Michigan scored 14 times in last weekend’s series against Notre Dame, but goals will undoubtedly be harder to come by this weekend against Bowling Green.
Michigan (9-1-0 CCHA, 11-4-1 overall) will face stellar senior goalie Jordan Sigalet in a home-and-home series this weekend. The Wolverines will square off tonight at Yost Ice Arena and finish the series tomorrow at BGSU Ice Arena.
Sigalet — a major Canadian recruit before he arrived on Bowling Green’s campus as a freshman — has had three good years at the Brown and Orange prior to this season. But he saved his finest play for this season, his final one.
Thus far, Sigalet has won eight games while dropping three and tying two. His .927 save percentage has kept the Falcons in many low-scoring contests, and he has helped Bowling Green (5-3-2, 8-4-2) to a surprising fourth-place standing in the CCHA.
“Obviously he’s been able to make big saves,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “And he’s been able to make a lot of saves. They have confidence in him like we have confidence in (Montoya). Sigalet can make a difference in a game.”
Last season, Michigan had Sigalet’s number. The Wolverines scored 12 goals at Yost Ice Arena in a two-game sweep of the Falcons. But Berenson knows that scoring will probably not be as easy this time around. Still, he has tried not to emphasize in practice the challenge the Wolverines forwards will face.
“We don’t talk about the other team’s goalie,” Berenson said. “Sometimes the more you know, the more you tend to over-think, overpass and take too long to shoot. We’re going to try and play our game.”
Michigan senior David Moss plans on playing without thinking about who will be guarding Bowling Green’s net.
“I don’t think you change your mindset with him back there,” Moss said. “He’s a big part of their team, and he’s one of the reasons why they’re doing so well. But I’m going to approach it like any other game.”
Berenson is quick to point out that every goalie in the CCHA provides a challenge for his talented forwards.
“(Sigalet) is like all goalies in this league,” Berenson said. “He’s going to stop that first shot nine out of ten times — that’s why they all have a save percentage over .900. We’re not going to (find) a major weakness in his game because, if he had one, we would have found it two years ago.”
Sigalet’s counterpart at Michigan, Montoya, knows Sigalet well because he trained with him this summer. Montoya has been impressed with the way Sigalet has helped to turn around the Falcons program. But once the game starts, Montoya will not worry about who is staring across the ice from in between the pipes.
“(It’s not between us). It’s Michigan versus Bowling Green,” Montoya said.
Montoya will be without one of his regular defenseman. Yesterday in practice, senior Eric Werner tweaked his knee when he collided with freshman Chad Kolarik. According to Berenson, Werner will be out of action for about three weeks. Defensemen Reilly Olson and Tim Cook will fill in for the offensive-minded defenseman.
The Wolverines are looking to finish out the first half of their season on a positive note.
“We want to set the tone for the second half of the season because that’s when it really counts,” senior Jason Ryznar said.