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March 18, 2002 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-18

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5B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 18, 2002

Ryan Miller,
Michigan State
Last year's Hobey Baker
winner led the nation in
wins and shutouts while
posting a 1.75 goals
against average.

Darren Haydar,
New Hampshire
The Hockey East Player of the
Year, Haydar finished third in
the nation in points with 70
while leading his team to a
conference championship.

Hobey watch

Here are the Daily's candidates sr the
Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which is
given to the nation's best college hockey
player at the end of each season. Michigan
State goaltender Ryan Miller won the award
last year

Jordan Leopold,
Minnesota
A two-time Hobey Baker
finalist, Leopold finished
second in the nation in points
by a defenseman to become
the WCHA Defensive Player
of the Year

Wade Dubielewicz,
Denver
The Denver junior was
named WCHA Goalie of the
Year for the second straight
season with a .943 save
percentage that led the nation
and set a new league record.

SPARTANS
Continued from Page 11B
shot in the third period. It was a lot of balls on the line."
Just under four minutes into the first period, Michigan did
something it hadn't done in its last eight games against Michi-
gan State - score the first goal of the game.
Michigan center John Shouneyia skated into the right side of
the zone and made a cross-ice pass to Gajic. The puck bounced
off Gajic's stick right into the front of the crease whereMichigan
forward Mark Mink fired a shot and then backhanded the
rebound past a sprawling Miller.
"It's very important to go out there and get that first goal
against them," Michigan captain Jed Ortmeyer said. "They really
concentrate on playing defense. If you let them get the lead right
away, it's tough for us. They like to trap and just chip the puck
down the ice. It was a huge boost to get that goal."
But Michigan State retaliated quickly just three minutes later
on' the powerplay, with Shouneyia in the box for a boarding
penalty. Michigan State defenseman Brad Fast rocketed a shot
high on Blackburn, and Spartans' forward Ash Goldie was out-
side the right side of the crease for an easy flip-in on the
rebound.
With just under 11 minutes left in the second period, the
Wolverines went to work off a faceoff in the Michigan State
zone. The puck came out to Michigan center Mike Cammalleri,
who fired the puck from the point. Ortmeyer retrieved the
rebound and put the puck past Miller, giving Michigan a crucial
shot of momentum.
Michigan had some quality scoring chances to close the peri-
od, including a 2-on-1 breakaway, which was led by Gajic. But
the Wolverines could not build on their lead.
By virtue of a gratuitous bounce, the Spartans took a 2-2 tie
- and the momentum - into the second intermission. Michigan
State forward Steve Clark sent a pass out of the right corner of
the Michigan zone that caromed off Michigan defenseman Mike
Roemensky's skate past a startled Blackburn into the Michigan
net.
But when it counted, it was Michigan's captain who stepped
up to give the Wolverines the lead for good. At 15:39 in the third
period on the powerplay, Michigan forward Eric Nystrom found
himself in the same corner as Clark stood just minutes earlier
when he tied the game at two. But Nystrom didn't need a freak
bounce, as he sent the puck right across the crease to Ortmeyer
who lifted it past Miller for the game-winning goal - his sec-
ond of the game.
The Wolverines held on for dear life in the last 15 minutes,
earning them their fifth CCHA Tournament title.
"I thought our team, considering everything they have been
through, held up well and did all the little things that they had to
do," Berenson said.

Blackburn at his best in crunch time
By Chris Burke and stretched out to block a shot with his stick and
Daily Sports Writer deny them. 3.

DETROIT - On one end of the Joe Louis Arena ice
yesterday stood Michigan State goalie Ryan Miller -
the 2001 Hobey Baker award winner, 2002 CCHA Player
of the Year and the conference leader in every major sta-
tistical category for goalies.
At the other end was Michigan netminder Josh Black-
burn - a senior named to the CCHA Honorable Men-
tion team and ranking behind Miller in every statistical
category: wins, shutouts, save percentage and goals
against average.
But after yesterday's 3-2 win, it was Blackburn who
could be called a 2002 CCHA regular season and tour-
nament champion.
Blackburn made several crucial saves to keep the
Spartans off the board, and one of the two goals that he
allowed came on a centering attempt by Michigan State
forward Steve Clark, which was redirected off the stick
of Michigan junior defenseman Mike Roemensky and
into the net.
But when given a chance to make a save, Blackburn
did so to help Michigan to its first CCHA tournament
title since 1999.
"We knew that Josh would have to have a great week-
end for us to come out on top, and he had a tremendous
weekend," Michigan defenseman Andy Burnes said. "He
was the reason we won. That's why he came to Michi-
gan, that's why we all came to Michigan, to play in big
games and beat State."
Twice in yesterday's game, after Michigan had jumped
out to a lead, the Spartans countered with extended peri-
ods of pressure, but Blackburn slammed the door to
keep the Wolverines on top.
In the second period, the Wolverines pulled ahead 2-1
on a goal by junior captain Jed Ortmeyer. Shortly after
that, Michigan State tested Blackburn, but the senior
made two sprawling saves before the puck was cleared
out from the front of the net.
Then in the third period, Michigan grabbed a 3-2
lead when Ortmeyer tallied his second goal of the
game and the Wolverines turned to Blackburn
again to keep them on top.
With just over 12 minutes left, a scramble in
front of the Michigan net led to a loose puck at
the side of the goal. But as the Spartans tried to
tuck the puck into the net, Blackburn dove back

