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March 26, 2001 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-26

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 26, 2001

Shouts from the point
"Once the Merc hurst game started, I
could sense that this team had
something on their mind. They really
wanted to do it."
Michigan coach Red Berenson on his team'
outlook on the NCAA West Regional.

h Mercyhurst 3
I ' Michiga 4

Michigan 4
St. Cloud 3

Key play
Yesterday, 3:20 into third
Michigan captain Geoff Koch scores off a feed
fi om Andy Hilbert. The goal, which was
initially reviewed by referee Scott Hansen
turned out to be the game-winner and secured
a spot in the Frozen Four for the Wolverines.

The Michigan Daily hockey writers'
picks for Michigan's three stars of the
The beleagured senior has come in the
playoffs - as he's done in the past.
He tied the game on Saturday and
scored the first tally Sunday.
Most Valuable Player of the regional,
Cammalleri scored a goal in each
game and assisted on Saturday's
game-winning goal.
Blackburn's save with 19 seconds left
yesterday secured Michigan's victory.
He made 39 saves on the weekend
and allowed 6 goals.
April 5-7:
At NCAA Frozen Four (Pepsi Arena,
Albany, N.Y.)
Apill5: vs. Boston College 7:30 p.m.
April 7 (if Michigan wins):vs. Michigan
State/North Dakota, 7 p.m
After knocking off its two regional
opponents, Michigan will now return
to the Frozen Four for the first time
since its championship season of
1998. The Wolverines will begin by
playing Boston College in the semifi-
nal round. Michigan State will face
off against North Dakota in the
other semifinal game, with the win-
ners meeting for the NCAA title.
MICHIGAN 4, Mercyhurst 3
Mercyhurst 2 0 1 3
Michigan 2 0 2 4
Fst peod-1. MC, Muldoon6 (Louis, Goulet), 3:31(pp);
2. UM, Matzka9 (Huntzicker), 7:11; 3. UM, Cammallei 27
(unassisted), 7:17;4. MC, Olsen 26 (unassisted), 18:31
Penlties-UM, Katz (susig), 2:36 MC, Robinson
(holding the stick),3:45; MC, M cMongle (slashing), 7:51;
UM, Swistak (interference), 11:21; MC, Rynshoven (trip.
ping,14:45; UM, Largfeld (interference), 15:38
Second period - no scoring.
Penalties- UM, Swistak (charging), 2:49; MC, Chambers
(slashing). 5:38; MC, Rivers (crosschecking), 18:35
1W dperiod-5.MC, Tackaberry 16 (Robinson, Gould),
6:15 (pp); 6. UM, Kosick 13(Hilbert Komisarek), 9:22
(p); 7. UM, Hbert 26 (Vancik, Cammaler),1627
Peales- UM, Huntzicker (hooking), 6:10; MC, Muldoon
(holding), 7:57; MC, Rivers (holding), 17:40; UM, Matka
hookig) 17:40
Stson goal--UM, 211515 -51; MC, 79-24.
Power Pays- UM, 16; MC, 2-5.
Penalties-UM 6(12 minutes); MC 7(14 minutes).
Saves-UM, Blackbum25-12-5-24;MC,Aubry19-10O2
Reeree-Mike Schimdt.
Lhiesmen-Matt Smh, Bill Jones.
At vanAndel Arena. Attendance: 6,792
Michigan 4, ST. CLOUD 3
St. Cloud 0 1 2 3
Michigan 2 1. 2 4
Rst period- 1. UM, Kosick 14(Komisarek, Roomensky),
13:30(pp); 2. UM, Langfeld 16 (Kosick,Huntzicker),17:59;
Penaties- UM, Kosick (hooking), 1:48; SCSU, Cullen
(holding), 644; SCSU, Gaffaey (crosscheckig) 1155
Second peiod- 3. SCSU, Saipair 12 (OiCasmirro), 638;
4. UM, Cammalleri 28 (Koch, Hilbert), 17:19.
Penalies-SCSU, DiCasmirro (elbing), 9:4; SCSU, St.
Cloud State (too many on ice), 11:52; UM, Roemensky
(checing from behind), 17:58; SCSU, Hartigan (elboing),
18:11; UM, Vancik (holding the stick), 19:40
Thirdperiod-5. SCSU,,Hartigan 27 (Amason),1:24:6.
UM, Koch 10(Hilbert).3:20;?.SCSU,Anderson8(Mouo,
Cullen), 14:52 (p).
Penalties- SU, Hartigan (highsticking), 4:54; UM,
langfeld (holding), 10:06; UM, Kosic (obstructionbook-
ing, 13:13.
Shotsonoi-SCSU, 78-21;UM,12138-31.
Powr Plays - SCU 26, UM 1-5.
penalties- SCSU 6(12 mn);UM 5(10min).
Saves -SCSU Meyer 251--29; UM, Blackxurn 251
Reeree-Scott Hansen.
Lnesmen-Tom Carponito. Rob Bemad
At: Van Andel Arena Attendance: 9,484

The explosive sophomore came up big once
again for the Wolverines, scoring a goal
against both Mercyhurst and St. Cloud.
Michigan is now 17-1-3 when Cammalleri
lights the lamp.

