BY MARK BURNS
Daily Sports Editor
Published February 27, 2011
MARQUETTE — Senior netminder Shawn Hunwick was the second star in Saturday’s CCHA-clinching victory for the Michigan hockey team, making 13 saves in the winning effort. But perhaps the best play of the game from the Sterling Heights, Mich. native came with about six minutes left on the clock.
He made his way to the bench for senior Bryan Hogan, who injured his groin in the pre-game warm-ups during The Big Chill at the Big House. Hunwick wasn't injured, and he wasn't being pulled, but rather, he was taking himself out of the game and surrendering the goal mouth for his teammate.
“Hogie has had a great four years,” Hunwick said on Saturday. “But I didn’t want the possibility of his last memory being when he was injured before The Big Chill. I wanted him to get some more action.”
Prior to suffering his second groin injury in the past two seasons, Hogan had a 7-2 record and a .924 save percentage heading into the Dec. 11 contest with Michigan State at Michigan Stadium.
For the past two and half months, Hogan hadn't received a second of playing time, with Berenson going with Hunwick for the second half of the season despite Hogan being cleared to play in a game-setting.
And on Saturday, Hogan's number was called in his final regular season game donning the block 'M' — he made three stops to preserve the team shutout.
“(Hunwick) has got a shutout going, but he wanted Hogan to finish the game,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said following the win. “Good for him. That’s the kind of team we have.”
CAPORUSSO OUT: Injuries consistently plague Division-I teams — it’s just the nature of playing collegiate athletics.
But for Berenson, it’s been the late-season variety that he and the Wolverines have had to deal with over the past two seasons.
Last year, then-junior goaltender Bryan Hogan and then-senior defenseman Chris Summers suffered injuries in the last series of the regular season and the first round of the CCHA playoffs, respectively.
And on Friday night this past weekend, Michigan sustained another blow as senior forward Louie Caporusso suffered a “lower-body injury,” according to Berenson.
As Caporusso skated behind the Michigan net early in the third period, a Northern Michigan forward clipped the Woodbridge, Ont. native on the knee, sending Caporusso to the ice for a few minutes.
With Caporusso dressed in a suit for Saturday’s game against the Wildcats, the Wolverines won their 11th CCHA regular season crown — but it didn’t come without a price tag.
“We’ll get an MRI (Sunday) morning, and then we’ll get an idea of how serious it is,” Berenson said. “But I don’t think it’s daily … it’s probably by the week.”
NOTES: All of Michigan's 11 CCHA regular season titles have come within the last 20 years, all under the Red Berenson regime. Ten of the championships have been outright … The Wolverines have scored at least five goals 10 times this season ... Michigan will have a bye in the first round of the CCHA playoffs and will host the lowest-seeded team in two weekends.