In Yost Ice Arena on the third deck, behind the net closest to Michigan’s locker room, is the scout holding pen. Scouts from around the country lean on the railing and try to fill out their future rosters.

As the Michigan hockey team took the ice yesterday against Notre Dame, not only was the holding pen filled to capacity, but scouts lined the upper row of the arena as well. Throw the added emotions of Senior Night for the Wolverines into the mix and this didn’t feel like a game between the seventh and 10th-place teams in the conference.

And the player who possibly had the biggest impact in Michigan’s 4-0 win, amongst 19 NHL draft picks, was the one who no scouts had come to watch: junior goalie Shawn Hunwick.

Eleven minutes into the first period, starting junior goalie Bryan Hogan stretched out to stop a backhand shot on a two-on-one. The shot clanged off the post and was cleared out of the zone, but the Wolverines’ troubles weren’t over.

Hogan remained on the ice, face down and still. After 15 seconds of silence, Hogan was helped off the ice with the help of trainer Rick Bancroft and junior forward Carl Hagelin, not putting any pressure on his injured leg. After the game, Michigan coach Red Berenson said it was a groin injury, making him doubtful for Saturday’s game in South Bend.

Hunwick entered and was put to the test with the first shot he faced. Michigan took two penalties to force Hunwick and the Wolverines to kill a five-on-three power play. The Fighting Irish worked the puck around and had a clear shot from the point. Screened, Hunwick stretched and nabbed the puck with his glove, making his first save since December, and inspiring the crowd into a frenzy. He also stopped the other 13, giving him his first career shutout.

“He does it every day in practice,” Berenson said of Hunwick, who played just 18 minutes this season before last night’s contest. “But we’re still not convinced he’s a starting goalie. He’s been a backup that really hasn’t had the chance to be a backup.”

The highlight-reel stop kept the Wolverines’ one-goal lead secure and allowed Hagelin to come out of the box. On his initial shift after his penalty expired, Hagelin picked up the puck at Michigan’s blueline and went in two-on-one. Hagelin gave a quick pass to junior Matt Rust on the back door and Rust banged it in to put the Wolverines up two goals.

Those two goals gave Hunwick, who had been in the game for less than five minutes, some breathing room as he got used to the game-time atmosphere.

Getting an early lead helped the Wolverines take a more defensive stance on the game, and Hunwick never had to make another save that was at the caliber of his first stop. Michigan added two more goals and all but assured Hunwick’s first career win.

“I stood up on the bench and looked at the defensemen and said, ‘Listen boys, let’s commit to ‘D,’ ” senior captain Chris Summers said. “That means just get pucks deep when you have to, not really taking too many chances on offense. Smart, simple plays and making sure we’re supporting him.”

After the game, during the Senior Night ceremony but before the seniors came out of the tunnel to be honored, it was Hunwick who garnered the attention. Chants of “Hun-wick, Hunwick” and “Se-xy Goal-ie” rang through the student section.

“It was nice to hear a little feedback from the fans,” Hunwick said. “Obviously this is the first time I’ve been a true contributor to the team. I don’t want to take anything away from the seniors. This is their night. So I’m glad they were upstairs when they started those chants.”

Thirteen stops, a shutout and a win over a bitter rival in his first action in almost two months? Maybe next time the scouts will know Hunwick’s name.

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