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February 11, 2008 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-02-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

RODRIGO GAYA/Daily
RedHawk fans lined the glass at Steve Cady Arena all weekend, some having camped out overnight to get tickets.
Students ihned up overnight
f ora tickets o anticipated series

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)out 2,000 free "Watching them is really excit-
ing, because they're just playing so
ets were given to wellrightnow," said Bauer, donning
a Miami sweater and an anticipa-
iami students tory grin minutes before the doors
were opened Saturday night. "And
By ANDY REID there's been a lot more interest in
Daily Sports Writer this weekend. Everybody hates
Michigan. It's a huge rivalry."
ORD - A typical Yost Ice Bauer, a mechanical engineer-
:rowd fills in just minutes ing major, said the hype on cam-
he opening faceoff, even for pus grew to a frenzied level he had
est games of the season. never seenbefore.
Ben Bauer, a student at With the RedHawks coming off
Ohio), got in line for a ticket abye week heading into the Michi-
y night's mega-hyped game gan series, the athletic department
n No. 2 Michigan and the hyped the game around Oxford,
ked RedHawks 27 hours hanging "Beat the State of Michi-
he doors even opened. gan Week" posters in store win-
unior set up a tent outside dows.
ady Arena around 4 p.m. "At Michigan, the students go
ay afternoon, leaving the crazy for Michigan hockey," Blasi
t twice - once for class said. "And, Miami's getting there.
e for a shower. Other than The students are having fun, and
s weekend was completely they're enjoying the season as
ed in Miami hockey. well."
r, along with approximately The student section was excited
s full of diehard RedHawk for Friday night's game, but the
ade up what became known Wolverines' four-goal first period
oville, named for Miami quickly took the wind out of its
nrico Blasi. The students sails.
all day Thursday and Friday Even with the disappointing 4-
of about 2,000 free student 2 loss, Bauer and most of Ricoville
tickets given out for each got right back in line following the
lasi made a point to visit the game for Saturday's tickets. Bauer
fans, bringing them pizza estimated he spent 40 hours at
ay night to show his grati- Steve Cady Arena over the week-
their dedication. end.

In Saturday night's third period,
when Miami cameback from atwo-
goal deficit, Ricoville's patience
finally paid off, as the students wit-
nessed arguably the most exciting
20 minutes of hockey this season.
The student section, which sur-
rounded the Michigan zone for
the first and third periods of both
games, pelted Michigan goalie
Billy Sauer with relentless "sieve"
chants. Fans were jumping, danc-
ing, yelling and willing the Red-
Hawks to the comeback, and the
Wolverines looked flustered and
timid down the final stretch.
"The students were everything
we hoped for and more," RedHawk
forward Nathan Davis said. "Dur-
ing that third period when we tied
it up, that was about as loud as any
crowd for any game I've ever been
a part of."
Although Miami has always
had a loyal fanbase, the passion
surrounding this year's team has
grown to unprecedented levels.
A25-4-1record and aunanimous
No. 1 national ranking - although
that is likely to change after the
Wolverines took three of four
points this weekend - usually does
that for a program.

RATKOWIAK
From Page 1B
by an assistant referee near the
blueline in the first period Satur-
day, giving Miami a 2-on-1 rush
that ended in a goal and its first
lead of the weekend.
"(The referee) was in the way
and it cost us a goal - no ques-
tion," Michigan coach Red Beren-
son said. "It's another bad break in
the game."
And after Michigan scored two
power-play goals to take a 5-3 lead,
Miami scored a goal right after the
puck hit goalie Billy Sauer's stick,
bounced on the top of the glass and
appeared to hit the netting, going
REDH AWKS
From Page 1B
scrambling and Davis with an open
net.
Miami goalie Jeff Zatkoff didn't
fare any better, and he couldn't
blame most of his goals on fluke
bounces or particularly impressive
set-ups.
On Friday night, Zatkoff gave up
all four goals in a six-minute stretch.
On Saturday, he gave up a goal in the
first 63 seconds of each period.
Michigan (16-2-4, 23-3-4) took
advantage of Zatkoff's weak glove
hand to light him up for nine goals
NITTANY LIONS
From Page1B
the Wolverines a four-point lead.
The Detroit native would have
made it three consecutive key
offensive plays, but Udoh was
called for offensive goaltending
after a Sims post move.
"I wanted to go ou t there and
do some things to try and take over
the game," said Sims, who finished
with 16 points.
Freshman standout Manny
Harris also played well when it
mattered most. The guard had 10
second-half points, none more
important than a three-point
play to give Michigan a 64-59
lead with 1:15 remaining. He also
tallied 16 points.

