College Hockey Scoreboard from CHN

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Michigan bounces game Purple Eagles

Compiled by MiCHO Staff

Top-ranked Michigan started out slow, but cruised to a 5-1 win over Niagara on Friday at the Times Union Center in the first round of the NCAA East Regionals.

After a scoreless first period, Niagara was down a man to start the second period and Michigan capitalized on the man-advantage with Max Pacioretty scoring the Wolverines' first goal off a pass from Chad Kolarik from behind Niagara's goal line.

UM captain Kevin Porter, centering Michigan's first line, picked up the following three goals, one in the second period and two more consecutive goals in third period, including one on the power play.

Porter's career-high four goals broke the NCAA tournament record for goals in a game during the regional stage and marked the last time since 1990 that a player scored four times in a tournament game.

With less than five minutes to go in the game, NU co-captain Vince Rocco got the puck behind Michigan's net and sent a centering pass to co-captain Matt Caruana just above the crease for a wrist shot and a goal on Billy Sauer to spoil the shutout.

Porter added an empty-netter and Kolarik assisted on all five UM tallies. Pacioretty and Aaron Palushaj each had two helpers.

"Their defense played well," said Caruana. "We hung with them pretty good, but penalties hurt us."

"We just didn't have an answer for their top line," said Niagara head coach Dave Burkholder. "They have some special players and we didn't get anything going in our transition game."

Juliano Pagliero kept Niagara (22-11-4) in the game stopping 34 shots, including 19 in the second period.

Sauer made 16 saves for the Wolverines, who will face Clarkson in tonight's regional championship.

"I don't know what exactly we need to do, but I think our team knows that we'll have an even tougher game (against Clarkson)," UM head coach Red Berenson said. "The second game is always tougher. You're playing against a team that has played (Friday) afternoon and won a game and has a lot of confidence. I think Clarkson is a good team. From what we know of them, they're well coached, they're a good defensive and offensive team, and they're strong. And they have great goaltending. They're the real deal and they'll be a test for us."

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