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March 29, 2010 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-29

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The Michigan Daily j michigandaily.com March 29, 2010

Keep your
head up,
Michigan

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -
Shawn Hunwick stood with
his back pressed up against
his net, simply hanging his
head in defeat.
The Michigan hockey team and
the junior goaltender had just lost
their NCAA Tournament regional
final to Miami (Ohio), 3-2 in dou-
ble overtime,
concluding the
Wolverines'
rollercoaster of
a season.
Looking
back at the sea-
son Michigan
endured - hor-
rendous two- MARK
game sweeps BURNS
at the hands BURN__
of the same
RedHawks and
Michigan State in early Novem-
ber, the loss to RPI in the opening
round of the GLI and finishing
seventh in the conference - and
adding up all those disappoint-
ments, you have to ask yourself
one all-encompassing question.
On March 28 at just around
11:54 p.m., when that final, decid-
ing goal made its way past Shawn
Hunwick and into the back of the
net, was this 2009-10 season a
success for the Wolverines?
And at first glance, most would
say no. How can you say the rocky
season the Wolverines struggled
through could be labeled as a suc-
cess in anyone's book?
Well, there's no doubt in my
mind that it was.
I'll be the first to admit - I
expected this team to crash and
burn after its two-game sweep
at Nebraska-Omaha in mid-
February. After his slow start this
year, I never thought junior Louie
Caporusso would have a second
half of the season that was on the
same pace with last year when he
was a finalist for the Hobey Baker.
And when junior Bryan Hogan
suffered a groin injury against
Notre Dame on Feb. 25, I readily

wrote about how Hunwick didn't
belong on any Division-I team.
But coach Red Berenson, Louie,
'Shawn and the rest of the Michi-
gan hockey team, you proved
me wrong and probably most of
the Wolverine fan base, as well.
You accomplished things no one
thought you could after the first
thirty or so games this season,
and for that, you can hold your
heads high on what was a somber
night in Fort Wayne.
You rode a walk-on, backup
goaltender for the last 10 games of
the season, winning eight of those
contests. You traveled to East
Lansing and stomped your intra-
state rival in the second round of
the CCHA Tournament, ending
any chance the Spartans had at
receiving an at-large bid to the
NCAA Tournament.
The following weekend, you
defeated - hands down - the top
team in the conference and the
country in Miami (Ohio), in con-
vincing fashion, before winning
the CCHA Tournament. Media
outlets and coaches across the
country - including Northern
Michigan's Walt Kyle and Bemidji
State's Tom Serratore - called
your team one of the hottest in
the country.
And then you found a way to
place the RedHawks on their
heels for much of last night's
game.
In the postgame conference,
Berenson, a 26-year veteran
coach, said he was the proudest
he had ever been of a Michigan
hockey team. Coach, your team
battled adversity all year, espe-
cially from the GLI and into
February. And that was definitely
something your Michigan teams
hadn't been accustomed to doing
over the course of your long
career in Ann Arbor.
But how your team handled
itself in the midst of this season
- when it looked like it wouldn't
make the NCAA Tournament for
See BURNS, Page 3B

ARIEL BOND/Daily
Sophomore forward David Wohlberg scores Michigan's first goal in the first period. Wohlberg also had two breakaway chances in the Wolverines' 3-2 loss to Miami (Ohio).
Blown chanIlces costWolverines;

By MICHAEL FLOREK
Daily SportsWriter -
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Late
Sunday night, the Michigan hock-
ey team's season came to an end
less than two minutes into the
second
overtime MICHIGAN 2
after MIAMI (OHIO) 3
Miami
(Ohio)'s Alden Hirschfeld beat
junior Shawn Hunwick on the
stick side for the game-winning
goal.
But in some respects, the Wol-
verines had lost the game in the
twenty minutes preceding that
point.
Michigan launched 20 shots on
Miami goalie Connor Knapp in
the first overtime period only to
see the puck kept out of the net in
a variety of ways.
Shots into the body of the goal-
ie, unlucky bounces and stellar

goaltending from Knapp eventu-
ally ended their season.
It started early in the period.
Michigan had a 15-second power
play to start the period and
couldn't convert. But that didn't
stop the Wolverines from carry-
ing the play in the first overtime.
This newfound jump was a sur-
prise to almost everyone in Allen
County War Memorial Coliseum.
The RedHawks had dominated
the second half of the second
period and the third period, but
couldn't find 'a way to put in the
clincher in the first overtime.
When Michigan came out for
the overtime, it looked like the
team that outshot Miami 11-6 in
the first period.
"We were getting better in the
overtime, which I think amazed
the players even that they start
taking the game over," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said.
As the Wolverines began to

take over the period two minutes,
into the game, freshman forward
Kevin Lynch had an opportunity
on a rebound, and this time he put
the puck in the back of the net.
But the referee blew his whis-
tle moments before Lynch got it
past Knapp. The goal that would
have lived on in Michigan lore
is now just part of a long list of
missed opportunities in the first
overtime.
"We played so well, when you
hit the cross-bar and when you're
all over the goalie, just couldn't
quite get the puck over him or
through him," Berenson said.
"Sooner or later, somebody's
going to score, but we've seen the
game enough where one team
gets the chances and the other
team goes down and scores."
Things that were working dur-
ing the Wolverines' seven-game
run through the CCHA playoffs
and the first round of the NCAA