out-of-bounds.
"The whistle should have been
blown," Sauer said. "Lucky? Yeah.
The game really shouldn't have
been a tie."
But the Wolverines still racked
up three points this weekend,
and the fact they're upset about
not picking up a fourth is telling
- and so is Blasi having to heat-
edly defend his team's one-point
weekend.
Miami is supposed to be the
smooth-playing, top-ranked team.
But Michigan's a lot more exciting
to watch. Three weeks ago, I wrote
I didn't think the Wolverines were
the best in the country. I still don't
know if they are, though it's almost
a given they'll return to No. 1 when
in two games.
"We didn't watch it on film," said
freshman Max Pacioretty, who had
three goals on the weekend. "But as
soon as we started scoring a couple
goals on the glove side, the coaches
started saying shoot glove, so it
worked out pretty well for us."
Pacioretty was just one-third of
an extremely productive Michigan
top line. Seniors Chad Kolark and
Kevin Porter had a combined seven
points on the weekend. Porter's Sat-
urday night goal made him the first
Wolverine to score 25 goals in a sea-
son since Jeff Tambellini did it in
2002-03.
Zatkoff went into the weekend
In stark contrast to the loss
against the Buckeyes, in which the
Wolverines had just one basket in
the final eight and half minutes, it
was Michigan that held Penn State
(3-8 Big Ten, 11-12 overall) without
a field goal the final for five min-
utes. -
Much of the credit belongs to
Udoh, who notched six blocks,
including swats on consecutive
possessions when Penn State bas-
kets would have turned the contest
back into a one-possession game.
The bench also provided Michi-
gan (2-9, 6-17) with a much-needed
boost. Led by Wright, who helped

Monday, February 11, 2008 - 3B
the national rankings are released
today.
With Miami done with the meat
of its CCHA schedule and Michi-
gan having just one more tough
series (Michigan State), the Wol-
verines should now have convinc-
ing proof they're at the top of the
conference. This time, I'm pretty
sure they're for real.
There's no doubt Michigan's
lack of polish is a little unnerving.
But who says champions have to
be veterans?
The Wolverines are a young,
feisty team.
Give them a break.
- Ratkowiak can be reached
at cratkowi@umich.edu.
with a 1.50 goals-against average,
and he came out with a 1.74. It was
the first time this season the Red-
Hawks allowed more than two goals
in consecutive games.
For a No. 1 vs. No. 2, matchup the
weekend more than lived up to the
hype. It also gave Berenson a better
sense of where his team stood after
two lackluster weekends.
"There's not much to choose
between the teams," Berenson said.
"They have a great team, no ques-
tion."
Leading the RedHawks by one
point in the CCHA standings with
six games to play, Berenson's team is
pretty good, too.
give the team a six-point halftime
lead with 10 points in the first half,
the Wolverines' reserves chipped
in 26 points.
The win snapped a stretch of 11
losses in 12 games and was Mich-
igan's 11th straight victory over
Penn State.
After the game, Beilein was just
relieved his team regrouped after
what seemed like a devastating
series of events following halftime.
"They needed this badly,"
Beilein said. "They really needed
this badly. I would hate to think
what would have happened if we
didn't pull this thing out."

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