The Wolverine

November 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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NOVEMBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 73   MICHIGAN HOCKEY Hockey Rewind: Oct. 7‑16 Record: 2‑1 Best Win — 4‑0 over Union: Michigan rebounded in a big way after dropping the season opener against the Dutchmen, 4‑3. The Wolverines jumped all over Union from the puck drop in this one, racing out to a 2‑0 lead in the first period behind goals from junior forward Niko Porikos and junior defense‑ man Sam Piazza, and the defense turned things around after a lackadaisical per‑ formance the previous night. Freshman goaltender Hayden Lavigne was mostly kept clean, and the result was Michigan's most complete perfor‑ mance of the season. Quote: "They kind of stepped on us last night, so we had to step on them to‑ night. You can tell how mental the game is, and I thought we were a completely different team tonight. We played with more conviction, we played stronger, and we played harder and we played with a little desperation. We played well defensively, our goalie gave us a great game and the puck went in for us at im‑ portant times. It was a good game for us tonight. Not a good weekend necessar‑ ily, but a good game tonight." — Head coach Red Berenson on Michigan's 4‑0 win over Union Oct. 8. MVP — Whoever is in net: As the rest of the team has found its way on the ice this season, it has been Michigan's goaltenders that have played the best. Michigan has started a different goaltender in each of its first three games and has been rewarded with stellar play from all three as they vie for the starting job. Senior goaltender Zach Nagelvoort had perhaps the toughest job of all while facing 40 shots from Union in the season opener. Though he allowed four goals, including two late in the third period, Nagelvoort played well, turning away 36 shots and earning the praise of his coach and teammates. "I thought [Nagelvoort] played well," Berenson said after the loss. "He gave us a chance. When they had their chances, he was sharp." "I think Zach gave us a chance to win, and that's all we can ask for," senior defenseman Nolan De Jong added. Freshman Hayden Lavigne took his turn in net for Michi‑ gan's second game and became the fourth freshman goal‑ tender in school history to record a shutout in his first col‑ lege appearance. "The thing I liked about [Lavigne] is he was composed," Berenson noted. "He didn't have to overreact; he didn't have to make second efforts or outstanding saves. He just was in position all night. He made it look easy." Fellow rookie Jack LaFontaine was the next man up in Michigan's road opener against Ferris State, and the fresh‑ man passed his test with flying colors. The Bulldogs, desper‑ ate for their first win of the season, set the tone by dominat‑ ing play early on and controlled possession throughout the game, keeping LaFontaine busy. He gave up only one goal, while making 29 saves and ex‑ tinguishing numerous odd‑man rushes. Perhaps the most impressive line on the evening was Ferris State converting on only one of its seven power plays — a stat that was in large part due to the efforts of Michigan's goaltender. The performances by Nagelvoort, Lavigne and LaFontaine have certainly not made things easy for Michigan's coaching staff as they continue to deliberate on who will be the starter. Freshman Impact — Forward Will Lockwood: There could be several different choices for this category because Michigan has a deep freshman class that has contributed heavily thus far. Lockwood, who became the highest NHL Draft selection of the 11‑man fresh‑ man class when he was taken by the Vancouver Canucks with the 64th pick, has thrived since arriving in Ann Arbor. The freshman forward has played on Michigan's first line in all three games and has a goal and an assist on the sea‑ son. Lockwood, a smaller player who is a fast skater and handles the puck well, may remind some Michigan fans of for‑ mer star Carl Hagelin, who helped the Pittsburgh Penguins hoist the Stanley Cup last year. In the Wolverines' 4‑3 loss to Union, Lockwood gave his team a temporary lead when he rifled a shot past the Dutchmen goaltender on a two‑on‑one opportunity. He also assisted on junior Niko Porikos' goal in Michigan's 4‑0 win the next day. Player To Watch — Junior defense‑ man Sam Piazza: Piazza is coming into his own as an of‑ fensive threat after spending much of his first two seasons as a healthy scratch. He has scored in all of Michigan's games thus far and leads the team with three goals — a number which is also tied for first within the conference. With the early departures of Werenski and Downing, Michi‑ gan needed a defenseman who could run point on the power play, and Piazza has filled that role capably thus far, with two of his goals taking place while Michigan has held a man advantage. Piazza scored the game‑winner against Ferris State, capital‑ izing on a power play late in the third period to help his team eke out a 2‑1 victory. Having displayed better defensive zone awareness, a powerful shot and poise on the power play, Piazza looks to have the skills to continue being a difference‑ maker for the Wolverines this year. Must‑See Series — Nov. 11‑12 vs. Boston University: The Wolverines face former assistant coach Mel Pearson and Michigan Tech at Yost Ice Arena Oct. 20‑21, but the upcoming series that appears to be Michigan's biggest test will be its two‑game homestand against the Terriers in early November. Michigan split the series with BU last year, losing the first matchup 3‑2 before winning the second 4‑2 behind three goals in the first period. The Terriers, who dropped from No. 2 to No. 8 in the USCHO polls after being swept by No. 6 Denver, is perhaps the most talented team in the nation. They have 11 players who have been drafted by NHL teams, including four of whom were taken in the first round of this year's draft. — Orion Sang Goalie Hayden Lavigne became the fourth U‑M freshman in school history to record a shutout in his first college appearance, doing so in a 4‑0 win over Union Oct. 8. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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