High-profile forwards such as Andy Hilbert, Mike Cammalleri and
Mike Comrie have come and gone from Michigan over the last few
years, but senior forwards Jed Ortmeyer and John Shouneyia have
been constants in the Wolverine lineup. Sure, they've stayed in
Ann Arbor for the duration of their collegiate careers unlike
the aforementioned trio, but they've also been the steadying influence
and provided character for Red Berenson's squad.
Never was that more
apparent than Saturday at Joe Louis Arena during Michigan's 5-3
victory over Ferris State in the CCHA championship. Ortmeyer scored
two goals and was a physical presence the entire night and the
slick Shouneyia contributed a pair of assists as the Wolverines
won their second straight Mason Cup and earned the league playoff
title for the sixth time in the last 10 years.
Ferris State 3
Rogers, J. Shouneyia
Legue, S. Mangos
Shouneyia, B. Rogers
Tambellini, B. Rogers
Rallo, M. Kinnie
Al Montoya, 60:00, 17 saves, 3 GA
Mike Brown, 59:01, 25 saves, 4 GA
UM 8/16; FS 6/12
Plays: UM 1-4; FS 2-6
Al Montoya, Michigan
D: Brandon Rogers, Michigan
D: Simon Mangos, Ferris State
F: Jed Ortmeyer, Michigan (MVP)
F: Chris Kunitz, Ferris State
F: Dwight Helminen, Michigan
games like this, you need your best players to be your best players,"
Berenson said. "I think you saw that tonight. They way John
Shouneyia played and Jed Ortmeyer and (senior forward) Mark Mink
played. To a man, our seniors really stepped up. Jed had the opportunity
to make a difference offensively and defensively."
Ortmeyer is no stranger to CCHA championship game
heroics. He scored a pair of goals in last season's 3-2 win over
Michigan State in the 2002 title match.
"You go to Michigan for the chance to play
in games like this," Ortmeyer said. "I like to play
physical and (Ferris State) is a hard-nosed team."
Berenson praised his senior class for the leadership
they've provided during the course of the season. He said their
impact can be seen in the play of the Wolverines' third and fourth
lines, which did an excellent job of keeping the pressure on the
Bulldogs throughout the game, a statement with which Ortmeyer
"We feel like we've been playing our best
hockey," Ortmeyer said. "We've been getting stronger,
playing better defense and focusing on what we need to do win
games. We're definitely looking forward to going back home to
Yost next weekend and having our fans on our side."
Northern Michigan didn't need to be consoled after posting a 4-1
win against Ohio State in the CCHA consolation game Saturday.
Perhaps "third-place game" is a better moniker.
Northern Michigan 4,
Ohio State 1
Milam, J. Jackson
Alen, A. Sawruk
Cockburn, P. Michelutti
Craig Kowalski, 60:00, 31 saves, 1 GA
Mike Betz, 60:00, 18 saves, 4 GA
NM 13/26; OS 13/26
Plays: NM 2-10; OS 1-10
But we digress.
Yesterday, Wildcat coach Walt Kyle said in his post-game press
conference Friday that his team wasn't approaching today's match
as an afterthought. NMU hammered that point home, thoroughly outplaying
the Buckeyes for the duration of the contest.
was a lot on the line," Kyle said of Saturday's contest.
"We came out and had something to prove. I think we did it
R.J. Umberger scored a soft goal 12 minutes into the first period,
a shot that caromed off a couple of defenders in front of the
cage and trickled past NMU netmider Craig Kowalski. That was the
only energy Ohio State would generate, as the Wildcats' Dirk Southern
evened the score four minutes later and freshman defenseman Jamie
Milam added a second period goal on a shot from the point eight
minutes into the third period.
was ecstatic about his team's performance, Buckeye coach John
Markell was understandably on the other end of the spectrum. But
he hoped his club would use the lackluster showing Saturday to
ratchet up their performance in the NCAA Tournament.
the magnitude of the game coming in," Markell said. "The
kids knew that. We have to do some soul searching."
AND HEARD AT THE JOE
Kunitz and Jed Ortmeyer received matching minor penalties for
their roles in a brief skirmish following Dwight Helminen's empty-net
goal. Kunitz walloped Helminen into the boards in front of the
Ferris State net, and Ortmeyer decked Kunitz in defense of his
Tournament Three Stars
Craig Kowalski, Northern Michigan The
junior netminder from Clinton Township, Mich., made 113 saves
in three days at Joe Louis Arena and led the Wildcats to two
wins in Detroit.
Chris Kunitz, Ferris State Scored
three goals and added an assist in two games this weekend,
and basically did everything one would expect from the most
complete player in college hockey.
Dwight Helminen, Michigan With
apologies to Jed Ortmeyer, Helminen gets the nod for his three-goal
effort in Friday's semifinal game vs. Ohio State.
consolation for Kunitz, but he broke the Ferris State single-season
scoring mark with his first-period goal Saturday. With 33-41--74,
he topped the mark previously held by Randy Merrifield in 1983-84.
Michigan coach Walt Kyle, when asked about the performance of
180-pound goaltender Craig Kowalski in Detroit. "It's amazing
that someone at that weight can play that well three days in a
Kowalski's response: "You're fired."
gem from Kyle, when asked about his team's standing in the Pairwise
Rankings. "I'm a Northern grad. I'm not smart enough to figure
that stuff out."
was in the air during the Super Six. During the third-place game,
the message "Renee, will you marry me? Brian." appeared
on the Joe Louis Arena Diamond Vision. No word on whether Renee,
who had the last change, accepted the proposal.
State fans, for their vocal support and enthusiasm throughout
the weekend. They turned the Super Six into a combination Mardi
Gras, spring break and state fair.
CCHA, for attracting a third-day record 19,097 to Joe Louis Arena
Saturday and a three-day total 38,374, which breaks the old tournament
mark. Give the conference office its due: they've worked hard
to make the Super Six a weekend-long celebration in Detroit, and
their efforts are starting to pay off.
Michigan and Ohio State, for a penalty-filled third place game
that hampered the flow of the match. The two teams combined for
26 penalties and 20 power plays.
Michael Woodford. Sure, he scored the eventual game-winner in
the championship game, but he put Ferris State on the power play
with less than five minutes to play in regulation with a stupid
cross-checking penalty. Matt York scored a second after the man
advantage expired to cut the Wolverine lead to one goal.