4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 10, 2005
LINE OF THE WEEK
Saturday vs. Western Michigan
3 goals, 3 shots, +2 rating
"I guess I'm good."
- Michigan forward Milan Gajic on
Red Berenson's decision to allow him
to take a late-game faceoff on Friday
against Western Michigan.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Mahrle was the Broncos' most
consistent scorer throughout the
series. He scored two goals and
had three assists over the weekend.
Gajic had five points. His passing was
spectacular, as he earned helpers on
both of T.J. Hensick's goals Friday and on
Kaleniecki's game-winner Saturday.
We stern Mich. Broncos
Hensick (2), Tambellini (2),
Goalie leads fighting in penalty-laden game
By Jake Rosenwasser
Daily Sports Writer
KALAMAZOO - Maybe Michigan goalie Al
Montoya was angry about the United States' fourth-
place performance in the World Junior Champion-
ship after winning it a year ago. Maybe he was upset
that Western Michigan had scored two goals in the
last minute of the second period to cut Michigan's
lead to 5-4. In any case, Montoya snapped.
After Western Michigan forward Mike Erickson
scored a power play goal with 13 seconds remaining
in the second period, Montoya got tangled up with
Broncos junior Daryl Moore. The forward skated
Michigan Wolverines 6
Gajic, Kaleniecki (3), Kolarik,
Western Mich. Broncos 5
Mahrle, V. Bellissimo, Lupa,
Michigan 6, Western Mich. 5
Michigan 1 4 1 - 6
Western Mich. 2 2 1 - 5
First period-1. WMU, Ryan Mahrle 4 (Mike Lesper-
ance) 4:12; 2. MICH, Milan Gajic 10 (T.J. Hensick,
Brandon Rogers) 6:55; 3. WMU, Vince Bellissimo 8
(Pat Dwyer, Mike Erickson) 13:43. Penalties - Daryl
Moore, WMU (roughing) 4:56; Matt Hunwick, MICH
(high sticking) 4:56; Daryl Moore, WMU (roughing)
4:56; Matt Hunwick, MICH (hit after whistle) 4:56;
Mike Lesperance, WMU (boarding) 6:21; Kevin
Labatte, WMU (high sticking) 10:02; Andrew Ebbett,
MICH (interference) 12:09; Brent Walton, WMU
(HAW) 12:31: Mike Brown, MICH (HAW) 12:31; Paul
Szczechura, WMU (HAW) 12:31; Eric Werner, MICH
(roughing) 12:31; Pat Dwyer, WMU (obstruction-trip-
Second period-4. MICH, Brandon Kaleniecki 8
(David Moss, Mike Brown) 11:13; 5. MICH, Chad
Kolarik 8 (Jeff Tambellini, Matt Hunwick) 11:55; 6.
MICH, Brandon Kaleniecki 9 (David Moss) 13:38;
7. MICH, Jeff Tambellini 11 (Nick Martens, Chad
Kolarik) 14:06;8. WMU, Jonathan Lupa 2 (Vince
Bellissimo) 19:15; 9. WMU, Mike Erickson 9 (Vince
Bellissimo, Pat Dwyer) 19:47. Penalties -Brandon
Kaleniecki MICH (roughing) 1:29; Jason Ryznar,
MICH (cross-checking) 6:28; Jeff Pierce, WMU
(slashing) 7:45; Mat Ponto, WMU (holding) 18:16;
Mike Brown, MICH (holding) 18:16; Mat Ponto, WMU
(HAW) 18:16; Mike Brown, MICH (HAW) 18:16;
Andrew Ebbett, MICH (cross-checking) 19:15; Pat
Dwyer, WMU (charging) 19:57; Matt Hunwick, MICH
(HAW) 19:57; Daryl Moore, WMU (HAW) 19:57; Al
Montoya, MICH (HAW) 19:57.
Third period -10. WMU, Jim McNamara 2 (Brent
Walton, Ryan Mahrle) 12:17; 11. MICH, Brandon
Kaleniecki 10 (Milan Gajic, Matt Hunwick) 19:07.
