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2011-02-14

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Notebook: Hunwick shows why there is no goaltending controversy, Wolverines approach school record

By Michael Florek, Daily Sports Editor
Published February 13, 2011

After the Michigan hockey team’s sweep of Ohio State, it's clear that senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick was doing more than just stopping pucks. He was also stopping any idea of a goalie controversy.

Senior goalie Bryan Hogan has been fully recovered from a groin injury for a couple weeks, serving as the Wolverines' backup the past two weekends. And with the Wolverines playing the Buckeyes, a team in the bottom half of the conference standings, some thought this weekend would be Hogan’s first opportunity to play in a game since the injury.

“Hunwick is our starting goalie and if there's an opportunity to get Hogan some time, then we'll consider that,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said Thursday.

Both games came down to the final minutes and Hunwick made clutch saves in each. Hogan’s opportunity to play never surfaced. Hunwick was the first star on Friday after making 33 saves. Saturday, he only made 22 saves in earning the third star — but he made them when it mattered most.

With a minute left in the game on Saturday and the Buckeyes with an extra attacker, a puck bounced into the slot. Ohio State’s Sergio Somma, the same player who scored with eleven seconds left to tie the game when Michigan was in Columbus in early December, corralled the puck and fired a backhand on net. Hunwick stretched out and snagged the puck with his glove.

It was Ohio State’s last good scoring chance.

“We went down there to Columbus and they scored with I think ten seconds left or eight seconds left,” Hunwick said. “It’s not a game we want to revisit.”

YOST IS THE HOST WITH THE MOST: The Wolverines have taken after their building’s namesake. Yost Ice Arena, named after Fielding H. Yost — a man who won in quantities unseen before or after him — hasn’t seen a loss in three months.

Michigan has rattled off nine consecutive wins at Yost and 10 in a row at home counting The Big Chill at the Big House. That is the longest streak since the 2004-05 season when the Wolverines won 10 in a row at Yost.

The longest single-season home winning streak is 12 games, which happened most recently in 1979. The school record for a home winning streak spanning more than one season is 17 games, which went from the end of the 1992-93 season to the 1993-94 season.

Michigan needs just one more point to guarantee itself a home series in the CCHA tournament’s second round.

If the Wolverines lock up home ice advantage, they will have an opportunity to win four more games at Yost this season — two games against No. 15 Western Michigan next weekend and the playoff series. The Broncos have lost just one game in their last 15.

“It’s nice that we’re playing (Western Michigan) at home,” Hunwick said. “The fans are phenomenal … Obviously the home team’s most comfortable. It’s the place they play, so playing at home’s a lot easier and going on the road in the CCHA is a tough task.”

NOTES: Sophomore Chris Brown injured his thigh in the second period of Saturday's game after his right leg collided with Buckeye forward Shane Sims. Sims was given a two-minute penalty. Brown returned to the game but had a slight limp when walking after the game. “It’s good,” Brown said of the thigh injury after the game. “The kid said he was sorry at the faceoff which is always nice.”