4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 21, 2005
LINE OF THE WEEK
Friday vs. Alaska-Fairbanks
1 Goal,1 Assist, +2
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
"! got a new hat."
- Michigan senior Milan Gajic,
joking about the perks of winning the
Super 6 and getting some new headwear.
Rogers, the Nanooks' goalie,
made 43 stops in a losing effort to
Michigan on Friday. The netminder
made the All-Tournament team.
Tambellini scored both of the Wolver-
ines' game-winning goals in the Super
6 en route to winning the CCHA tour-
nament's Most Valuable Player award.
*E&f Alaska-Fairbanks 1
N AD Michigan Wolverines 3
Kaleniecki, Tambellini, Kolarik
Ohio State Buckeyes 2
Michigan Wolverines 4
Gajic (2), Tambellini, Ryznar
Michigan 4, Ohio State 2
Notre Dame 020 - 2
Michigan 1 1 2 - 4
First period - 1. MICH, Milan Gajic 19 (Matt Hun-
wick, Brandon Rogers) 2:54. Penalties(-Tom
Fritsche, OSU (hooking) 2:04; Kevin Porter, UM
(cross-checking) 4:44; Domenic Maiani, OSU
(obstruction-hooking) 8:41; Kenny Bernard, OSU
(tripping) 10:44; Tim Cook, UM (obstruction-trip-
ping) 13:17; Andrew Schembri, OSU (high stick-
ing) 15:22; Nick Martens, UM (hit after whistle)
Second period - 2. OSU, Tom Fritsche 10
(Domenic Maiani, Matt Waddell) 5:32; 3. MICH,
Milan Gajic 20 (Brandon Kaleniecki, Brandon
Rogers) 6:46; 4. OSU, JB Bittner 10 (Rod Pelley,
Dan Knapp) 6:57. Penalties - Jeff Tambellini,
UM (obstruction-hooking) 00:45; Nate Guenin,
OSU (charging) 6:02; Jeff Tambellini, UM (inter-
ference) 8:28; JB Bittner, 0SU (interference)
10:57; Matt Waddell, OSU (holding) 12:09;
Matt Hunwick, UM (hooking) 13:14; Andrew
Schembri, OSU (high sticking) 17:48; Jeff
Tambellini, UM (hit after whistle) 20:00; Jason
DeSantis, OSU (hit after whistle) 20:00; Jeff
Tambellini, UM (hit after whistle) 20:00; Jason
DeSantis, OSU (hit after whistle) 20:00; Chad
Kolarik, UM (slashing) 20:00; Matt Waddell,
OSU (slashing) 20:00; Chad Kolarik, UM (hit
after whistle) 20:00; Matt Waddell, OSU (hit
after whistle) 20:00; Al Montoya, UM (unsports-
manlike conduct) 20:00; Bryce Anderson, OSU
(unsportsmanlike conduct) 20:00; Bryce Ander-
son, OSU (10-minute misconduct) 20:00.
Third period - 5. MICH, Jeff Tambellini 21(unas-
sisted) 5:27; 6. MICH, Jason Ryznar 6 (Michael
Woodford) 19:59. Penalties- Nate Guenin, OSU
(roughing) 6:19; Team, OSU (too many on ice)
7:53; Team, OSU (too many on ice) 12:36.
Shots on goal: MICH 11-10-17-38; OSU 12-12-5-29.
Power plays: MICH 2 of 10; OSU 0 of 7. Saves -
MICH, Al Montoya (12-10-5) - 27; OSU, Dave
Caruso (10-9-15) - 34.
Referee: Steve Piotrowski.
Special teams key in title tilt
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - After No. 4 Michigan's 4-
2 win in the CCHA Championship Game
against No. 10 Ohio State on Saturday,
Michigan senior forward Milan Gajic had
no doubt as to the determining factor in the
"Our penalty killing tonight," Gajic said.
"That's the reason we won."
