After Friday night’s game, the Michigan hockey team got the memo.
The first 20 minutes are just as important as the final 40.
In the first game of the weekend, the Wolverines seemed overwhelmed in the early minutes of the contest by a more aggressive Boston University club that stormed out of the tunnel hungry to collect its first win of the season. Michigan eventually stepped up and claimed a hard-fought 4-2 victory.
The Wolverines’ usually potent offense tallied just six shots on goal in a first period in which they never looked completely comfortable. While some of the shots were well-timed, none found the back of the net.
And with junior Travis Turnbull holed up in the penalty box for the start of the second period, the Wolverines needed to turn up their intensity to keep themselves in the game.
“I know our team was excited to play,” Berenson said. “But you have to give (Boston University) credit, they were all over us, and they were the better team. We couldn’t get anything going, we couldn’t get any forecheck and we couldn’t get any confidence.”
Michigan found its rhythm midway through the game when freshman Matt Rust took the puck near the Wolverines’ blue line, skated behind the defense and found himself all alone with Boston goalie Brett Bennett.
He didn’t waste the opportunity.
It took Michigan just 62 more seconds to tack on another score, leaving the Terriers wondering how such a solid start could turn into a two-goal deficit so quickly.
But no matter how the Wolverines played the rest of the game, the first period stuck out, especially for senior captain Kevin Porter.
“I think we need to work on playing 60 minutes,” Porter said. “We come out and play 40-minute games and we are luckily winning those games. But I think if we come out and play 60 minutes the way we work, the other team is not going to have a chance. But . 40 minutes is not going to cut it the rest of the year.”
Totally fogged up: Friday night’s stormy weather created a whole slew of problems for the Yost maintenance crew. The rain outside, mixed with the hot, humid atmosphere inside the arena, caused a thick fog to roll over the ice.
The fog started to form in the final minutes of the second period, creating a slight haze.
As the game wore on, especially in the waning minutes of the third period, the playing surface was covered with fog that built up above the boards.
“It was hot and it was fun” Rust said. “Midway through the game, the ice fogged up and I have a shield, so I could barely see the puck, especially in the last couple of minutes.”
First-time Yoster: Twelve players donning maize and blue sweaters got their first taste of the raucous crowd at Yost Ice Arena this weekend. A rowdy 6,894 Wolverine faithful packed the stands Friday night, and somewhere between “Sieve” chants and heckling the Boston fans by yelling, “We want chowda,” the maize-clad fans made a significant impact on the freshman class.
“You definitely feed off the crowd,” Rust said. “There is a great fan base here. It’s great to hear our chants on the ice. I am a fan of all the cheers up in the stands, but it’s great to hear them on the ice and experience it.”