Penalties- David Moss, MICH (charging) 8:23;
Jeff Tambellini, MICH (cross-checking) 11:10; Daryl
Moore, WMU (unsportsmanlike conduct) 11:45;
Ryan Mahrle, WMU (interference) 13:40; Mat Ponto,
WMU (obstruction-tripping) 17:41.
Shots on goal: MICH 9-7-1127; WMU 1115-9 35. Power plays:
MICH 2 of 6; WMU 3 of 7. Saves - MICH, Al Montoya (9-
13-8) - 30; WMU, Daniel Bellissimo (8-3-10) - 21.
Referee: Mark Wilkins
At: Lawson Ice Arena Attendance: 4,575.
Player GP G A Pts +/- PIM Sht
Hensick 19 13 15 28 +7 12 62
Tambellini 22 11 16 27 +18 14 107
Gajic 22 10 14 24 +2 30 63
Moss 22 7 16 23 +9 16 45
Ebbett 22 2 14 16 +6 16 50
Kolarik 22 8 7 15 +4 18 59
Kaleniecki 22 10 4 14 +6 24 79
Werner 19 5 9 14 +9 26 25
Hunwick 20 4 10 14 +9 40 24
Ryznar 22 4 10 14 -1 36 36
Rogers 22 2 11 13 +15 50 41
Porter 20 6 6 12 +4 26 25
Nystrom 18 3 8 11 +8 23 23
Martens 20 1 6 7 +5 20 18
Rohlfs 20 4 2 6 +6 8 29
Brown 19 2 3 5 +7 44 38
Dest 22 1 2 3 +10 24 26
Henderson 4 1 1 2 +1 4 4
Woodford 8 1 1 2 +2 6 9
Olson 6 0 1 1 +3 6 2
Cook 22 0 0 0 +5 207
Montoya 20 0 0 0 -- 18 0
Player GP W L T GAA PCT
Montoya 20 15 4 1 2.75 .893
Ruden 5 1 1 0 1.54 .949
away after a small scuffle, but Montoya wasn't done
with him yet. Montoya came from behind and pulled
Moore to the ice in a fashion that would have made
Hulk Hogan proud.
"He just poked me and said a couple of things,"
Montoya said without really disclosing what
occurred. "I think I tripped. I'm not sure."
Michigan coach Red Berenson was upset that one
of the Broncos skaters would have the audacity to
fight a goalie.
"It was all behind the play,"
Berenson said. "You just hate to
see that. That's the last thing you
want to do (as a skater) is get in
a shoving match with a goalie
That was always considered to be
cheap if you had to resort to pun-
ishing (the goalie)."
As the referees were trying to restore order on
Michigan's side of the ice, the skirmish escalated
further when Michigan forward Eric Nystrom - the
captain with an eye-for-an-eye mentality - con-
fronted the Broncos netminder Daniel Bellissimo.
Nystrom glided towards the Broncos goalie and the
two exchanged words and a shove to the delight of
the 4,000-plus in attendance. Even with all the ruck-
us, the referees never let the fight everyone wanted to
see take place.
Both goalies gestured and yelled at each other
from their respective nets as the crowd roared and
banged their thunder sticks together in anticipation.
But before either goalie could get past his respective
blue line, the men in the striped shirts sent them back
to their nets.
Saturday's game featured a combined 62 min-
utes of penalties, including Montoya's two-min-
ute hit after the whistle call - which could have
easily drawn a ten-minute misconduct instead.
Michigan junior Andrew Ebbett served the pen-
alty for Montoya.
Of the 62 minutes, eight were the result of rough-
ing and 18 were the result of hit after the whistle
Last year's games between the Broncos and the
Wolverines were just as hot-blooded, and Montoya
was in the middle of the action again. Broncos for-
ward Dana Lattery - a senior last season - earned
a five-minute major penalty for checking Montoya
behind the net. Additionally, four players were eject-
ed for fighting.
BACK IN BUCK: Saturday's contest in Kalamazoo
was the fifth edition of "Blackout Saturday," a pro-
motional event that encourages Broncos fans to wear
black to support the Western Michigan squad. The
Broncos got so into it that even their coaches were
clad, head-to-toe, in black suits and ties. Michigan's
6-5 win lowered the Broncos record in Blackout
games to 3-2.
