By Stephen J. Nesbitt, Daily Sports Editor
Published March 12, 2011
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After a 5-1 drubbing of Bowling Green on Friday, Michigan coach Red Berenson warned his fifth-ranked Wolverines that they would be facing a much different Falcon team on Saturday.
But after losing junior forward David Wohlberg to a collarbone injury in the series opener, it was Berenson’s ranks that looked different.
Michigan followed Friday’s blowout with an equally dominant 4-1 performance to round out the CCHA quarterfinal series at Yost Ice Arena.
For last-place Bowling Green, the result wasn’t out of the ordinary. They were outmatched and outplayed. For the 18th time in 19 games, the Falcons failed to score more than three goals.
But the Wolverines (20-7-1-0 CCHA, 25-9-4 overall) had no trouble finding the back of the net, propelled by steady production from their special teams.
With just under eight minutes remaining in the first period and Bowling Green on the power play, sophomore defenseman Lee Moffie took a feed from junior forward Luke Glendening and cruised into the Falcon zone. At the top of the left circle, Moffie let loose a laser that beat Bowling Green goaltender Andrew Hammond to give Michigan the 1-0 lead.
With the short-handed tally checked off the to-do list, the Wolverines pelted Hammond with shot after shot, waiting for another to sneak through.
Just under six minutes into the second period, sophomore forward Lindsay Sparks registered an even-strength tally to give Michigan a two-goal advantage. It was Sparks’s third goal of the season and second of the weekend.
Similar to Friday night, when the teams amassed 60 total penalty minutes, the series finale was littered with penalties and whistles.
When Falcon forward Jordan Samuels-Thomas collected a pair of simultaneous penalties with five minutes remaining in the middle frame, Michigan had four minutes of man-advantage time to cash in.
And nearly three minutes into the power play, Moffie struck again, this time letting a wrist shot fly from the left-side boards to climb to a 3-0 lead.
But the power play wasn’t done yet. In the opening minutes of the third period, sophomore forward A.J. Treais knocked a loose puck past Hammond for a four-goal lead. The goal, on Michigan’s 33rd shot of the night, was the team’s ninth game this season with multiple power-play goals.
With 12 minutes remaining in the third period, senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick was pulled for fellow senior Bryan Hogan to get one last appearance at Yost. Shortly thereafter, Hogan suffered a goal — a shot that hit the crossbar and was only called a goal after an official review — but Michigan had already done ample damage. And with just over a minute remaining in the matchup, freshman goaltender Adam Janecyk saw his first game action, making a save to cap off the victory.
With the win, Michigan clinched the top seed for the CCHA semifinals at the Joe Louis Arena next weekend. Elsewhere in conference play, No. 7 Miami (Ohio) completed its sweep of Alaska to punch a ticket to Detroit as well.