After watching the game again and reading some of the analysis that's been done, I decided to delve into the game statistics and shot charts provided by the NCAA. My apologies to those who aren't stats geeks, but I think the value of studying shot charts and statistics serves to debunk some of the statements made about how the Sioux performed and were coached against Michigan.
One area in which I was most interested was shots on goal by each team from the prime scoring area (PSA). I defined the PSA as the area from the goal line out to the top of the faceoff circles with the faceoff dots forming the left and right edges of the box. I was also interested in the shots from beyond the blue line because the chances of scoring on them is probably less than 1 percent.
Here are some interesting facts:
- 35% (7) of Michigan's 20 shots on goal were from the prime scoring area
- 50% (20) of UND's 40 shots on goal were from the prime scoring area
- Michigan blocked 23% (16) of UND's 70 shot attempts
- UND blocked 31% (15) of Michigan's 40 shot attempts
- 35% (7) of Michigan's 20 shots on goal were from outside UND's blue line
- 5% (2) of UND's 40 shots of goal were from outside Michigan's blue line
- 18 of UND's 20 shots on goal (90%) from the prime scoring area were taken by the team's top 10 scorers
- 4 of Michigan's 7 shots on goal (57%) from the prime scoring area were taken by the team's top 10 scorers
- In the third period, UND had 4 shots from the prime scoring area that missed the net (wide or high) and 3 that were blocked
- UND had 8 scoring opportunities from just outside the crease
- Michigan had 1 scoring opportunity from just outside the crease
- UND's top line had 10 shots on goal from the prime scoring area
- Michigan's top line had 2 shots on goal from the prime scoring area
Based on these statistics, UND played an excellent defensive game against Michigan, effectively bottling up the Wolverines' top scorers. The Sioux were also very disciplined in giving Michigan just one power play. Much was made afterwards about Michigan's shot blocking, but UND's defense was better at not only limiting the Wolverines' shot attempts, but also at blocking a higher percentage of shots and limiting scoring opportunities from just outside the paint.
Offensively, with the exception of the power play, UND did everything well but put the puck in the net. Throughout the game, the top Sioux scorers had the puck on their sticks in prime scoring territory. But, as Michigan coach Red Berenson said, goalie Shawn Hunwick played the game of his life. If he hadn't, the Sioux would have lit up Michigan like a Christmas tree. Hunwick -- not Berenson's game plan or Michigan's defense -- deserves full credit for shutting down and shutting out UND.
There's no question in my mind that UND dominated the game. Without Hunwick's performance, Michigan would have been sunk.
UND shots on goal = 14 (1 from outside the blue line)
Michigan shots on goal = 10 (3 from outside the blue line)
UND prime scoring area shots = 7
Brad Malone 2; Matt Frattin 2; Danny Kristo 1; Brock Nelson 1; Derrick LaPoint 1
Michigan prime scoring area shots = 3 (30%)
Ben Winnett 1 (scored); Jeff Rohrkemper 1; Carl Hagelin 1
UND shots on goal = 11 (1 outside the blue line)
Michigan shots on goal = 3 (1 from outside the blue line)
UND prime scoring area shots = 6
Evan Trupp 2; Jason Gregoire 1; Andrew MacWilliam 1; Danny Kristo 1; Chay Genoway 1
Michigan prime scoring area shots = 0
UND shots on goal = 15
Michigan shots on goal = 7 (3 from outside the blue line)
UND prime scoring area shots = 7
Brad Malone 2; Evan Trupp 3; Matt Frattin 1; Danny Kristo 1
Michigan prime scoring area shots = 4
Scooter Vaughn 2 (scored empty net goal*); Luke Moffatt 1; Louie Caporusso 1
Michigan shot attempts = 48
42% shots on goal
31% blocked by UND
UND shot attempts = 70
57% shots on goal
23% blocked by Michigan
*Note: Vaughn's empty netter was actually from outside the prime scoring area, but with UND's goalie pulled, I decided the area should expanded.