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March 21, 2011 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-03-21

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4B - March 21, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Hunwick epitomizes
Blue's play at the Joe

Sophomore forward A.J. Treais skates with the puck in Friday's semifinal contest against Western Michigan.KIRKLAND/Daily
Michigan's loss in the
CCHA seminfinals
doesn't mean much

DailySports Writer
DETROIT - As the top seed in
the CCHA Tournament, senior
forward Louie Caporusso real-
ized that the No. 5 Michigan
team had WMU 5
a target on MICHIGAN 2
its back.
you come MICHIGAN 4
in as a one
seed, everyone wants to take
you down," Caporusso said. "We
were that team last year, coming
in as a seven seed. You've gotthat
desperation in your game."
But the Wolverines were their
own worst enemy, turning in a
Jekyl and Hyde performance
at Joe Louis Arena - getting
thrashed 5-2 by fourth-seeded
Western Michigan in the semi-
finals, and toppling No. 2 seed
Notre Dame 4-2 in the consola-
tion game.
On Friday, the Broncos easily
pierced the Michigan target.
Western Michigan forward
Mike Leone started the speedy
demolition of the Wolver-
ines with a tip-in goal midway
through the first period. The
goal came on a 5-on-3 advantage,
after a pair of penalties taken by
Michigan freshmen - forward
Derek DeBlois and defenseman
Jon Merrill.
And the steady stream to the
penalty box didn't stop there, as
Western Michigan tallied two
more power-play goals in the
second period to take a choke-
hold on the game.
After Bronco forward Matt
Tennyson picked up a rebound
to the left of Michigan senior
goaltender Shawn Hunwick and
flicked it past the goalie from
his knees to push the lead to 3-0,
Hunwick - Michigan's steadiest
performer for the last six months
- crumbled.
The goaltendernjoined a scrum
behind the net, shoving a West-
ern Michigan player before being
pulled away by the referee.
"I think he overreacted, he

got too emotionally involved in
the game," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "He's disappoint-
ed, he's proud, he's a warrior, and
it didn't help his game tonight."
Helped by a pair of turnovers
at the Michigan blue line - the
first from sophomore forward
Lindsay Sparks, then senior for-
ward Ben Winnett - the Broncos
slipped two more past a frustrat-
ed Hunwick.
In the second intermission,
trailing 5-1, Berenson gave the
nod to senior goaltender Bryan
Hogan to take the net.
"I've been in that same locker
room in this same building down
5-1 in the third period and won
the game," Berenson said. "So
you never know what's going
to happen. Sometimes a goalie
change will wake everybody up,
but it didn't."
Standing at the end of the
bench during the final 20 min-
utes of the loss, Hunwick was in
the opposite position that he was
a year earlier. He led the Wolver-
ines to a CCHA Tournament title
in 2010 in emergency relief of an
injured Hogan, but now he was
the story of the weekend for all
the wrong reasons.
The Wolverines poured on
13 shots in the third period, but
could only muster a single goal -
a redirection goal from Sparks.
"We were embarrassed,"
Caporusso said. "You never want
to lose like that at the Joe."
With the loss, Michigan was
slated to face No. 8-ranked Notre
Dame, who was routed by No. 6
Miami (Ohio) in its semifinal.
Both of the tournament's top
seeds were limping into their
consolation matchup.
"There's not a coach in the
league that likes the third-place
game," Notre Dame coach Jeff
Jackson said Friday. "We've tried
to vote it out a hundred times.
But the bottom line is that it'll
be an important game for us or
But Hunwick wanted to be
there. And he showed it.
"You give up five goals, get
pulled after the second, you

