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December 28, 2013
Michigan goes 0-2 at GLI with 3-0 loss to Michigan State
The Michigan hockey team entered the Great Lakes Invitational ranked third and the only team with a winning record. So to call U-M's 0-2 performance, including a 3-0 loss to Michigan State Saturday, disappointing would be an understatement.
U-M was shut out for the first time all year - and the first time in 364 days -- and outside of a first period in which the Maize and Blue generated nine shots, Michigan was dominated, being outshot 40-29 and outplayed thoroughly by a Michigan State team that entered play 5-9-2.
Coach Red Berenson decided to go with backup goalie Steve Racine, giving the sophomore his first action since Dec. 2, and for the most part, Racine played well. MSU's first and third goals were both ones he'd like back, but the two only trickled by Racine after deflecting off his defensemen's skates.
"He got off to a rough start," Berenson said. "That first shot is one he'd like to have back. He was competitive after that. The last goal might have gone off a skate; it looked like it changed direction. He hasn't played in a while, but he's a good goalie, though I can't tell you that was his 'A' game."
State really sealed the deal with its second marker, a power-play goal at 7:32 of the third period that put a Michigan team fighting for any offensive confidence in an insurmountable hole.
Not that the Wolverines didn't have their chances - they lacked quantity but had quality scoring opportunities, every time coming up empty as they can't seem to find anyone right now capable of burying the puck; Michigan has netted only four goals on its last 82 shots dating back to a 2-2 tie with Ferris State Dec. 11.
"I thought we overpassed the puck tonight," Berenson said. "We were stuck on 12 shots there for a while, we passed the puck on two or three chances when we should have taken shots. You saw when they shot the puck, they had a chance to score. I thought we were too cute with the puck and not as confident to shoot, so we passed it off."
The Maize and Blue were without their leading goal scorer, sophomore Andrew Copp (nine goals), for the two games of the GLI, but there was enough offensive talent skating for the Wolverines to avoid the goose egg.
It seems like every forward, though, has lost his confidence and what Michigan needed desperately was what MSU received early in the game - a lucky, misdirection goal at 1:23 of the first period. That marker immediately put the Spartans at ease and put the Wolverines on their heels.
Michigan, which went 0-2 at the holiday tournament for the first time since 2000, will return to the ice Jan. 10-11 when it travels to Wisconsin and will look to rebound from its GLI result while improving to 4-0 in Big Ten play.
"We're not in the championship game, and we end up losing the consolation game -- that wasn't what we wanted, but we have 13 days before we play our next game, so we've got a lot that we need to work on as individuals and as a group," junior defenseman Mike Chiasson said. "We'll get back to work tomorrow and see how it goes."