NCAA Championship Bracket

EastRegona

East Regional
March 23-24
No. 1 New Hampshire

Semifinals
April 4

winner of No. 4 vs. No. 5

No. 4 Cornell

No. 5 Quinnipiac
No. 3 Maine

Finals
April 4
Champion

No. 6 Harvard

winner of No. 3 vs. No. 6
No. 2 Boston University
West Regional
March 22-23
No. 2 Minnesota
winner of No. 3 vs. No. 6

No. 3 Michigan State

i

No. 6 Colorado College
No. 4 Michigan

Despite winning the CCHA regular
season title and the CCHA Tourna-
ment championship, Michigan was
handed a No. 4 seed in the West
Region. If Michigan beats St. Cloud,
it will play the WCHA regular season
and tournament champion Denver.
Michigan State, which lost to Michi-
gan 3-2 in the CCHA Tournament
championship game and finished sec-
ond in the CCHA regular season, was
given a higher seed than Michigan.

No. 5 St. Cloud

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Junior Mike Cammallerl was a one man wrecking crew for the Wolverines Friday night against Ohio
State, scoring both of Michigan's goals.

winner of No. 4 vs. No. 5
No. 1 Denver

I

Michigan gets fourth seed; prepares for St. Cloud

By Seth Klempner
Daily SportsWriter
The Michigan hockey team was riding an
emotional high yesterday afternoon after defeat-
ing its arch rival Michigan State for the first
time this season 3-2. It had won the CCHA reg-
ular season championship and had captured the
CCHA Tournament Championship for the first
time in three years.
But all of these accolades would only win
Michigan a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tourna-
ment and the right to play No. 5 seed Saint
Cloud in the West Regional, which will be held
at Yost Ice Arena this Friday. Despite being a
higher seed than Saint Cloud, Michigan is five
spots below them in the final USCHO.com poll
-released March 11th.
The Wolverines had a chance to receive a
first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament when
they were ranked No. 4 in the pairwise rankings,
which mimics the NCAA selection process.
But a loss to Lake Superior State in the first
game of the CCHA playoffs plummeted Michi-
gan's pairwise rankings to No. 10 and all but

squandered Michigan's chances of receiving a
bye.
"There is no question that (the loss) affected
(our pairwise ranking) - more than anyone
could have anticipated," coach Red Berenson
said after watching the brackets announced on
ESPN with the team. "We were looking at a bye
opportunity and that game just dropped us like a
rock and we have to live with that."
If Michigan defeats Saint Cloud in the first
round, it will advance to play the top-seeded
Pioneers, who won the WCHA Championship
and had been ranked No. 1 for the majority of
the season.
Also receiving byes in the first round are
New Hampshire, Minnesota and Boston Univer-
sity. Boston University failed to win the ECHA
Championship and was ranked No. 6 in the
polls, but still received a first-round bye on the
strength of a No. 4 placing in the pairwise rank-
ings.
Also aiding the Terriers is a new piece of
legislation put in place after the Sept. 11
attacks by the NCAA committee, which aims
to keep teams near their campuses. The rule

states that any team "under 400 miles from a
particular venue cannot choose to fly there,"
but must drive instead. In addition, the selec-
tion committee aimed to limit the amount of
the teams' travel.
The only schools in the field more than 400
miles from a venue are Minnesota, Saint Cloud,
Colorado College and Denver, which are an
average nearly 1,000 miles from the nearest
regional site - Ann Arbor. This means that all
four of these teams could fly to either Ann
Arbor or Worcester, Mass. - located an hour
outside of Boston.
This legislative measure prevents the previous
rule that swapped the bottom two East and West
seeds to provide a "national feel" to the NCAA
Tournament and added to efforts to keep eastern
teams in the East Regional and vice versa.
This alignment allows for the possibility of
having four WCHA teams play each other in the
second round of the West Regional.
This new rule also adds to the difficulty of
Michigan's task of getting out of a bracket that
Berenson considers "the toughest bracket we
could possibly be in."

Saint Cloud, ranked No. 4 in the
USCHO.com poll, had been ranked No. 1 earli-
er this year and is considered one of the top
teams in the nation despite having lost its last
two games in the WCHA playoffs to No. 10
Colorado College and No. 3 Minnesota.
Michigan upset the second-seeded Huskies in
the quarterfinals of last year's NCAA Tourna-
ment 4-3.
"They are a well coached team, they have a
lot of great hockey players and we had to battle
with them last year," junior Mike Cammalleri
said.
"We had to play one of our best games last
year. It took that much to beat them and we can
expect the same thing this year."
Despite being snubbed by the selection com-
mittee, the Wolverines were upbeat about their
chances next weekend.
"If you do win your Friday game, you are
kind of on a role for your Saturday game," Cam-
malleri said. "We found that with Ohio State.
They were a lot more ready to play than we
were this weekend, and we were lucky to get out
of that game."

TOM FELDKAMP/Daily
Michigan sophomore Mike Komisarek tangles
with an Ohio State defenseman Saturday.

East Regional

- Centrum Centre

- Worcester, Mass.

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