Ice Hockey: Sauer's second career shut out

The No. 13-ranked Michigan ice hockey team returned to Central Collegiate Hockey Association play with a 5-0 win over Bowling Green State at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor on Tuesday night. Michigan goalie Billy Sauer made 22 saves for the Wolverines to record his second career shut out and Chad Kolarik and David Rohlfs each recorded a pair of goals in the win.

It didn't take long for the Wolverines to jump on the Falcons. Bowling Green State's Kai Kantola went to the penalty box for tripping just 1:27 after dropping the puck, and Chad Kolarik put Michigan on top 1-0 with a power-play marker just 1:16 later. Kolarik beat Falcons goalie Jimmy Spratt with a redirection of a T.J. Hensick shot from the left circle. Matt Hunwick also recorded an assist on the early marker.

"I thought we started well. The game was exciting and they wanted to get a good start. We did, although the score may not have reflected it. We did a lot of good things in the first period," Michigan coach Red Berenson said after the game.

Michigan continued to out shoot the Falcons through the period. David Rohlfs came the closest to adding to the lead with a shot off the cross bar with just over two minutes left in the period. Bowling Green State could generate just one shot in the opening 20 minutes. Michigan led 1-0 after the first period.

Rohlfs didn't miss in the opening minutes of the second. Rohlfs picked up a botched clearing attempt inside the BGSU defensive zone and fired it past Spratt to make it 2-0 less then two minutes into the period.

Kevin Porter made it a 3-0 lead with his 15th goal of the season at the 8:42 mark. Porter fired the puck past Spratt from between the slot after a give-and-go feed from T.J. Hensick caught the Falcons out of position and vulnerable in the center of the ice.

Bowling Green State held three power play opportunities in the second period, but Michigan goalie Billy Sauer kept the Wolverines blank slate alive through the second period with 11 saves in the middle frame.

"Bowling Green was always dangerous, but they didn't quite get the puck at the net in the first period. In the second period, I thought that they did and they may have had the better chances," Berenson said. "I thought it was a good team effort to keep the goals against down. It's not often I can say we got a shutout, and it's nice to say. That was a step forward."

Michigan extended the lead again early in the third period, this time short handed. Chad Kolarik recorded his second goal of the contest by beating Spratt to the nearside with a quick snapshot. Andrew Cogliano fed Kolarik after taking a pass from Jason Dest in the Michigan zone and slicing up the middle of the ice.

Rohlfs made it 5-0 with his second goal of the night 8:05 into the last period. Rohlfs took a pass from Dest at the blue line and split the Falcons defenders to skate in on Spratt by himself on the goal.

Michigan jumped from sixth place to third in the CCHA standings with the win and are scheduled for a two-game series with the Northern Michigan Wildcats this weekend, again at Yost Ice Arena.

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