By Matt Mackinder / Michigan Beat Writer
The Michigan Wolverines extended their winning streak to eight games by sweeping the still-winless Alaska Nanooks over the weekend at Yost Ice Arena.
Michigan started the weekend by shutting out Alaska, 4-0 on Friday and then getting a 4-2 win Saturday night.
Chad Kolarik, Travis Turnbull, Aaron Pulashaj and captain Kevin Porter scored for the Wolverines, while Billy Sauer made 15 saves to earn the shutout.
"It is a tough game when you only get 15 shots,” said Sauer. “It is hard to stay in the game and stay focused. There were only a few chances that I really had, so there was not a whole lot that I had to do tonight. But the penalty kill did a great job, and that really made a difference in the game."
Saturday night, Michigan built a three-goal lead before Alaska could respond in the 4-2 victory. Kolarik and Brandon Naurato each scored in the first period for the Wolverines. Kolarik added his second goal of the night on a second period power play and Palushaj extended Michigan's lead in the third period.
"It is good to see Kolarik's line rewarded, because they have been a strong line all weekend,” U-M head coach Red Berenson said. “Kolarik is playing his best hockey right now, and the line is playing really well. So I was not surprised when one of them scored. They took advantage of loose pucks and opportunities. Chad Kolarik is an opportunist. He is a playmaker, he is a goal scorer and he is a smart player. I think you saw a lot of that this weekend. He is very vocal with his teammates and he is able to back it up on the ice."
Sauer assisted on Naurato's first period goal and finished with 18 stops.
U-M is 9-1-0 to start the season for the first time since 1999-2000. That season, the Wolverines got off to a 10-1-0 start.
Michigan (9-1-0, 6-0-0 CCHA) will visit Lake Superior State this weekend.