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April 07, 2011 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-04-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 5A

UU p~..

Notre Dame
-Coach Jeff Jackson has two national
titles, which he earned at Lake
Superior State
-Team comprised of 12 freshmen

NCAA Hockey
Frozen Four Preview
National Semifinals:
Notre Dame vs. Minnesota-Duluth
North Dakota vs. Michigan

Michigan
-Sixth in scoring defense
-Nine national titles, the most of any
program
-Haven't won a championship since
1998
North Dakota
-Top three in the nation in scoring,
offense and defense
-Sioux forward Matt Frattin is one of
three finalists for the Hobey Baker
award

Minnesota-Duluth
-Seeking first national title
-Only 150 miles from Xcel Center, site
of the Frozen Four

_____I IU'
Dueling Columns: Will Michigan or
North Dakota reach the national title game?

MICHIGAN WILL PULL OFF THE UPSET

NORTH DAKOTA WILL BE TOO MUCH FOR BLUE

ST. PAUL, Minn. -
Don't call it David against
Goliath. David wasn't
5-foot-7.
It's Shawn Hunwick versus
the most potent offense in the
nation.
North Dakota's top two lines
have combined for 121 goals
- Michigan's entire roster
that skated at the NCAA West
Regional in St. Louis has 121
goals.
Sure, the
Wolverines
have their
backs against
the wall, but
they have a
shutdown
defense and STEPHEN J.
one of the NESBITT
hottest goal-
tenders in the
nation. Since
losing twice to Miami (Ohio) in
early February, Michigan has
gone 11-1, allowing just two goals
per game.
There's a reason Michigan is
one of the four teams remain-
ing. The regular-season CCHA
champion didn't survive on just
its offense - it rode its horses on
the blue line.
And one of those horses,
* junior defenseman Brandon Bur-
Ion, will likely return this week-
end after missing two weekends
of hockey. Michigan coach Red
Berenson will make a decision
regarding Burlon tomorrow,
but freshman Kevin Clare edg-
ing out Burlon for that last spot
would be a shock.
At this point in the season, the
Wolverines aren't guaranteed
anything more than a date with

North
And w
downt
agains
Last
banqu
their f
and fa
in thei
with tl
over ye
To s
ing on
Sioux,
The
in a slU
It's
Vaugh
man, r
to crea
makes
turned
It's
battlin
finding
feet fe
Th
a
th
And
Hunw
his car

Dakota - they relish that. Student Dakota - the North
hen the season comes Dakota student newspaper -
to a single game, don't bet referred to Michigan as the
t these seniors. Spartans.
t Saturday at the team Around Ann Arbor, we know
et, the seven seniors gave that's a cardinal sin.
inal farewells to friends North Dakota, ateam brim-
mily in Ann Arbor. And ming with confidence, refused
r speeches, they all ended the apparel given to them for
he same message: it's not winning the WCHA and NCAA
et. Midwest Regionals. They were
ome spectators, after tak- too focused (read: pompous) in
e look at these Fighting their run for a national champi-
it looks very over. onship.
Wolverines can't contend The Wolverines, on the other
sgfest. hand, wouldn't take off their
going to take Scooter caps. Before practice two days
an, the converted defense- after defeating Colorado College
making a dash to the net to take the West Regional, fresh-
te a scoring chance that man Luke Moffatt still had his
you wonder when he gray championship hat on.
I into an offensive dynamo. When is that one coming off?
going to take Matt Rust "Not until we get that next
g against the boards and one."
g a teammate with a per- Michigan's shot at the "next
ed. one" begins today at the Excel
Energy Center. In the end, Mich-
igan is going to have several sets
of hats to doff to wave goodbye
e W olverines to the Fighting Sioux.
Because ina one-game series,
re relishing it comes down to moments, not
stats.
is date with "You know, somebody's gotta
win this weekend," Hunwick
the Sioux. said Monday with a grin. "It
might as well be us."
With Hunwick between the
pipes, David slaying Goliath
it's going to take Shawn doesn't seem like too much of a
ick performing the best of stretch. These Spartans ... err ...
eer. Wolverines are in good hands.

