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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Mitera returns, Michigan sweeps FSU

By Matt Mackinder/Michigan Beat Writer

After missing 33 games with a knee injury, Michigan captain Mark Mitera returned this weekend and helped the Wolverines sweep Ferris State.

No. 3 UM topped the Bulldogs, 6-1, Friday night in Big Rapids and then shut out Ferris State, 4-0, last night in Ann Arbor.

"I guess it was a great feeling," said Mitera, who scored a goal and added an assist in Saturday's win. "I didn't have a great goal. I just kind of threw it in the net. But I wasn't really expecting that. I think all the seniors played really well tonight, so give them all credit. It is a great feeling after the game to be able to pull it out, especially as one of our last games at Yost, so it was definitely something special."

By finishing second in the CCHA standings, Michigan (26-10-0, 20-8-0-0 CCHA) nwill get a first-round bye next week and next play in a quarterfinal series at Yost Ice Arena on March 13-15 against a to-be-determined opponent.

Brian Lebler scored twice in the Wolverines' win Friday night and Louie Caporusso, Tim Miller, Carl Hagelin and Matt Rust added single tallies to back Bryan Hogan's 22-save performance.

Hagelin, Steve Kampfer and Travis Turnbull each added two assists.

"We knew the first period would be important," Michigan head coach Red Berenson said. "To score the first goal and take the lead again and have a two-goal lead after one period was huge. I thought our penalty killing held up and (FSU) put good pressure on us. For the most part, we got good goalkeeping, we got balanced scoring (and) we had goals from several lines. Overall, it was a good road effort. Ferris is a tough team and this is a tough place to play. I don't think it was a 6-1 game, but I feel good about the game."

Justin Menke scored for the Bulldogs and Pat Nagle and Taylor Nelson combined for 37 saves in goal.

Last night, Robbie Czarnik, Brandon Naurato, Rust and Mitera scored and Billy Sauer needed to make just 14 saves in the Wolverines' regular season home finale.

Nelson made 32 saves for FSU.

"It was a good year," Berenson said. "We got 20 wins in the league this year and that is what we had last year. And our team was supposedly a top team last year and we had 20 wins in the league and this team matched that even though we were in seventh place around Christmas."

The Bulldogs (12-17-7, 9-14-5-2 CCHA) travel to Nebraska-Omaha for the first round of the CCHA playoffs next weekend.

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