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March 26, 2007 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-03-26

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6B - Monday, March 26, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Penalty kill not-so-deadly

Daily Sports Writer
DENVER - In just one week, the Michi-
gan penalty kill went from perfect to
The unit went 6-for- NOTEBOOK
6 against Notre Dame-
in the CCHA Champi-
onship last week.
But facing North Dakota in the West
Regional Semifinals Saturday night, that
same unit allowed five goals on eight
power-play opportunities.
After Michigan jumped out to a 2-0
lead in the game's first minute that put the
Fighting Sioux on their heels, junior Chad
Kolarik took a tripping penalty with more
than 17 minutes remaining in the opening
period. On the ensuing power play, North
Dakota's Chris Porter tipped in a deflected
shot in front of the net and helped his team
regain its composure.
Most of the Sioux's power-play goals
came on point shots and deflections like
Porter's first goal, instead of fluid set plays
that require precision timing.
"We don't have to always be pretty,"
North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol said.
"Tonight, our power play was effective by
just doing the simple things."
And it didn't take long for them to do the
simple things well.
All but one of the Sioux's power-play
goals came less than a minute into the pen-
alty, and even that one took 1:01. In some
instances, the PA announcer hadn't fin-
ished announcingthe penalty before North
Dakota had already scored.
The Michigan penalty-killers struggled
to block pucks from the point. Michigan
goalie Billy Sauer had trouble seeing the
pucks. The defenders around the net failed
to clear loose pucks out of trouble.
For the game, Michigan had three fewer
power-play chances but had the man
advantage 2:30 more than North Dakota.
goals with just more than 12 minutes left to
play, senior alternate captain T.J. Hensick
was sent to the penalty box for a 10-min-
ute misconduct penalty, but nobody in the
stands or press box knew why the penalty
was called.
"The ref was chirping at me more than I
was chirping at him," Hensick said. "I don't
want to get anybody in trouble. I didn't
really say much to him except at the end
when I was getting sick of hearing what he
was saying."
The Hobey Baker Award finalist was
forced to sit helplessly in the penalty box
for 10 of the final minutes of his college
career while his team struggled to create
any offense against North Dakota's stifling
It was just the third 10-minute penalty
of Hensick's career, which made the How-
ell native question the timing of the call.

From page lB
word "special" may have been an
And then there's Rohlfs, who may
graduate without ever getting the
recognition he deserved. He was
Michigan's steadiest player, and self-
less, too. When the team ran low on
defensemen last season, Berenson
asked Rohlfs to move to the blue line
and the hulking 6-foot-3 forward
obliged without complaint. He was
smart with the puck, levelheaded
and did the dirty work so his star
linemates could score the big goals.
Wolverine fans probably don't real-
ize how much they're goingto miss
that guy.
And Hunwick, the captain. He
was slick on both ends of the ice with
moves so smooth it was easy to miss
how helpful he really was. His skat-
ing abilities alone will be something
the Wolverines long for next season.
They'll miss Jason Dest and Tim
From page 1B
since it gave up five to Minnesota on
Nov. 25, 2005.
"Halfway through (the first)
period, we started taking penalties,"
Michigan senior captain Matt Hun-
wick said. "The momentum swung
a little bit. It was tough for us to
get going again once they got those
power-play goals."
But if the game had just been the
first minute of each period, the pen-
alties wouldn't have made a differ-
The Wolverines scored two goals
in the first minute of both the first
and second periods, jumping out to
2-0 and 5-4 leads, respectively.
Asked after the game about the
early scoring barrage, sophomore
Andrew Cogliano said he'd never
seen anything like it in a college
game before
"It was obviously a high-scoring
game," Cogliano said. "When you
have guys like T.J. Hensick scoring
goals at the beginning of periods,
as a team you've got to rally around
But the Wolverines didn't rally,
and the final 19 minutes of each peri-
od hit them hard.
North Dakota (13-10-5 WCHA,;22-
13-5) scored three unanswered goals
to end the first and second periods,
securing a 4-3 lead at the first inter-
mission and a 7-5 lead after two.
The Fighting Sioux's seventh goal
was the most unsettling.
On the power play, North Dakota's
T.J. Oshie corralled a rebound just
behind the goal line and facing the

