Last week the Michigan Wolverines, featuring Jets' draft picks Jacob Trouba and Brennan Serville, went 1-1. Here's a quick update.
Hello again from Michigan. I apologize for this late update as I was travelling earlier this week.
Michigan had a strange home/semi-away split last weekend as they took on Bowling Green State University on Wednesday night in Ann Arbor and Cornell University Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Brennan Serville missed both games this past week, as he continues to work his way back from a concussion. Apparently it is the same concussion that caused him to miss the November 2nd and 3rd games at Northern Michigan. Michigan has played in four games since the initial injury and Serville played in all of them, so it is unusual to miss time now because of the same concussion. Michigan keeps things close to the vest regarding team matters, so there isn't much information out there. But considering walk-on Mike Szuma has been playing in Serville's place, it would seem highly unlikely that he is sitting out for anything other than an injury.
BGSU came into last Wednesday's play with a 3-8-3 record; 1-4-2 in the CCHA. They looked the part, and Michigan --despite not playing very well -- overwhelmed the Falcons with a 3-1 victory. The box score can be found here (PDF)
Trouba looked great in the BGSU game. He maintained a dominant physical presence, moved the puck well, and played sound defensive hockey. He had 4 blocked shot, 4 shots on goal, and was a +1, as well as the second star of the game. None of the BGSU players could match Trouba physically and he pretty much had his way with them that night. Against lesser competition I've seen Trouba, on multiple occasions, bait a guy towards the boards on a 1-1 and then suddenly stop and hit them. Its crazy to see something like that live as you rarely see a 1-1 end with a really good hit, let alone on the boards. Trouba does it quite a bit. The stats don't completely show it but he had a very good game.
Saturday night was a different story. Cornell knocked Michigan out of the NCAA tournament last year so this game was a bit of a rematch. Like Michigan, Cornell wasn't setting the world on fire, with a record of 3-3-3 heading into the game. Michigan played terribly, and despite outshooting Cornell, couldn't get anything past Andy Iles (Iles is regarded as one of the best goalies in the NCAA) and were hampered by the same poor defensive zone lapses that has plagued them all season. Cornell took a 4-0 lead and ended up winning 5-1 (Box Score PDF).
Trouba was on the ice for two goals against and had a couple defensive lapses. He was on the ice for Cornell's third goal and didn't work hard enough to move an attacker from the front of the crease, leading to a shot getting through and deflected into the Wolverines' goal. Granted, this shot came because of lazy board play by Michigan forwards, but Trouba could have done better for himself.
The second goal against saw Trouba slide over on a 3-2 and take a man, but not tie him up going towards the net, His man ended up being the goal scorer on a slick cross-crease tap-in.
Trouba did have an assist on a goal by defenseman Mac Bennet, and still made some good plays, but the Cornell game wasn't the kind of dominating performance that Trouba is capable of.
For the season Jacob Trouba is starting to amass a solid stat line. With 10 points (4G ,6A) on the season, he is currently second in the conference in points for defensemen and third in the conference in points for rookies of all positions.
Highlights of the Michigan games can be seen on their website HERE. With those losses, Michigan has fallen out of the polls after starting the season ranked 3rd.
Michigan plays a two game series at Ferris State this Friday and Saturday. Information, including links for streams of the games, is here.