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March 11, 2013 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-03-11

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4B - March 11, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michiganclaily.com

4B - March 11, 2013 k {)O ~ts~'toii I'IY The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom



After another sweep,
Michigan just might
be the CCHA's
hottest team
Daily Sports Editor
Earlier this week, when asked
about the upcoming first-round
playoff series against Northern
Michigan, Michigan hockey coach
Red Berenson said that it would
be important for the Wolverines
to get off to fast starts and to use
the Yost Ice Arena crowd to their

After Saturday night's 6-2 vic-
tory, mission accomplished.
Michigan (11-15-3 CCHA,14-18-
3 overall) used two high scoring
first periods to sweep the Wild-
cats (9-16-4, 15-18-4) and advance
to the second round of the CCHA
Tournament. During Friday
night's 3-2 victory, all three goals
came in a flurry of scoring during
the first period, and the Wolver-
ines used two quick goals on Sat-
urday to take a lead they wouldn't
"The first five minutes of the
game was huge because that team
was going to come out and try to
show that they could bounce back
and show that they can outplay
us and do what they have to do to

win here," Berenson said. "This
was their game, and I thought our
team came out and really played
hard and didn'tlet them play well."
Less than two minutes into
the game, sophomore forward
Andrew Sinelli took the games
first penalty, but having success-
fully killed it, sophomore forward
Alex Guptill forced the puck past
Northern Michigan goaltender
Jared Coreau to give the Wolver-
ines a 1-0 lead.
Michigan dominated the game
early on Friday night, and the
Guptill goal gave Saturday's game
a similar feeling. Wildcat head
coach Walt Kyle took a timeout'
immediately following the goal in
what appeared to be an attempt to

stop the flood gates from opening
But Michigan would get on
the board again when freshman
defenseman Jacob Trouba fired
a slap shot from just inside the
blue line. This gave the Wolver-
ines a two-goal lead and all of
the game's momentum. With 29
seconds left remaining in the first
period, Northern Michigan got on
the board after freshman goalie
Steve Racine allowed a rebound
to bounce directly to a Wildcat
player in front of the net, making
the score 2-1.
Despite the game being just
a one-goal game after the first
20 minutes, Michigan tallied an
impressive 23 shots, compared to

just six from Northern Michigan.
This was a day after the Wildcats
notched just five shots in the first
period. The Wolverines would fin-
ish the game with 50 shots, com-
pared to just 20 from Northern
"When you have the puck in
their zone, they're likely not going
to finish with many shots," said
junior defenseman Mac Bennett.
"And that happened. You're going'
to win a game if you have 50 shots,
and the less shots Steve had to see
the better."
The second period started out
slow, with neither teams necessar-
ily gaining the momentum,but the
Wolverines struck again six min-
utes into the period on a Bennett

power-play goal. It was his sixth
goal of the season, and put Michi-
gan back up by two goals.
A minute and a half later, after a
strange series of events that ended
with Coreau out of the net and
three Wildcats sprawled across
the crease in an attempt to stop
the puck from scoring, the refer-
ees called a penalty shot. Senior
forward A.J. Treais was called
upon by Berenson to take the shot,
but Coreau made a nice glove save.
The failed penalty shot attempt
wouldn't end the period's action
though, as freshman Andrew
Copp scored with 2:35 left in the
second frame, giving the Wolver-
ines a commanding 4-1llead.
See SWEEP, Page 3B

A welcomed reality check,

_ _ _
_ °r.

The Michigan hockey
team was elated after
Saturday night's 6-2
spanking of Northern Michigan.
How could it notbe? All the
traditional trends for the sea-
son seemed to have dissipated.
Instead of
goals, the
were finally
the ones
to score
that many.
There was
no collapse LIZ
somewhere VUKELICH
the middle
of the second period and the start
of the third. Michigan coach Red
Berenson and the players gushed
about how Saturday's game - the

one that propelled Michigan to
the second round of the CCHA
'playoffs - was the best it's played
all year.
That's all well and good, and.
it's nice to let the Wolverines
enjoy this win. After all, a month
ago, who honestly expected
Michigan to be standing where
it is now?
But don't let the thrill of Satur-
day's victory and the anticipation
of more-playoff hockey detract
from the more important aspect
of the weekend: Friday night.
Entering this weekend's
matchup riding the coattails of
two consecutive sweeps, how
could Michigan notbe feeling on
the top of the world?
But Friday night put the Wol-
verines in their place. It was a
reality check. And abig one at

To be honest, the Wolverines
were lucky to walk away with the
3-2 win. After coming in hot with
a quick succession of three goals
in the first period, Michigan then
reverted back to its old ways.
Though the defense recovered by
the final stanza, it played onits
heels for most of the night and let
the Wildcats back in the game.
"We were losing every foot-
race, everybattle (and) every
faceoff," Berenson said. "They
thought they were playing hard,
but they weren't playing desper-
ate. There's a difference."
Friday was the biggest testof
the season. Could the Wolverines
finally finish off what they had
started without any self-inflicted
Yes, they could. And without
that challenge, they couldn't

...., , .... . ., b....... .. . ... . .. .. , .. ..

Junior defenseman Mac Bennett scared one af Michitnas three power-play goals on the weekend.
Onc e aliabiity spcial
teams beco-mig strength


By GREG GARNO It was the first time this year
Daily Sports Writer that the Wolverines scored mul-
tiple power-play goals in both
How do you know when a spe- games of a series.
cial-teams unit is special? "Things just seem to be clicking
When it scores multiple power- right now," said junior defense-
play goals in back-to-back games, man Mac Bennett. "We're getting
it might be performing above chances, we're getting pucks at
average. Or when it scores a short- the net and they seem to be going
handed goal, it could be special. If in. Everything's just going well for
it kills off every single penalty it us."
takes, it too may qualify as special. There was a point midway
So, when the Michigan hockey through the season when the spe-
team scored four goals with an cial teams gave the Wolverines
extra man in its sweep it looked fits, and the power play seemed
the part. But this was the first more like a disadvantage. When
round of the CCHA playoffs, so it it was swept by Alaska, Michigan
added a shorthanded goal for good allowed three power-play goals
measure. To top the weekend off, and a shorthanded goal while con-
it didn't allow a single power-play necting only once in 12 extra-man
goal. opportunities.
In its sweep of Northern Michi- "We have a list of things that
gan, the special teams certainly have to go well for our team to do
were special. well, and one of them is special

teams," said Michigan coach Red
Berenson. "We've struggled with
that off and on all year. We've
lamented the power play, and we
lamented the penalty kill.
"Our kids have worked hard
and our coaches have worked hard
to get better, and now can see it
coming and we've had a lot of
progress in both areas."
Instead of cracking under the
pressure to score as they had ear-
lier in the season, the Wolverines
look relaxed. There were signs of
progress on the special teams in
sweeps of Ohio State and Ferris
State - they surrendered just two
power-play goals in four games.
Now, after the sweep, the Wol-
verines are killing off 83.9 percent
of penalties and sit second in the
CCHA and 23rd in the nation in
power-play goals per game, con-


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