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February 20, 2012 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-02-20

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4B - February 20, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4B -Febuar 20,201 Th Mihiga Daly micigadaiyco

I ye been waiting to write this
It could've been written
way back in October, when Shawn
Hunwick allowed justctwo goals in
a crucial early-season sweep of Fer-
ris State, s team that now sits in the
CCHA driver's seat.
I'll omitcthe next few months
because, well, Michigan didn't do
much right in November. HadI
written otherwise from November
through the holidays, my words
dripped with
But after the
break, there was
ample reason to
write it again.
At the Great
Lakeo Invita-
tional, Hunwick MATT
looked more SLOVIN
like Detroit Red-
Wing Jimmy
Howard, who usually occupies the
Joe Louis Arena crease that "Tiny
Jesus" stole for two nights in late
The back-and-forth, holy-crap-
what-a-save duel that Hunwick
and long-time friend and Michi-
gan State netminder Drew Palmi-
sano got into in overtime was
reminiscent of the runway scene
in Zoolander. But at the end, the
Spartans couldn't hold Hunwick's
underwear - err, jock strap.
It really could've been written
after the Frozen Diamond Faceoff
weekend. The old adage goes,
"Sometimes you run into a hot
goalie" - then-No. 1 Ohio State
ran into one twice, as Hunwick
recorded a career-high 46 saves
in the series-opening win before
allowing just one goal in the out-
door game to complete the sweep.
Then there was that weekend
three weeks later, when Hunwick
almost single-handedly crushed
Miami (Ohio), a team that had
embarrassed Michigan earlier in
the season. That's when Hunwick,
the most surprising goalie in the

word: Hunwick for Hobe?
'D- lapses signal
lone blemishes of
N1; weekend sweep

Daily Sports Writer

more d
Clare's i
the night

Fifth-year senior goalie Shawn Hunwick has grown into a Hobey Baker contender in his second season as starter.

history of Michigan hockey, began
garnering serious national atten-
tion. And the questions soon fol-
Can a goalie win the Hobey
Baker Award? It hasn't been done
since 2001, when Michigan State's
Ryan Miller won.
Is Hunwick the long-awaited,
public-school version of Rudy in
college hockey?
If Hunwick skates behind the
net to collect and distribute the
puck, can he see over the cross-
Okay, so maybe nobody was
really asking the last one. But
Hunwick was beginning to make
a legitimate case for the trophy
given to college hockey's most
excellent player.
So why am I writing this col-
umn now, besides the fact that I'm
quickly running out of weekends?
This weekend, Hunwick was
his usual self: solid, if not stel-
lar; Impressive, if not incredible.

There's simply no other player
in the nation that so consistently
gives his team a chance to win.
Sure, you could say that's
because he's the goalie - as Hun-
wick goes, so does Michigan. But
the team completely rallies around
its leader. No player in the country
has as much ability to inspire the
team with his play than Hunwick.
It's much easier to give the extra
effort when he is willing to stand
on his head every night.
And that's exactly what hap-
pened when Hunwick made a
rare mistake in Saturday night's
win over Northern Michigan. The
out-wide shot that Hunwick casu-
ally gloves dozens of times over
got through and grazed the side
netting. But that equalizer was
hardly on his teammates' minds
while they looked for the winner.
Instead of blaming Hunwick, the
Wolverines sought to earn him the
senior-night victory, and that's
exactly what they did.

Six weeks from now, in Tampa,
Fla., does Hunwick skate out as
the Hobey winner? I'd say prob-
ably not. The odds are heavily
stacked against goaltenders from
the beginning. Goal scorers - like
Colgate's Austin Smith, who has
scored 33 times this season - get
all the glory.
But the fact that he's even in the
conversation - and he's certainly
got a strong case going - speaks
volumes. And with a rock-solid
end to the season, he should abso-
lutely get a finalist invitation.
It's safe for me to say it now.
There's not going to be any late-sea-
son recoil on Hunwick's part. And I
won't print a retraction if he chokes
down the stretch. But something
tells me he won't. That wouldn't be
a storybook ending to Tiny Jesus'
fairy-tale career, which I'm left to
believe still has some pages to fill.
- Slovin can be reached
at mjslovin@umich.edu.

Things couldn't have gone fast duo
better for the No. S Michi- rill was s
gan hockey team this week- matched
end: walking away with all Brennan
six points and a legitimate Chiasson
chance at clinching the In fac
CCHA title. the blam
But even after a 3-2 over- team -
time win over Northern that is, w
Michigan on Saturday, there as being
was still one troubling aspect turnover
of Michigan's play that could rimental
have serious consequences Accor:
in Michigan's post season the forw
hunt: turnovers. much to
Senior defenseman Greg Takej
Pateryn talked about the say Spar
inability of the Wildcat has bee
defense to get good passes to couple o1
their forwards. way back
But Pateryn may as well prove to
been talking about his own defensiv
team, whose game against Spark:
the Wildcats was fraught that in th
with defensive miscalcula- His t
tions. disastro
In the second frame, his inco
junior defenseman Lee Mof- the puck
fie was cornered against didn't d
the boards in the Wolverine any favo
zone. Northern Michigan Michiga
freed up the puck, then fired to a one
a slapshot past fifth-year the begi
senior netminder Shawn stanza.
Hunwick from the slot. The1
Luckily for Michigan, that saints, e
was the only turnover to regulatio
result in a Wildcat goal. But Reed Sec
things got dangerously close in front
as the game wound down. gan's go
the score
knotted at
2-2 with "I though
one min-
ute left in we w ere
the final a e
frame, careless wi
Mi;in the puck."
the puck
in the
Wolverines' zone. Sopho- made up
more defenseman Jon Mer- mistake
rill made an attempt to clear "(Nor
by dishing it to Moffie, who played
in turn handed it over to a hockey,"
Wildcat situated right in "I thon
front Hunwick. less witl
The puck went straight to forced t
Hunwick's belly. But it was The o
a sobering reminder of how gan tor
costly errors in the defensive back ha
zone can be. Pateryn
Though the Wolverines instigato
came out of the series on The h
top, Michigan coach Red the Wol
Berenson still thought the Michiga
mistakes became too char- down1
acteristic of Saturday's Pateryn
game. body in
"It was a weekend of sending
turnovers," Berenson said. ingface
"Both goalies made some It hap
great saves (and) both teams ple mini
were lucky at times. We deckedF
were lucky they didn't score the glas
more." All i
Berenson didn't think it Pateryn
had anything to do with the the only
new defensive pairings that he know
came as a result of sopho- defensiv