Michigan denied all seven of the Buck-
eyes' power plays while converting on two-
man-advantage opportunities of its own in
a contest that was heavily punctuated by
screeches from referee Steve Piotrowski's
whistle. Ohio State ranked first in the
CCHA in penalty killing this season by
stopping 86.9 percent of its opponents'
chances. The Buckeyes also owned the
league's second-most prolific power play
unit, which converted on 22 percent of its
"They've had a great year on special
teams,' Michigan coach Red Berenson
said. "We did not want to get into a special
But the Wolverines had some numbers
on their side as well. Michigan, with a 22.5
percent success rate, was the only team
with a better extra-man attack than Ohio
State this season. The Michigan penalty
kill ranked third at 84.8 percent.
So when Piotrowski and linesmen John
Philo and Kevin Langseth cited a combined
64 minutes of penalties on Saturday, it might
be fair to say that neither team became too
"Some games will be filled with pen-
alties, and some games there will be no
penalties," Gajic said. "You have to go with
what you're given. (Piotrowski) decided to
call a lot of penalties tonight. He could've
easily turned a blind ear or a blind eye, but
he didn't. He called them. You just have to
play the game that you're handed, and we
did that tonight."
Gajic was the Wolverines' most notable
contributor on the power play against Ohio
State with two goals when Michigan had a
man-advantage. Gajic opened the game's
scoring with a one-timer blasted from the
left circle at 2:54 of the first period. The
Wolverines' power play unit functioned like
a well-oiled machine, sending crisp passes
around the zone and generating plenty of
quality scoring chances before Gajic lit the
lamp. The senior's perfectly placed shot
sent the puck just inside the top left corner
of the net, beating Buckeyes goalie Dave
Caruso high stick side.
Gajic also scored 6:46 into the second
frame. With Ohio State defenseman Nate
Guenin in the penalty box for a charging
infraction, Michigan defenseman Brandon
Rogers fired a shot that deflected off junior
Brandon Kaleniecki's skate. The puck car-
omed to Gajic, who was waiting on the
doorstep. Gajic tapped in his second tally
of the night past Caruso's outstretched right
Ohio State captain J.B. Bittner felt the
large number of penalties swamped the
"Especially in the first period, we were
trying to establish our game, and we ended
up killing penalties more than we wanted
to," Bittner said. "When you're killing pen-
alties, you've got guys that don't get on the
ice as much, and (they) kind of get out of the
flow of the game. For us to play our game,
we have to stay out of the box more and try
and establish our game, rather than trying
to kill penalties."
Unfortunately for Ohio State, eight
minutes of first-period Buckeye penalties
swelled to 40 - including a 10-minute
misconduct to Bryce Anderson - by the
end of the game. Ohio State racked up an
astounding 10 penalties in the second peri-
od alone. But that isn't to say that Michigan,
with 24 minutes of infractions, wasn't simi-
"There was a lot of power plays (and)
penalty killing," Gajic said. "I probably
only played five or six five-on-five shifts the
DAVID TUMAN/ Daily
Senior forward Milan Gajic thought the penalty kill was integral in Michigan's 42 win
over Ohio State on Saturday.
Still, the mark of a great team is its abil-
ity to adapt to unforeseen circumstances,
and Michigan certainly found ways to capi-
talize on the opportunities it received.
"I thought our power play moved the
puck well," Berenson said. "We found the
open man. When we were moving it quick,
it seemed like (Gajic) was open or he was in
a spot to get to loose pucks. I thought these
guys did a good job in improvising and
moving the puck and getting it to the net."
14 - Brandon Kaleniecki
t15 - Jeff Tambellini
OHIO STATE PLAYERS
21 - Jason DeSantis
Y. h 4
GP G A Pts +/- PIM Sht
37 22 30 52 +1824 129
40 21 31 52 +29 32 198
40 20 19 39 +6 40 116
36 6 29 35 +1228 88
38 18 16 34 +7 53 112
34 12 19 31 +17 31 60
36 10 19 29 +10 26 75
37 8 21 29 +22 44 48
40 4 21 25 +20 66 86
37 11 13 24 +11 64 47
38 6 18 24 +13 58 53
34 6 17 23 +5 46 50
40 12 8 20 +10 46 124
36 1 10 11 +9 34 28
33 5 5 10 +9 14 42
33 3 5 8 +10 95 56
40 1 7 8 +2452 37
24 3 4 7 +3 30 31
10 2 1 3 0 4 10
38 0 3 3 - 22 0
13 0 1 1 +4 6 5
36 0 0 0 +7 54 16
7 0 0 0 -- 0 0
- Skating w/ puck
Skating w/o puck ..
