4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 15, 2004
W NEBRASKA-OMAHA 3
% NEBRASKA-OMAHA 2
Michigan 5, Nebraska-Omaha 2
Nebraska-Omaha 1 1 0 - 2
Michigan 1 0 4 - 5
First period -1. MICH, Jeff Tambellini 13 (Matt Hun-
wick, David Moss) 12:52; 2. UNO, Alex Nikiforuk 6
(Mike Lefley) 16:12 (pp). Penalties - Josh Weeks,
UNO (high sticking) 4:15; Michael Woodford, MICH
(slashing) 4:15; Brent Kisio, UNO (slashing) 4:15;
Andrew Wong, UNO0(holing the stick) 7:19; Mike
Brown, MICH (hooking) 14:28.
Second period -3. UNO, Scott Parse 16 (Kaleb
Betts, Wong) 18:29. Penalties - Dan Knapp, UNO
(roughing) 7:36; Knapp, UNO (roughing) 11:30; Milan
Gajic, MICH (roughing) 11:30; Jason Krischuk, UNO
Third period -4. MICH, Dwight Helminen 16 (Brown)
6:55; 5. MICH, Eric Werner 8 (Andrew Ebbett) 7:54;
6. MICH, Tambellini 14 (Eric Nystrom, David Rohlfs)
9:38 (pp); 7. MICH, Helminen 17 (unassisted) 18:31
(en). Penalties - Brett Davis, UNO (holding the stick)
4:17; Davis, UNO (interference) 9:12; Jason Dest,
MICH (high sticking) 10:12; Matt Hunwick, MICH
(tripping) 12:14; T.J. Hensick, MICH (hooking) 16:17;
Henisck, MICH (10-minute misconduct) 16:17; Andy
Burnes, MICH (holding) 16:26; Dan Hacker, UNO
Shots on Goal: UNO 968 23; MICH 10-11-14 35. Power
plays: UNO 15; MICH 1-7. Saves: UNO, Chris Holt (5-17-
2) - 30; MICH, Al Montoya (24-10.2) - 21
Referee: Stephen Mclnchak.
At: Yost Ice Arena
Nebraska-Omaha 3, Michigan 1
Nebraska-Omaha 1 1 1 - 3
Michigan 1 0 0 - 1
First period -1. MICH, Mike Brown 7 (Eric Nystrom,
Jason Dest) 2:55; 2. UNO, Scott Parse 15 (Mike Gabi-
net, Andrew Wong) 14:00 (pp). Penalties -Alex Niki-
foruk, UNO (holding) 11:31; Nystrom, MICH (roughing)
12:14; Nystrom, MICH (roughing) 12:14; Dan Hacker,
UNO (hitting from behind) 12:14; Andy Burnes, MICH
(slashing) 13:36; Nikiforuk, UNO (holding) 18:56.
Second period - 3. N Wong 11 (Kaleb Betts)
9:40. Penalties-Phil Angell, UNO (hooking) 5:20;
Brett Davis, UNO (high sticking) 7:18; Mike Eickman,
UNO (roughing) 8:21; David Rohlfs, MICH (roughing)
8:21; Jason Ryznar, MICH (slashing) 1111; Michael
Woodford, MICH (roughing) 12:43; Chris Holt, UNO
Third period - 4. Anthony Adams, UNO 3 (Nikiforuk)
13:55. Penalties - Ryan Bennett, UNO (tripping)
Shots on goal: UNO 13-7-7 27; MICH 13-9-8 30. Power
plays: UNO 1-3; MICH 0-6. Saves: UNO, Holt (5-16-2) -
29; MICH, AL Montoya (23-10-2) - 24
Referee: Stephen Mclnchak
At: Yost Ice Arena
Michigan 2, Nebraska-Omaha 0
Nebraska-Omaha 0 0 0 - 0
Michigan 1 1 0 - 2
First period -1. MICH, David Rohlfs 7 (Jeff Tambelli-
ni)12:06 (pp). Penalties-Jason Krischuk, UNO
(cross-checking) 2:09; Mike Gabinet, UNO (high stick-
ing) 3:24; Kaleb Betts, UNO (clipping) 10:44; Matt
Hunwick, MICH (hooking)12:34; Tim Cook, MICH
(hooking) 14:51; Eric NystromMICH (slashing)
15:33; Scott Parse, UNO (tripping) 16:50.
Second period -2. MICH, Dwight Helminen (Nystrom,
Hunwick) 15:38. Penalties - Krischuk, UNO (holding)
4:08; Cook, MICH (tripping) 17:28; Betts, UNO (high
Third period - No scoring. Penalties - Andrew
Ebbett, MICH (roughing) 1:39; Anthony Adams, UNO
(roughing) 1:39; Jason Ryznar, MICH (roughing) 1:39;
Mike Lefley, UNO (roughing) 1:39; Milan Gajic, MICH
(roughing) 1:39; Dan Knapp, UNO (roughing) 1:39;
Mike Brown, MICH (holding) 3:05; Andrew Wong, UNO
(tripping) 3:20 Mike Gabinet, UNO (interference)
5:49; Parse, UNO (high sticking) 16:56; Ryznar, MICH
Shyst on Goal: ;UN8-62 16; MICH 1&10-14 42. Power
plays: UNO 0-5; MICH 19. Saves: UNO, Chris Holt (4-16-
2)- 40; MICH, Al Montoya (23-9-2) -16
Referee: Stephen Mclnchak.
