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March 30, 2009 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-30

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4B - March 30, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4

EISENSTEIN
From page 1B
ice since Marty'
Blackburn were
pipes in the latel
2000s: A goaliet
enough to carryl
the NCAA Tours
Turco is theo
Michigan coach:
has made it to th
pionship game. T
won on both trip
Blackburn, nowt
teer goaltending
Frozen Four twic
than his fair shar
heroics from 199
But Michi-
gan, despite
consistently
gettingstrong
goaltending
throughout the
regular season
in recent years,
hasn't found
another goalie
since Blackburn
the high-pressus
ment.
In 2005, Al M
in a row, givings
rebounds to surr
against Colorad
Noah Ruden, wh
with then-freshr
surrendered five
Dakota. And the
Saueritis strucki
The now-senior;
goals in 2007's f
and three in the
year's Frozen Fo
And that's wh
loss all the more
omore goalie Br:

a season-endingblow. And Air
Force played great defense down
the stretch, clearing outrebounds
Turco and Josh almost perfectly.
between the What's frustrating is that once
1990s and early again, the Wolverines don't have
hat is good that shutdown goalie - that net-
Michigan through minder that could steal a game like
nament. Turco or put up career-best save
ly goalie under numbers in the tournament like
Red Berenson who Blackburn. Michigan got to wit-
e NCAA Cham- ness that type of performance, but
'he Wolverines it was on the wrong end of the ice.
s in 1996 and 1998. Hogan faced just 13 shots, so he
he team's volun- couldn't have "stolen" the game.
coach, wentto the But a save percentage of .846 will
ce and had more only get you a chartered flight
e of tournament home a night early.
8 to 2002. It's not teachable, and there's no
science to it. In
the last few weeks
Michigan needs a of the season,
coaches say to let
solid goalie to 'win goalies just do
, their ownthing
championships. to keep up their
confidence. And a
hot goalie canbe
untouchable.
that thrives in Boston College rode John Muse
re NCAA Tourna- and his 1.67 goals-against average
and .942 save percentage in the
ontoya let up four single-elimination bracket last
up a few too many season to a national championship.
-ender a 3-0 lead And Michigan fans know all too
o College. In 2006, well about Spartan goalie Jeff Lerg.
so had splitctime His 1.25goals against and .954 save
man Billy Sauer, percentage in the 2007 tournament
goals to North speak for themselves: Michigan
next two seasons, State won the whole thing.
in the postseason. But damn, you have to hope Jack
gave up seven Campbell, one of the country's top
irst-round loss prospects, has got it in him when .
first period of last he comes to Ann Arbor in 2010.
ur. Because, as everyone knows, hot
at makes Friday's goaltending means you're filling
frustrating. Soph- the trophy case. Anything else, and
yan Hogan didn't you're reading columns like this.

A RIEL BO D/Daily
Sophomore Bryan Hogan faced just 13 shots but let in two goals, finishing with a dismal .846 save percentage in Michigan's 2-0 loss to Air Force.
Inabilitytoconvert

By GJON JUNCAJ times, it looked as if the Wolverines
Daily Sports Writer were skating with the puck glued to
their sticks.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Last Fri- The Wolverines attempted 86
day, it appeared as if Air Force hock- shots to the Falcons' 30. Michigan
ey coach Frank Serratore's worst officially tallied 14 grade-A scor-
fears were coming to fruition. ing chances (open shots in the area
On the Wednesday before his between the crease and the faceoff
fourth-seeded Falcons upset top- circle dots), which Berenson said
seeded Michigan 2-0in the opening is "the most you're going to get in
round of the NCAA East Regional, any game." The Wolverines fired
Serratore watched the gamefilm 17 shots on Falcon goalie Andrew
from the Wolverines' CCHA playoff Volkening from inside 20 feet.
run. He said he immediately regret- What the Wolverines sent at
ted it. Volkening was the hockey equiva-
Despite having the sixth-best lent of a 60-minute firing squad.
scoring defense in the nation, Serra- Yet while everything seemed to be
tore said he lost sleep from wonder- going right for Michigan, nothing
ing how his team could slow down actually was.
what he called "the fastest group in Whenshots weren'tgoingstraight
the country." into Volkening's chest, they were
For Michigan coach Red Beren- getting deflected or knocked away
son, everything went right for his by defenders. Air Force blocked 18
fifth-ranked offense - except in the shots Friday, often setting three
end, nothing actually did. Michi- skaters up in a loose triangle in front
gan outshot Air Force 43-13 for of the net to crowd the shooting
the game, but that statistic alone lanes. And when a pass or rebound
doesn't capture how one-sided the set up a Michigan scoring chance in
game seemed. front of the crease, the Wolverines'
Michigan completely controlled sticks were often tied up.
the game's pace from start to finish. And as ridiculous as it sounds,
The Wolverines nearly doubled the despite letting 43 shots reach Volk-
Falcons in faceoff wins, 41-22. At ening, the Falcons played a solid

