March 22, 2003
CCHA Championship

Captain Clutch

Other Tournament Coverage

By Mike Eidelbes

DETROIT – 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.

Michigan 5,
Ferris State 3
Team Goal Str
Time Assists

First Period

1-UM Jeff Tambellini (26) EV
4:25 B. Rogers, J. Shouneyia
1-FS Chris Kunitz (33) PP
10:47 J. Legue, S. Mangos
Second Period
2-UM Jed Ortmeyer (15) EV
4:45 J. Shouneyia, B. Rogers
3-UM Jed Ortmeyer (16) PP
18:41 J. Tambellini, B. Rogers
Third Period
2-FS Simon Mangos (10) PP
3:34 J. Legue
4-UM Michael Woodford (5) EV
5:27 A. Ebbett
3-FS Matt York (6) EV
17:00 G. Rallo, M. Kinnie
5-UM Dwight Helminen (17) EN
19:55 Unassisted
UM: Al Montoya, 60:00, 17 saves, 3 GA
FS: Mike Brown, 59:01, 25 saves, 4 GA
Penalties: UM 8/16; FS 6/12
Power Plays: UM 1-4; FS 2-6
Attendance: 19,097
All-Tournament Team

G: 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

""In 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 agreed.

"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."


Certainly, 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
Team Goal Str
Time Assists

First Period

1-OS R.J. Umberger (19) PP
12:06 Unassisted
1-NM Dirk Southern (11) EV
15:23 J. Milam, J. Jackson
Second Period
2-NM Jamie Milam (5) PP
12:37 J. Alen, A. Sawruk
Third Period
3-NM Bryce Cockburn (17) EV
3:20 J. Jackson
4-NM Mike Stutzel (27) PP
12:14 B. Cockburn, P. Michelutti
NM: Craig Kowalski, 60:00, 31 saves, 1 GA
OS: Mike Betz, 60:00, 18 saves, 4 GA
Penalties: NM 13/26; OS 13/26
Power Plays: NM 2-10; OS 1-10
Attendance: 19,097

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.

"There 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 pretty resoundingly."

The Buckeyes' 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.

While Kyle 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.

"We knew the magnitude of the game coming in," Markell said. "The kids knew that. We have to do some soul searching."


• Chris 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 teammate.

Tournament Three Stars
3. 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.
2. 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.
1. 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.

• Small 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.

• Northern 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 row."

Kowalski's response: "You're fired."

• Another 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."

• Love 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.


Ferris 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.

The 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.

Northern 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.

Michigan's 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.

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