This past weekend will be tough to top for Michael Woodford.
On Saturday night in Detroit, Woodford and his Michigan hockey teammates shutdown Lake Superior 1-0 to complete a weekend sweep over the Lakers.
Then on Sunday afternoon the Westford, Mass. native sat down with his Michigan teammates and watched as the New England Patriots stunned St. Louis to capture the Super Bowl title.
“That was probably the most exciting thing I was going nuts when (St. Louis) tied it up at 17, I thought it was going to be a bad week in practice, but (Patriots kicker Adam) Vinatieri came in and he”s automatic from that range,” Woodford said. “Everyone was calling me from back home saying, “Did you see it?” So it was good, I was happy.
“Everyone”s jealous because they”re not from Boston. The Bruins are coming around and so are the Celtics, so it”s good stuff ragging on these guys. The guys on the team all wanted St. Louis, but as the game went on they started jumping on the bandwagon as I was cheering now I”ve got bragging rights.”
Woodford wasn”t the only one with special interest in the game. Freshman defenseman Brandon Rogers and assistant coach Billy Powers both reside in the New England area.
“They”ve been such a down franchise even the Super Bowls they”ve gotten to, they never really had a chance to win,” said Powers who lives in Cambridge, Mass. “For them to turn the corner and to have a couple of Michigan guys be a part of it, it was a great time because you don”t expect it from them. There was a lot of celebrating and late night phone calls, so it was fun.”
But now with the Super Bowl win in the past, Woodford will try to pull a Patriots-like turnaround of his own and find the scoring groove that he has been looking for all year.
It took the forward 20 games to tally a goal After being shutout for the first three and a half months of the year, Woodford lit the lamp three times on Dec. 29 as Michigan rallied for a 7-4 win over Michigan Tech in the consolation game of the Great Lakes Invitational.
The next weekend, Woodford scored a goal a piece in two games at Notre Dame to run goal total to five in a little over a week.
Since then, though, Woodford has struggled through another seven-game goalless streak.
“I”ve been struggling a bit with the puck going into the net,” Woodford said. “Hopefully it will start going in this weekend I”m getting my chances and as we wind down, I”d like to capitalize on those because every goal is a big goal now.”
In order to get the youngster going, Michigan coach Red Berenson has moved Woodford around a lot, playing him with several different linemates in order to generate some success.
“I think he plays pretty well with anyone,” Berenson said. “He can make plays, but I”d like to see him be more consistent offensively.
“He had a couple of good chances at Joe Louis (last Saturday). It would have been good to see one of those go in to see him get back on track. He might be a streaky scorer, either feast or famine.”
The Wolverines are hoping that Woodford can find some New England magic down the stretch. But Woodford hopes to capture the magic that took the Patriots to the Super Bowl and not the curse that has ravaged another team from the east.
“It was supposed to be this year,” said Woodford when asked when the Boston Red Sox were going to finally win a World Series. “But they suck, (general manager Dan) Duquette is awful.”