30 -The Michigan Daily - Monday, Orientation Edition 2003
Michigan celebrates Eric Nystrom's go-ahead goal during the team's 5-3 victory over Colorado College
during the Midwest Regional Final at Yost Arena last night.
Icers' upset victory sends
Blue to Frozen Four
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By Dan Rosen
Daily Sports Writer
The look on Michigan coach Red Beren-
son's face said it all.
The Wolverines' normally stoic coach
couldn't help but smile and pump his fist
after his team upset Colorado College 5-3
yesterday. With the win, Michigan earned a
trip back to the Frozen Four. It's the third
consecutive time and ninth in the last 12
years that the Wolverines have reached that
Colorado College entered yesterday's con-
test as the top-seeded team at the Midwest
regional and favorite to advance. On top of
that, the third-seeded Wolverines had to sur-
vive a 2-1 nailbiter with Maine on Saturday
just to reach the Tigers. But Michigan found a
way to persevere.
"We were playing as an underdog but we
had our crowd with us, and we got the breaks
that we needed," Berenson said. "It was a
great game for college hockey and certainly a
great game for Michigan."
Sophomore forward Eric Nystrom got the
ball rolling for the Wolverines with a rebound
goal just two minutes and 20 seconds into the
first period to make it 1-0.
Colorado College answered back with two
picture perfect powerplay goals midway
through the period. The Tigers came into the
game converting on an eye-popping 30.8 per-
cent of their man-advantages - good for tops
in the nation. And they showed why early on
Colorado College freshman Brett Sterling
notched the Tigers' first goal, redirecting a
pass from junior Peter Sejna around Michigan
goalie Al Montoya.
Sejna, the nation's leading scorer with 80
points entering yesterday's game, followed
with a powerplay goal of his own two minutes
later to give his team a lead.
Sophomore Milan Gajic answered for
Michigan to nod the game at two seven min-
utes later. The Burnaby, British Columbia
native kept his stick down in front of the net
long enough to redirect a David Moss pass
"I didn't see it until the last second," Gajic
said. "I kind of fumbled on it, hit it and it
seemed like it took about an hour and a half
for the puck to go in the net. I only hit it from
about a foot and half away. But after it went
in, I was pretty happy."
The teams traded goals in the second, leav-
ing just 20 minutes to decide who would be
headed to Buffalo.
Forward Jason Ryznar answered the call for
Michigan with a score just 4:25 into the peri-
od. The sophomore skated around the Col-
orado College net and lobbed a
perfectly-placed wristshot into the top-right
corner of the net from his heels.
"Me and Moss were working in the corner
and the puck turned over," Ryznar said. "Moss
did a good job tying up his man. I just got a
quick shot off and luckily it went in."
Senior Mark Mink added an empty-net goal
with 18 seconds left to secure the win. The
Livonia native had two goals on the day, his
first tallies in over four months.
Montoya made 21 saves yesterday and was
named the regionals' Most Outstanding Play-
er. After allowing just one goal against a nor-
mally potent Maine team, it would have been
easy for the Michigan freshman to lose some
focus headed into yesterday's game. But the
18-year-old didn't allow himself to get too
caught up in Saturday's performance.
"I just told myself, 'you played a great
game last night, but if things don't go the
right way for you right off the bat, just stay
focused and things will,"'Montoya said.
His coach was never concerned.
"I've said all along that I'm not worried
about our goaltending," Berenson said. "And
I'm still not."