While the NHL is on a pause, there’s another hockey team that some Michiganders might just be tuning in to check on. It’s the Michigan Hockey program where the Wolverines have become quite the powerhouse over the last few years.
For those who are forgetting, four of the top five draft picks in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft were products or future products of the Michigan Hockey program. That group of hockey players in Ann Arbor is really getting something going; with an incredibly talented team, they’re out for revenge.
The Wolverines came into the 2021-22 season looking to avenge last year’s disqualification from the Frozen Four due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the players. This year they are looking to get back to the national tournament and earn some recognition.
According to the NCAA rankings from USCHO, Michigan is ranked third in the country, trailing only Quinnipiac and Minnesota State. With conference play going against what the Wolverines would like to do, they are still chasing that number one, top spot.
Michigan Hockey will head into 2022, looking to come out strong.
Due to finals week, the student-athletes getting their semesters finished up, and the holidays, it made for a quiet couple of weeks. The Wolverines’ last series was December 10th and 11th, where they split with Ohio State University.
The Wolverines are 14-6-0-0 overall but are just 7-5-0 in conference play. But, after a tune-up to head into the new year and get rolling, the Wolverines are going to hope to find some wins and finish strong.
Their next game on the schedule is the Great Lakes Invitational, where they take on Michigan Tech on December 29th and then will face #4 Western Michigan on the 30th. Beyond that, another non-conference series against UMass provides a warm-up period for the players to get back into the swing of things and look to capitalize on a strong finish in the Big Ten.
Going into the New Year, the Wolverines are going to have to feature some strong play to try and attain that top spot and be the number one-ranked team in the country. Given the team’s talent level and the number of players who can step up and be impactful, this should be able to be done.
It’s easy to see the talent on this team by just looking at the roster. All of the draft picks, and former high-level USHL/juniors players litter this roster and make it hard not to view them as a favorite to go the distance this season.
But, as these student-athletes get back on the ice, they need to hit the ice hard and make a statement with their performance.