Blackburn stands tall in net to lead 'M' to Frozen Four.

By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
GRAND RAPIDS - With twenty
seconds left in yesterday's NCAA
West Regional game against St.
Cloud, Josh Blackburn made the save
of the season for Michigan.
At the time, No. 2 seed St. Cloud
trailed the No. 3 seed Wolverines, 4-3.
The Huskies - who were behind for
virtually the entire game - had
pulled within a
goal on a tally by-
Keith Anderson HOCKEY
with just over five Notebook
minutes left to
Desperate for the equalizer, St.
Cloud pulled goalie Scott Meyer for
the extra attacker, knowing that it had
maybe one more chance to tie the
As the fans at Van Andel Arena sat
on the edge of their seats with baited
breath, St. Cloud gained control of the
puck behind Michigan's net. Joe
Motzko took a centering pass in front
of Blackburn and flipped a one-timer
that was ticketed for the yawning top-
left corner.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere,
Blackburn saved the day - both liter-
ally and figuratively - for Michigan.
Completely out-of-position, he lunged
across the crease and made a diving
save of Motzko's shot.
As the Michigan faithful roared
their approval and the stunned
Huskies looked on in disbelief, Black-
Lurn calmly flipped the puck to the
With one miraculous swoop, the

junior netminder had vaulted his team
into the Frozen Four and sent the
WCHA champion Huskies home for
an early vacation.
"I saw somebody out of the corner
of my eye heading to the backdoor,
and I didn't know exactly where he
was at," Blackburn said. "He didn't
get good wood on it, and it kind of
flipped up a little bit.
"I just dove over there and tried to
get whatever I could in front of it. It
popped up into my glove."
"Blackburn doesn't surprise us,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson added
with a chuckle. "He continues to
make big saves. Every team makes
mistakes, and it seems like when we
do, he has a way of making up for it."
both of the Wolverines' wins this
weekend were certifiable nail-biters,
Michigan faithful need not have wor-
ried too much for one fairly simple
reason - Mike Cammalleri scored
both nights.
Cammalleri, the West Regional
MVP, had a goal and an assist on Sat-
urday and a goal on Sunday as Michi-
gan advanced to the Frozen Four. The
Wolverines' record now stands at 17-
1-2 this season when Cammalleri
scores a goal.
"It was a lot of fun to play this
weekend," Cammalleri said. "I'm so
excited about going to the Frozen
Four, and I'm really proud of our
whole team."
SIMPLY A-MAIZ-ING: Fans in atten-
dance for Saturday's game against
Mercyhurst were treated to a surprise,
as Michigan took the ice donning
maize sweaters for only the third time

Josh Blackburn was a superstar for Michigan as his goaltending kept the Wolverines alive to play at least one more game.


this season.
The Wolverines' 4-3 triumph over
the Lakers was the first time they
were able to win this season while
wearing maize. Both previous times
Michigan broke out its third sweater,
the Wolverines lost to Michigan State

- 1-0 at Yost Ice Arena on Nov. 4,
and 4-2 at Joe Louis Arena on Feb.
The announced attendance for yester-
day's Michigan-St. Cloud game was
9,484, which set a new NCAA West

Regional attendance record. The pre-
vious record was 9,468, set at Mariuc-
ci Arena in Minneapolis on March 25
of last year. Van Andel Arena has now
been the site of three of the four
largest crowds in the history of the
West Regional. A

Wolvernes use disciplined
play to get through tourney

After struggling down the stretch, Michigan came together at the right time this weekend in the
West Regional. The Wolverines beat St. Cloud, 4-3, to advance to the Frozen Four.
Perfect timing as Michigan
comes together in clutch

Continued from Page 18
downslide, going 1-4-1 in its last six games.
Adding injury to insult, Michigan was with-
out one of its top defenseman, Andy Burnes,
and its best two-way player in Jed Ortmeyer.
Plus. in the east two seasons. the Wolver-
ines used up most of their energy in the first
round game. This did Michigan in, as it ran
out of gas the past two seasons - and subse-
quently it fell short of the Frozen Four.
The Wolverines were underdogs again, and
they didn't seem to mind a bit. They
answered the bell, with undoubtedly their best
effort of the season when it counted the most.
And more importantly, they did it as one unit.
"They were so together tonight," said
Berenson outside the team bus where his
players were embracing in hugs and picture-
taking with their parents. "I can't tell you how
together this team was tonight. And that's
why they won the game, because the team
was so together and everyone was on the
same page."
Playing on the same page is something
Michigan has failed to do for most of the sea-
son. While the Wolverines remained close off
the ice, they couldn't seem to transfer that
onto the ice and gain the desired chemistry