"Our crowd is tremendous," Western Michigan
junior Vince Bellissimo, brother of Daniel, said.
"There is no feeling like coming out and seeing them
up there. We don't give up and a (reason for that is the
crowd). You don't see anyone leave early or some-
thing like that. The student section is filled almost
every night. Whenever we play, they're loud and they
get behind us."
Berenson was aware of the animated crowd that
lined up for first-come, first-serve seating in the early
afternoon for the 7:30 game. But he downplayed the
crowd as an integral factor in the game.
"Their crowd set the tempo early in the game and
we had to try to match that," Berenson said. "In old
fashion terms, you'd call that a 'barn-burner.' But
when you are on the bench it's not as exciting. It's
exciting, but it's not necessarily as much fun as it is
for the fans."
Nows: Saturday's win improved Michigan's all-
time record at Lawson Ice Arena to 19-13-8 ... So far
this season, Michigan is 6-3-0 when allowing the first
goal - something it did both nights this weekend ...
The Wolverines are 13-0-0 this season when leading
after two periods.
Michigan goalie Al Montoya was involved in a fight at the end of the second period on Saturday night.
Montoya settled down In the third period to make some key stops in the Wolverines' 6-5 win.
OFF TE DAW
/ 7 Kalen cki~
Skating w/ puck Skating w/o puck - - . Pass - - Shot
How it happened: Hensick was the one who made this
game-winning goal happen. Halfway through a Michigan
power play in the waning minutes of Saturday's game, Hen-
sick skated with the puck around the Broncos' zone. When he
got to the high slot, he slid a pass to Gajic, who was waiting
at the bottom of the left circle. Gajic's shot was stopped by
goalie Daniel Bellissimo, but the rebound bounced across the
crease to Kaleniecki, who was waiting and pushed it in.
Analysis: This play was really made by Mark Wilkens, the
referee who called a penalty on Western Michigan's Mat Ponto
with just over two minutes remaining in a tie game. Michigan
controlled the power play the whole time and got this opportu-
nity because Hensick was able to create.
Ohio State 10-3-1
Bowling Green 7-5-2
Northern Michigan 7-5-2
Lake Superior 6-6-2
Michigan State 6-8-0
Ferris State 4-8-2
Miami (Ohio) 4-8-2
Notre Dame 3-9-4
Western Michigan 4-9-1
MICHIGAN 6, Western Michigan 4
NEBRASKA-OMAHA 3, Northern Michigan 1
BOWLING GREEN 6, Alaska-Fairbanks 2
Michigan State 4, MIAMI (OHIO) 0
Notre Dame 1, LAKE SUPERIOR 1
OHIO STATE 3, Ferris State 1
Michigan 6, WESTERN MICHIGAN 5
BOWLING GREEN 6, Alaska-Fairbanks 1
LAKE SUPERIOR 2, Notre Dame 1
NEBRASKA-OMAHA 3, Northern Michigan 1
MIAMI (OHIO) 4, Michigan State 1
Ferris State 3, OHIO STATE 2
Continued from page 16
and then hit the puck out of the air to give
Michigan its first lead of the night, 3-2.
It then took Michigan over a minute and
a half to make it 4-2 - on Kaleniecki's
second goal of the night - but just another
30 seconds after that to push it to 5-2. Tam-
bellini tallied Michigan's fifth goal of the
night off a faceoff at 14:06 in the second.
Kolarik won the faceoff in the Western
Michigan zone, senior Nick Martens gath-
ered the puck and gave it to Tambellini at
the high point and Tambellini's powerful
slap shot beat Bellissimo high, glove side.
"That stretch in the second period, the
opportunities were something like 32-
9, and we scored four goals," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. "It was just one
of those games. We took advantage of our
chances. Al gave us the big saves when we
needed them, and we came out on top."
Western Michigan outshot the Wolver-
ines 35-27 for the night, but Michigan was
kept in the game by its ability to score at a
blistering pace and the clutch play of Mon-
toya down the stretch. The goalie let five
goals into the twine but might have had
his best game of the season. He made 30
saves, including one sprawling save where
Montoya jumped from one end of the net
to the other with 1.5 seconds left to pre-
serve the win for Michigan.
