Midway through Saturday night’s 4-2 win over Alaska, Michigan goalie Billy Sauer felt his clock ticking longer than ever before.
Sauer set a new personal shutout streak over the weekend. The junior went 128:30 without giving up a goal, more than 30 minutes longer than his previous best.
“Going all week, then having a Friday shutout makes it seem longer,” Sauer said. “I was kind of thinking about it. It just makes the next goal feel even worse when you do let it in. I was pretty happy with my play.”
Before Dion Knelsen got the Nanooks on the board late in Saturday night’s second period, Sauer hadn’t allowed a goal since the middle of the second period of a 3-2 win over Nebraska-Omaha on Nov. 3.
Sauer’s shutout performance Friday night made up the bulk of Sauer’s streak. In the game, Sauer faced just 15 shots, making the feat even more difficult because he was so rarely tested.
“It is a tough game when you only get 15 shots,” Sauer said Friday night. “It is hard to stay in the game and stay focused.”
The goalless streak is the most concrete example yet of Sauer’s consistency this season. The Walworth, N.Y., native has played a big role in his team’s 9-1-0 start, Michigan’s best start since the 1999-2000 season (10-1-0).
After the weekend, Sauer’s goals against average stands at 2.19 and his save percentage is .904.
The Slowsky’s: Though Comcast claims to provide the fastest Internet possible, it doesn’t keep up the pace when televising college hockey games.
Comcast Local televised Friday night’s game and the length of its commercial breaks drew the ire of both players and fans.
“The TV timeouts last night, I think they were like a minute and a half long each time,” senior Chad Kolarik said Saturday night. “So that definitely killed the momentum.”
The Michigan student section was even more vocal in its displeasure, utilizing a, “We hate Comcast,” chant to voice frustration with the lengthy timeouts.
Saturday night’s game, conversely, wasn’t televised and was the quickest of Michigan’s season, wrapping up in just over two hours.
But the Yost crowd should get used to the wait – nine of the Wolverines’ remaining 12 home games will be televised, two on Comcast.
Feeling Rusty: Michigan freshman Matt Rust was a scratch from Saturday night’s game because of flu-like symptoms. Rust was actually sick on Friday, too, but played through the illness.
“You could see last night he wasn’t himself and he was worse today,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said Saturday. “He would’ve played, and it was my decision to not play him.”
Rust watched the game in street clothes and said after the game he hoped to be back on the ice for practice today.
Even with the illness, Rust notched an assist and a plus-one rating Friday.
Notes: Anthony Ciraulo saw his first game action of the season in place of junior Danny Fardig, who was out with a broken knuckle on his right hand. Fardig will be reevaluated in practice this week, Berenson said. . Last year’s leading scorer, T.J. Hensick, was at Yost for Friday night’s game. Hensick is playing for the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League this season, a farm team for the Colorado Avalanche.