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Monday, December 12, 2005

Wolverines sweep past Nebraska-Omaha

Michigan broke their four-game losing skid with a weekend sweep at home against Nebraska-Omaha.

The Wolverines, once ranked No. 1 in the country, had fallen to No. 7 heading into last week's games with the Mavericks.

On Friday, Brandon Kaleniecki and captain Andrew Ebbett each recorded a goal and two assists as the Wolverines took a 4-2 triumph over UNO.

After the Mavericks took a 1-0 lead 6:07 into the game, Kaleniecki tallied the equalizer on the power play five minutes later, and Jason Dest scored shorthanded at 17:31 to give U-M the lead for good. Travis Turnbull also lit the lamp for the Wolverines, who got a 27-save performance from goalie Billy Sauer.

"I cannot tell you that there was a big difference between the teams out there tonight," Michigan head coach Red Berenson said. "I think we got some important goals at the right time. Obviously, the power-play goal got us back in the game, and the shorthanded goal by Dest was a big goal. The goals came at the right time and we needed them. We had a good battle; they are a really good team. It seems like everybody we play against is a really good team. You saw their top line; they could have lit it up. Billy Sauer gave us a chance. There were times in the first, second and third periods where they had the puck and they had good scoring chances and he was solid. This was a very close game and I feel fortunate that we came out ahead."

Saturday night, Ebbett (goal, two assists) and Jason Bailey (two goals, assist) each had three-point nights to lead the Wolverines to a 7-3 win. Both T.J. Hensick and David Rohlfs each earned two helpers in the game, while Sauer picked up the win making 14 saves in two periods. Noah Ruden played the third period and stopped 15 of 16 shots.

"It was getting a little rough, but I think we kept our cool for the most part," Bailey said. "We did a good job and finished it of with a big win. We're happy."

With just under two minutes left in the game, Rohlfs and UNO's Dan Knapp earned fighting majors and game disqualifications. Both will miss their team's next games.

Kaleniecki, Kevin Porter, Jack Johnson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for U-M (11-5-1, 7-3-1 CCHA).

"You hate to go home with a sour taste in your mouth," added Berenson. "And this was a real good bounce-back weekend for our team and for a lot of individuals."

The Wolverines take an 18-day break and then move on to face Colorado College in the Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 29. Faceoff is at 8 p.m.

Photo by Amir Gamzu, © Wolverine Photo

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