. Pass - - Shot
m six Wnat can i say? iontoya How it happened: Early in the third period, Jeff Tambel-
The gave up jlst one goal lini failed to convert on a breakaway opportunity. Ohio State's
them against the Nanooks and Jason DeSantis controlled the puck behind the net and passed
irday, lust two in the final. One it out along the boards. Tambellini intercepted the puck and
f-kjll- of the two Was a rbound --.
iood- goa, ut the o ebon, fired a pass to a crashing Brandon Kaleniecki in the low right
>bett, which misdglb cted on circle. Instead of finding Kaleniecki, the puck deflected off
yznar emer's dket ed off DeSantis - who had moved into defensive position in front of
pped tlamed O y it Buckeyes goalie Dave Caruso - and into the Ohio State net at
Buck- was a great way to start the 5:27 mark. Tambellini's goal gave Michigan a 3-2 lead.
toumament season. Analysis: The Wolverines' third goal of the game proved
ION DAILY DETERMINATION to be the game winner. It was Tambellini's second consecutive
winning goal and his third in Michigan's last four games. After
/ V./ 5the game, Tambellini was named CCHA Tournament MVP, and
he also made the All-Tournament team.
Blue draws Wisconsin in NCAAs
Player GP W L T GAA PCT
Montoya 38 29 6 3 2.52 .895
Ruden 7 1 1 0 1.34 .953
Mayhew 1 0 0 0 0.00 1.000
Alaska-Fairbanks 6, NORTHERN MICH. 3
MIcHIGAN STATE 5, Nebraska-Omaha 0
MICHIGAN 3, Alaska-Fairbanks 1
OHIO STATE 4, Michigan State 1
Alaska-Fairbanks 3, MICHIGAN STATE 2
MICHIGAN 4, Ohio State 2
Continued from page 11B
tis and slipped past Ohio State goalie David
Caruso to give Michigan a 3-2 lead that
they would not relinquish.
"It's a typical Tambellini kind of goal,"
Tambellini said. "I've scored half my goals
in my career like that. I just shoot the puck,
throw it to the net, and usually good things
happen. We got a good bounce tonight."
Ohio State got one, too. In the second
period, just 11 seconds after senior Milan
Gajic gave Michigan a 2-1 lead with his
second power play goal of the game, Ohio
State captain J.B. Bittner centered a puck
from behind Michigan's net. The pass
deflected off Michigan defenseman Eric
Werner's skate and into the net to even the
game at 2-2.
The game - a matchup between the
CCHA's top two teams - was hard-hitting
and close throughout. Werner set the tone
less than a minute into the game when he lev-
eled Ohio State forward Andrew Schembri
in the neutral zone. And until Ryznar scored
the empty-net goal to push the lead to 4-2, the
margin was never more than one goal.
"It was a hard-fought game," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. "Ohio State has
had a great year, and they lived up to their
billing tonight. It was a game that could
have gone either way."
Ohio State coach John Markell wished
that one whistle, in particular, went the
Buckeyes' way. In the first period, with
Michigan leading 1-0, a Buckeye sent a shot
at Montoya from the point. Montoya made
the save and the puck disappeared, for just a
second, somewhere in the clutter of his jer-
sey and pads. Then the whistle blew.
An instant later the puck became vis-
ible behind Montoya. Ohio State forward
Kenny Bernard slapped the puck into the
net, and Ohio State thought they had evened
the score. But the play was reviewed, and,
because the whistle had blown, the goal was
"The puck was held for a millisecond, and
the whistle was gone," Markell said. "(The
referee) lost sight of the puck. That was a
legitimate goal. Any time you can score a
goal in a game with this kind of magnitude
- I think we had other mistakes, but that
kind of goal being called back is positioning
by the referee. We have to live with it."
He also had to live with the stellar play
of Montoya. The junior made 27 saves
and faced significantly more pressure
than he had seen in the earlier rounds of
the tournament. After a sub-par regular
season, Montoya has raised the level of
his game in the playoffs. In four playoff
games this season, Montoya has surren-
dered just four goals.