- until now.
A similar situation aroused in 1998, the last
time Michigan won a national title. The
Wolverines didn't quite breeze through the reg-
ular season, mounting 10 losses. But they came
together at the right time, and the rest is history.
"In 1998, no one asked us how our regular
season was." Berenson said earlier this week.
"I hope the seniors are desperate - their next
loss is their last at Michigan."
The seniors sensed this ultimate despera-
tion and the urgency of the finality of their
careers this past weekend. They all showed
more emotion than usual, and played with a
little extra jump in their skate - which
seemed to snowball onto the rest of the team.
"We didn't want to go out losers," senior
Josh Langfeld said. "We want to be playing in
two weeks."
Surprising everyone but themselves, the
Wolverines are still alive in the NCAA play-
offs. Although they're still underdogs, they all
have the same hunger and desire to win, with.
the confidence to pull it off.
And if the Wolverines' inspired play con-
tinues, their seniors will leave the same way it
came in - as national champions.
Joe Smith can be reached at

By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
GRAND RAPIDS -- Anyone who had a
chance to watch the Michigan hockey team this
season knows that one of the Wolverines' biggest
problems - it could even be called an Achilles'
heel - has been penalties.
In Michigan's defense, the old adage that
"familiarity breeds contempt" should be trade-
marked by the CCHA, where the rivalries are old
and the hostilities are plentiful. When two teams
like Michigan and Ferris State meet up, chances
are that there is going to be an abundance of
chippy play - consequently, the referees are
usually kept quite busy.
When we're "playing an opponent that we've
played time and time again, there's grudges and
problems that exist from the past," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said after yesterday's win.
Nevertheless, Michigan's penchant for com-
mitting infractions could not be overlooked.
Michigan was the most-penalized team in the
CCHA this season,'and that ailment repeatedly
stung the Wolverines in crucial situations.
Never was this more true than when the
Wolverines took on Michigan State, which was
the least-penalized team in the CCHA. The Spar-
tans excelle:d at goading Michigan into making
mental errors that often translated into Michigan
State goals.
With that in mind, the Wolverines' perfor-
mance against St. Cloud is even more remark-
able. The Huskies entered the NCAA
Tournament on a roll, having won the WCHA
Championship by knocking off defending nation-
al champion North Dakota in overtime.
St. Cloud earned the No. 2 seed in the West
Regional - and the first-round bye that goes
with it - and seemed poised to advance to the
Frozen Four for the first time in school history.
Coming off a hard-fought 4-3 win over Mercy-
hurst on Saturday, Michigan knew it had to play a
near-perfect game to knock off the powerful
Huskies, and that meant staying out of the penal-
ty box. Sure enough, the Wolverines responded.
With its season on the line, Michigan only com-
mitted one penalty in the first period and jumped
out to a 2-0 lead.
"Special teams can kill you, or they can help
you, especially when they're coming for you,"
freshman forward Joe Kautz said. "When we stay
disciplined, it helps us out a lot."
As the game wore on, the play got progressive-
ly more and more physical.
St. Cloud was scratching and clawing for any

sort of opening, but time and again, the Wolver-
ines' disciplined defense slammed the door shu*
Michigan managed to win most of the battles
along the boards without committing any major
Not only did St. Cloud's vaunted powerplay
receive limited ice time, but the Huskies started
taking some silly penalties out of frustration.
Mark Hartigan's high-sticking minor - which he
picked up while waiting to take a faceoff with
Craig Murray - is a perfect example.
"Those physical battles are huge, especially
this time of the year," Kautz said. "All your conW
ditioning pays off, and it's just a great feeling."
The overall result of Michigan's newfound dis-
cipline? Josh Blackburn only had to face 45
shots in two games this weekend, the vast majori-
ty of which were fairly manageable chances
"It felt like a lot more than it was," Blackburn
said with a laugh. "Guys took care of most
everything, everybody was blocking shots..I
mean, goal scorers like Cammalleri were block-
ing shots.
"It was a great effort by everyone tonight, an
I'm proud of the boys."

Michigan's forwards did a good job of backchecking
and preventing odd-man rushes this weekend.


;? .
dam .

So maybe we're not experts ...
.. but we still did an admirable job with
our preseason picks. Jon Schwartz and Joe
Smith tied for the lead with five correct picks
each, but Schwartz fervently believes that the
victory is his based on his nick of Hilbert for



PICKS I L m . f mMIA



_ __

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