Shawn Hunwick just doesn’t surprise anybody anymore.

The fifth-year senior has compiled quite the résumé in just over a season as the starting goalie for the Michigan hockey team: He tops the Michigan record book in career goals-against average, career save percentage and single-season save percentage.

The former walk-on netminder seemingly came out of nowhere to lead the Wolverines to the CCHA Tournament title in 2010, keeping Michigan’s consecutive NCAA Tournament berth streak alive. Last year, he led the Wolverines to the NCAA Championship game with a shutout victory over top-seeded North Dakota in the semifinals.

So an opening-game shutout and less than a goal per game allowed in the first three games of the 2011 campaign? Yawn.

Last week’s CCHA Goaltender of the Week honors? Business as usual.

“He’s Shawn Hunwick,” said junior forward Chris Brown. “It’s like Manny being Manny. It’s the same thing.”

Still, it remains difficult for the Wolverines to take Hunwick for granted. He earned the weekly CCHA distinction because Michigan needed every stop Hunwick made over the weekend against Bentley. Both of the weekend’s games were tight until the final minutes — Michigan held just a 2-1 advantage entering the third period in each.

The Wolverines had to rely on Hunwick to make crucial saves.

“When you give up only two goals in the weekend, you’ve got a good chance to win those games,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson.

The departure of many of Michigan’s top scorers from last season, namely Carl Hagelin and Louie Caporusso, means Hunwick may have to turn in many of those performances for the Wolverines to succeed. And he’ll have to be a leader on the defensive side too.

He certainly was over the weekend.

The Michigan penalty-kill unit allowed only one goal in 12 opportunities in front of Hunwick. The unit also put in a shorthanded goal of their own, created by a Hunwick assist.

Berenson said the presence of Hunwick gives confidence the young defenders. Brown said that he gives confidence to the whole team. The Wolverines have dominated the third period this year, something Brown attributes to the faith the team has in Hunwick. His steadiness in goal relieves the pressure.

“We’re up going into the third period, I think no matter what I feel like we’re confident enough that we can go out there and win just because Shawn is just going to make the saves that it’s going to take to win the game,” Brown said. “There’s no doubt, ever.

“He’s going to win us a majority of our games this year standing on his head and giving us a chance every night to win.”

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