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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Michigan 9, Oregon 8 (2OT)

Michigan 2-0.

Phew. Oregon has had a rocky start to the year, and the Wolverines did not want to be the team that helped them turn it around (a la Colorado last year). The Ducks led by 4 goals at halftime and after the third quarter, and the Wolverines had to dig deep to complete the comeback.

They tied the game at 8 with three minutes left, and even had a chance to win it in regulation, but Tom Paras's shot couldn't find the net. Chad Carroll atoned for the miss in the second overtime period, scoring the game-winner on an assist from Joey Hrusovsky.

Tempo Free

From the Michigan recap, here's your tempo-free breakdown:

Oregon Michigan
Faceoff Wins 6 Faceoff Wins 14
Clearing 13-24 Clearing 20-28
Possessions 38 Possessions 53
Goals 8 Goals 9
Offensive Efficiency .211 Offensive Efficiency .170

The Wolverines ended up with a hefty advantage in possession, but according to someone who was at the game, that wan't the case through three quarters. In the fourth quarter, they turned up the intensity and managed to control the ball without throwing it away in the rain.

Similar story on faceoffs. Edward Ernst was unavailable, so the Wolverines had to live and die by Brian Greiner. That didn't go so well to start the game, but he dominated the fourth quarter, which helped settle the team.

Michigan was inefficient despite their possession advantage (again, sounding a lot like last year's Colorado game), playing sloppy in bad weather. The 10-man ride was broken a few times, and I'm not sure whether Oregon's trouble clearing (they only finished .542 on clears, to Michigan's .714) came after Michigan switched away.


There's never a great excuse for a team of Michigan's caliber to struggle out of the gate, but if ever there was one, this was it. The Wolverines' bus got to the game site less than half an hour before the faceoff, so there was very little time for the team to warm up and get accustomed to the rainy conditions.

From the sound of things, Oregon could have built a bigger lead when Michigan was struggling early in the game, but their offense still hasn't quite hit a groove, and they don't have the easiest time putting the ball in the net. That follows from what we heard about the Ducks' struggles in their first two games. If they were a better offensive team, the lead could have been insurmountable.

The Ducks were able to keep Trevor Yealy from having a good day offensively, but Chad Carroll was able to step it up with four goals - including the overtime winner. I came away from the Florida game impressed with the power on his shot, and he was placing them in the corners last night as well. This Michigan team has so many offensive weapons that it's impossible to completely shut down the offense by taking away Yealy (which was possible last year). Carroll on the offense:

"Coach Paul told us to keep running our offense, you know, and keep doing things we’d been doing. He was really positive about the things we were doing on offense, we just weren’t necessarily capitalizing on our opportunities."

The goalies split time in the net, with Stone allowing 7 goals and collecting 5 saves. Fowler only allowed the Ducks to find the back of the net once, while making 6 saves. Without seeing the game, it's hard to say whether Fowler played that much better, if Oregon's finishing attempts on him were worse, or if the Michigan defense just stepped it up bigtime in the second half. Probably a mix, as the e-mailer who was in attendance said Oregon got "a few bad goals from outside" in the first half, and the defense was "completely shut down in the fourth. Oregon barely got looks on cage." Coach Paul on the official site:

"We made a planned goalie change, and Fowler just happened to have a great second half. Stone had a pretty good first half too."

At the end of the day, every team is going to have a game here and there where they struggle. This seemed like a perfect storm (no pun intended) for the Wolverines, and it's far better to struggle in a win than to lose the game.


The official site has your game recap and boxscore, in addition to a travel blog from days 1 and 2.

Up Next

According to the official site, today is the team's only day off from lacrosse on this trip. They'll get back to the grind tomorrow, and next take the field on Wednesday against Loyola Marymount. I'll preview the Lions as that game approaches.

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