48 - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 29, 1999
Puck talk ,,ertPucktalk
"fVicould play here for the rest of my life, Once we got on the ice, we forgot we were
Iwould,But they only give you four 70Michigan brothers
years. - Denver senior center Paul Comrie, on
- An emotional Michigan center Bobby his emotions during the game against his
Hayes, on playing at Michigan, Denver 3 younger brothe Michigan freshman
after Saturdays game. center Mike Comrie.
The Daily Stars
The Michigan gaily hockey writers'
picks for Michi n's three stars of
the weekend's playoff games./
L1 JOSH BS xsr N
In his best game of the season,
Blackburn held the best offense in
the nation to one goat in regulation
time against New Hampshire.
- 2. THE SENIORS -
In their final campaign, the
Michigan seniors gaveaagallant
ef ort,ading the Wolveines to a
CCHA championship and nealy to
the Frozen Four.
Matzka played with heart and
determination against some of the>
best lines in the county While not
necessarily putting up big numbers,
'his dedication will lead the."
Wolverines for years to come.
1999 East Regional All-
Most Valuable Player
Steve Kaiya, Maine
Mike Souza, New Hampshire
Darren Haydar, New Hampshire
Steve Kariya, Maine
Bubba Berenzweig, Michigan
David Cullen, Maine
Josh Blackburn, Michigan
By David Den Herder
Daily Sports Writer
WORCESTER, Mass.--There was a
general consensus in Worcester among
New Hampshire fans before Saturday's
game at the Centrum Centre.
"Boy, are we glad that Marty Turco
graduated," conveyed many of the
After Saturdays game, it was differ-
ent. Something more along the lines of
- "Oh, my. Is this guy better?"
This guy - Michigan freshman goal-
tender Josh Blackburn - might very
well be. Or so buzzed the Centrum press
box Saturday night.
Even as the the rain fell in Worcester,
even as the Wolverines fell so gallantly
in the ironic and sometimes cruel fourth
period of the NCAA Tournament,
maize-and-blue faithful had something
to beam about Saturday night.
"He looked invincible," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said.
Invincible. Blackburn saved 32 of 34
heartstopping shots from the Wildcats.
He most clearly led Michigan in both
demeanor and performance.
"Blackburn" buzzed the airwaves leav-
ing the Centrum Centre. "Blackburn.
Save made by Blackburn!"
"If there were any questions coming
into the NCAAs about Josh Blackburn,
those questions have been answered,"
That much was apparent after
Michigan's first game. When the
Wolverines came out ice-cold on both
sides of the puck against Denver,
Blackburn got the call.
It seemed as if the Pioneers were on a
28-minute power play. The puck rarely
left the Michigan zone - but it rarely
left the sight of the freshman goaltender,
I - nearly
who saved 12 of 13 in the first (com-
pared to the one and only shot that
Denver goalie Stephen Wagner faced in
Were it not for Blackburn's extraordi-
nary play in the first, Michigan's five-
goal tear in the second half of the game
may not even have been enough to allow
the Wolverines to advance.
"The guy who really made the differ-
ence in the game was Josh Blackburn,"
said Berenson after one of the most
exhilarating offensive surges in
Blackburn made it possible, and set
the stage for his phenomenal perfor-
mance on Saturday.
Early again in the game, Michigan
was out-roughed and overpowered in its
own zone, outshot 14-4 in the first.
Blackburn went from steady, to impres-
sive, to downright showstopping as he
consistently spoiled New Hampshire
scoring chances. The only puck that got
by him was a put-back from a wrister
that never should have been taken - a
result of a failed Michigan clearing
As the game (ever-so-slowly) moved
through the third and into overtime,
Blackburn preserved Bobby Hayes'
game-tying goal in every manner possi-
And when the puck ended Michigan's
season on a garbage put-back at 3:16
into the fourth, Blackburn's trademark
- his perfectly ice-cold poise -did not
"I just kind of saw it in there,'
Blackburn said, "and I thought, 'Well,
Perhaps this season. But the Josh
Blackburn era at Michigan has only
Michigan goaltender Josh Blackbum halts one of the 32 shots he stopped against New Hampshire on Saturday. His stellar perfor-
mance won Blackburn NCAA East Regional All-Toumament honors.
