Aaron Palushaj signed with the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, ending his career with Michigan after only his sophomore year. Michigan was actually pretty lucky to keep him as long as they did. Palushaj nearly left last summer when Max Pacioretty signed with Montreal. He decided to stay for one more year, though, and he now obviously feels like it is time to move on.
- As expected, the Toledo game on October 11 will kickoff at noon on the Big Ten Network.
- As it turns out, one-time Michigan signee Marcus Witherspoon will not be eligible for the 2008 season. He won’t be able to play until 2009, meaning that it doesn’t appear that Michigan dropped the ball in this complicated situation. Originally something seemed fishy as Witherspoon wasn’t eligible to play for Michigan but was as soon as he went to Rutgers. Apparently that report about him being eligible at Rutgers was incorrect, meaning that Michigan no longer looks like the bad guy in this situation.
- Brandon Graham was named the Big Ten defensive player of the week.
- The Hoover Street Rag has pictures from the Wisconsin game, including a few that feature the navy block “M” in the student section.
- With players getting healthy, the offensive line is likely going to be changed up a bit again.
- The Wisconsin game is going to be shown on the Big Ten Network a week from today at noon.
- UM Hoops has a picture of Michigan’s new home basketball jersey.
- According to the MySpace profile of 2010 recruit Marvin Robinson, he is about to commit to Michigan.
- Norman Griffith, a Pahokee High School football player and teammate of Vincent Smith and Brandin Hawthorne (and former teammate of Martavious Odoms), was shot and killed over the weekend.
- Recruits at the Wisconsin game had a great time.
- The announcers for Michigan’s game against Illinois this upcoming Saturday are going to be Dave Lamont and David Norrie.
- Varsity Blue has the stats of Michigan’s commits as of this past week. Take note of what Fitzgerald Toussaint is doing as his stats are straight up ridiculous.
- If you weren’t at the Wisconsin game and are wondering about the “Save Cody” halftime show, a reader of MGoBlog posted a recap of it.
- The media picked Michigan to win the CCHA and the coaches picked Notre Dame.
- Former Michigan hockey player Max Pacioretty scored a goal in regulation and in a shootout to help the Canadiens beat the Red Wings in a preseason game.
- Michigan picked up another 2010 hockey commit.
- Michigan’s 2009 softball schedule is out.
- Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown during Monday night’s game against the Ravens.
- Brent Petway was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies.
- Tommy Amaker has come under fire for the way he handled cutting players from Harvard’s team.
- And finally, the least shocking news of the day: Former Michigan State offensive lineman and notorious NFL bust Tony Mandarich has admitted to using steroids at Michigan State and cheating on a drug test at the 1988 Rose Bowl. Well I am just shocked. I mean, it’s not like we could have seen this coming or anything. Oh, wait…
The Michigan hockey team lost its two best players from last season already as Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik moved on to the pros (it was their senior year anyways, so they had to go), but they just lost another important player today.
The Montreal Canadiens Canadiens signed American forward Max Pacioretty to a three-year contract on Thursday.
Terms of he deal were not disclosed.
“Max Pacioretty is a young player with a lot of skills who has the potential to play in the NHL. We are very happy to have him under contract for years to come,” said Montreal GM Bob Gainey.
Pacioretty only played one season at Michigan and it was expected he would return for at least one more. Nobody really thought he would be around long as he is so talented, but it hurts to lose him after only his freshman season.
Michigan moved one step closer to the Frozen Four by defeating Niagara tonight in a 5-1 blowout. Captain and Hobey Baker candidate Kevin Porter led Michigan to victory by scoring 4 goals. He got help from assistant captain Chad Kolarik, who added 4 assists. Max Pacioretty also scored a goal on the power play.
In the East Regional’s first game of the day, Clarkson beat St. Cloud State by a score of 2-1, setting up a showdown with Michigan tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. ET. The winner heads to the Frozen Four in Denver a couple weeks from now.
(This isn’t Michigan-related, but Notre Dame shocked #1-seeded New Hampshire by beating them 7-3 out in the West Regional. That certainly shows the strength of the CCHA this year.)
UPDATE: MGoBlue has highlights of tonight’s game up already.
- Kevin Porter, captain of the Michigan hockey team, is one of ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. The Hobey Baker Award is like hockey’s Heisman Trophy in a sense, and Porter is one of the favorites to win the honor. You can vote for Porter as 1% of the ballot comes from fan voting, but it appears someone has rigged it as Miami’s Ryan Jones has over 183,000 votes right now. Considering the next highest total is in the 3,000′s, I’d say Jones is getting some illegal help.
- Speaking of awards, Michigan head coach Red Berenson, freshman Max Pacioretty, and Kevin Porter all were honored at the CCHA Awards Show on Thursday. Berenson was named the CCHA Coach of the Year (surprisingly only for the second time in his career), Pacioretty was named the CCHA Rookie of the Year, and Porter was named the CCHA Player of the Year.
- Rich Rodriguez answers questions about Michigan’s first padded practice:
Running back Carlos Brown has a broken finger after injuring it while lifting weights. Brown was expected to see some time at quarterback this spring and also compete for the starting running back job, so this is definitely a setback. Also out right now due to injuries are wide receiver Zion Babb (hamstring) and defensive tackle Renaldo Sagesse (shoulder).
Jake Long scored a 26 and Chad Henne a 22 on the Wonderlic Test, which is given to NFL rookies to test their intelligence. Really the scores don’t mean anything once the players get on the football field, but they always are a topic of conversation around the league.
