4B - March 14, 2011,
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4B - March14, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
mark, class of
2011, and get
an NCAA title
One of the largest incom-
ing classes in Michigan
hockey history came to
Ann Arbor four years ago.
Twelve freshmen became Wol-
verines back in the fall of 2007,
and since then, the class size has
dwindled to just seven.
first year, it
saw the early
exit of power
Bulldogs, the' MARK
minor league BURNS
Canadians. After its second sea-
son, Aaron Palushaj left Michigan
and is still toiling around in the
American Hockey League (maybe
that wasn't the best choice, eh?).
The Wolverines also said, "Bye,
bye," to Kevin Quick and Tris-
tin Llewellyn for violating team
After all of that, the seven
still standing (senior netminder
Shawn Hunwick is projected
to return for a fifth year) have
"I can't tell you
I'm happy with
the legacy or the
won practically everything: two
CCHA regular-season titles, two
conference tournament champi-
onships and three Great Lakes
Invitational titles. It's been to the
NCAA Tourney all four years, but
the Frozen Four only once.
With that being said, it's time
for this senior class to leave its
mark at Michigan and check the
one box that has eluded this pro-
gram for over a decade: an NCAA
And the run to St. Paul, Minn.
begins next Friday in the CCHA
The Wolverines have won
games this year in every imagin-
able way, which is certainly key
come playoff time and especially
in the NCAAs.
They have shellacked teams
like Michigan State with a 5-0
win in The Big Chill at the Big
House in front of a world-record
crowd. Hunwick stole the show
on a few occasions - just ask-
Alaska and New Hampshire about
The Nanooks fired 76 shots on
Hunwick in a two-game series
back in January, and the Sterling
Heights, Mich. native stopped all
but three to preserve the sweep.
Against the Wildcats, he stopped
45 of 48 shots in a 3-3 tie during
Not to mention, Michigan won
10 of its 25 contests by just one
The list goes on and on about
the ways in which this team won
hockey games this season.
This past weekend against
Bowling Green - in the class's
final game at Yost Ice Arena -
was a perfect example.
In Saturday night's 4-1 win,
three sophomores tallied lamp-
lighters, with defenseman Lee
Moffie notching two goals in the
Michigan's three leading scor-
ers who were actually in the
lineup - Carl Hagelin, Matt Rust
and Chris Brown - didn't register
a single point.
The Wolverines dominated an
inferior team up-and-down the
ice all night long - they sent the
Falcons back to that state down
south and propelled themselves
to Joe Louis Arena once again.
So here we are.
It's mid-March and Michigan
is back at the Joe contending
for another CCHA Tournament
Wouldn't it be nice, though, if
Wolverine nation was cheering
for an NCAA title contender this
Don't worry, it is.
"I can't tell you if I'm happy
with the legacy or the program,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson
said to FoxSportsDetroit in an
article last week. "I don't think
we've done as well as we should
But this class has done as well
as it "should have" - almost.
When Michigan grabs a No. 1
or No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tour-
nament in two weeks, there won't
be lofty expectations that can't be
There's just going to be one
Will the seven members of 2011
become a memorable class by
bringing home the program's 10th
title, or will they become a class
lost in the memory of a program
that has fallen short on other
occasions on the biggest stage?
We'll find out soon enough.
-Burns can be reached
Senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick surrendered one goal in Michigan's two-game sweep of Bowling Green on Friday and Saturday.
Blue executes to perfection t
insee fBowling Green
By MICHAEL FLOREK
Daily Sports Editor
You've heard it all before.
They just need to get to the play-
offs, and then anything can hap-
But BOWLING GREEN 1
this MICHIGAN 5
end, the BOWLING GREEN 1
any- MICHIGAN 4
INegrly everything went as
planned for the No. 5 Michigan
hockey team in its CCHA quar-
The Wolverines swept Bowl-
ing Green by rattling off a 5-1
win on Friday and a 4-1 win on
Saturday like they were check-
ing items off their shopping list.
The next item on the list:
the Mason Cup, awarded to the
winner of the CCHA Tourna-
"We're a confident team,"
sophomore defenseman Lee
Moffie said. "We came into this
weekend wanting two wins,
and anything short of that
would have been disappointing.
We came here and got the two
"We were confident in that
happening, and we made it hap-
The Falcons are living proof,
of the unpredictable nature of
the playoffs; they were the last
seed in the conference tourna-
ment, winning just three games
in the CCHA all year.
They then beat No. 6 seed
Northern Michigan in the first
Friday's game started with
Bowling Green believing they
could do it again.
Early in the game, the Wol-
verines blocked a shot, and the
rebound bounced to a Falcon
in the slot. With senior goalie
Shawn Hunwick on the other
side of the net, freshman for-
ward Luke Moffatt tied up the
stick and left the game score-
"They're playing a smart
game, and they're looking to
create turnovers and they did
get one," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said after Friday's
game. "They got a good chance
on it. They can score goals....
They scored enough goals last
That would be the best
chance the Falcons would have
for the first two periods. Michi-
gan woke up, scoring two goals
in the first and added another
in the second - senior forward
Scooter Vaughan's toe-drag-to-
top-shelf highlight reel goal -
to put the Wolverines up three
and the game out of reach.