Seniuorsfi nish -carees thankful
for their Michigan -mem ories
all 42 games
l Record: 25-11-6
GP G A Pts +I- PIM
e 42 1925 44 +19>40
ld 41 21 14 35 +11 84
42 12 21 35 +12 14
nwig 42 7 24 31 +3 38
yn 37 10 13 23 +7 52
38 5 18 24 +21:71
icker 41 5 19 24 +20 50
ski 41 15 8 23 +7 80
41 7 14 21 +9 114
a 40 7 12 19 +10 30
n 42 125 17 +5 55
40 4 12 16 +6' 101
37 3 11 14'+12 42
r 39 7 6 12 0 63
r 29 1 8 9 +6 8
41 4 2 6 +9 6
k 32 1 3 4 +2 61
um 41 0 3 3 0 0
y 16 0 1 1 -5 6
rd 81 0 1 1 0 16
f 19 0 0 0 -5 50
24 0 0 0 -5 26,
uson 5 0 0 0 +1 8
9 00 0 0 .2
~4f '>44'* ' «/4/444444445
4 44 4 4y*~~4444 44 <.~<4'44 -.4$4/4.
By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Writer
WORCESTER, Mass. - As Darren
Haydar slapped the puck past Josh
Blackburn, an era of Michigan hockey
came to a close. The last senior class
entirely of the 90's would no longer
grace the college hockey ice.
Just minutes before the overtime goal
put Michigan's hopes of a repeat cham-
pionship in its grave, the Wolverines
looked like they were going to pull out
another of their nail-biting victories.
But it didn't happen that way, and the
seniors left the ice for the final time,
ending a season in which the puck didn't
always go Michigan's way.
"I think that's why it's so hard right
now," senior Sean Ritchlin said. "But
looking back on it, I'm sure we'll sit
down in two weeks and say that we had
a good season."
This season's Michigan campaign
included its third CCHA championship
in four years, a second-place CCHA reg-
ular-season finish and runner-up at the
And for the teams that Michigan
'owed' - according the walls inside of
the Michigan lockerroom - Miami,
Michigan State and Ohio State - the
Wolverines exacted revenge against all
of them at various points throughout the
But two 'items' stick out for this
senior class and makes leaving so diffi-
cult - two championship trophies. '
"One's unbelievable but two is great;"
Ritchlin said. "I'll never put on a jersey
with these guys again, that's the hardest
Ritchlin had a most difficult four-year
Michigan journey. The winger fell to a
career-threatening injury at the end of
his freshman year.
But as a sophomore, he fought back,
playing hurt at times. Last season, he,
was injured during the playoffs. Putting;
the past behind him, Ritchlin soared ink
They came, they saw
The Michif an senior class, like Dale Rominski said, has "seen it all."
During th air four-year campaign, the Wolverines have won GUL, CCHA
and natio wglchampionships, hockey showcases and numerous regular
season ga nes. Here's part of the long list of their accomplishments:
® Two na ional championships - 1996, 1998
Three CHA Tournament championships - 1996, 1997, 1999
* Two GUi championships - 1995, 1996 (Runner up in 1997, 1998)
E Combined total record of 128-33-13
" A tearn record 34-0-3 home unbeaten streak from 1995-1998
* Helpinj3 two consecutive large freshmen classes come into their own.
this seasonh playoffs. He netted two
goals and two assists in the CCHA
Tournament along with a spot on the
CCHA All-Tournament team.
His aggressiveness on the ice helped
Michigan's third line become the force
the Wolverines needed in the postsea-
"It was really tough for me,' an emo-
tional Ritchlin said. "I had three tough
years. I've been injured quite a bit. The
last couple weeks I thought I played real-
ly hard. I just tried to do the best I
Ritchlin's efforts were echoed by all
the eniors - from his linemate, Greg
Croiier, to assistant captain Bobby
Mayes was the difference in
Michigan' series sweep of Bowling
Green notching three goals, and an
assist. All season long he's had to play
head-to-head with the league's top cen-
ters. Saturday against New Hampshire,
he had the difficult task of containing
Hobey Balker finalist Jason Krog.
4nd when it came down to one sim-
p1 faceoff, Hayes beat Krog, ripped a
slapper pa st New Hampshire goaltender
Ty Conklin and gave Michigan the tying
1"Jason and I were battling pretty hard
for the draws," Hayes said. "He seemed
vulnerable and so I went for it and
caught the goalie off guard. It was then
anybody's game from there. Michigan's
never down, there's always a chance to
Hayes was also emotional after this
game, thinking back on his four years
with extreme gratefulness.
"It's been an unbelievable experi.
ence;' Hayes said of his four years as a
Wolverine. "If I could play here for the
rest of my life, I would, But they only
give you four years. I'm so proud of my
class. We did everything we could, we
gave everything we had for this team.
And we'll continue to keep on giving as
much as possible in the future.
"Once a Michigan man, always a
Dale Rominski greeted reporters with
an air of satisfaction. He tried to look at
Saturday's loss on another level.
