Welcome to another season of MiHockey’s Michi-gamer, now powered by Bauer Hockey.
We take great pride in our homegrown talent. Whether they grew up in the Mitten or we welcomed them here for college or juniors, they are our own. They represent the best place in the world for hockey.
Every night, we’ll keep an eye on those players, and every morning, we will pick one Michi-gamer of the night – one Michigan player who stood out above the rest.
Austin Watson picked just the right time to score his 12th goal of the season yesterday. The Ann Arbor native and Nashville prospect broke a 3-3 tie at the 18:27 mark of the third period to lead his Milwaukee Admirals to a win over the Chicago Wolves. In his first professional season, Watson now has 12 goals and seven assists in 32 games. Nashville’s first-round pick (18th overall) in 2010, Watson spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, playing for Windsor, Peterborough and London.
More MiHockey articles on Watson:
They have been best friends since their Compuware AAA days, and now Jacob Trouba and Patrick Sieloff have a chance to win gold at the World Juniors together. The Michigan defensive duo – Trouba hails from Rochester, while Sieloff calls Ann Arbor home – played a crucial role in shutting down a high-powered Team Canada offense this morning. Because of their ability to hold players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Mark Scheifele, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Huberdeau at bay throughout the contest, Team USA is now playing for the gold Saturday morning against Sweden. We have a feeling the Swedes aren’t going to enjoy their high-speed, physical brand of hockey, either.
More MiHockey articles on Trouba and Sieloff:
Shutting down the Oklahoma City Barons is no small task these days, which is why Matt Hackett gets the Michi-gamer nod for Jan. 2. The former Plymouth Whalers goaltender stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced on New Year’s Day, steering the Houston Aeros to a 4-2 win over the stacked Edmonton Oilers’ AHL affiliate. Hackett now holds a 13-9-3-3 record, with a 2.60 goals-against and .905 save percentage, on the season.
More MiHockey articles on Hackett:
Ann Arbor native Chris Summers celebrated New Year’s Eve in style, scoring a goal in his Portland Pirates’ 4-3 win over Connecticut. Summers, the former University of Michigan defenseman, scored at the 19:44 mark of the second period, sending the Pirates to the locker room with all the momentum, and cutting Connecticut’s lead to 3-2. Portland would complete the comeback in the third period – a win that Summers surely cherished, considering he was playing against fellow Wolverines alum Chad Kolarik.
While he wasn’t born here, Pheonix Copley quickly moved himself onto the list of the ‘adopted’ Michigan natives we will be following for a long time to come. The Michigan Tech goaltender – a North Pole, Alaska native – stopped all 70 shots he faced during the 2012 Great Lakes Invitational. It was a bit of a surprise that Copley even started the first game of the annual tournament, as senior netminder Kevin Genoe had handled most of the goaltending duties for the Huskies this season. Copley, a freshman, seized his opportunity, however; he blanked the University of Michigan on Saturday, and blanked Western Michigan University on Sunday, en route to a tournament MVP trophy, and the Huskies’ first GLI championship since 1980.
More MiHockey articles on Copley:
To see last week’s Michi-gamer nominations, click here.