defensive game.
"When you look at the game,
they had a lot of shots," Serratore
said. "But how many second shots
did they get? How many outnum-
bered situations did they have? ...
The entire game, how many back-
door shots did they get? How many
rebound chances did they get?
"You can't hold ateam like that to
no shots. But we said, 'If they score,
they're going to have to score one-
shot goals.' And scoring one-shot
goals on Andrew Volkening is not
an easy task."
When Air Force took a 2-0 lead
seven minutes into the second peri-
od, Michigan's poise turned into
urgency, and thaturgency gradually
devolved into frustration. When an
official would remove a Wolverine
from the faceoff circle for being too
quick on the draw, players on the
bench would throw their arms up
in disbelief.
With 4:45'remaining in the game,
sophomore forward Matt Rust went
in alone on Volkening and had the
junior netminder beaten with his
patented forehand-to-backhand
move. But the shot went off the
high post. As he watched the puck
bounce into the opposite corner,
moments of the meet came during
the 1,650-yard freestyle. As senior
co-captain Matt Patton stepped on
the block for his last race as a Wol-
verine, the entire Michigan team
lined up along the pool deck and
cheered him on for his 14-plus min-
ute race. He finished first in his heat
and swam his best time by three sec-
onds. While the parents in the stands
and his teammates whistled, cheered
and clapped, the notoriously quiet
Patton simply nodded his head and
pointed his finger toward his team.
Patton's sixth-place finish earned
him All-American honors.
Though the Wolverines had ini-
tially hoped for a top-four finish after
finishing sixth last season, Patton
said the team's entire season mustbe
considered in order to put the team's
performance at this meet into per-
spective.
"There are so many things we as
a team had to overcome," he said.

Rust raised his arms above his
waist, as if someone had just played
a joke on him.
Facing elimination with two
minutes left, freshman defense-
man Brandon Burlon received a
quick pass at the point and saw
Volkening out of position, giving
way to an open net. After the shot
whizzed over the crossbar, Burlon
turned and cocked his stick behind
his head, ready to slam it on the ice
before he remembered play was still
going on.
As the shots continued to hit
everything but the back of the net,
Berenson's hands were tied. What
does a coach tell his players when
everything is going their way,
except on scoreboard?
"It's not a matter of working
hard," Berenson said. "It's about
working smart, doing the things
that got us here, moving the puck
wide. We're a good team when we
use our outside speed and go to the
net, and we had trouble getting past
their D."
Ultimately, it was a lack of puck-
luck that doomed the Wolverines.
And for all his concerns heading
into the game, Serratore would
finally be able to get some sleep.
"We lost our best swimmer, really,
when (Scott Spann) transferred to
Texas. We graduated a two-time
NCAA champion (Alex Vanderkaay),
and we lost our coach (Bob Bow-
man). But we all swam better than
last year, and that defines what this
year's team was all about."
Taking some time to reflect at the
end of his first season as Michigan's
coach, Bottom said he was happy
with the team's development but
called the meet "very educational"
for his own approach to coaching.
"This year has been a time where
I've sat and watched and next year
is going to be a time of action," Bot-
tom said. "The guys will be seeing
a different Mike. The team will be
reminded daily about what this meet
was like. It gave them all a new per-
spective on their swimming, but if
we are going to be the team I know
we can be, they need to be reminded
of this experience every day."

