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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wolverines split at BGSU, finish second in CCHA

By Bob Miller/Michigan Beat Writer

Michigan made the short bus ride to Bowling Green unsure of just how much the results of its season finale two-game weekend series with the Falcons would really affect their standings placement in the CCHA standings.

A Friday night 4-3 loss and a 3-0 Saturday shutout win later, the Wolverines settled into a second-place regular season standings tie with Western Michigan.

After building a 3-2 lead on Friday on goals by Phil Di Giuseppe, David Wohlberg and Alex Guptill, Michigan surrendered two late third period goals to suffer a surprise loss to the 11th-place Falcons.

The Wolverines picked themselves up from the disappointing defeat and rode a stellar shutout performance by goaltender Shawn Hunwick to Saturday's 3-0 win.

Blanked through two periods by an equally strong performance in goal by Bowling Green netminder Andrew Hammond, Michigan finally broke through in the final period on goals by Wohlberg, Kevin Lynch and Mac Bennett. Hammond single-handedly held the Falcons in the game with his 46-save performance.

“I think the most important thing is that we bounced back with a better team effort and were much better defensively,” said Michigan head coach Red Berenson of the Saturday night win. “We didn't expect to have to kill so many penalties, but I thought our team played harder on the puck. That was missing last night.”

“It was a tough weekend,” Hunwick added. “A lot was on the line and we came out with a less-than-stellar effort last night (Friday). I don't know what it was, but it just didn't seem like we were into it.

“Tonight was a big bounce-back win. We wanted to solidify second place. We needed a win and we were able to do that in the third period.”

Michigan can now rest and await the results of the opening round of the CCHA playoffs, waiting to see who they will play in the second round starting March 9 at Yost Ice Arena.

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