"I was playing the angle," Montoya
said. "I saw it go wide. I just gave a last
effort and came away with it."
Montoya almost made another spectac-
ular save on the game-tying goal, 12 min-
utes into the final period. He was caught
out of position and Broncos forward
Brent Walton slipped a nice pass through
the crease. Western Michigan senior Jim
McNamara - a defenseman with just
two career goals coming into the weekend
- delayed the shot. Montoya dove across
the net and was on his stomach when
McNamara netted the game-tying tally.
He reached up with his glove but narrowly
missed the puck.
Like the night before, Michigan fell
behind to start the game on Saturday at
Lawson Ice Arena. Just over four minutes
into the first period, Broncos freshman
Mike Lesperance fired a shot at Mon-
toya from the right circle. Montoya made
the save and attempted to cover the puck
before a handful of players - a couple
from each team - barreled into him and
pushed the puck over the goal line. Mon-
toya tried arguing with the referee, claim-
ing that he had the puck covered, but to no
avail. Defenseman Ryan Mahrle was cred-
ited with the goal.
Minutes later - just 34 seconds into a
power play - Hensick took a pass from
defenseman Brandon Rogers atthe Michigan
blue line. The sophomore then proceeded to
push his way all the way up the ice, weaving
through Broncos defensemen. When he got
to the middle of the right circle, he fired a
shot. The deflection from a defender might
have saved a goal, but it also sent the puck
right to the stick of senior forward Milan
Gajic. Gajic's wrist shot found the back of an
open net and tied the game at one.
On Friday night, Broncos center Paul
Szczechura took the puck in the Michigan
zone and beat Montoya to give the early
lead to Western Michigan. The game stayed
close all night, but 35 saves by Montoya and
an offense that, coming into the game, was
averaging 4.27 goals per game, was too
much for the Broncos. The eventual game-
winner was scored by Tambellini, who
brought the puck into the zone and beat
Bellissimo on a laser-fast slap shot.
Continued from page 1B
on a show over the weekend. Both
Tambellini and Gajic turned in
three-point performances against
the Broncos on Friday at Yost Ice
Arena. Tambellini had two goals
and an assist, while Gajic added a
goal and two helpers. T.J. Hensick
scored twice and captain Eric Nys-
trom also had a pair of assists in the
6-4 Michigan win.
With the team's chemistry
not fully back to speed after the
long break, the Wolverines relied
largely on offensive talent to out-
score Western Michigan in both
games. Michigan hadn't played
a game with all its key play-
ers since Dec. 11 because five
major contributors played for the
United States at the World Junior
Championship over winter break.
"We have a lot of guys that can
score, and it's nice to see goal-scor-
ers putting pucks in the net," Beren-
son said after Saturday's game.
"That's why we recruit these kids:
because of their offensive skills.
Then we try and make them into
a good team that can check and
Berenson was especially pleased
with Hensick's play. The sophomore
had four total points in the series
- including Michigan's first two
goals on Friday - after playing for
the U.S. Junior team.
"(Hensick) is a special player,"
Berenson said. "You can see why he
means so much to our team. When
we're getting shots and chances, it
seems like it takes someone like T.J.
to put the puck in the net. Glad to
have him back."
When Bellissimo was pulled from
the net with 1:42 left in Friday's
contest, Berenson put Hensick back
on the ice for a chance at his first
career hat trick at Michigan.
"(Berenson) put me out there with
an empty net, and I had chances, so
it's not like it's his fault that I wasn't
out there," Hensick said. "It was
definitely my fault. I thought one
was going to slip in, but it didn't.
And those are the bounces."
HOW THE USCHO TOP-15 FARED
USCHO Poll for the week of Jan. 3
Games updated through yesterday
Michigan faces Alaska-Fairbanks this
weekend in a home series.
Michigan (13-1-0 CCHA, 16-5-1 overall) will
2. Colorado College
3. Boston College
lost to Colorado College 3-2
beat Minnesota 3-2
beat Merrimack 4-1, 3-1
beat Western Michigan 6-4, 6-5