Michigan coach Red Berenson has been pleasantly surprised by many facets of his team’s performance this season, with the exception of one thing — the number of penalties Michigan has amassed.

In Friday’s game against Ferris State the Wolverines took every type of penalty imaginable from elbowing and tripping to face-washing, a call that earned junior forward Lee Moffie a five-minute major. Michigan spent more than a third of the game in the penalty box — plenty of time for the penalty kill to get some practice.

“(The penalty kill) was important,” Berenson said. “We got some luck, and I thought our penalty killers were better.”

The defensive corps led by senior defenseman Greg Pateryn, shut down seven Bulldog power-play opportunities. But no one led the penalty kill unit more than than fifth-year senior goalie Shawn Hunwick, who ensured the Michigan shutout. And it wasn’t just Hunwick’s physical skills that kept the Bulldogs from scoring on Friday — his emotional skills played a big role too.

Since his ejection against Northern Michigan, Hunwick has made extra effort to stay away from any scuffles around the net.

The teams exchanged shoves around the crease multiple times on Friday, and referees had to separate Michigan and Bulldog players more than once.

While his teammates went to the penalty box, Hunwick just sat quietly in his net, waiting for the altercations to end.

“I learned my lesson from last week,” Hunwick said. “It wasn’t like Ferris State was coming at me. I didn’t get bumped too much, so that was alright.”

THUMBS UP: Berenson has been careful to keep some players off the ice to recover from injuries. Junior forward Kevin Lynch sat out early games because of back problems, and Berenson made sure to keep him away from game action until the spasms stopped.

But junior forward Chris Brown’s broken thumb hasn’t kept him out of games. All season, he has shoved his cast into his glove and skated as if he were as healthy as anyone else.

Brown’s cast keeps his hand in a thumbs-up position. This optimistic gesture reflects the positive impact that Brown has had on the team, despite the injury.

Brown tallied four points in the two-game series, and Berenson has been pleased with the performance from one of his top junior players. The cast is scheduled to come off within a week after Brown goes through another round of X-rays.

“(Brown) is fine,” Berenson said. “(The cast) takes a little while to get used to, but the way he shoots the puck, it’s not bothering him.”

KEEPING UP WITH THE KIDS: Michigan players kept talking about how fortunate they were to shutout Ferris State in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

But one other group that attended the series made the Wolverines particularly happy — their parents, who were presented to the Yost crowd as a part of parents’ weekend.

The families flocked to Ann Arbor from as far away as Maine and Arizona and as close as Bloomfield Hills, Mich. to watch their sons sweep the weekend. Their presence was greatly appreciated by the players who don’t often get the chance to showcase their talents for their parents.

“I miss home, and every time I get to see (my parents) it’s nice,” said Brown, a Flower Mound, Texas native. “It gives me that little sense of being home.”

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