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June 30, 2008 - Image 43

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-06-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Orientation Edition 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

The bad news: You just missed one of the most exciting Michigan hockey seasons in recent memory. The
Wolverines, led by seniors Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik, dominated the CCHA on their way to their first
Frozen Four appearance since 2005.
The good news: Everyone but Porter and Kolarik are back, including defensive stalwart Mark Mitera, Max
Pacioretty and a slue of potential stars. The next four years could be special ones for Michigan hockey.
A rough end to special season

aybe we were just
a little too spoiled,
watching Michigan get
everything it
Hockey Show- .
case cham-
pions. Great "
Lakes Invita-
tional cham-
regular-season, RATKOWIAK
then CCHA
tournament champions. A trip to
the Frozen Four.
None of it was originally expect-a
ed, but all of it happened.
And then the Wolverines found
out they were playing Notre Dame
in the NCAA semifinals, a team
they beat twice in the regular sea-
son. They were playing a team that
completely folded in the CCHA
Tournament and slipped into the
NCAA Tournament. Even though
Michigan insisted it wasn't so,
a maize-and-blue spot in the
national championship game was
almost taken for granted.
Game time. The Wolverines
allowed two goals in the first six
minutes of the first period. All of
a sudden, the game was looking a
little too similar to that now-infa-
mous 3-2 comeback win against
the Irish at Yost Ice Arena.
There was still hope, right?
Then, the Fighting Irish struck
once more. Sauer was collapsing
for the second straight year in
The first period mercifully
And at the start of the second,
Bryan Hogan was between the
pipes for the Wolverines.
That's when I thought I was
watching the last Michigan hock-
ey game of the season.
Michigan coach Red Berenson
called Sauer rock-solid nearly all
season, yet pulled him after one
period and three goals allowed.
He replaced the junior with a
freshman who has played just

five games all season.
But the magic of this team, the
reason the Wolverines got to the
Frozen Four, is that regardless of
the situation, they've fought back.
It's worked for them all season.
It's made us all spoiled.
When the Wolverines scored
twice in 15 seconds to narrow
Notre Dame's leadnto one, it felt like
it might happen.
When Chad Kolarik poked the
puck in the net to tie the game, slid-
ing headfirst on the ice in celebra-
tion, it looked like it would happen.
But after clawing back and forc-
ing everyone to believe they could
, do it again, the Wolverines saw their
season end as suddenly as it began.
It started almost exactly six
months ago with an improbable
4-3 overtime win against Boston
College and a fluke goal by Louie
It ended with an overtime loss,
but the slayingshot was so dead-on
that the puck rocketed right back
out of the net. Hogan was frozen on

the ice in the same half-sprawled
position in which he had tried to
save the puck.
He was there for fifteen seconds,
maybe more, until Kolarik skated
up and said something in his ear.
"He's a freshman, and he played,
what, four or five games all year?"
Kolarik said. "I just thanked him
and that's all you can ask from a
goalie is to give you a chance."
He did give them a chance. The
seniors, especially Kolarik with his
two goals, gave them a chance.
And all year, this team turned
doubters into believers. Even in its
last game, even in overtime, Michi-
gan made fans believe it could get
what it wanted one more time.
That's why, until I saw the lamp
light up behind the Wolverines'
net, I didn't know I was watching
the last Michigan hockey game of
the season.
This column originally
ran on April 11, 2008.

Kevin Porter won the Hobey Baker Award, hockey's Heisman Trophy, last year.
Hobey Baker Award winner
dominates in NCAA regional

Mar. 31,
guess K
In hi
the NC
son cra,
this ret
in the c

By ANDY REID less streak isn't much of a slump.
Daily Sports Writer But Porter, the hands-down
favorite to claim this year's Hobey
2008 - ALBANY, N.Y. - "I Baker Award, is expected to put up
evin Porter's not in a slump big numbers every game.
e." "Thanks, coach," replied Por-
s opening statement after ter, who sat two seats down from
night's 5-1 shellacking of Berenson at the postgame press
a in the opening round of conference. The mood was deserv-
AA Tournament, that's all edly lighthearted. Porter emphati-
an coach Red Berenson cally smashed his mini-slump.
to say about his senior cap- Porter tallied four smooth,
pretty, Hobey Baker-esque goals
usually stern-faced Beren- Friday night, setting a record for
acked a slight smile after goals in an NCAA Regional game.
sark - for any other player Porter finished the weekend with
ountry, a three-game score- See PORTER, Page 34

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