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April 11, 2008 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-04-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, April 11, 2008 - 9


(TOP) Freshman goalie Bryan Hogan sits in the goal crease after allowing the game-winning goal in overtime. (ABOVE RIGHT) Junior goalie Billy Sauer stands behind the bench after being pulled for Hogan. Sauer let in three goals on nine shots in the first
period. (ABOVE LEFT) Senior forward Kevin Porter tears up at a postgame press conference in his last game as a Michigan hockey player. Porter is one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which will be presented tonight.
For seniors, a tearful farewell After Sauer's collapse, 'M'

Porter and Kolarik
struggle to hang up
skates after last game
DailySports Editor
DENVER - Kevin Porter and Chad
Kolarik showed up to the postgame
press conferences still fully dressed.
They didn't want to take off their Mich-
igan jerseys for that last time.
Even back in the locker room, Mich-
igan's two seniors kept their sweaters
on as long as they could. Finally, they
had to let go.
"This is it," Kolarik said. "I took my
jersey off for the last time. Wore that 'A'
for the last time. It's a horrible feeling,
I've been crying for a long time right
now since after the game."
While Porter and Kolarik sat quiet-
ly, the rest of the team, those that still
have time left, watched on, clearly sad
to see the backbone of the team on its
way out the door.
Even Michigan coach Red Berenson
seemed to have time on his mind.
"It's disappointing to them," Beren-
son said. "Porter and Kolarik have run
out of time and I'm running out of time,
Berenson trailed off, clearly not
ready to face the realities quite yet.
But the facts are clear. Michigan's
two top scorers, its captain and assis-
tant captain, the duo that brought the
team together for what turned into

a surprisingly successful season, are
"We owe our whole season to them,
whether it was scoring goals or just
bringing the team together - they were
incredible," sophomore Chris Summers
said. "They will be missed."
With the score tied at four and less
than three minutes to play in the game,
Notre Dame's Kevin Deeth got called
for hooking in front of his own net.
After putting in a power-play goal
early in the period, the Wolverines
were confident they could get another
to put the game away.
But the nation's second best pen-
alty-killing unit stood strong. It could
have been the difference for Michigan.
Instead the momentum swung back to
Notre Dame.
"That was the season for sure,"
Kolarik said. "We bury it there, and the
game's over. We had a chance with our
best players on the ice to do the job and
we couldn't get it done."
Michigan finished 1-for-5 on the
power play for the night. Not a bad
showing against a team that kills pen-
alties successfully almost 90 percent of
the time.
will have to face the media one more
time in his college career when the
Hobey Baker Award is presented today
at the Pepsi Center.
Porter is one of three finalists, along
with Miami's Ryan Jones and Boston
College's Nathan Gerbe.
While he has deflected questions

about the award for months now, Por-
ter is considered by many a lock to win
the honor.
The only other Michigan player to
win the Hobey Baker was Brendan
Morrison in 1997. He also had to force
a smile when he won. The Wolverines
had lost in the semifinals to Boston
University the night before.
Dame goes on to meet Boston College
in the National Championship game.
Though the two Catholic schools are
long-time rivals on the football field,
they don't meet regularly on the ice.
The Eagles lead the Fighting Irish
14-10-2 in the all time series, but Notre
Dame dominated in Boston College last
season, winning 7-1.
The matchup is the first all-private
school meeting in the final since 1985,
when Providence College and Rens-
selaer Polytechnic squared off at Joe
Louis Arena in Detroit.
NOTES: The last time a Frozen Four
semifinal game went to overtime was
in 2003. The losing team: Michigan, 3-
2 to Minnesota. ... With his two goals
last night, Kolarik reached the 30-goal
plateau for the season. Porter finished
with 33 goals, making the seniors the
first pair of Michigan players with 30
goals since 1996-97 when Jason Bot-
terill and Brendan Morrison had 37 and
31, respectively. ... Michigan gave up
five goals just three times this season.
It didn't win any of those games. The
Wolverines lost 5-2 at Michigan State
Feb. 22 and tied Miami 5-5 in Oxford
on Feb. 9.

ends year with Hogan in net

After a strong season,
Sauer rediscovers last
year's struggles
DailySports Writer
DENVER - This was Billy Sauer's year.
The junior goalie had bounced back from
two mediocre years and his inconsistency had
rarely reared its ugly head this season.
Ever since the CCHA playoffs, Sauer's "come-
back" story was the endless topic of discussion.
Last year, Sauer was often a scapegoat. This
season, he was usuallythe star.
But last night, the junior didn't even make it
past the game's opening period.
Michigan coach Red Berenson pulled the
team's season-long starter after he surrendered
three goals on nine shots. Freshman Bryan
Hogan, who had not played in the postseason,
replaced Sauer.
Berenson told his team during the first inter-
mission Hogan would take over for the junior.
"He just came in and said'Getready,"'Hogan
said. "So I just got ready, and that's about it."
The decision was based mostly on Sauer's
struggles last year at the Pepsi Center. Sauer let
seven pucks find the back of the net in Mich-
igan's first-round NCAA Tournament loss to
North Dakota.
"Had I not watched the (North Dakota)
game I might not have pulled him," Berenson
said. "He's been our bread-and-butter goalie all
year, but I just didn't like the way that he game

was going."
Two of the three goals Sauer let in Berenson
thought the goalie "would have stopped any
other night."
Berenson also wanted to spark his team
with the switch, which it did. The Wolverines
climbed within one goal (3-2) by the end of the
second period. At the end of the third, Michi-
gan tied Notre Dame at four.
"It doesn't matter what you've done, we had
to change the momentum of the game," Beren-
son said. "It was a tough decision, but you're
trying to win the game."
Earlier in the evening, Berenson saw North
Dakota's star goalie Jean Philippe Lamoureux
give up four first-period goals in a 6-1 loss,
another thing on the coach's mind when he
made the decision to switch goaltenders.
Sauer came off the ice visibly dejected after
the first period, but he was one of the most
excited Wolverines on Michigan's second goal
and was jumping up and down from his spot
behind the bench.
But while Sauer was riding the emotional
rollercoaster from behind the boards, Hogan
played very well between the pipes. The fresh-
man, who played in just five games during the
season, posted 18 saves in a game he probably
never imagined he'd enter.
No one was talking about the tough goal he
gave up to the Fighting Irish in overtime off a
long pad-save rebound. It was his strong play
that kept the contest from becoming a blowout.
"I think he did a great job," goaltending
coach Josh Blackburn said. "It's a hard situa-
tion to be thrown in, and I think he responded
very well to it."

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