It is called “The Duel in the D.” Michigan and Michigan State squared off at Little Caesars Arena in their annual two-game clash. Michigan hockey has struggled to find consistency this season. But taking both games from the Spartans might help the team gain some momentum.
In a season that has seen new faces in the Michigan hockey team lineup the Wolverines, took two big games from the upstart Spartans. This is good news for a young hockey team.
Michigan took the lead in Friday nights contest and did not look back. Beating Sparty 5-3. Game two was Saturday and the Wolverines once again came out with a big win.
Scoring just 5:31 into the game Michigan dictated the action. The young Wolverines have been playing with more speed as of late. It seems the younger players have found their way and are getting more used to the systems they play in.
.@umichhockey had some fun in Detroit last night.
Photos from the #Wolverines’ third-straight #DuelInTheD win.
📸 | https://t.co/VFMVHdT8tq pic.twitter.com/PhTmmDDfkV
— MiHockey (@MiHockeyNow) February 10, 2019
The second period Michigan went up 2-0 which led to a crazy three-goal third period in a game that Michigan won 5-2. The two wins Friday and Saturday give Michigan hockey an overall record of 12-11-6. One game over .500
Early in the season, it looked like it would be a struggle for the Wolverines to get over .500. Playing with more speed and using the forecheck more has lead to better play as well as the team playing more physical.
There are only five regular season games remaining. The Big Ten Tournament is after that. Currently ranked number 22, Michigan needs to win out including the Tournament in order to get into the NCAA Tournament. A rather large task.
If they do and can move up to around number 16 they should be able to squeak into the Tournament. Beating rival Michigan State needs to be the springboard. Michigan must take the momentum from two big wings and turn them in a run.
Young players must continue to play with the consistency they have shown as of late. Michigan is more than capable of getting hot and running the table. The season is a grind. But as we have seen this is a solid group of players with a bright future. A future Michigan would like to display this season.