No Answers For Mighty Michigan
by Sam Obermyer/CHN Reporter
It is not often starting the third string goalie can turnaround a team's season but the Michigan Wolverines are hoping that is the case with Adam Janecyk.
The junior Janecyk backstopped the Wolverines to a 2-0 victory over Western Michigan a couple of weeks ago, and after losing the GLI semifinal, came back to defeat Michigan State. Janecyk's first career win and shutout, in only his second career start, was one of the few bright spots in what has been a disappointing first half of the season for one of college hockey's traditional powers.
"Janecyk has been the unknown," said Michigan coach Red Berenson. "We have two freshman goalies that have been given the chance to play every game. We thought it it's time. Our team needs a boost and our goals against needs a boost. I didn't know what we would get with Janecyk, because he has not been any better in practice than the other two."
Michigan currently sits at 7-10-2 overall and 4-7-2-2 in conference, placing them in seventh place. The Wolverines did not won a game away from Yost Ice Arena this year until the win at Joe Louis Arena in the GLI Consolation game.
"I sit up here like I am supposed to have wise words," Berenson said. "I really don't have any wise words. I feel like we're just making too many excuses game after game."
Senior forward Kevin Lynch said after Friday night's game the team had a long talk in the locker room about coming together and all the guys buying in.
"It's easy when things are going wrong for guys to get upset with each other and to get down,'' Lynch said. "The only people that can get us out of this is ourselves."
Berenson said that one of the differences between the Wolverines winning games and losing games is if the players give "second efforts."
"Second efforts are guys that are diving in front of pucks, they are going all out, they are taking the hits, making the hits, winning all of the battles and they are winning their races," Berenson said. "When the Michigan teams have done well, we've had a lot of second effort hockey around the locker-room."
Part of the problem has been a nonexistent power play for the Wolverines, which was unsuccessful on 33 straight chances until Jacob Trouba scored on the power play against Western Michigan a few weeks ago.
"We're trying to make cute passes and passing the puck through sticks and through bubble passes. We need to get the pucks on net because we're not getting enough shots," Lynch said.
One visible sign as to the struggle of the Wolverines was when Phil Di Giuseppe scored a recent goal for his team and raised his arms and looked up as if to thank the heavens. He scored against Michigan State, just his third of the season.
The question now is will the Wolverines be celebrating a lot more come the second half of the season or will their struggles continue.
"Our team is trying," Berenson said. "Everybody in there is trying and they're excited and they are proud to be playing for Michigan."