Sunday, July 13, 2008

In Memoriam

There is a poster by the name of "WolverineBill" at the GBW Forums who also has his own fledgling blog.  His 20 year old son, Nick, who was born with a congenital heart condition, passed away Friday following an operation.

Here is a letter from Nick's aunt about him that Bill posted to his blog.

I'm sure all Wolverines join me in offering Bill their best wishes and prayers at this difficult time.

Helps put our sporting obsession into perspective, doesn't it? For whatever reason, it has me thinking of the words of the late Jim Valvano:

"To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."

Yes, We Still Exist

Coming in the next couple of weeks:  a spring sports recap...and (look how the time flies by) fall football practice starts in a few weeks.

If anyone has heard from Austin lately, tell him to send me an email.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Bittersweet Ending

photo from

Kevin Porter won the Hobey Baker Award, college hockey's version of the Heisman Trophy, on Friday night. No doubt he would gladly trade it in for the chance to keep playing, but an ugly 5-4 overtime loss to ND on Thursday ended Michigan's season in terribly disappointing fashion. Porter joins Brendan Morrison (1997) as Michigan's only Hobey winners.

I'll have a season recap up in a week or so, once the disappointment starts to fade a bit.

The college hockey season comes to a close at 7pm Eastern on ESPN Saturday night when Notre Dame tries to become the first no. 4 seed to win the title since the tournament expanded to 16 teams. Boston College plays in its third consecutive championship game, and seeks its third NCAA championship (1949, 2001). ND has never reached the championship game before. Can Cinderella complete the game before the clock strikes midnight?

My hunch is that ND was too focused on Michigan and that they will have a hard time maintaining their focus. I could be wrong about that, though.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

UM vs. ND preview

Michigan's hockey team comes into the national semifinal game ranked no. 1 in the polls and the no. 1 overall seed.  They were the CCHA regular season and tournament champions.  They face a Notre Dame squad that finished fourth in the CCHA regular season standings and gave new meaning to the term "offensively challenged," and which received the last at-large bid into the tournament.

Easy Michigan win, right?  Not so fast, my friend.

The teams played twice during the regular season.  In the first game, ND jumped out to a 2-0 lead, and hit at least two posts that could have made it 4-0.  UM tied it up and then scored the game-winner with 20 seconds left.  The following night at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan won a fairly decisive 5-1 victory.

Particularly in that first game, ND was effective dumping the puck into Michigan's zone and coming out with an aggressive forecheck as the Wolverines tried to bring the puck out of their own end.  Logic would suggest that ND will try it again.  The ND gameplan will be to try to frustrate Michigan, force mistakes, and try to capitalize on them, while at the same time trying to contain the high-scoring Michigan offense.

Billy Sauer will probably not be called upon to make 40 saves.  But - and this can be more difficult for a goalie - he may face fewer shots, but better opportunities. 

The other danger for Michigan:  history, which has shown that Michigan has been much more successful as a Frozen Four underdog than as a favorite.

North Dakota and BC face off at 6:00 EDT.  Michigan is scheduled to face off at 9:00,  or 30 minutes after the first game ends.  Both games are on ESPN2.

NOTE:  if you are in the Columbus area, the UM Alumni Club of Central Ohio is having a watch party at Fitzgerald's Sports Tavern, 2640 Bethel Rd.

Go Blue!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Denver Bound!

Billy Sauer was amazing.  12 months ago you'd have been committed if you thought you'd ever get to use that in a sentence.  But despite a never-ending procession of guys to the penalty box, Michigan downed Clarkson 2-0 to advance to the Frozen Four in Denver.

Both Colorado College and Denver were upset in first round games, so there will be no home-ice advantage in Denver.  Michigan will play the winner of the Michigan State - Notre Dame contest tonight.  Aaron Palushaj scored a power play goal late in the first period, and Kevin Porter scored an insurance goal in the first minute of the third.  Sauer had 27 saves and was generally amazing.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bring on Clarkson!

Kevin Porter had gone without a goal since he scored late in the 10-1 wipeout of UNO, his only goal in quite some time.

The drought is over. His 4 goals paced Michigan to a 5-1 opening round victory over Niagara.

Tomorrow's game against Clarkson starts at 7. Once again, the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

No. 4 seed Notre Dame knocked off No. 1 seed New Hampshire in the West regional 7-3.

Go Blue!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Reminder - Tourney Starts Tomorrow

UM plays the late game in Albany, which starts about 30 minutes after the early game between St. Cloud and Clarkson. Officially scheduled start time is 7:35. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU for those fortunate enough to have it.

I'll post a recap after the game. Hopefully our Icers can give us some good news.

On another topic, I don't want to steal any of Austin's thunder, but here's a Columbus-specific piece of info to pass on. Most of you have heard that Justin Boren left the football team on Tuesday, and yesterday had some not-so-nice things to say on the way out the door. Anyway, yesterday on 1460 The Fan here in Columbus, Chris Spielman were fairly critical of how Boren left. A relative of Boren's (I thought it was his mom but apparently not) called in to offer her thoughts. You can hear highlights from the show, by going here, clicking on "Thursday," and clicking on "Thursday Fan Flashback." The phone call is about 26:45 in.

Odds and ends: the softball team finished the pre-season schedule at 25-3 and starts Big 10 play at Indiana tomorrow. The baseball team has been plagued by weather issues and spotty play but starts Big 10 play at the new Wilpon Complex against Iowa on Saturday. The wrestling team finished 7th at the NCAAs. There is a huge number of other Michigan teams that are having great seasons and that are ranked in the top 10 of their sports.

To all of them, a hearty Go Blue!