In Michigan's first game of the weekend, a 7-3 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions, Alex Guptill recorded two points. He got the primary assist on JT Compher's opening goal 6:05 into the first period of the game. Then, just three minutes later, he scored a goal of his own on the power play to put Michigan up 2-0. His goal snapped the Michigan power play's 0-for-18 skid.
A two point night is big for Guptill, who finished the game with 5 shots and a plus-1 rating. He has been struggling to not only find the scoresheet, but make a big impact for his squad. While PSU battled back and scored two goals in quick succession to tie the game back up, Guptill helped set the precedent and pace of scoring in this game, showing his mates that if they kept pressing they could keep putting pucks in the net. They followed his example and scored five more goals through the last 35 minutes of the game.
Guptill had worse luck the next game, as PSU shut the Wolverines out to the tune of 4-0. He kept up the good work, however, as he fired three shots on goal and ended with an even plus-minus rating - not an easy thing to do when your team lets in four goals.
It's good to see Guptill's work finally being rewarded. Even when he wasn't putting up a lot of points, he was shooting a ton, and you felt like either he was never going to score again or the stats had to start working out in his favor. It seems as though the tide is turning in favor of him now during the last stretch of the season. Hopefully he can keep it up and go into the playoffs (and beyond, to Cedar Park?) with a hot hand.
I wouldn't say Devin Shore is going the opposite direction right now, but the young center has cooled off a bit since his recent hot streak. While this was to be expected since the pace he was scoring at was ridiculous for a little while there (unless you're Johnny Gaudreau), it's still a bit weird to not see his name show up everywhere in Maine's box scores.
Maine played its first ever Hockey East set against newcomers Notre Dame last weekend, splitting the series in two very close, hard fought games. Shore didn't do much in the game, unfortunately. He fired two shots on net and ended with a minus-1 rating. In a tight game against a conference rival you'd like to see him come out and make a difference, but we can't expect him to put the team on his back every single game.
Shore had another okay game the next night, a 3-2 loss to the Irish. While he had an assist, he ended with a minus-1 again and lost 12 out of 22 faceoffs. It's nice to see him get back in the point column, but you'd like to see him have a bit more of a positive impact. This isn't a big deal, however, it's just two games. He's still scoring at a great pace this season and should still be seen as a top prospect.