March 26, 2011
Site: St. Louis, Mo. (Scottrade Center)
Event: NCAA West Regional Final
Score: #6 Michigan 2, #13 Colorado College 1
Records: U-M (28-10-4), Colorado College (23-19-3)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, April 7 -- vs. No. 5 Denver or No. 1 North Dakota - NCAA Frozen Four Semifinals (St. Paul, Minn.), 4 or 7:30 p.m. CDT (TV: ESPN2/Webcast: ESPN3.com)
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Behind first-period goals from senior forward Scooter Vaughan (Placentia, Calif.) and sophomore defenseman Lee Moffie (Wallingford, Conn.), and 21 saves from senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick (Sterling Heights, Mich.), the University of Michigan ice hockey team (No. 6 USA Today/No. 6 USCHO) punched its ticket to the Frozen Four with a 2-1 victory over No. 13 Colorado College (No. 13 USA Today/No. 13 USCHO) in the NCAA West Regional final on Saturday (March 26) inside Scottrade Center. U-M is making its 24th trip -- most recently in 2008 -- to college hockey's final four.
The Michigan penalty kill nearly eradicated the sixth-best power-play unit in the country, allowing only one goal on six attempts. Michigan poured on 43 shots while allowing the Tigers just 22.
Vaughan notched the game's opening marker at 2:23. Moffie moved the puck ahead to a streaking Vaughan down the left-hand boards. Moving in, Vaughan circumvented a Tiger defender on his backhand before shifting the puck to his forehand and flipping it up and over the left shoulder of Colorado College goaltender Joe Howe for the tally.
A slew of penalties on both teams eventually resulted in a five-on-three power play for U-M. Moffie ripped a shot that was initially stopped, but the rebound was directed back toward him for another attempt. His second shot ricocheted off a Tiger defender and trickled past Howe to double Michigan's lead.
After a scoreless middle stanza, Colorado College got on the board at 16:25 of the final frame after Rylan Schwartz emerged from a scrum in front of the U-M cage with the puck and an empty net to draw the Tigers within a single goal, 2-1.
Colorado College pulled its goalie with 46 seconds to play in the game for the extra attacker. However, U-M's defense held strong as Hunwick made a last-second wrap-around save to seal the deal and send Michigan to the Frozen Four.
Hunwick was named the regional's Most Outstanding Player and was joined on the all-tournament team by U-M defensemen Moffie and Greg Pateryn (Sterling Heights, Mich.) and Wolverine forward Kevin Lynch (Grosse Pointe, Mich.). The other forwards were Colorado College's Jaden Schwartz and Boston College's Cam Atkinson.
The Wolverines will take on the winner of Sunday's game (March 27, 5:30 p.m. EDT) between No. 1 North Dakota and No. 5 Denver in the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals on Thursday, April 7, in St. Paul, Minn.
Michigan improves to 49-26. It has at least one win in three of the last four tournaments.
Michigan heads to its 24th NCAA Frozen Four.
In his sixth game, Scooter Vaughan registered his first NCAA Tournament goal.
Lee Moffie notched his first two career NCAA points with a goal and an assist.
Lee Moffie earned his third multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist. The sophomore's eight goals lead all U-M defensemen and are twice his output from his freshman season. Moffie's nine assists are a career high.
When scoring first the Wolverines are 21-1-3.
Michigan is 12-3 in one-goal games.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Red Berenson
On winning the Regional here in St. Louis ... "Obviously this was great, but this was about our team and the University of Michigan. My history is really irrelevant in terms of this building. We just wanted to get through the first game. For Colorado College to score like they did last night against arguably the best team in college hockey, might have put the fear of God in our team and made us play better out of respect. It's a good win for Michigan."
On goaltending and defense tonight ... "This team has a great power play. It seemed like penalties were being called and you had to kill that. That was the difference in the game, our penalty killing and goal keeping. And certainly we got the opportunistic goals in the beginning of the game. I thought we played well five-on-five and we survived it. We were playing against one of the best power plays in the country."
On what the difference was on the game tonight versus the GLI game ... "I think we were prepared tonight. I talked to Coach Powers and he looked at video and did a good job preparing our penalty killers. When they did get shots Shawn (Hunwick) was there. As much as we survived it, I thought we did a much better job on the PK than we did last time we played them over the Christmas break."
On moving Scooter Vaughan to defense ... "Yeah, that's the great thing about having a guy like Scooter on the team, he's so versatile. He can go back on defense if we really needed him."
On watching Colorado College last night and tonight's strategy ... "I can't tell you that we tried to play any differently than we normally play, but I can tell you that I wasn't the only one to watch the game. All the players watched it on television back in the hotel and when you watch a game like that you really get a sense of respect for a team that you may not have gotten otherwise. The way that team went was just remarkable. I will say that when you score that many goals on one night, you can't buy one the next night and that's what happened tonight."
On the seniors and their chance to return to the Frozen Four ... "Well that's why we are here, because of our seniors. These guys have been the glue on our team, the leaders right from day one. They were the only ones in the Frozen Four and that was a good experience for them. Our team was picked to finish high in the league mostly because of our senior class."
U-M Senior Forward Scooter Vaughan
On his teams' play tonight ... "We knew that (Colorado College) are a good team. The line of the Schwartz brothers and Shultz we knew we had to shut them down and get on the boards. We got on them early and we had some great goalkeeping."
On being seniors and taking the team back to the Frozen Four ... "Being freshmen, I think we were followers of the seniors. Now it's our senior year and we really showed these young guys how to play the game of Michigan hockey. It means a lot to get back there and is really a lot more special this time."
On first goal of the game ... "It was a 2 on 4. I really didn't notice it was that way. I knew my man was a little flat-footed. I just used my speed and got by him and got a good shot off above his glove."
U-M Senior Goaltender Shawn Hunwick
On staying focused in tonight's game ... "I think they did have a few pretty good shots early on, but this is an opportunity to play for the Frozen Four. I think I made a couple good saves. It's pretty easy to stay in the game when you're playing to go to the Frozen Four. They didn't really get anything going too much until they got into the power play. Once they got into the power play, I really had to be sharp."
On playing goal in a close game ... "It was a close hockey game. It was 2-1 today. You know you just don't want to give up one. If they scored early tonight, the momentum is going their way and it's a totally different game then. I knew we would throw everything at them and I just had to play my game."
On taking his team to the Frozen Four ... "I say it all the time; I'm still shell-shocked. I can't believe I'm playing hockey for Michigan. I'm so happy that Coach gave me the opportunity to come here and play for Michigan. To go back to the Frozen Four twice is something that my brother was never able to do, even once, which is nice for me, but I'll give him a call tonight and remind him of that. I got texts tonight from guys who've played in the past. We're just happy that we can go back not only for us, but for our program and future players. It's a great tool for recruiting; I can't wait to be there."
U-M Sophomore Defenseman Lee Moffie
On power play goal, the second goal of night ... "We've been working on the power play a lot during practice. I think I got pretty good wood on the first one-timer. The puck slid over to me I had a pretty good scoring chance, but here was a guy in front of me. It went off his shin pads the puck was sort of scrambling around I think I got sort of lucky. I wasn't even sure at first that it went in."
On the 2-on-4 goal ... "I had no idea that we had even scored. I just tried to chip it off to Scooter. I got an assist on it, which looks good on the scoresheet, but I really didn't do much for him."
Contact: Matt Trevor (734) 763-4423