By Matt Mackinder/Michigan Beat Writer
One and done - not exactly how Michigan thought its regional would go, but Air Force pulled the upset and blanked the Wolverines, 2-0, this afternoon in the first game of the East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn.
Michigan (29-12-0) was the top seed in the regional (third overall in the country) and Air Force came in as the No. 4 seed and 15th overall.
"This was a disappointing loss for our team," Michigan head coach Red Berenson said. "We expected a tough game and got one. This was not an upset. This was a very tough Air Force team. They held on to the lead. Congratulations to them. Give their team a lot of credit. Their goalie played a tremendous game. We couldn't ask any more of our team tonight.
"We were very prepared. This was not an upset, this was not a surprise. Our team was focused and we worked very hard. I think from time to time I think they realize that this team is really good. When we did get our moments, we needed to put the puck in the goal."
Air Force goaltender Andrew Volkening made 43 saves, Greg Flynn had two assists and Hobey Baker finalist Jacques Lamoureux, with his nation-best 33rd goal, and Derrick Burnett tallied all the offense the Falcons would need.
"When you are going to build a successful team, you need a solid goalie," said Lamoureux of Volnening. "We build off his confidence and he makes those saves early and we built off it. If things don't go his way, he doesn't get rattled or anything like that. His confidence helps the team's confidence."
Bryan Hogan made just 11 saves in taking the defeat for Michigan.
The Maize and Blue failed to convert seven power-play opportunities and had more shots on the man-advantage (16) than Air Force accumulated in the entire game (13). It was also the first time in 71 NCAA Tournament games that UM had been shut out.
The Falcons (28-10-2), who earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the Atlantic Hockey champions, will play the Vermont/Yale winner tomorrow night for the right to go to the Frozen Four in two weeks in Washington, D.C.
UM graduates seniors Danny Fardig, Tim Miller, Mark Mitera, Brandon Naurato, Billy Sauer and Travis Turnbull.