MANCHESTER, N.H. — Looking at the shot totals for Michigan
yesterday, it appeared that Boston College was able to suppress any
chance of a serious scoring threat. In three periods and 10 minutes
of overtime, the Wolverines never tallied more than five shots on
Boston College netminder Matti Kaltiainen in any period. But the
more telling statistic from this game would be the number of
opportunities missed by both teams. In the end, Boston College and
Michigan both had countless near misses that kept everyone in
Manchester on the edge of their seats.
The combination of near misses and good break-up plays by the
Boston College defense kept the puck out of the net, but
didn’t limit several chances each period for Michigan to
score. The problem was that the puck was in the Wolverines’
zone for the majority of the game, making the chance to generate
quality scoring chances few and far between.
“The play was more in (the Michigan) zone,” Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. “We had one or two isolated chances
The Wolverines nearly won the game early in overtime on an
odd-man rush with two of Michigan’s most dangerous
playmakers. Freshman T.J. Hensick skated into the Boston College
zone on a two-on-one with sophomore Jeff Tambellini. In an
uncharacteristic move, Hensick opted to shoot on Kaltiainen, and
the puck dropped down right in the crease where it sat untouched
for several seconds. Just as the Wolverines on the ice realized
where the puck was, Boston College defenseman J.D. Forrest swept it
out of danger.
“The chances we were getting were gorgeous,” said
junior Eric Nystrom, who helped set up several near-misses by
forward Dwight Helminen.
The best chance for Michigan in regulation was toward the end of
the second period on a play that couldn’t have been drawn up
any better. Junior David Moss received an entry pass into the
Boston College zone and skated parallel to the boards, drawing both
Eagles’ defensemen towards him.
Linemate Jason Ryznar crept into the slot and waited for an
opportunity. Moss picked up on his location, and fired a pass
towards Ryznar. Kaltiainen realized what was happening at the last
minute as Ryznar teed up a one-timer, and came up with a great
save. As it turned out, it was the first shot on net for Michigan
in the second period, and it came 12 minutes in.
“We had to bury our chances,” said sophomore Brandon
Kaleniecki — who scored two goals on Saturday. “We knew
their goalie was going to make some saves.”
But for their part, Boston College also saw some terrific
chances bounce the wrong way. Prior to the overtime game-winner,
Boston College defenseman John Adams ripped a shot from the
blueline that found its way through the mass of humanity in front
of Michigan netminder Al Montoya. The puck ricocheted off the near
post, and flew straight into the air. Montoya never saw what was
happening as the puck then bounced off the crossbar straight down
into the crease before it was cleared from danger.
“I didn’t play different than any other game,”
Montoya said about his 42-save performance. “(Boston College)
just got extra chances and they put them on the board.”