Michigan loses 4-3 to RPI in Great Lakes Invitational opener

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Steve Kampfer and Brandon Burlon following a loss to RPI on Tuesday. Buy this photo

BY MARK BURNS
Daily Sports Editor
Published December 29, 2009

DETROIT — The Rensselear Polytechnical Institute Engineers defeated the Wolverines 4-3 on Tuesday night, robbing Michigan of a chance at its third-straight Great Lakes Invitational title and placing Michigan in the third-place game tomorrow afternoon against Michigan Tech at 4:00 p.m.

Ariel Bond/Daily
Michigan forward Louie Caporusso weaves through RPI defenders.
Ariel Bond/Daily
Shawn Hunwick saw the ice Tuesday for the first time since his freshman year.

Engineer forward Chase Polacek scored just over two minutes into the contest on a tip-off to the left side of Michigan netminder Bryan Hogan.

With 6.5 seconds remaining in the first period, Polacek netted his second goal with a wrist shot from the left point.

The Wolverines sustained a lot of pressure in the Engineer end for much of the first period but couldn't find the back of the net, though they outshot RPI 15-3.

Michigan's best opportunity came off the stick of sophomore defenseman Brandon Burlon on the power play.

Burlon slid past the Engineer penalty killers and received a pass from junior Louie Caporusso to the left of the net, but he was turned away by RPI goalie Allen York.

The Wolverines finally found the back of the net with 6:34 remaining in the second period. Sophomore David Wohlberg took a pass from A.J. Treais and went one-on-one with York. Wohlberg faked to his forehand and went backhand over York's glove.

Three minutes later, RPI stifled Michigan's momentum when forward Paul Kerins wristed a shot pass Hogan's glove, making it 3-1 heading into the final stanza.

Michigan coach Red Berenson tried to shake things up in the third by starting junior goalie Shawn Hunwick. Hunwick hadn't seen playing time since his freshman year.

Early on, junior Carl Hagelin scored a power play rebound goal to bring the Wolverines within one. And for the rest of the period, Michigan carried the play to the Engineers.

Wolverine freshman Kevin Lynch got the equalizer with 7:56 remaining in the period. But RPI forward Marty O'Grady rifled a wrist shot over Hunwick's glove 46 second later to give the Engineers a 4-3 advantage.

Michigan failed to capitalize on a power play in the waning moments, putting the Wolverines back under .500 again this season.