The Wolverine

November 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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NOVEMBER 2018 THE WOLVERINE 73   MICHIGAN HOCKEY of this historic program for another year, I thought would be good for me. There are still things I can work on — my strength and my overall game — which I'm excited to get bet- ter at this year. "It would be a good year to get stronger, get faster, add another year of schooling and all to get ready for pro hockey." "I was not surprised," Pearson said of Hughes' decision to return. "I thought deep down that it was the right decision for various reasons. I want Quinn, like I would any player, to be able to step from Michigan right into the NHL. I think he needs to get stronger. "Quinn had a hectic spring and summer. He just didn't have the opportunity to develop physically. Some of that you can work on, but some of that happens naturally. He's still young. You don't find many 18-year-old defensemen in the NHL. It's a man's league and Quinn knows that. "I think Vancouver did a great job, too. They were honest with Quinn. They handled it, I thought, extremely well. I think Quinn and his family really handled it the proper way, asked a lot of questions, did a lot of research. I think it's a win-win situa- tion for Quinn and for us. He's only going to get better." ❏ Record: 0-1-0 (1-1-0 in exhibitions) National Rankings: No. 10 per USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Coaches' Poll; No. 11 per USCHO Best Win — 7-4 over Waterloo (ex- hibition): Sophomore forward Jack Becker scored two goals Oct. 7, and both sophomore forward Josh Norris and junior forward Will Lockwood had a goal and an assist each. Michigan jumped to an early first-period lead on goals by Norris and junior forward Nick Pastujov. Becker and junior defenseman Christian Meike responded to a Water- loo goal with first-period tallies of their own, and Michigan never looked back, coasting to the three-goal win. Lockwood's weekend return to the lineup after losing the last half of the 2017-18 season to injury was a highlight of the opening weekend. He won the Hal Downes Trophy as U-M's most valu- able played as a freshman in 2016-17, but was limited to 16 games last year. "He was our most dynamic and best forward by far," Michigan head coach Mel Pearson told TSN Radio Vancouver about Lockwood's return to action. "He looked fast. He looked strong, creative and got involved physically. He looked exceptional. It looked like he'd never missed a beat." MVP — Sophomore forward Jack Becker: The 6-4, 205-pounder gave an indication that a breakout season might be in order with his pair of two-goal performances in exhibi- tions against Waterloo and the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program (NTDP). Teamed on a line with brothers junior forward Nick Pastujov and sophomore forward Mike Pastujov, Becker is primed to follow up on a freshman cam- paign that saw him score eight times and add seven helpers. Freshman Impact — Forward Garrett Van Wyhe: The Se- attle native looked at home in his debut as a Wolverine, cen- tering Michigan's fourth line. Van Wyhe managed to send 10 shots on the opposition net and played a strong forechecking game in the opening weekend of his college career. Player To Watch — Sophomore forward Josh Norris: The 2017 first-round pick (19th overall) has returned to Michigan for his second season, hoping to add more offense to his game. Noted for this ability to affect all three zones of play and his prowess on faceoffs, Norris has the offensive acumen to exceed the eight goals and 15 assists he contributed in last year's debut. Through the first three games of 2018-19, including the two ex- hibitions, Norris has chipped in two goals and two assists to the Michigan offense and won an impressive 35 of 57 faceoffs. Must-See Series — Nov. 9-10 vs. Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish — Big Ten reg- ular-season and tournament champions last year — make its regular-season week- end two-game trip to Yost Ice Arena. Last season's Frozen Four finalist and near-miss runner-up for the national championship with a one-goal loss in the final against Minnesota-Duluth, the Irish return several key members from that squad. Junior defenseman Andrew Peeke, senior forward Jack Jenkins, senior for- ward Dylan Malmquist, senior defense- man Bobby Nardella and junior forward Cal Burke will be joined by impact fresh- men forward Jake Pivonka and defense- man Spencer Stastney in the lineup. The Irish kicked off their 2018-19 cam- paign successfully Oct. 12-13 with a tourney victory at the annual Ice Breaker Tournament in Erie, Pa. Junior goaltender Cale Morris pitched the shutout for Notre Dame in the tournament finale, a 3-0 win against Providence. The Irish also lost by three in an exhi- bition to the U.S. NTDP and are currently ranked No. 2 in the USCHO poll and No. 3 in the coaches' poll. Future Wolverine Watch: Nick Granowicz' commitment barely registered on the excitement meter last January. The 6-1, 180-pound forward from Macomb, Mich., split the 2017- 18 season between Topeka in the NAHL and Cedar Rapids of the USHL. After posting impressive numbers (12 goals, 18 assists in 25 games) with Topeka, Granowicz' production slowed to three goals and six assists in 28 games after the step up in competition at Cedar Rapids. Getting a fresh start in 2018-19 with the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL, Granowicz has demonstrated that his numbers at Topeka were no fluke. Through 14 games with his new squad, he has scored seven goals and added seven assists. Those totals put Granowicz in the top handful of scorers in the BCHL, one of college hockey's best developmental leagues. Hockey Rewind: Oct. 6‑12 Sophomore forward Jack Becker notched a pair of goals in each of the Wolverines' two exhibition contests. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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