Cook, too, mostly for the leadership
and attitude they provided. The
bench will even seem differentwith-
out third-string goalie Mike Mayhew
and his trusty clipboard there. These
guys were never stars of the game,
but each were assets to the team.
That's why it's sad to think none
of them brought a trip to the Fro-
zen Four. Just ask Kevin Porter,
Hensick's linemate and a soon-to-be
senior whose name has been tossed
out as a possibility for Hunwick's
replacement as captain.
"It's terrible," Porter said. "I feel
so bad for them. It's a bad thing, and
hopefully we can make it there next
year. We've got a bunch of good guys
coming in, we've got to get them to
buy in right away, and then I think
we have a great chance of making it."
Careful, Kevin. It'll go by faster
than you think.
- Colvin doesn't want to have to
pay for a cap and gown for graduation.
Donations and comments can be
sent to ambermco@umich.edu.
end boards. From a negative angle
and without even looking, Oshie
threw the puck toward Michigan
goalie Billy Sauer, who didn't react
and allowed the puck to bank in off
his pads.
"The puck was going in," Beren-
son said. "Billy Sauer couldn't see
it or couldn't find it or was too far
back to make a save. It was a goalie's
Oshie added an empty-net goal in
the third period for a hat trick.
Perhaps it was the altitude or
maybe it was North Dakota's neu-
tral-zone trap, but there was no
doubt by the third period that the
game's manic pace had taken its toll
on Michigan. The Wolverines looked
tired and frustrated.
Nothing proved this more than
Hensick's 10-minute misconduct
with just more than 12 .minutes
The penalty forced the senior,
who had already scored two goals, to
watch all but the final two minutes of
his final game fromthe penalty box. It
also robbed him of a chance at being
the first Wolverine to score 70 points
in a season since Brendan Morrison
had 88 in the 1996-97 campaign.
More important, the loss deprived
Michigan's senior class of its last
chance to go the Frozen Four, mak-
ing it the first group since the class
of 1991 to never make a trip to the
national semifinals.
"It's a sad statement that this team
wasn't better or didn't prove they
were better," Berenson said. "(The
seniors) played on teams that were
contending teams that went to the
tournament, (and) didn't do as well as
they'd hoped. And that's too bad."

Senior T.J. Hensick will go his entire career without a Frozen Four appearance.
"For the ref to do what he did, to take me In Grand Rapids, Michigan State
out of the game for 10 minutes in a critical knocked off Boston University on Friday
situation, I thought was extremely unlikely and intra-conference rival Notre Dame on
to happen on the ref's part," Hensick said. Saturday to book a ticket to St. Louis. The
"I guess the ref was trying to take control top-seeded Irish beat Alabama-Huntsville
of the game. I think he should have done it in double overtime on Friday to advance to
early on and often." its game against the Spartans.
After the officials called 14 penalties in In Manchester, N.H., Miami upset top-
the first 40 minutes of play, Hensick's pen- seed New Hampshire on Saturday, but
alty and a minor penalty on North Dakota dropped its regional final game 4-0 yester-
with more than three minutes remaining day.
were the lone penalties in the third peri- Overall, CCHA teams were 4-4 this
od. weekend.
"I think it's important when you get to BILLY'S BABY BOY: The Michigan hockey
this level that everyone understand what familygrew this week when assistant coach
the standard is," Berenson said. Billy Powers's wife, Mary Jo, gave birth to
CCHA SUCCESS: For years, many in the the couple's first child, Shane Anthony on
college hockey world have described the Wednesday.
CCHA as a weak conference. Powers flew separately from the team
After a few down years in the NCAA and arrived at the Pepsi Center on Satur-
Tournament, the CCHA more than held its day. He looked exhausted outside of the
own this weekend. locker room after the game. The only sleep
The Wolverines were the lone CCHA he got since the birth was on the flight to
team not to advance past the first round. Denver.



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