the opening face-off of the CCHA championship game, grabbed a loose puck
and tried to drive a shot from the left circle past eventual tournament
MVP Ryan Miller, sophomore goaltender for the Michigan State Spartans.
glided to its second straight CCHA playoff championship, defeating the
Wolverines 2-0 in the CCHA title match at Joe Louis Arena.
Baker-nominated netminder, who in most hockey worlds could be referred
to as a human wall.
contingent of Millers says the defense in front of him should not be
the first-ever two-time tournament MVP. “They really limited the shots
and didn’t let them (U-M) stretch the ice out on us. They took away a
lot of the back-door plays.”
championship shutout (last year the Spartans defeated Nebraska-Omaha in
the final 6-0) but those green and white defenders (Andrew Hutchinson,
Jon Insana, John-Michael Liles, Brad Fast, Joe Markusen and Kris Koski)
had a hand in it too, tying up potential maize and blue offenders at
every opportunity and forcing them into taking bad shots at times.
Mason, who claimed the very first Mason Cup-a trophy named after the
first goal-exactly what Michigan was trying to prevent.
junior forward Joe Goodenow, streaking toward the net, knocked home an
Adam Hall shot to make it 1-0.
wide,” said Hall, a Kalamazoo native. “I cut the corner on the D, the
rebound came out, Joe came crashing toward the net and it went in. I
can’t say enough about Joe Goodenow. He moves the puck very well.”
period and made the score only 2-0, it broke Michigan’s back.
MSU forwards racing over the blue line with him, fired a shot that
sailed right through U-M goaltender Josh Blackburn late in the first.
You could almost sense it was over.
do,” said U-M head coach Red Berenson. “They play a great
defensive-style game. That (tonight) was a good MSU-style game.”
each of its four power plays.
couldn’t generate that goal and we got a little tired.”
a healthy scratch, according to Berenson and senior forward Josh
Langfeld reinjured his knee, which he hurt playing MSU at the Joe Louis
Arena just a month before.
“I like the way we played. We hung in there.”
them, but, as defenseman Hutchinson says, by not letting them make key
“It’s a shutout,” said Hutchinson. “It was nice to get this.”
four goals in the two-game sweep.
some nice saves and I think we played as well as we can defensively. We
scored by committee and we had great balance.”
the opener on Friday night against the Bowling Green Falcons in the
Spartans’ 2-1 victory.
power play goal to tie the game at one apiece and gave MSU some
much-needed momentum in that first game. Patchell later found an empty
net in a scramble in front of Bowling Green goaltender Tyler Masters in
the second period to make it 2-1. MSU sealed the game with superb
defense and tight checking.
“We played hard and let the offense come to us,” said Patchell.
Bowling Green challenged the Spartans, but came up a little short.
Bowling Green head coach Buddy Powers. “We saw why Ryan Miller is the
best goalie in the country.”
rematch that the Wolverines surely remembered. How could they forget
the 7-4 drubbing at the hands of the Mavericks last year? That was
enough motivation for Michigan.
there was definite motivation,” said U-M junior forward Craig Murray,
who scored a key goal for the Wolverines to get them going-the first
minutes later to put U-M up 2-0. Late in the first period, freshman Joe
Kautz, a virtual unknown until the CCHA playoffs, scored the eventual
game-winner, handing U-M a 3-0 lead in what looked like it would be a
Not so fast.
dominating the second period in what would become a tale of two
games-Michigan dominating the first, UNO dominating the second and the
third period played very even.
one behind him midway through the second period when freshman forward
Scott Turner scored to make it 3-1. Five minutes later, UNO’s star
defenseman Greg Zanon whistled a shot past Blackburn to make it 3-2 and
suddenly it was anybody’s game.
period,” said UNO head coach Mike Kemp. “They had the jump (in the
first period) and we were tentative and cautious.”
the whole tournament as Michigan frantically tried to expand its lead,
while the Mavericks tried to tie the game and possibly go ahead. They
of a UNO shot that somehow got behind Blackburn and was headed for the
back of the U-M goal, but was knocked out by a Nebraska-Omaha player’s
stick before it crossed the plain of the goal line. The officials
reviewed it and made a very good, clear call. No goal.
than 2:00 to play in regulation and U-M on a power play, Dave
Noel-Bernier grabbed an absurdly loose puck, raced in on Blackburn, beat
him, only to see the puck hit the crossbar and watch Blackburn swat it
away. Noel-Bernier had Blackburn clearly beat, but it was not to be.
UNO’s players were clearly disappointed and frustrated over the game’s
“We were all over ’em,” said Zanon. “We just didn’t get the bounce we
The Spartans, however, did get the bounces they needed and won their
10th-ever CCHA tournament title.
QUOTES AND QUIPS
difficult to win both,” he said. “We won’t stop celebrating this. This
is one of the best Spartan hockey teams I’ve ever coached.”
surprised to see Hilbert?” a reporter asked MSU’s goalie, Miller.
“Yeah, I was,” said Mason, cutting in. “I thought he was trying to go
low glove, but he was trying to catch me going high glove,” said Miller.
to me. I always try to bring my best game to Joe Louis Arena.”
Been there, done that
been on both sides of this.”
Bowling Green’s run
couldn’t ask any more of the guys,” he said. “It was a tough stretch
the last couple of weeks. We had so many close games that we just
started getting breaks and getting goals.”
credit,” said Powers. “(Ryan) Miller gets a lot of accolades, but
Masters is why we’ve played well.”
just being at the Joe,” he said. “It’s a disappointing atmosphere in
that dressing room right now, because we felt we could win and we came
here to win.”
UNO doesn’t quit
team’s season: “It was a disappointing outcome,” he said. “I couldn’t
be more proud of this club. They battled back, showed character and
A goal for the goalie?
Bowling Green net with just seconds to go in the tournament opener:
“Yeah,” said Miller, to loud laughter from the gathered media and
relieved laughter from Mason and MSU players. “I should have just
gently dumped it out and instead I iced it, forcing a face-off in our
end and giving them a chance to tie it.”
The Mason Cup
name: “Hey, a good team was gonna win the Mason Cup, no matter what,”
he said. “Geez, I finally thought about it and I thought, we better win
it. It’s got my name on it and darn, we ought to try and win the first
their 10th (also a record). The only teams close to Michigan State in
appearances in the final and number of wins are Lake Superior (12 CCHA
title appearances) and Bowling Green (five tournament titles). The
Lakers, however, hold the record for most consecutive tournament title
appearances, with nine straight (from 1988-96).
CCHA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM FORWARD-Adam Hall, Michigan State FORWARD-Sean Patchell, Michigan State FORWARD-Joe Kautz, Michigan DEFENSE-Dave Huntzicker, Michigan DEFENSE-Andrew Hutchinson, Michigan State GOALTENDER-Ryan Miller, Michigan State MVP-Ryan Miller, Michigan State