Saturday, March 29, 2008

NCAA East Regional Game 1


After a slow first period that saw a lot of physical play from both sides, the Michigan first line simply took over the game, scoring all 5 of the goals for the Maize and Blue. Kevin Porter, the unanimous WCBN Sports player of the game and CCHA player of the year, scored four goals, including the natural hat trick. CCHA rookie of the year Max Pacioretty added a goal and 2 assists, while senior Chad Kolarik had 3 helpers on the night. Overall, the Wolverines did a great job of not overlooking their opponents and playing the successful style of hockey that they have won with all year. Niagara coach Dave Burkholder didn’t have a specific plan to stop Porter and ended his press conference statement with, “How do you stop that line?” He also added that Michigan did a good job not taking penalties.

Michigan’s win breaks a 3 game NCAA Tournament skid and was Red Berenson’s 24 win in the tournament. Berenson applauded the spectacular effort of the first line and added that the defense stepped up their play after he called them out in pre-tournament practice. He added that he was pleased with Billy Sauer’s effort, stopping shots when he need to even though he only saw 9 shots through 2 periods. Kolarik joked at the press conference that, “It’s about time he caught up to me,” referring to the 4 goal game Porter had. Kolarik has two 4 goal games on the year. Michigan knows that will face a tougher team in Clarkson, but they will spend the day preparing for there opponent.

Elsewhere in the NCAA Hockey Tourament, the CCHA was very successful. Notre Dame stunned top seeded New Hampshire 7-3 in Denver and Michigan State was able to pick up where they left off last year, knocking off number two Colorado College 3-1 in the same location. These 2 teams will play Saturday night, while Miami will play Air Force Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately due to budget constraints, WCBN is unable to air these games live, but they are being recorded. Highlights will be up and the game will be put on the Sports Stream. Check back after the game tomorrow for the blog about Saturday night’s game.

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