- Said Alsalah/Daily
By Michael Florek, Daily Sports Writer
Published October 6, 2009
Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson has made it clear that junior backup goalie Shawn Hunwick is a “relief pitcher” this season.
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Like most relief pitchers, Hunwick wasn’t told when he was going to get into the game in Michigan’s final exhibition game against Windsor. When he took over for junior Bryan Hogan in the second period, Sunday, it was his first appearance since his freshman year.
“I knew before the game I was going to get in at some point, but I thought it would be later in the game,” Hunwick said. “Obviously I was a little bit nervous. I wanted to prove to the coaches and the teammates what I could do for the team. (The nerves) got out of there pretty quick once I made my first save.”
Hunwick’s teammates didn’t give him the smoothest start. Just four minutes after Hunwick entered the game, an intercepted pass led to a two-man break for Windsor. Hunwick got a piece of the ensuing one-timer, but eventually the puck got past him. After another quick goal by the visitors, Michigan found itself down 2-1 midway through the game to a team it beat 12-1 in its previous meeting.
Hunwick shut Windsor down the rest of the way, making nine saves in 40 minutes en route to his first career win.
“He fought it in the beginning,” Berenson said. “He got it together and by the end of the game, I think he was feeling back in his groove. It's hard when you don't play any games, but now at least we have him ready when we need him."
After last season, when there was uncertainty between the pipes, Berenson has made it clear that Hogan, who eventually won the job last year, is his number one goalie. Berenson also said he doesn’t know when or if Hunwick will play again this season.
New game, new lines: After putting sophomore forward Robbie Czarnik on the first line with Louie Caporusso and David Wohlberg in the season's two exhibition games, junior Ben Winnett will step into that role when the Wolverines head to Alaska this weekend.
Winnett put up two assists on the opening weekend, but he figures to be more of a role player when playing with offensively talented players such as Wohlberg and Caporusso.
“I think (Winnett will) be a good complement on that line,” Berenson said. “He’ll make good, subtle, plays and I think he’s got better offense than his numbers have shown.”
Freshman Chris Brown will remain at right wing for the second line, playing with juniors Carl Hagelin and Matt Rust. Czarnik will drop down to the third line to play with freshman A.J. Treais and senior Brian Lebler.
“(The lines) might last a game, or a period, or a week or two,” Berenson said. “Right now we’re just trying to put players together and see who’s playing well and isn’t, and what they could add, and try to get some experienced players with freshman players.”
Notes: Michigan’s two games up in Alaska this weekend are exempt from the maximum 34 games they are allowed to play. This encourages more teams to travel to Alaska. Michigan will actually play 37 games this year, with the outdoor game in Wisconsin also exempt. ... The only player on the roster not to play in at least one of the preseason games was third-string freshman goalie Patrick Summers. ... A.J. Treais was the only one of the six freshmen to score a goal on opening weekend. Chris Brown and Kevin Lynch both had an assist.