than those he had his freshman campaign (3.71, .909). The Wildcats need consistency in net; Coreau may provide it in the second half.
2. Senior forward Tyler Gron is poised to have a great second half. After netting 14 goals in his first two seasons, Gron had 17 in 34 games in 2010-11. He had two against Tech to bring his first-half total for this season to nine (9-8–17), which includes three on the power play. Gron’s quick with a good eye for the puck and a real sense for scoring, but that doesn’t always translate into scoring consistency. He broke a six-game goal-scoring drought Nov. 18 against Michigan State and has netted five in seven games since and including that one.
3. NMU made the most of its first-half schedule. The Wildcats went 7-1-3 at home in the first half, doing exactly as they should have with a schedule that had them at home a lot before January. They’re on the road for most of the second half, with six games remaining at home.
A light schedule
At some point this week — and I don’t know when yet — I’ll have a look back at the first half of the season, here in the blog. I’m aiming for Wednesday morning, when my column would otherwise be published. The next column comes out in the middle of next week, and it’ll look at the second half of the season.
As always, tweet (@paulacweston), email ([email protected]) or comment below. Happy Monday!