'Michigan coach Red
Berenson made the
analogy this week
that his team's Frozen Four
matchup against No.1 seed
North Dakota was a David vs.
Goliath matchup. It's not.
And that's exactly the prob-
lem.
The Wolverines are the
underdog, they know it. Nearly
everybody that talked to the
media over

the last two
weeks has
mentioned
it. It should
make you
feel good. If
you've ever
read John
U. Bacon's
book on
Michigan
hockey,

MICHAEL
FLOREK

same c
next t
trophi
questi
honest
If th
you sh
half tr
So is
for tha
walk b
believe
people
win-th
card o
card?
And
games
"I ti
tude,"
a desp
know
we haN
don't h
goingt
M
M
pla
Und
ways.
tional+
respec
gan's'

hair in the coach's lounge, as Michigan.
D various championship The other way is doing one
es and answers the same thing better than the favorite
ons from the media - as and then having that one thing
t as can be. dictate the game. The Wol-
sere's one group of people verines don't have that. North
ould tell white lies and Dakota is like that one prick in
uths to, it's the media. high school who one-ups every-
s he - or anybody else thing you do (ina hypotheti-
at matter - really going to cal situation of course, I'm not
nto that locker room and speaking from experience or
ably play the the-only- anything).
-who-believe-we-can- Michigan has the defense, and
is-game-are-in-this-room defense wins championships.
r the nobody-respects-us Well the Fighting Sioux give up
less.
i how do underdogs win Shawn Hunwick wasn't even
>? supposed to be the starter, now
hink they have an atti- . he's CCHA goalie of the year.
Berenson said. "They have Michigan will have goodwill on
erate attitude and I don't its side. North Dakota goaltender
if our team has that. I hope Aaron Dell wasn't supposed to
ve it by game time. If we start this season either. He leads
save it we're probably not the nation in goals against.
to play like an underdog." I haven't even mentioned that
the Sioux put up over four goals
a game or that they have six
players over 35 points - Michi-
ichigan isn't gan has one.
The Wolverines aren't David,
VCU or the VCU or the Mighty Ducks play-
ing Iceland in D-2.
ighty Ducks They're above being an
underdog. They're a team that's
ying Iceland. just good enough for people
to believe in and opponents to
respect but not good enough to
beat a No. 1 seed when both are
lerdogs win one of two playing at their best.
The first is having an emo- If I'm wrong, send me the
edge. The Fighting Sioux hate mail. I'll try to respond in-
:t the Wolverines. Michi- between whistles of the national
desperate attitude" won't title game.

Blue Ice, you know that the Wol-
verines win the national title
almost exclusively when they're
not supposed to win it. '
But this year, Michigan isn't
a No. 4 seed. It was a win or two
away from being the last No.
1 seed in the tournament. The
Wolverines are a senior-laden
team. They belong in this game.
If there were ever a time you
secretly expected that this team
was goingto exceed your expec-
tations, it's this season (if you
understood that the first time
you read it congratulations, you
beat me). It's happened all year
long.
Michigan understands this.
Berenson is probably the most
honest person you will ever
come across. Every day after
practice,,Berenson sits in the

Then maybe, just maybe, the
Wolverines will catch mighty
North Dakota off guard.
The Fighting Sioux may not
even know who they're prepar-
ing for. Monday's edition of the

- Nesbitt is a twin by birth,
but he doesn't appreciate all
the Twins apparel in the Twin
Cities. He can be reached at
stnesbit@michigandaily.com.

be significantly more intense
than North Dakota's. The Sioux
haven't won a national title in
11 years and have seven seniors
themselves - the same number

-Florek will be handling the
trivia on the live blog Thursday
night He can be reached at
florekmi@umich.edu.

STAFF PICKS
The Daily hockey writers predict
what will happen this week at Mark
the Frozen Four in St. Paul. Burns

Michigan's Most Outstanding Player
Number of Michigan students in attendance
X-Factorfor Michigan vs. North Dakota
Michigan beats North Dakota if...
Whosorwhat should Michigan blame lf it loses?
Who Michigan would rather play in title game?
Who wins Michigan vs. North Dakota?
Who wins Minnesota-Duluth vs. Notre Dame?
Whozwinsthe Notional Championship?
Frozen Pour Most Outstanding Player

50
Scooter Vaughan
Hunwick stands on his head
Team defense
Minnesota-Duluth
Michigan
Notre Dame
Michigan
MattRust

Michael
Florek
Carl Hagelin
35
North Dakota crowd
It scores the first two goals
Fellow heat writer Mark turns
Minnesota-Duluth
North Dakota
Minnesota-Duluth
North Dakota
Aaron Dell, North Dakota Goalie

Stephen J.
Nesbitt
Hunwick
100
Rust
Scooter Vaughan scores
Swedish national anthem"
Notre Dame
Michigan
Minnesota-Duluth
Michigan
Hunwick

Not sure, they bettr bring the flags
Lee Moffie's laser shot
The defense is up to the challenge
The referees - who else?
Minnesota-Duluth
Michigan
Minnesota-Duluth
Michigan
Hunwick

Hunwick
It scores on the power play
Inability to get sut of defensive zone
Minnesota-Duluth
North Dakota
Notre Dame
North Dakota F
Malt Frattin, North Dakota Forward

i

I

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