Bowling Green had scored
three goals just one time in
their last 17 games.
It was more of the same Sat-
urday, wiAt Michigan using the
first two periods to reach the
magical three-goal mark in the
This time it was Moffie's see-
ing-eye wrist shot from the left
point that squeaked through
Falcon goalie Andrew Ham-
mond late in the second period
that put the game away.
"It was just a decent release,
and I don't think he was ready
for it," Moffie said. "He prob-
ably should have made the save,
but luckily it went in."
Perhaps the only thing Mich-
igan didp't check off the to-do
list wasstay healthy.
Late in the third period of
Friday's game, junior forward
David Wohlberg was sand-
wiched by two Falcon play-
ers - according to Berenson,
Wohlberg broke his collarbone
on the play, and he will miss the
rest of the season.
Senior forward Ben Winnett
filled in for Wohlberg on the top
The offense didn't slow
down. A day after outshooting
Bowling Green 41-24, the Wol-
verines had 15 more shots than
the Falcons in game two.
The plus-32, shot differen-
tial on the weekend is the big-
gest difference Michigan has
recorded all season.
"It's a tough series when
you're playing against a last
-place team," Berenson said.
"Sometimes you might think
you can take liberties; or you
can take shortcuts. Well, there's
Friday will be Michigan's
next opportunity to round out
their shopping list as it will face
No. 4 seed Western Michigan
in the semifinals, and the finals
will be on Saturday. As the top
seed, the Wolverines are the
But you know what they say.
Sophomores pace 'M' offensive attack
Forward Matt Rust and the rest of the senior class has something to prove in this
season's NCAA Tournament.
Log on to michigandaily.com later this
week for CCHA tourney coverage and
'QUICK HITS' WITH
By CASANDRA PAGNI
Daily Sports Writer
Following a season-ending
collarbone injury to the Wol-
verines' second-leading scorer,
junior forward David Wohlberg,
in game one of the best-of-
three CCHA quarterfinal series
against Bowling Green on Fri-
day, the Michigan bench was
depleted on Saturday, to say the
In fact, freshman defenseman
Kevin Clare was the only healthy
game-time scratch for the Wol-
In losing Wohlberg and senior
forward Louie Caporusso - who
suffered alower-body injury two
weekends ago against Northern
Michigan - the fifth-ranked
Wolverines lost leadership and
two top-tier forwards.
But in the seniors' last series
in Yost.Ice Arena - a 5-1 Friday
victory and a 4-1 win on Satur-
day it was the sophomores
"Obviously, when guys go
down, all the guys have to step
up," senior forward Carl Hage-
lin said after Saturday's win.
"Today, (sophomore defenseman
Lee Moffie) stepped up with a
great game, great performance,
two goals and one assist. (Sopho-
more forward Lindsay Sparks)
had a really good game as well
and so did (sophomore forward
A.J. Treais). That is what you
need and those guys are ready
to play. They're obviously very
skilled guys and they showed up
Sparks, who has had a consis-
tent spot in the lineup since the
series in Marquette, sawhis hard
work pay off in both games this
Sparks scored his first goal of
the series just 42 seconds into
the third period against the Fal-
cons on Friday. Michigan was
up 3-0 on Bowling Green, but
Sparks's goal set the tempo for
a dominant third period for the
"I'm glad (Sparks) scored a
goal," Berenson said on Friday.
"Lindsay had a chance to have a
real good game, and I can't tell
you he didn't have a good game,
but he misfired on one of his best
chances. You'd like to see him
finish that one. But neverthe-
less he's playing, getting some
experience, hopefully some con-
Sparks flashed that confidence
on Saturday, scoring Michigan's
second goal of the game six min-
utes into the second period. He
took a cross-ice pass from fresh-
man defenseman Mac Bennett,
beat the Falcon defenders and
buried the puck for his third tally
of his sophomore season.
Treais, the center on Sparks's
line, scored the Wolverines' sec-
ond power-play goal of the game
While senior forward Ben
Winnett played with Treais and
Sparks on Friday, freshman for-
ward Luke Moffatt joined the
C RE ucesfuTm
IAMM R tay
Sophomnore forward Llndsay Sparks celebrates a toai in the Wolverines' win
over the Falcons on Friday.
line on Saturday. Regardless of fie was huge," Berenson said.
the third member of that line, "Our top guns don't alwys score,
Sparks and Tresis showed some but we got the goals we needed."
chemistry on the ice against Moffie's two goals on Satur-
Bowling Green. day marked the 24th and 25th
Moffie got the Wolverines goals of the season by Michigan
rolling on Saturday. Junior for- defensemen - a unit the Wol-
ward Luke Glendening picked up verines will continue to rely on
the puck in the neutral zone and offensively as the postseason
passed it to Moffie, who slapped progresses.
a rocket from the left side for "Rveryone got a chance to
a shorthanded tally in the first play more than enough," Beren-
period. son said. "And we did get some
Moffie also added a power- balance. That's what we need.
play tally in the second period We've gutsa team that has scored
and finished the series with enoughgoalsbutmaybe we don't
three points, have a 20-goal scorer on our *
"Getting two goals from Mof- team."