To rnament, suddenly weren't
working anymore.
Junior forward Carl Hagelin,
who Berenson called "as a good
a player as there was on both
teams" had a breakaway midway
through the period. He pulled the
same move that worked a day ear-
lier in Michigan's blowout against
Bemidji State, cutting across the
net and sliding it five-hole.
This time, Knapp made the
save. Two minutes later, junior
Matt Rust let go of a rising wrist
shot that hit the post. It was one
of those periods for the Wolver-
ines.
"We tried to get pucks on net,
we were outhustling them, and in
that overtime, we just couldn't get
the puck in the net," Lynch said.
"We just couldn't get it in the net."
Even when a high-sticking pen-
alty was called on the RedHawks
early in the period, Michigan
See REDHAWKS, Page 3B

'M' blows out Syracuse, advances to semis

WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS
Blue wins Big Ten title
for fourth straight year

By ZAK PYZIK
Daily Sports Writer
With about 12 minutes remain-
ing in the Michigan women's bas-
ketball team's 78-52 blowout win
over Syracuse in the WNIT quar-
terfinal,
freshman SYRACUSE 52
guard MICHIGAN 78
Dayeesha
Hollins dove on a ball fumbled by
an Orange player.
After Hollins wrestled with a
Syracuse player and came out with
possession, she dished the ball to
freshman guard Jenny Ryan from
her back. Ryan and the Wolverines
now had a four-on-one.
Ryan passed it to sophomore
forward Carmen Reynolds, who
fed the ball to a wide-open Veron-
ica Hicks under the basket. The
junior guard drained the layup,
scoring two of her 24 points before
being fouled. She made it a 3-point
play after she cashed in on the
freebie from the charity stripe.
Hollins's ferocious fight for
the ball and Michigan's ability to
share the wealth were key to the
Wolverines' obliteration of Syra-
cuse on Sunday at Crisler Arena.
"I knew that we had to come
out with energy," Hollins said. "I
knew that with Syracuse we had to

think of conversions. It was really
easy for me to get back ondefense.
It was a fast-paced game and that's
what I'm used to."
Michigan's first points came
from Reynolds. She sunk a tri-
ple from the wing to spark what
became a 21-7 Wolverine run. She
went on to score 20 points in the
first half, and scored a career-high
26 points in Sunday's contest.
"I never have started like this,"
Reynolds said. "It is probably
because of the well devised plan
that we had off of the bat. We
knew that they were goingto come
at us in the zone and we knew how
to execute it. We just had people at
the perimeter, and we passed it in
and we passed it out."
As the first half began to dwin-
dle down, Ryan and Reynolds
made back-to-back 3-pointers
from about five feet beyond the
arc, in the same spot. Both came
with the shot clock at one second.
"I was just really surprised that
I got so many looks." Reynolds said.
"Like I said it's because of the well-
devised plan we had offensively.
When the shot clock is winding
down someone has to take it. It's
good I was able to step up."
In fact, it looked like the Wol-
verines could never be stopped.
See WNIT, Page 4B

By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Daily Sports Writer,
COLUMBUS - Spurred on
by the roaring Michigan con-
tingent seated above the floor of
St. John Arena, the No. 9 Michi-
gan women's gymnastics team
battled a field of seven at the Big
Ten Championships and emerged
victorious for the fourth consecu-
tive year.
In a year of inconsistency for
Michigan athletics, the squad has
been a model of stability, bringing
home the school's first Big Ten
crown of the year.
The Wolverines (10-1 Big Ten,
19-3 overall) posted a season-high
score of 196.900on Saturday, tak-
ing first place and avenging an
earlier loss to No.17 Penn State on
March 17, who accepted the silver
medal with 196.525.
Entering the final rotation
leading by less than three-tenths
of a point, all eyes fell on the
Michigan team taking its spot at
the beam - a troublesome event
for the Wolverines early this sea-
son - alongside the Nittany Lions
at the uneven bars.

"It doesn't get any better than
that,R Michigan coach Bev Plocki
said. "When you get down to it
being that close in a champion-
ship and competing side-by-side
like that, I was just really proud
that when the pressure was on,
we were able to rise to the occa-
sion like we did."
And the Wolverines impressed
on the beam, with four of the five
marks hitting at 9.900, including
a stick by senior captain Kelsey
Knutson to effectively seal the
victory.
Leading off for the Wolverines,
senior Sarah Curtis knew that if
the team could lay down the score
that they were capable of making,
it wouldn't matter how well Penn
State (8-3, 17-9) did on the bars.
"I was actually pretty nervous,
having to start off the last rota-
tion and knowing it was beam,"
Curtis said. "But I thought, 'This
is what they need me for, I have
to start this off right,' and thank-
fully that worked out well."
Curtis also hit a 9.900 routine
on beam, setting her all-around
score at 39.525, a season-high that
See BIG TENS, Page 4B

-MAxcOLLINS/Daily
Freshman Dayeesha Hollins scored seven points in Michigan's win over Syracuse.
She sparked the Wolverines with a loose ball recovery early in the contest.

BASEBALL
1 U Wolverines sweep IPFW in home-opening
weekend series behind stellar pitching. The
sweep extends Michigan's winning streak to
six games. See Page 4B.

SWIMMING & DIVING
U Junior Tyler Clary defends his national
title in the 400-meter individual medley,
while Michigan finishes seventh in the
NCAA Championships. See Page 3B.

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