On Friday, Michigan beat Alaska-
Fairbanks 3-1 in the semifinals. Juniors
Tambellini and Brandon Kaleniecki
and freshman Chad Kolarik scored, and
Montoya made 12 saves to put the Wol-
verines in their fifth CCHA Tournament
final in a row.
By Ryan Sosin
Daily Sports Writer
Following weeks of speculation, the final matchups
for the NCAA Hockey Championships were announced
yesterday. No. 4 Michigan drew the second seed in the
Midwest Regional in Grand Rapids and a first round
game with No. I1 Wisconsin. The puck will drop at
8:35 p.m., on Friday at Van Andel Arena with ticket
information available today at 9 a.m.°
The Wolverines didn't have much to worry about dur-
ing the selection show, having received an automatic bid
thanks to a win in Saturday's CCHA Tournament final.
No. 1 Colorado College and No. 14 Colgate will face
off in the other Midwest Regional game. The winners of
both games will meet on Saturday at 5 p.m., with the vic-
tor moving on to the Frozen Four in Columbus.
"We're pretty comfortable with the draw," senior
alternate captain Brandon Rogers said. "We have some
good teams in our region, but you have to beat the best
teams to get to the end anyways."
Prior to the 2004 NCAA tournament, first round
games were played at campus sites. After a boisterous
crowd at Yost played a large role in the Wolverines'
victory over North Dakota to advance to the 2003 Fro-
zen Four, the regional system was implemented. While
still providing access to local fans by keeping high-
er ranked teams closer to home, the system takes out
some of the advantages a team like Michigan would
have playing in its home rink.
"I think, if they went by the book, we would have
gone to Worcester and played (Boston University),"
Berenson said. "I think (the selection committee) had
to look at the draw and make some decisions."
To determine which team goes where, a system dubbed
"pairwise rankings" is used. The ranking takes a team's
overall record into account but also adds a bonus for wins
over other teams with good records. This was added to
reward teams that play in competitive conferences or
play a strong nonconference schedule. Even with the best
record in the country, the Wolverines were the No. 6 team
in the pairwise rankings thanks to weak seasons from
many CCHA opponents.
"This year, the CCHA might be on a little bit of a
downer, and that hurts us when we win a lot of games,"
senior captain Eric Nystrom said. "But this is the way
it works, and, if this is the only way they can figure it
out, so be it."
For Nystrom, ending up in Grand Rapids seemed
inevitable, even if it meant straying from the pairwise
"Ticket sales are huge," Nystrom said. "It's a busi-
ness, and they are trying to make money. To put a team
that's not really local in Grand Rapids or put a bunch
of teams that no one really cares about in Grand Rap-
ids is pointless."
With 10 seniors on the roster, many of the Wolverines
will take their final shot at the only goal they haven't
achieved. Last year, Michigan limped into the CCHA
Tournament, posting an 5-4-1 record in the final ten
games of the regular season and then dropped the tour-
nament championship game to Ohio State before losing
to Boston College, 3-2, in the quarterfinals. Last sea-
son also marked the only time Michigan didn't make
the Frozen Four with its current crop of seniors on the
"There was always next year and another chance
at it," senior Milan Gajic said. "Now it's do or die.
Whether we win 10-0 or 1-0, I don't care, as long as we
win and get to where we need to be."
When Michigan and Wisconsin clashed
in November, the Badgers won 3-.
No. 11 WISmNSIN
Continued from page 1B
I went into Joe Louis for the rematch
against Ohio State.
I'm sure the Michigan icers clearly
wanted to get rid of that feeling.
And boy have they - not just in
this weekend's CCHA championship
victory over the Buckeyes but also
throughout the season. Michigan has
with, essentially, the same players
from last season.
But what is it that has made
them play better this year? Why
is this year's team - one that has
just two freshmen and lost just two
regulars from last year - perform-
ing so much better than the squad
from a year ago. The truth is that
I don't know the answer. But these
Wolverines are definitely working
have to lead.
"Our class is (much better) when
we are working together, when we're
working hard, when we're playing
for the team," Nystrom said. "If
we're not doing that, its like we are
just a bunch of individuals."
And that's basically the gist of it.
I still can't put my finger on why,
and I don't think anyone can. But it
doesn't really matter, does it? The
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