In an unprecedented move, the SHL named the entire Michigan Gray Wolves‘ defense as its Players of the Week. “Up until now, we’ve always limited the Player of the Week honor to a single player,” said SHL Commissioner Perry Mitchell. “But we felt that Michigan’s defensive work needed to be recognized, and we couldn’t single out any one player for it, so we’re recognizing them all.”
The Wolves’ blueline corps – which includes “Mad Max” Madison, Fritz Kronstein (who won solo Player of the Week honors three weeks ago), Frank Mudrick, Brooks Zabielski, Sam Bergdorf, Bjorn Tollefson, Lyndon Bullock, and Cedric Berlinger – were in top form with the playoffs approaching. Michigan allowed only two goals in their four games this week, thanks in large part to the shot-suppressing ability of their defenders. The Wolves’ opponents averaged less than 16 shots this week. In Sunday’s showdown against Hamilton, a potential Finals opponent, Michigan held the high-flying Pistols to only 19 shots in a 3-0 win. Then in consecutive games against Dakota and Kansas City, the Wolves limited their opponents to 12 shots each, allowing them to edge the Jackalopes 1-0 and stop the Smoke 4-1.
“Our core identity is defense,” said Wolves coach Ron Wright. “And it says a lot about the group we have here that even though I’ve been rotating guys in and out this week, giving the starters a little rest, we haven’t missed a beat.”