efenseman Kevin
njury he sustained
t before. The stead-
of Moffie and Mer-
plit up and each was
with a freshmen -
Serville and Mike
, respectively.
t, Berenson spread
e among the whole
except Hunwick,
rho was recognized
the only reason that
s weren't more det-
ding to Berenson,
rards were just as
unior forward Lind-
ks, for example, who
n working the last
f months to find his
into the lineup and
Berenson he's not a
e liability.
s struggled to do
is series, though.
rnovers weren't as
s as Moffie's, but
nsistency handling
in the neutral zone
o the Wolverines
ors, especially when
n was hanging on
-goal lead towards
nning of the second
Wildcats were no
ither. Right before
n ended, forward
kelgave up the puck
of Northern Michi-
al to give the Wol-
one last
to score
ing to
the Wild-
cats' poise
for their defensive
thern Michigan)
Berenson said.
ght we were care-*
h the puck and they
nly way for Michi-
respond was to hit
rder, and as usual,
assumed the role of
ard hits worked for
verines. As Northern
n brought the puck
toward Hunwick,
slammed his upper-
to Stephan Vigier,
the Wildcat sprawl-
first across the ice.
pened again a cou-
utes later, when heO
another player into
s from the point.
n a day's work for
- it's because that's
truly effective way
rs how to cut down
e slip-ups.

Captain lifts Michigan on senior night

Daily Sports Editor
A year later, it was senior night,
it was a CCHA title race, and it was
A year later, it was a captain, it
was a game winner, and it was a
slap shot from the left wing.
A year later, it was Michigan.
This time, Luke Glendening did
it his way, and the captain - who
doesn't like talking about him-
self - couldn't find the words to
describe the night.
"I don't know," the senior for-
ward said. "We've been fortunate
both (senior nights), I'll tell you
that. But I don't know. But, yeah
- I don't know. It would be nicer
if we just won it in regulation, but
hopefully next year they'll figure
that out."
Three hundred sixty-four days
before Glendening forced the
turnover against No. 20 Northern
Michigan and assisted junior for-
ward A.J. Treais' overtime goal, a
different Michigan captain led the
Wolverines to a dramatic senior-
night victory in overtime.

Last year, Carl Hagelin did it
the way Carl Hagelin should. He
scored twice - with seconds left
in regulation then again with two
seconds remaining in overtime
- to give Michigan an unforget-
table win over Western Michigan.
Glendening put his own stamp on
Saturday night's game with a goal,
the game-winning assist to junior
forward A.J. Treais and his char-
acteristic brand of hard-working
Not bad for a former walk-on.
"Is it a coincidence that Luke
Glendening gets a goal and an
assist tonight on senior night?"
asked Michigan coach Red Beren-
son. "I don't think so. I don't think
it was a coincidence Carl Hagelin
saved the night last year.
"It's a special night for those
players, and they're the only ones
that know what it feels like. The
other players, they don't get it yet."
Glendeninggot it. After Friday's
game, Berenson said he was play-
ing the best hockey of his career,
and he didn't even record a point.
But that's not Glendening's style.
Instead, Berenson says that he's
the team's hardest worker, fore-

checker and penalty killer.
During practice, Glendening
refuses to get beat by anyone in
On Saturday, he tallied Michi-
gan's first goal of the night in the
second period with a wrister that
beat Northern Michigan goalie
Reid Ellingson. It was Glenden-
ing's eighth goal of the year, and
his first in more than a month.
After the game went into over-
time, Glendening intercepted a
pass by Wildcat defenseman Wade
Epp and sent a cross-ice pass to
Treais, who one-timed the puck
into the goal.
The pass was more or less rou-
tine, but the play to get the puck
- where Glendening anticipated a
blind pass along the boards in the
Wildcat zone - was trademark
So was his explanation.
"(Epp) just didn't really have
anywhere else to go," Glendening
said. "He would've had to go cross
ice, and most 'D' don't like to do
that, especially in overtime. So I
guess I got lucky."
Almost four years ago, Glenden-
ino was an unheralded freshman

- unsure of his role on the team
or whether a role for him even
Glendening needed one prac-
tice to prove he belonged, a few
weeks to prove he could stay and
two years to become a two-year
"He just turned himself into a
player within weeks," Berenson
said. "He practiced his way into
the lineup, and he stayed in the
lineup, and he's been rock solid,.
and he gets better every year.
"You talk about a character
kid, and a work ethic and a no-
nonsense, great-student athlete.
That's the kind of kid you want at
In the Michigan locker room
after the game, Berenson wrote
two words on the board:
The coach pointed to the top
"Was this a factor tonight?"
Berenson asked his team. "Did that
become a factor? I don't know if
Luke Glendening willed this ... but
that's what it takes, boys. That's
what it takes."

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