"Maybe it's good that this (overtime
loss) happened in a way too, because
there were so many times we were on the
other end and won that game." Rominski
said. "Now we understand what it is like
to be on the other side.
And when one looks at the checklist
of accomplishments for a hockey team,
whether it's championships or team
unity, the Michigan departing seniors, as.
Rominski put it, have "seen it all"
r: ,: : .,
YYYY " r ""- MYIiY I1WLIYYYYYY 11hMYY i18YYYtllli - Y'r :'
1 2 0 -3
0 2 3 -5
First perod-1. DU, Engstrom 16 (Ritson,
Patterson), 13:11. Penalties - Mich, Crozier (inter
ference), 5:33; Mich, Comrie (high sticking), 10.04;
DU, Pettinger (hooking), 10:23.
SecondI perkod - 1. DU, Rison 8 (Patterson),
6:34; 2. DU, Veres 8 (Kidd), 7:44; 3. Mich, Crozer
7 (Kosick, Matzka), 12:09; 4. Mich, Ritchlin 12
(Kosick), 16:11. Penalties - Mich, Koch (high
sticking), 0:50; DU, Pettinger (holding), 2:47; Mich,
Peach (cross checking), 12:59; DU, Stauss (hook-
Third perod -1. Mich, Huntzicker 5 (Koch,
Matzka), 6:11; 2. Mich, Rominski 15 (Jillson),
10:20; 3. Comrie 19 (unassisted), 13:40. Penalties
- Mich, Jilison (roughing), 410; DV,. Kdd (rough-
Ing), 4:10; Mich, Hayes (roughing), 5:24; DU,
Popadynetz (holding the stick), 5:24; Mich, Hayes
(holding), 11:00; DU, Comrie (holding), 11:00; DU,
Veres (tripping), 11:14.
Power Piays - DU 0 of 4; Mich 0 of 4.
Saves - DU Wagner 1-108 - 19; Mich,
Referee - Jeff Bunyon.
linesmen - Paul Scleparis, Richard Zannetti.
At: Worcester's Centrum Centre, Worcester, Mass.
New Hampshire forward Mike Souza, moments before netting the only regulation goal
against Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn.
W ldcats' top line
New Hampshire 2,
N. Hampshire 1 0
Michigan 0 0
By David Den Herder
Daily Sports Writer
WORCESTER, Mass. -"Who will
make the headlines in Hockey East's
So goes the slogan of the conference
in its anniversary year. (For answer,
Carrying perhaps the most prolific
total offense in the nation and the
intangible twinge of vengeance, New
Hampshire dethroned the no-name but
stubbornly defending national champi-
And the Wildcats did it with a
steady, suffocating pressure.
"They're a one-line team,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
"We haven't faced a line this good this
In fact, with 192, New Hampshire's
top line had more points coming into
the East Regional than Michigan's top
two lines combined, plus third-line
center Mark Kosick.
The Wildcats' Hobey Baker finalist
he did a great job today."
Perhaps most notable was the speed
of the Wildcats, especially after occa-
sional Michigan miscues. The
Wildcats' forechecking against
Michigan also seemed overpowering,
and it gave Michigan fits attempting
clear their own zone.
"Their offense was pretty quick;"
Berenzweig said. "They've got a lot of
talented players, as Krog showed me at
the end of the game."
Krog's scoop inside led to Darren
Haydar's game-winning overtime goal.
The assist was Krog's 48th of the sea-
son, to complement his 32 goals.
"There's one-on-one battles, we
knew that coming in. That's going to
be'the difference in the game," Krog
said. "It is nice to get some revenge on
(the Wolverines) for the disappoint-
ment they gave us last year.?
Krog experienced firsthand last sea-
son's disappointing 4-0 loss at the
hands of the Wolverines in the NCAA
0 1 -2
1 0 --1
First period -1. UNH, Souza 20 (Haydar, Krog),
1950. Penalties - Mich, Jil'son (roughing), 5:57.
Second period - no scoring. Penalties - UNH,
Sadowski (boarding), 0:47.
Third period - Mich, Hayes 7 (unassisted), 10:00.
Penalties - none.
Overtime -UNH, Haydar 30 (Krug), 3:16
Soa ao - UNH, 14812-34; Mh, 4-111-
Power Plays - UNH 0 of 1; Mich 0 of 1.
Saves - UNH, Conklin 4-1141 -20; Mich,
Blackburn 13-8-10-1- 32.
Referee - Mike Schmitt.
Linesmen - Derek Shepard, John Campion.
At: Worcester's Centrum centre, Worcester, Mass.
1 '.W LU,