lose the game for Michigan, by any
means. Berenson didn't like either
of the goals Hogan let in, but when
you have the CCHA's best offense,
two goals feel like a paper cut, not
FALCONS
From page 1B
Multi-line scoring was the
Wolverines' mantra, and it
worked for a while. They even
found success for two periods
against Notre Dame last weekend
- their two-goal lead came from
their first and third lines.
But despite outshooting Air
Force by 30 shots Friday, Michi-
gan came up empty. It tallied 43
shots on Volkening. It dominated
time of possession, even posting
a stretch of almost four minutes
where the puck didn't leave the
Air Force zone. Friday's game
marked the sixth time this sea-
son in which Michigan outshot
its opponent but lost the game.
The Wolverines demonstrated
the speed, skills and playmaking
ability to win the game, but their
luck ran out against a white-hot
goaltender.
"We got 40-some shots, we
probably had 10 or 12 Grade-
A scoring chances," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. "That's
the most you're going to get in
any game. We didn't capitalize
on them. Then their goalie played
a terrific game. It's as simple as
that.
"Somebody told me a long time
ago, when you get to this tour-
nament, the team with the best
goalie wins."
His team echoed many of his
sentiments after the season-end-
ing defeat.
Sophomore forward Aaron

-Eisenstein will still bein D.C.
for the Frozen Four because he's
going home for Passover. He can be
reached at mseisen@umich.edu.
Palushaj said it was quite appar-
ent that the Wolverines out-
played Air Force - the bounces
just didn't go their way.
Sophomore forward Matt Rust
said he and his teammates had
enough scoring chances to win
the game, but running into a
hot goalie made the task nearly
impossible.
Junior co-captain Chris
Summers, who usually cracks
light-hearted jokes at press con-
ferences, gave short, one-word
answers to reporters after Fri-
day's game. When asked how he
felt following the loss, Summers
simply glowered. His deadly glare
seemed to showcase a variety of
emotions - from anger to disap-
pointment to sadness.
And there's no doubt that, on
paper, the loss was shocking. A
No. 4 seed knocked off a No. 1
seed. Air Force, a team that had-
never won a tournament game,
beat Michigan, a team with nine
NCAA Championship titles.
It would have been easy for
the Wolverines to overlook the
lowly Falcons. It would have been
easy for them to chalk it up as a
crazy upset. But for Berenson, it
was neither. He stood firm, stat-
ing repeatedly that his team had
been well-prepared.
"We expected a tough game,
so this wasn't an upset," Beren-
son said. "This was a real good
Air Force team. ... I can tell you,
(my) team did not look ahead. We
put everything we had into this
game, and the puck just didn't go
in."

NCAAS
From page 1B
the overall team standings with 248
points, with Auburn winning the
national title (526). It was the Wol-
verines' ninth consecutive top-10
NCAA finish.
The meet got off to an unfamiliar
start for Michigan. The majority of
the team's races ended with personal-
best times and even school records,
but after the prelims for many events,
several Wolverines found themselves
watching the finals from the bleach-
ers instead of swimming in them.
Bottom said his team was "shell-
shocked" by the meet's intense com-
petition. But Michigan pointed to
junior Chris Brady's butterfly leg
of the 200-yard medley relay at the
start of day two as a turning point.
"To be honest, we were a little
down after the first day," freshman

Dan Madwed said. "Mike told us
we weren't swimming as well as we
should be, and when we saw Chris
had the fastest butterfly leg of any
relay, it really inspired us all to do
well."
And the Wolverines, led by Clary,
did finish strong. Clary won a second
individual NCAA championship and
set another NCAA record in the 200-
yard backstroke, becoming the first
Wolverine to win the national title in
that event since Ed Bartsch in 1963.
He was also named national Swim-
mer of the Year at the conclusion of
the meet.
Madwed finished 12th in the 200-
yard freestyle, and Brady set schools
records as he took fourth in the 100-
yard butterfly and the 400-yard
freestyle relay, consisting of senior
co-captain Bobby Savulich, Brady,
Clary and redshirt senior Evan
Ryser.
One of the more emotional

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