30 - The Michigan Daily - Orientation Edition 2005
Icers blow 3-0 lead and d '
bow out of postseason
By Gabe Edelson
March 28, 2005
GRAND RAPIDS - The players on the Michi-
gan hockey team didn't travel to the NCAA Midwest
'Regionals for this.
They didn't take the ice at Van Andel Arena to see
their three-goal lead evaporate into the tension-filled
air, their national title hopes obliterated by four unan-
swered goals from the Tigers of Colorado College.
They didn't pour out blood, sweat and tears all season
long only to be denied a trip to the Frozen Four for the
second straight season. And they certainly didn't plan
on Saturday's game being the swan song for Michigan's
But that's exactly what happened in the Wolverines'
heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Colorado College on Satur-
day night, just a day after ousting Wisconsin in an
impressive 4-1 win. The defeat knocked Michigan out
ofthe NCAA Tournament and ended its season earlier
than senior captain Eric Nystrom would have liked.
"It's ridiculous," Nystrom said. "I'm so upset. I'm
so pissed that we lost this game tonight that I can't
even talk about it without wanting to throw this micro-
phone across the room."
Despite first-period power play goals by juniors Jeff
Tambellini and Brandon Kaleniecki and Nystrom's
own score 1:32 into the second frame, the Wolverines
seemed to become somewhat complacent midway
through the game. Rather than attacking the net and
holding the puck in the Tigers' zone, much of the last
30 minutes of play saw Michigan reacting to, rather
than assertively countering, Colorado College's per-
sistent and methodical comeback.
"We couldn't put that team away," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said. "I thought their goalie really
played wellin the last half of the game. And their team
came back and got the goals they needed. Sometimes
the ugly goals are the goals that kill you."
Until Saturday, Michigan hadn't blown a three-
goal lead since 1987. So when the Wolverines led the
Tigers 3-0 with 18:28 left in the second period, many
Michigan fans had already begun celebrating.
But the players knew the game wasn't over, and
Colorado College remained focused. The Tigers'
comeback began with Marty Sertich's goal 6:13 into
the second. With Colorado College on a two-man
advantage, Sertich, the nation's leading scorer, beat
Michigan goalie Al Montoya glove side on a rebound
from Lee Sweatt's right-slot blast. Sertich was waiting
in the low right circle, and when the puck bounced off
Montoya's left pad, the high-scoring forward capital-
ized to put the Tigers on the board.
But it may have been the Tigers' second goal of the
night that broke the Wolverines' spirits. With Sweatt in
the penalty box and Michigan on the power play, Colo-
rado College was able to mount a shorthanded rush into
the offensive zone. After Montoya saved defenseman
Mark Stuart's shot, forward Trevor Frischmon scooped
up the rebound and put the puck past Montoya low to
the glove side with 4:33 left in the second period.
As the Tigers climbed back into the game, the
strongly pro-Michigan crowd became a non-factor
and the arena fell ominously silent as the final chapter
in the Wolverines' season unfolded in tragic fashion.
Colorado College tied the game 4:24 into the third
period on forward Joey Crabb's wrist shot from the
left slot. The puck appeared to have been tipped by
Frischmon's raised stick before it found its way past
Montoya's glove side to the back of the net. After the
goal was reviewed, the officials upheld the call since
it was unclear whether or not the puck was illegally
Al Montoya and Michigan could not hold a 3-0 lead in the Wolverines' 4-3 loss to Colorado College.
tipped by Frischmon. The call remained a point of
contention between the teams even after the game.
"To me, it looked like a high stick," Montoya said.
"It hit the stick, obviously, but it might not have been
over the net."
Said Nystrom: "They've got video replay, and the
camera doesn't lie, I guess. But I thought it got tipped
down with a high stick. They went to replay, and the
goal stood, and that was the difference."
But Frischmon told a different story.
"I don't think it did (hit my stick)," Frischmon said.
"I didn't feel it hit my stick at all. But when you looked
at the replay, it kind of looked like it might have. It was
a great shot by (Crabb)."
Junior Andrew Ebbett nearly regained the lead for
Michigan at the 10:30 mark of the third, but his wide-
angle shot from the left side of the net passed through
the crease just in front of the posts.
Just 30 seconds later, Frischmon notched the
game-winner. After Montoya stopped forward J.P.
Brunkhorst's shot, the rebound came out in traffic.
Frischmon wound up with the puck and fired it past
Montoya from the left circle for Colorado College's
first lead of the game.
"The coaches had been telling usall game just to put
it on net, put it on net as much as you can," Frischmon
said. "(Brunkhorst) made a great shot, got it on net, hit
(Montoya's) pads and it pretty much just came right
out to me. I just went to the net and the puck was sit-
ting there for me, and I just banged it in."
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