should be pretty motivated to
come back the next day," Hun-
wick said. "Last night I lost my
composure a little bit, I was frus-
trated at how things were going.
I wasn't really mad at anybody
but myself, and I probably took
it out in the worst way possible.
That's the good thing about@
hockey, you've got another game
the next day."
Hunwick pitched a near-flaw-
less game against the Fighting
Irish on Saturday, carrying the
Wolverines with a career-high
42 saves in regulation.
But for the second-straight
night, Michigan fell down
early, when Hunwick's clearing
attempt hit the referee's hel-
met and dropped right to Notre
Dame forward Riley Sheahan in
the slot.
The Wolverines charged back
with a pair of goals 15 seconds
apart from Caporusso and senior
forward Carl Hagelin to take a
2-1 lead, which proved sufficient
until the final two minutes of the
Five mintues into the third
period, sophomore forward Jeff
Rohrkemper snuck in a rebound
to extend the Michigan lead, but
it was Hunwick who saved the
day with a brilliantglove save less
than a minute later. The Wolver-
ines depended on that save, since
Notre Dame pulled to within one
with an extra-attacker goal with
1:22 remaining in the game.
In the end, Friday's goat was
Saturday's hero.
And as the Wolverines prepare
to face Nebraska-Omaha next
weekend in the NCAA regionals,
they will depend on Hunwick to
shine in the shadow of the Gate-
way Arch in St. Louis.
"With a solid goaltender like
Shawn Hunwick, there's no tell-
ing what we could do," Capo-
russo said at the postgame press
conference Saturday. "This game
right here, we owe it all to him.
Some of the saves he made were
unbelievable. We have a confi-
dent goaltender, and we're confi-
dent in our goalie - he's got to be
our best player."

Yes, the Michigan hockey
team was beaten, man-
handled, throttled and
was on the receiving end of,
as they say
(the omni-
present but P
never defined
'they'), an
butt whoop-
ing. Yes,
the fourth- MICHAEL
ranked Wol-
verines lost FLOREK
to Western
Michigan 5-2.
Yes, it cost them a No. 1 seed and
doesn't sound so good when you
tell your roommates.
It doesn't matter.
This isn't last year, when
Michigan headed into the CCHA
semifinals as a No. 7 seed and
needed to win the CCHA Tour-
nament to earn an NCAA bid.
This year, the Wolverines were
the top seed and had locked up
an NCAA Tournament bid when
they swept Northern Michigan
on the final weekend of the
regular season to win the CCHA
regular season title. Of course
they wanted to win the Tourna-
ment as well, but they didn't
need it.
"I think overall in the game
we didn't show enough despera-
tion to win the game," senior
forward Carl Hagelin said.
But what desperation was
there for the Wolverines? They
have now won two of the last
five CCHA Tournament titles
and will goto the NCAA Tour-
nament for the 21st straight year.
You just need to be in, seeding

doesn't matter that much. To
win the whole thing you'll have
to beat everybody anyway. You
can try to manufacture urgency,
but it's not the same as the real
The Broncos had despera-
tion. They needed to win the
semifinal game to earn an NCAA
Tournament bid. After finishing
last in the conference a year ago
and finishing fourth this year,
well behind the top three, West-
ern Michigan had to prove they
belonged with the bigboys. They
needed to win.
Even Miami had it. Out of all
its senior class accomplished
- back-to-back Frozen Four
appearances, being less than a
minute away from a National
Championship in 2008 - the
program's first CCHA Tourna-
ment Title was the only thing
left off their resumes. And after
getting handled by Michigan
last year, the RedHawks' biggest
rival (I know it isn't the other
way around) added a Hummer-
sized tank of gasoline to the fire.
Let's flashback to last year,
though. Michigan destroys top-
seeded Miami 5-2 in the CCHA
Tournament semifinals. The jug-
gernaut goes down, the invin-
cible becomes, well, the vincible.
And the RedHawks realize it's a
good thing.
"This will refocus us, get us
focused on the national tourna-
ment now," then-Miami forward
Tommy Wingels said.
And then they tore through
their first-round game and head-
ed into a slugfest for the regional
final. Miami won the regional in
double overtime, and its season
ended in the Frozen Four.

Sunday, after hearing their
name announced as a No. 2 seed,
the Wolverines were singing the
same tune.
"You never want to lose like
that in the CCHA playoffs, but I
think after the weekend, when
you look back at it, it was a good
thing for us," senior forward
Matt Rust said.
The team isn't too concerned
with the CCHA Tournament,
and you shouldn't be either. If
the Wolverines make it to the
Frozen Four, no one will remem-
ber the CCHA Tournament.
If Michigan gets ousted from
the NCAA Tournament in the
first round, you may want to
come back and point to the
Western Michigan game as
the beginning of the end. But
Berenson admitted that during
the CCHA semifinals, his team
"didn't play Michigan hockey."
In some of the biggest games
of their young lives, the Wolver-
ines will play "Michigan hock-
ey" in the NCAA Tournament.
It's win or go home for good this
time. And this team has seven
players fighting to keep wearing
the Michigan sweater, the most
since 2007. Michigan will have
If the Wolverines lose, it will
because they got beat when they
were playing well. It won't be
because they didn't play Michi-
gan hockey or didn't have any
So take almost nothing away
from that Western Michigan
game. You probably prefer it that
way, anyway.
- Florek can be reached
at fiorekmi@umich.edu

Senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick was inconsistent this weekend at the CCHA Tournament in Detroit. Michigan
earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will face Nebraska-Omaha in the opening round on Friday.

