Michigan Skates to 2-0 Victory in Series Opener

After finishing the regular season 13-0 against fellow CCHA opponents at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan hockey team hoped to continue the same success heading into the CCHA tournament against the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.

Behind the super defensive effort of goalie Al Montoya, the Wolverines took an early one game to none lead in the best of three first round series by blanking the Maverick's 2-0. Montoya, a second team All-CCHA selection, pitched his 10th shut out in only his second season. The sophomore goaltender made 16 saves, including the play of the game for the Wolverines.

After the Wolverines went up 1-0 on a power play goal by freshman David Rohlfs, Nebraska-Omaha seemed poised to tie the score while attacking during a five-on-three power play. After a Wolverine miscue, Nebraska-Omaha leading scorer Scott Parse brought the puck inside the Wolverine blue line all by himself. Scott deked right and brought the puck backhand side before ripping a shot on Montoya, who was there to make the quick pad save preserving the lead for the.

The Michigan offense, which struggled its last game against Michigan State, was able to get back on track thanks in part to the power play. After going on the power play midway through the first period the Wolverines were finally able to find some offense. While possessing the puck inside Maverick territory, sophomore Jeff Tambellini was able to find daylight as he ripped a shot towards the Maverick net. Although Nebraska-Omaha goalie Chris Holt was able to make the save, he wasn't able to cover the puck and as the teams fought for control in front of the net, Rohlfs was able to get enough stick on it to beat the goaltender giving Michigan the 1-0 lead 12:06 into the game.

The Wolverines struck again towards the end of the second period, this time at even strength, as the Maverick's weren't able to clear out a Michigan centering pass. While Dwight Helminen crashed the backdoor of the net, defender Matt Hunwick sent a centering pass to forward Eric Nystrom. Nystrom was unable to get the shot off but did get his stick on the puck guiding it to teammate Helminen who buried the puck into the back of the net giving Michigan it's final goal in the 2-0 victory.

Michigan looks to close out the series tonight as well as finish the entire CCHA slate, regular season and tournament, undefeated at home for the first time in school history. Michigan out shot the Mavericks 42-16.

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