Thursday, March 22, 2007

Top 9 Tournament Games In Michigan Hockey: Part 2

We're attempting to put together a list of the top 9 – one for each Michigan national championship – NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament games we've witnessed, either on TV or in person. This list is presented in no particular order. Without further adieu, Part 2

Michigan 4 - 2 St. Cloud State (2002). I remember watching this game on TV in my Alice Lloyd dorm room, because I didn't have the cash to buy Regionals tickets. We jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first, but St. Cloud carried the play in the second and we spent the first seven minutes of the third killing off penalties, including two 5 on 3 stretches. First it became a 3-2 game, then the Huskies appeared to get the equalizer, but it was waved off for an (entirely irrelevant) skate in the crease. I remember the momentum turned when one of our guys (Komisarek?) just absolutely annihilated their best player with a massive open-ice hit and Yost went nuts. The guy got right back up, and we might have even taken a penalty for it, but it changed the entire tenor of the game and Michigan started to attack more. After we weathered those short-handed stretches, Dwight Helminen buried the final goal off a Milan Gajic rebound. St. Cloud ended up taking penalties late in the third to kill any chance of a comeback. –Geoff

Michigan 5 - 3 Denver (2002). The follow-up game was even more insane. A tense, scoreless first period led to 5 goals in the first 12.5 minutes of the second, with Denver leading 3-2. Nobody could get anything on the board for the rest of the period, though there were chances to be had. Eric Werner of all people tied it up about 5:00 into the third on a redirection from Cammlleri. Blackburn stood on his head at various times in the third, while Michigan had trouble getting close enough for good chances on the other end. With a minute and a half left in the game, Cammalleri knocked the puck away from an attacker in our own zone, setting up Ortmeyer and Nystrom to execute a perfect 2-on-1, with Orts getting the goal and Nystrom an empty-netter later to cap it. –Geoff

Michigan 2 - 3 Boston University (1997). It's a little remembered fact, but it is true, Thursday, March 27 at 7:00 pm was a hellacious harmonic convergence of Michigan sports. On one television it was this game, part of the 50th anniversary of the NCAA Hockey Championships, an eagerly anticipated showdown between Michigan and BU. Michigan, the defending national champion and one of the best teams in the country, having come into the Final Four (it would not be called the Frozen Four until 1999) off a 7-4 pummeling of the Gophers at Grand Rapids. The Wolverines were led by eventual Hobey Baker winner Brendan Morrison, and junior netminder Marty Turco. BU was the #2 out of the East, appearing in their fifth straight Frozen Four, and their seventh in eight years. On television #2, it's Michigan vs. Florida State in the finals of the NIT (You may not remember this as 1997 was erased from the collective history of Michigan basketball, but the game was actually played). On television #3, it's the replay of the previous night's Detroit Red Wings/Colorado Avalanche game, a 6-5 OT win by the Wings better known as Fight Night at the Joe, when Claude Lemieux was pummeled into the Turtle Position by Darren McCarty. So you'll forgive me if my memories of this game aren't the clearest. I do remember thinking Michigan had felt invincible all season, and looking suddenly human at the hands of the Terriers. I remember thinking, just one goal, we just need one goal, just one goal. And I remember thinking that this is why the game isn't played on paper, because BU played better than Michigan that day and went to the final. –Craig

1 comment:

Dan said...

I was there, and I'm 95% sure it was Captain Jed with the big hit. That guy was my favorite Wovlverine in any sport while I was in school (2000-2004).