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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wolverines take a bite out of No. 1

By Matt Mackinder/Michigan Beat Writer

Michigan jumped back into the top-ranked spot in the national polls by taking three points at then-No. 1 Miami last weekend.

"Three out of four points coming in here is a lot better than the alternative,” U-M head coach Red Berenson said. “Not many teams are going to do this. We feel that maybe we could have gotten another point out of it, but you have to say the effort was there, the execution was there and a lot of good things had to happen to come in here and get three out of four points."

Friday night, Michigan got four goals in the first period and hung on for a 4-2 win.

Louie Caporusso, Max Pacioretty, captain Kevin Porter and Aaron Palushaj scored to back Billy Sauer’s 18-save outing.

Chad Kolarik added a pair of assists.

"We played really well in the first and then that carried over into the second a little bit,” Porter said. “Our penalty kill was good in the third, but we took too many penalties and they got a couple of goals and got into the game. But we held them off in the end."

The Wolverines were down 2-1 after the first period Saturday night and 3-2 midway through the second period, but rattled off three goals to take a 5-3 early in the third period.

The RedHawks brought themselves to within one goal at 11:39 and then Nathan Davis scored the game-tying goal at 14:57.

“If someone told us we were going to get three out of four points before we came down here, we'd be pretty happy with that,” said Kolarik. “But we had a chance to win. We were up 5-3 with 11 minutes left and then they get a fluke goal and they get the momentum."

Pacioretty scored two goals to go along with singles from Travis Turnbull, Kolarik and Porter, with his NCAA-best 25th goal. Sauer stopped 30 shots in the tie.

"I think it was pretty evident that there is not much to choose between the teams," Berenson added. "They have a great team, no question. I'm sure they won't be happy about some of the parts of their game this weekend and they'll get better. Remember, they didn't play last weekend, so they could have been rusty. We're a young team and we held our own."

Michigan (23-3-4, 16-2-4 CCHA) returns to Yost Ice Arena for a two-game set against Lake Superior State Friday and Saturday. Friday's opener will be an 8:05 p.m. start as the game will be televised by CSTV.

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