As No. 2 seed in the West, 'M' draws Nebraska-Omaha in NCAA's*

DailySports Writer
DETROIT - After the No. 5
Michigan hockey team's lack-
luster third-place finish in the
CCHA Tour-
nament this NOTEBOOK
past weekend,
an NCAA Tournament regional
draw in St. Louis is just the M.O.
this team needs.
"You always want to win, but
maybe we needed that loss (on
Friday)," senior forward Carl
Hagelin said. "We were on a
great winning streak there, but
it's tough to keep that going for
very long. Maybe we needed that
loss to regroup and come out fly-
ingthis weekend."
On Sunday, the Wolverines
were assigned the second seed
in the Western bracket, along
with first-seed Boston College,
third-seed Nebraska-Omaha
and fourth-seed Colorado Col-

lege. Michigan has already faced
Nebraska-Omaha and Colorado
College this season, splitting a
two-game series with the Mav-
ericks in October and defeating
the Tigers to win the Great Lakes
Invitational in December.
The Wolverines are set to take
on the Nebraska-Omaha at 5:30
p.m. ET at the Scottrade Center
this upcoming Friday.
"I have a little bit of history
(in St. Louis) as a pro, but really
college hockey isn't as prominent
in St. Louis," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said. "We've got
to go there and play well against
Nebraska. Nebraska is a tough
team, we saw that earlier in the
year. It will be good hockey.
"And if you're good enough,
you get to play the winner of the
next game. Boston College is the
number one seed in that brack-
et, someone is going to have to
knock them off. It's like Michi-
gan basketball, we're in the Duke

junior defenseman Brandon Bur-
lon out of the CCHA Tournament
games due to illness, Berenson
had to alter the look of his usual
defensive template.
Burlon missed both games at
Joe Louis Arena, staying in Ann
Arbor over the weekend. He was
even too ill to watch the NCAA
Tournament selection show with
the team at Yost Ice Arena on
Sunday morning.
The junior played in every
game this season for the Wol-
verines prior to this weekend,
scoring five goals and tallying 13
assists along the way.
To fill the gap, Berenson put
freshman Kevin Clare with
junior Greg Pateryn, while soph-
omore Lee Moffie and freshman
Mac Bennett made up the last
defensive pair.
Moffie - whose seventh goal
of the season was Michigan's

first tally on Friday against the weekend, but I like the way they
Broncos - and Bennett have not recovered defensively," Beren-
played together this season, as son said. "Mac carried the puck
Moffie and Burlon have spent well, Moffie's got a good shot.
much of the season as a pair. But They're doing well in their own
after ending the weekend with zone. We played three freshmen
two points, Berenson liked the 'D' (in Jon Merrill, Clare, and
look of the new combination. Bennett) all weekend, and for
the most part, we played pretty
"I slike Already depleted at forward, as
junior forward David Wohlberg
(basketball), suffered a season-ending collar-
bone injury two weekends ago
we're in the against Bowling Green, the Wol-
verines have been trying differ-
Duke bracket. ent combinations on the bottom
two lines to find an offensive
Freshman forward Derek
Both are offensive-minded DeBlois got the start on Friday
defensemen but played well night against Western Michi-
down low to help protect senior gan, while sophomore forward
netminder Shawn Hunwick. Jeff Rohrkemper recieved the
"Moffie and Bennett have nod on Saturday against Bowl-
never played together until this ing Green.

Rohrkemper, who has played
in just nine games this season,
scored his second goal of the sea-
son on Saturday in the third peri-
od to put Michigan up 3-1 on the
Fighting Irish. The sophomore's
first goal of the season also came
at Joe Louis Arena, in the Wol-
verines' 4-2 win over Michigan
Tech during the Great Lakes
"You don't know someone's
going to score a goal (when you
put them in the lineup)," Beren-
son said. "Jeff Rohrkemper has
only played in (a few) all year
but he's played okay when he's
played. (I) thought we needed
to make a change and I needed
a left-handed shot and so on, the
way we put our lines together.
He played a big role in the game
tonight with Kevin Lynch and
Scooter Vaughan. They had a
good game. They had maybe
a lucky goal, but an important

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