Alex Guptill was held out of the University of Michigan's games this past weekend with an injury. While it's unfortunate, as he seemed to be heating up at the right time, Devin Shore had a big week to get back on track.
The University of Maine swept Merrimack in their weekend series and Shore had a big impact on both games.
In the Black Bears' 2-1 victory over Merrimack to open the weekend, Devin Shore had assists on both of Maine's goals. His assists were very different and showcased the versatility that makes him such a valuable prospect for the Dallas Stars.
On Maine's first goal, Shore received the puck high in the offensive zone and took a shot, which bounced off of someone's skate in front and went wide. He proceeded to collect the puck along the boards and whip a turn around shot on net, creating a lot of havoc in front as well as a rebound, which Ryan Lomberg stuffed home.
9 minutes into the third period Maine and Merrimack were tied at 1, and Devin Shore really opened things up. Carrying the puck down the right wing, he pulled up and turned around at the top of the circle and sent a perfect pass across the zone to Mark Anthoine who put the puck on net and Ryan Lomberg, again, appeared on the scene to bang in the rebound. Shore's assist was the classic Anze Kopitar move. If you watch Kopitar play a lot, you start to realize that one of his favorite ways to create space for his team is to carry the puck to the top of one of the circles and then pivot, allowing the third forward and a defender to glide lower into the zone and back up the D. This is exactly what Shore did and it worked perfectly.
Shore finished the game a +2 with 2 shots and won 11/25 faceoffs.
Shore came up big once again in the second set of the back to back. With 28 seconds left in the tilt, Maine and Merrimack were deadlocked at 2-2. It had been an intense, back and forth game where both teams played exceptionally well. Shore collected the puck near the top of the right circle and bombed a slap shot on net which was tipped by Connor Leen to give Maine the 3-2 victory. It was a smart play for the end of the game. Whenever the seconds start ticking for the last minute of the game and one team gets hemmed in the zone, the defending team tends to get scrambly and panicky and that's exactly what Shore took advantage of on the goal. Instead of challenging him and trying to block his shot, the Merrimack defenders were too focused on the front of the net, which both screened their goaltender and allowed Shore to get a shot through which would be tipped for the win.
He finished with three shots on net and won 14/28 faceoffs.
Highlights of both games can be found at http://goblackbears.com/sports/m-hockey/index they're on the front page.