The Wolverines’ top line has owed its success heavily to the contributions of Dancs, whose size, strength and hard-nosed play in physical situations provides space for Michigan’s other playmakers.
This time, the Michigan defensive front wasn’t the problem – as it has been in recent weeks – but rather, the transitionary game was.
Michigan (3-5-2-1 Big Ten, 7-7-2 overall) ultimately suffered a sizable 5-0 loss to conference bottom-dweller Michigan State (2-7-1-1, 8-9-1), forcing the Wolverines to head home with a series split.
Behind a perfect performance from Hayden Lavigne in net and Tony Calderone's hat trick, the Wolverines recorded a convincing 4-0 victory.
The Wolverines have one more chance this calendar year to reverse a recent skid, and it will come this weekend against Michigan State.
Since the Wolverines win over Vermont, Norris has recorded just three points and one lone goal — a tap-in finish with a man advantage during garbage time against Ohio State.
Despite the unfortunate outcome for the youngsters, two USNTDP players — defensemen Bode Wilde and Mattias Samuelsson — got their first taste of the program they will play for next season.
Masked behind the Wolverines’ statistical rout of the USNTDP was the fact that a shift in momentum would soon make the game a lot closer than could have been anticipated from Michigan’s flying start.
Calderone, junior center Cooper Marody and senior left wing Dexter Dancs – who have combined for 47 points thus far this season – continued to dominate the stat sheet.
While preparing for Saturday’s exhibition game against the U.S. National Team Development Program, three Michigan hockey players eagerly await a package with championship rings.