2008 Michigan football student season tickets are now on sale and will be until March 28.
MGoBlog posted his 2009 recruiting board for Michigan.
MVictors posted a video tribute to Bo Schembechler that was recently uploaded to YouTube.
Randall L. Tessier, a professor at the University of Michigan, wrote to the Ann Arbor News to share some examples of athletes he’s had that care greatly about academics. Included in the article is an interesting anecdote about former Michigan hockey player Jack Johnson.
Michigan will play VCU in the second-round of the Women’s NIT tonight at Crisler Arena.
The Michigan women’s swimming team finished 9th at the NCAA Championships and had one swimmer win a national title.
Two Michigan wrestlers both barely lost out on national titles, but did help the team finish tied for 7th at the NCAA Championships.
The Michigan hockey team won its 10th CCHA regular season title on Friday night with a 5-3 win over Ferris State. Coming into the series with the Bulldogs, the Wolverines needed only 2 points to win the title, and Michigan took care of business on Senior Night at Yost. It really was the perfect way to send out seniors Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik. Even though Kolarik didn’t play due to his injury, he did get in uniform for the post-game ceremony, which was great to see as he was in skates. Hopefully he can get back on the ice for a game sometime soon.
The 5-3 victory didn’t come easy as Ferris State fought hard for all three periods. The first period was a defensive struggle that left the score tied at 0, but business did pick up in the second period as both teams had little trouble scoring.
Michigan started the scoring just 3 minutes and 20 seconds into the second period thanks to a goal scored by Brandon Naurato. Nearly 3 minutes later, though, Ferris State answered with a power-play goal, tying things up at 1-1. The game wouldn’t stay tied for very long as Michigan added another goal only 21 seconds later, this time coming off the stick of Brian Lebler.
Ferris State once again was able to answer back with another power-play goal to even the game back up. However, Michigan captain and Hobey Baker candidate Kevin Porter was having none of that, and put the Wolverines back up with a power-play goal of his own as the second period was nearing its end. That goal gave Michigan a 3-2 lead going into the final period of play.
The third period opened with Michigan quickly putting the game out of reach. Max Pacioretty scored just 15 seconds in to give the Wolverines a 4-2 lead, and then 2 minutes and 41 seconds later Louie Caporusso scored on a power-play to give Michigan an edge of 3 goals. Ferris State did manage to make things a little interesting with another power-play goal shortly after, but Billy Sauer stepped up his game to close out the 5-3 victory.
As soon as the buzzer sounded, the entire Michigan team made its way over to Sauer to start celebrating the CCHA regular season title. It was a tough path to the title considering how strong the top of the CCHA was this season with Miami (Ohio), Michigan State, and Notre Dame all being serious contenders at one point or another, but the Wolverines came out on top in the end.
Following that celebration, another one began once the trophy for winning the CCHA was given to Kevin Porter and the rest of the team. The trophy was passed around before the most memorable ceremony of the night took place.
Three seniors – Kevin Porter, Chad Kolarik, and Chris Fragner – were honored as a part of the Senior Night festivities. Each had a chance to skate around the ice with a Michigan flag (Kolarik included, as already mentioned) before kissing the middle of the block “M” at mid-ice. All three seniors also got hugs from all of their teammates and family, who made their way down to the ice for pictures.
Senior Night was great for many reasons, but Michigan did have to take the ice again on Saturday at Ferris State. The game really was meaningless in regards to the CCHA standings, but you know Michigan wanted to win anyways. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen as Ferris State won 4-3 in overtime, but you can bet it wasn’t too disappointing for Michigan since they still were atop the CCHA.
By winning the CCHA title, Michigan gets a first-round bye in the CCHA playoffs that begin later this week. Michigan also will be guaranteed to face the lowest seed in the quarterfinals and semifinals. The quarters will be held at Yost, and if Michigan makes it to the semifinals, they will be headed to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. A year ago Michigan was defeated by Notre Dame in the championship game of this tournament, so the Wolverines will be looking to get all the way to the top this time around.
(For pictures from the Ferris State game on Friday, click here)
I’m not exactly sure if this is a good thing or bad thing, but 7 Michigan future or current hockey players were drafted by NHL teams over the weekend. An incoming freshman, Max Pacioretty, was picked in the first round on day one by the Montreal Canadiens, and then 6 others (mostly incoming recruits) were selected on day two.
The reason I ponder whether this is a good or bad thing is due to the fact that most of these players could leave early if they wanted since they were drafted. On one side, that means that lots of talent is coming to U-M or is already here, but then again, how long will these players stay at Michigan. Regardless, congrats to all for being picked and it’s nice to see Michigan represented in all sports that successfully.
On the note of recruiting, stay tuned. It appears that there will be quite a few developments in the coming weeks. A certain Texas running back is planning a visit to Ann Arbor in the near future, and hopefully will committ soon after. Then Fred Smith, a 4-star WR from Detroit Southeastern, is making things interesting. Rumors were swirling all weekend that he had committed to Michigan State, but thankfully, for the time being at least, those were just rumors. Michigan would love to have Smith join the recruiting class as he is very talented, but right now, no one is really that sure of what his intentions are.
On the news front of current players, linebacker Cobrani Mixon is transferring, that according to his Facebook page. Right now, he is likely headed to join Mister Simpson at Cincinnati or to become a Golden Flash at Kent State.