It took freshman Chad Kolarik eleven minutes to score his first
collegiate goal in the first period. It took him only five minutes
in the second period to score another.
But a section of the crowd at Yost Arena waited until there were
only two minutes left in the third period to start chanting his
name. Why not? They had been treated to an offensive show all night
as Michigan trounced Windsor 12-1 in their season-opening
exhibition. Kolarik scored two goals and added an assist in his
“With the guys I play with — (David) Moss and
(Brandon) Kaleniecki — it’s hard not to get
goals,” Kolarik said. “They’re such great
players. I’m getting five or six chances a shift.
They’re putting it right on my stick — I’m bound
to get goals.”
But at the outset of the game, goals were not a forgone
conclusion for the Wolverines. After a sloppy opening three minutes
in which Windsor forced turnovers and pressured goalie Al Montoya,
Michigan settled into a groove. Still, it was stymied time and time
again by Windsor goalie Jay Ewasiuk.
At 11:45 in the first period, and on its third power play,
Michigan finally got on the board.
Kolarik took a pass from junior Jeff Tambellini, and, after a
chaotic flurry in front of the net, wristed a shot into the
upper-right corner of the net.
Kaleniecki and junior Andrew Ebbett each added goals before the
first intermission, and Michigan was on its way to a blowout
“You have to start somewhere,” coach Red Berenson
said. “A lot of good things happened out there. Windsor was
really excited to play the game, and they almost capitalized on a
couple of turnovers. But I thought our team settled
In the second period, Kolarik struck again on a pass from senior
defenseman Brandon Rogers.
“I was definitely nervous at the beginning,” Kolarik
said. “I was sitting next to Ebbett and he was telling me,
‘Relax, relax.’ And after the first period, I was
definitely more relaxed.”
Freshman Kevin Porter, Michigan’s other newcomer, also got
his name on the score sheet during the second period. While the
Wolverines were playing a man down, the puck slipped by the Windsor
point-man in Michigan’s zone, and Porter was off to the
races. He found himself in a two-on-one with T.J. Hensick, and the
Windsor defenseman, anticipating a pass, left Porter with an
unobstructed path to the goal. Porter took the room that he was
given and lit the lamp with his first goal as a Wolverine.
“I think this game gives everybody a bit of confidence,
especially the freshmen,” Kaleniecki said. “It’s
a good feeling to get out there the first game and get a
Outstanding freshmen performances are nothing new for Berenson
and the Wolverines. Two years ago Tambellini tallied 26 goals and
19 assists to lead the Wolverines in points in his first season.
Last season, Hensick, a freshman at the time, led the Wolverines in
points with 12 goals and 34 assists.
“I think that they are both capable of scoring,”
Berenson said. “They’re going to get their points.
I’m not going to be surprised if one of them is up there with
our top scorers.”
The Wolverines added six goals in the second period and three in
the third, including two by senior David Moss.
After a rough initial three minutes of the game, the Wolverines
took control of the tempo and applied constant pressure in the
Windsor zone. In total, Michigan took 59 shots, compared to just 14
taken by the Lancers.
Whether or not Kolarik is the Tambellini of two years ago or the
Hensick of last season remains to be seen. But the Yost crowd is
certainly optimistic. After the chanting of his name died down, one
Yost fan screamed, “We love you, Kolarik.”