At: Yost Ice Arena
The six winners advance to Joe
Louis Arena next weekend.
No. 2 MIAMI Vs.
No. 11 Lake Superior
Miami wins 2-0
Miami's Todd Grant scored 12:05
into overtime on Saturday, clinching
a 2- win to sweep the Lakers.
Grant also scored in Friday's 4-0
win, and Brandon Crawford-West
made nine saves for the shutout.
No. 3 MICHIGAN STATE VS.
No. 10 Ferris State
Michigan State 2-0
Ferris State let this series slip away,
erasing two two-goal leads on Friday,
but ultimatel losing 6-4. The Bull-
dogs blew a 3-0 lead on Saturday to
lose 5-3. Michigan State's Jim Slater
had a pair of goals on Friday.
No. 4 OHIo STATE VS.
No. 9 Bowling Green
Ohio State wins 2-0
A combined total of 3,848 fans saw
both games in Columbus this week-
end. The Buckeyes' Sean Collins
was ejected from Saturday's 5-2
win for spearing and will miss next
weekend's quarterfinal game.
No. 5 NOTRE DAME VS.
No. 8 Western Michigan
Notre Dame wins 2-1
After winning Friday's game 4-2,
the Irish were shut out by Western
Michigan netminder Eric Marvin
and the Broncos won 4-0. Yester-
day, overtime was needed for Notre
Dame to pull out a 5-4 win.
No. 6 ALASKA-FAIRBANKS VS.
No. 7 Northern Michigan
Northern Michigan wins 2-0
The Last Frontier didn't intimidate
the Wildcats, as they secured the
only road sweep of this year's tour-
nament. Northern Michigan goalie
Tuomas Tarkki turned aside 68
shots this weekend.
SUPER 6 MATCHUPS
By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Writer
For two games and forty minutes,
everything was different in Yost Ice
Arena. It didn't sound the same and
it didn't feel the same. The per-
formance of the Michigan hockey
team certainly didn't look the same,
Why'd this happen? Well, yester-
day's game wasn't included in stu-
dent's season ticket plans, so the
attendance was paltry (the
announced crowd was 5,873, but it
was less). Based on the magnitude
of the game, it could have been
played in Michigan Stadium in
front of 110,000. Everyone was
tight - from the fans to the players
to the coaches.
Though everything changed in
yesterday's final period, there's still
one more reason Michigan barely
eked out its first-round series
against the CCHA's worst team:
Nebraska-Omaha freshman goal-
tender Chris Holt and the Maver-
icks' defense came to Ann Arbor
with a sound gameplan, one that
left Michigan coaches and players
searching for answers until the
weekend's final period.
The Mavericks had been prepar-
ing to play Michigan for three
weeks, and they were ready to com-
bat the Wolverines' deep, talented
offense. Nebraska-Omaha focused
on crowding the area in front of its
net so as to force Michigan to fire
away from the perimeter. Nebraska-
Omaha planned to block the shots
they did let loose.
The plan worked. The Maverick
defenders stopped 91 shots in the
series, while the Wolverines pre-
vented just 25 shots from reaching
their goal. They also shut down
Michigan's powerplay 20 times in
"Nebraska came up with a great
series," Berenson said. "Their
goalie played well, their team start-
ed to believe in their system. Their
coach said that was best they played
And most of the shots that made
it past the Mavericks' defense were
stopped by Holt. The Mavericks'
3.46 goals against average is more
than one goal higher than Michi-
gan's team GAA, but nobody who
watched this weekend's games
would have noticed that.
Michigan's offense was slowly
coming alive yesterday, and Holt
made many eye-popping saves in
the second period to keep the Mav-
ericks in the lead.
"They struggled in goals-against
this season," Berenson said. "This
kid came in here and stood on his
"But if you look at the shot chart,
we weren't getting shots from the
slot area. All our shots were coming
from bad angles."
Last year, Holt played on the U.S.
Under-18 team with current
Wolverine freshmen Mike Brown,
T.J. Hensick and Matt Hunwick.
Though Holt's performance took
many by surprise, his three former
teammates weren't among them.
"It's not really out of the ordi-
nary," Hunwick said. "He was a
pretty solid goaltender last year. We
were a young team so we couldn't
help out a whole lot."
Holt, who was drafted by the
New York Rangers last summer,
believes that the lessons he learned
from this weekend's series will pay
off the next three years.
"I feel as though I matured a lot,"
Holt said. "Playing against this team
has been a real pleasure; it's been a
real battle and I know what I need to
do ... Hopefully I can come back
and really flourish next season."
