Michigan advances to CCHA final
March, 17, 2012
By Chantel Jennings | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Carlos OsorioDefenseman Mac Bennett and the Wolverines came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Bowling Green.DETROIT -- Bowling Green hit the cross bar. Michigan hit the post. Twice. Then both Michigan goalie Shawn Hunwick and Bowling Green State goalie Andrew Hammond stood on their heads.
And finally, after nearly 22 minutes of sudden death overtime hockey, Michigan sophomore forward Luke Moffatt got the puck to the back of the net for the Wolverines’ 3-2 win. The goal advanced the top-seeded Wolverines to the final of the CCHA tournament where they will meet the second seed, Western Michigan.
“We knew it was going to be an ugly goal,” Moffatt said. “At that point in the game shots are coming on net, you have to drive the net hard and get there for a rebound or something. I was fortunate. It just bounced right to me and I was able to put it in.”
While it was an exciting finish for Michigan, it was a slow start that seemed like it would send the Wolverines to the consolation game. Bowling Green grabbed a 2-0 lead and it seemed as though the Falcons would head into the third period with that, but sophomore defenseman Jon Merrill sent a pass to Chris Brown, who was right in front of the goal.
The puck went past Brown, past his defender and past Hammond, sending Michigan into the break down just one tally.
Michigan senior David Wohlberg -- who scored the game-tying goal with less than three minutes remaining in regulation -- said he felt the Wolverines came out lackadaisically.
Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson echoed his thoughts.
“I thought we were deliberate with the puck and we were tentative,” Berenson said. “It wasn’t our pace that we wanted to play at, and I thought we got better as the game went on. Don’t ask me why.”
It was the Wolverines’ second double-overtime game in a week, the first coming over Notre Dame last Friday night in the CCHA quarterfinals.
And now, Michigan faces Western Michigan with the CCHA title on the line. The Broncos booted the Wolverines last year in the semifinals. Even with a quick turnaround, players thought that extra motivation would be all Michigan needed to come out strong and claim Michigan’s 10th CCHA tournament title.
“It’s great to have two Michigan teams in the finals,” Moffatt said. “We have a little resolve still from last year, them beating us here. We want to get them back for that. It’s going to be a big game. We’re only halfway done with the weekend so far.”
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35