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.”
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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.
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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.