But with the CCHA Tournament
and possibly the NCAA Tournament
on the line, Michigan finally came
to life in the third period. Only 5-
of-26 shots were blocked, and Jeff
Tambellini's game-clinching goal
came on the powerplay. But, more
than anything, the Wolverines are
relieved to still be alive.
"This weekend seemed to take a
month," Berenson said.
All weekend, the Mavericks' defenders blocked shots the Wolverines fired. And
when they had opportunities, like Milan Gajic above, they were from poor angles.
to find scoring touch
By Brian Schick
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan sophomore Jeff Tambellini estab-
lished himself last season as one of the premier
goal scorers in the country,
notching 26 goals in his
freshman campaign. Tam-
bellini entered the season DOgi
right where he left off -
leading the team in goals -
scoring nine goals in his
first 10 games this season, including a hat trick
against Quinnipiac on Oct. 18. At that point, it
looked as if he could challenge the single-sea-
son goal record held by current coach Red
Berenson - who scored 43 goals in the 1961-
Then came the well-documented dry spell
of 16 straight games without lighting the
lamp. On several occasions, Tambellini
refused to call his drought a "slump," as he
continued to take good shots, but just couldn't
find the back of the net.
Finally, he snapped his dubious streak and
scored a powerplay goal against Bowling
Green on Feb. 20. Since then, he has exploded
for five more goals in the past seven games,
including two in last night's 5-2 clincher
Berenson held a meeting before yesterday's
game and called on the players to turn up the
intensity. He called for all his players to take
their respective games to the next level.
"He confronted us and told us to step up,"
Tambellini said. "We were not playing well.
(Saturday) was an embarrassment, and that
should never happen to Michigan."
Tambellini especially seemed to take the
talk to heart, as he notched his first multi-
goal game since Nov. 7.
Tambellini's recent success could be attrib-
uted to his return to the powerplay unit. With
one of the hardest shots on the team, the Port
Moody, B.C., native has always been seen as a
sniper who could rip shots from the blueline
with the man advantage. But for most of this
season, he was taken off the powerplay unit in
favor of Andrew Ebbett. Since Berenson
mixed up his lines two weeks ago, Michigan
has had one of its best weapons back on the
Tambellini finally got the chance to break
last night's game wide open on a powerplay in
the third period. He faked his initial shot, and
it froze the Nebraska-Omaha defense just
enough to get a clean shot through the slot
and past the Mavericks' netminder Chris Holt.
"That was something we were working on
in the pregame skate, being able to take a
step," Tambellini said. "The defense bit on the
first shot, and (1) took one step by them to get
it through. I got lucky enough that it didn't hit
a couple of sticks."
MIGHTY MAVERICKS: Despite finishing last
in the CCHA with just five conference wins,
Nebraska-Omaha gave Michigan a run for its
money. Saturday's 3-1 loss was Michigan's
first defeat of the Mavericks in Ann Arbor,
and evens the two teams' playoff record at 2-
2. This was also Michigan's first loss in the
second game of a first round series in the
CCHA Tournament since 1988.
"I still can't believe that they finished last
place in our league - they're not a last-place
team," Berenson said. "Their forwards were
quick, they had some isolated great chances
to score and they didn't go in."
Dwight Helminen and the Wolverines narrowly avoided getting bowled over by Nebraska-Omaha.
Continued from Page1B
state of intense elation. It also prompted
Nebraska-Omaha coach Mike Kemp to take a
timeout to stop the bleeding.
A little over a minute after the timeout,
Nebraska-Omaha defenseman Brett Davis
picked up an interference penalty. The mistake
left the Wolverines - who struggled mightily
on the man-advantage for most of the weekend,
going 2-for-22 - with a chance to redeem
themselves. They did exactly that.
With 10:22 showing on the clock, sopho-
more Jeff Tambellini collected the puck just
inside the blueline and fired through traffic,
beating Holt five-hole.
"I got lucky enough that the puck missed a
couple of sticks," Tambellini said. "We had
(freshman David Rohlfs and junior Eric Nys-
trom) sitting in front. I'm sure that (Holt) did-
n't see a thing."
Tambellini's goal all but sealed the deal for
Michigan. Helminen added an empty-net goal
with 1:29 remaining.
Berenson noted that the players felt that if
they had lost the game, and subsequently
squandered the series, then their season could
have been over.
"Our team knew that this could be our last
game," Berenson said. "Everything else is out
of your control. We didn't make a big deal of
that ... (but) you don't want it to end that way."
Instead of sitting back and letting the
NCAA Selection Committee determine its
fate, Michigan will move on to the semifinal
round of the CCHA Tournament. The Wolver-
ines will take the ice on Friday in Detroit.
Their opponent will be the lowest remaining
seed after Thursday's quarterfinal games are
If the Wolverines win the CCHA Tourna-
ment, they receive the conference's automatic
bid to the NCAA Tournament.