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October 22, 2009 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-10-22

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Octobcr .22. 21009 - Faceoff 0 5C-

M Tenminutes of overtime had elapsed in the 1998 NCAA Hock-
ey Championship game, and Boston College's leading scorer,
p O Marty Reasoner, charged toward Turco after evading the Mich-
igan defense. He stared straight at the Wolverines' senior goalie,
T Uwho stood calmly between the pipes. Around him stood a rau-
cous home crowd of Boston College faithful, all standing fever-
ishly at Boston's legendary Fleet Center in hopes of conquering
Michigan-the closest thing college hockey had to a dynas-
ty at the time. The Wolverines watched breathlessly from
AL NE the bench as something their head coach, Red Berenson, had
told them at the end of regulation reverberated in their heads.

"DON'T WORRY, WE'VE GOT TURCO."
As Reasoner readied himself for the most
important shot of his career, the winningest
goalie in NCAA history poked the puck out
of Reasoner's control, halting the threat to
the Michigan's second National Champion-
ship in three years.
In overtime, Turco watched an Eagle shot
soar past him and off the crossbar, and heard
another ping loudly off the post. Both were
mere inchesfromdecidingthegame. Butthis
last save meant something more to a scrappy
Michigan team that Berenson knew wasn't
the most talented on the ice that night.
Turco only had to wait eight more min-
utes for his vindication.
Freshman Josh Langfield curled seam-
lessly around the net and surprised an unsus-
pecting Boston College goalie to capture the
Wolverines another national championship.
"That was the feeling that year," Berenson
says today. "We're going to play hard, and we
knew Marty was going to hold the fort."
After his most talented team fell short the
year before, Berenson knew how important
a goalie like Turco was to the team's playoff
run.
"He took us to four Frozen Fours and he
won two of them and he should've won the
third one," Berenson said. "I just can't say
enough about the confidence that a good
goalie gives everyone else."
As Turco skated off the Fleet Center ice
that night, he took with him one of the most
accomplished goaltending resumes in col-
lege hockey history.
A benchmark for Michigan goaltend-
ing was born. And despite the multitude
of capable goalies since Turco, none have
matched his playoff savvy.
"We just felt like he was invincible,"
Berenson said.
Josh Blackburn, the Wolverines' goalie
from 1998 to 2002, aided in two Frozen Four
runs but came home empty-handed on both
occasions.
Al Montoya, Michigan most touted goalie
recruit since Turco, allowed four straight
goals to Colorado College in 2005 and sur-
rendered a 3-0 lead as the team's national
championship hopes slipped away.
After Montoya, the Wolverines were
made victims of epic playoff goaltendingcol-
lapses from Noah Ruden (five goals to North
Dakota in 2006) and Billy Sauer (10 goals in
two postseason losses).

Eleven years after the 1998 Championship
game, Turco's shadow still looms over the
Michigan goalie position. Since then, near-
ly ever season of excellent goaltending has
been tarnished by poor postseason showings
between the pipes.
Last year, current Michigan goaltender
Bryan Hogan filed onto the ice inBridgeport,
Conn. to take on an overmatched Air Force
team. Despite seeing just 13 shots, his low-
est total in a Michigan uniform, the junior
allowed two goals as Air Force upset the
Wolverines, 2-0.
"At any position you're in, you feel like
you've let yourself down or your team down
when you lose a game like that," Hogan said.
This year, with new hopes of a national
championship, Berenson knows that Hogan
will be one of the main pieces if Michigan is
destined to break its 11-year title drought.
"Somebody told me a long time ago, when
you get to this tournament, the team with
the best goalie wins," Berenson said after the
loss to Air Force.
It's just a question of whether Hogan is
ready to be the first Michigan goalie to step
out of Turco's championship shadow.
COMPETITIVE FIRE
At 10 years old, Bryan Hogan was already
prepared for the intensity of college hockey.
The only problem was that he was still
just a Novi Ice Cat.
Hogan remembers one specific video of
his Pee-Wee hockey days that epitomized the
Highland Township native's young tenacity.
"I had gotten scored on ... and, I swear
to God, I went nuts, I hit the post, I almost
hit the referee with my stick," Hogan said.
"Growing up, I had a problem with getting
so angry when I leta goal in ... I was nuts."
And it wasn't just duringgames. L.J. Scar-
pace, a former Michigan goalie and Hogan's
hockey coach with the USA Eagles, recalls
multiple occasions when Hogan would "have
a word with his teammates" when they
scored on him or took a shot he didn't like.
"You could see him get so intense and
emotional," Scarpace said. "As a 10- or
11-year-old, that's not something you usually
see that young."
That intensity was a driving force for
Hogan, who took his persona to Detroit Cath-
olic Central High School where he won an
MHSAA State championship in 2005. From
there, as a little-known prospect, Hogan

found his way onto the roster of the USHL's
Lincoln Stars and wrestled the starting job
away from Michigan commit Steve Jakiel
halfway through his rookie season.
Hogan wasn't expected to steal the posi-
tion so quickly, but after four wins in the
playoffs, he kept the job through the next
year. That was enough for Berenson and the
Michigan staff, who extended a scholarship
offer to the Lincoln goalie in the offseason.
A year later when Hogan made his way to
Ann Arbor, Jakiel saw the writing on the
wall and transferred, leaving Hogan as the
only capable goaltender behind junior Billy
Sauer.
Soon after coming to Ann Arbor, Hogan's
fiery reputation resurfaced.
Often times when he is scored on in prac-
tice, Hogan slams his stick'down or sends
curses echoing throughout Yost Ice Arena.
Junior backup goalie Shawn Hunwick said
his favorite form of Hogan's episodes are
when he shoots the puckback at players who
have scored on him, even if the puck almost
always misses its target.
"It's just to send a message back to them,"
Hunwick said. " 'Next time, you're not going
to beat me.' "
Although the team routinely pesters
Hogan for his behavior during practice,
senior captain Chris Summers knows that
the junior goaltender's tenacity is his great-
est contribution to the Wolverines.
"All goalies are out of their minds," Sum-
mers said. "And he's the most passionate
about his position compared to any other
goalie I've ever played with."
Hogan has little idea what made him the
fanatical goalie that he is today. But with-
out that unrelenting ambition to be a perfect
goaltender, he never would have established
himself as the starting goaltender last year
over record-setting netminder Billy Sauer.
It was a goalie controversy that under-
scored the Wolverines' entire season, one
where no goalie could safely be called No. 1.
BATTLING BETWEEN THE PIPES
Billy Sauer's junior campaign was some-
thing college goaltenders dream about.
Thirty wins. Four shutouts. A goals
against average (1.95) and save percentage
(.924) that are tops in Michigan history.
But the one pockmark on his resume is
what ultimately led to his fall from grace as
See HOGAN, Page BC

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