It was a productive week for the future Stars in the NCAA. Alex Guptill finished out his season with a strong back to back set against the Michigan State Spartans while Devin Shore played a solid game against Merrimack in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs.
Alex Guptill has been playing very well lately, and he continued that this weekend as the University of Michigan closed out its regular season schedule with a two-game set against their cross-state rivals, the Michigan State University Spartans.
In their first game, the Wolverines trounced the Spartans to the tune of 7-1. Guptill played a big part in getting things going the right direction for Michigan. Forty-four seconds into the game, he set up Derek Deblois to quickly set the tone. As the MSU goaltender went behind the net to play the puck, Guptill barreled in and took possession of the puck, from there he skated to the side of the net and set Deblois up right in front of the gaping empty net for the goal.
Guptill wasn't done after that. At 5:55 of the second period, Guptill forced a goal through on on the powerplay, ensuring that Michigan kept a stranglehold on the lead after MSU scored a goal late in the first period. While he wasn't credited with the goal, Guptill got the first assist, and, really, the goal was all his work. As Zach Hyman moved into screening position in front of the net, Guptill corralled the puck and shot it towards the goal where it hit off Hyman and went in top corner.
On top of that, he finished the game with 2 shots and a plus-3 rating.
The next night, in a close fought win, Guptill didn't show up on the score sheet, but he still put two shots on net. He's really stepped up late in the season which is a great sign, it should be an exciting playoffs for him.
While Alex Guptill closed out his regular season, Devin Shore got his playoffs started against Merrimack University. Maine's goaltender Martin Ouellette absolutely stole the show by shutting out the Warriors, but Shore had himself a strong game as well. After winning 8 of 22 faceoffs and putting six shots on net, he scored the empty net goal with 19 seconds left to ensure that the Black Bears move on to the next round.
Devin Shore's early playoffs performance bodes well for the rest of his team's run and hopefully he can keep putting points up.