Ice Hockey: Senior Night Sweep!

Just one year after watching a three goal lead slip away on Senior Night, the No. 10 Michigan ice hockey team took another crack at it. Billy Sauer turned aside 19 of 20 Western Michigan shots and senior David Rohlfs scored the game winner shorthanded in a 3-1 Michigan win that makes it six straight wins for the Wolverines. Jack Johnson and Chris Summers also scored for the Wolverines.

It was goalie Billy Sauer that took the blunt of the backlash following the Wolverines 4-3 overtime loss to Ferris State on Senior Night last year. Sauer played the savior this time around.

Deadlocked with Western Michigan in a tight game throughout, sophomore Billy Sauer turned aside 19 of 20 Western Michigan shots, including a pair of breakaway chances in the second period, to help Michigan to a 3-1 Senior Night victory on Saturday night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.

"I really had not had that many shots at that point. I had just gotten a little bit of an unlucky bounce on that goal off of Cogliano's skate. So a save at that point, especially when it is one-one, is going to help your team a ton," Sauer said. "Nothing was really going through my head at the time; it was just about getting my pad out there. And the puck hit it, so it was good."

"Billy Sauer may not have had a lot of shots, but he had maybe his toughest saves all year that he has had to make in a game, and good for him," Michigan coach Red Berenson said after the game. "He had a three-on-one rush, and a couple of down-low plays he got to. He battled and he made a difference in the game. Both goalies played well, but to win this game, someone had to make a big save, and he did."

After battling back and forth through a scoreless first period, Michigan defenseman Jack Johnson put the Wolverines on top 1-0 just 0:40 into the second frame. Kevin Porter picked up a loose puck in the right face off circle and found Johnson pinching in from the point. Johnson's slap shot beat Western Michigan goalie Riley Gill before the netminder had a chance to react.

Western Michigan knotted the score 1-1 8:38 into the period. Mark Letestu slipped the puck past Sauer's near skate on a two-on-one rush while the Wolverines were skating with the man advantage.

The Broncos threatened to take the lead with a three-on-one rush with seven minutes left in the second period. After a cross-ice pass from Jeff Pierce found Brian Bicek just off the post, Billy Sauer stoned the Broncos forward with one of his leg pads. Bicek picked up his own rebound and tried to jam it home with a wraparound, but Sauer again met the challenge with his second consecutive game changing save.

Michigan outshot the Broncos 25-10 in the second period, but the score remained 1-1 after 40 minutes.

David Rohlfs scored the game winner 5:29 into the final period. Skating a man down, Rohlfs chipped a pass from defenseman Matt Hunwick into the neutral zone. Chasing the puck down with just one man to beat, Rohlfs pushed the puck past the defender and flipped it over Gill's shoulder with a backhand to make it 2-1 Michigan.

"It was sort of a broken play, chipping off the boards. And then it hit that one guy, and I got the puck free. Bill (Sauer) was telling us between periods that you just have to get (the puck) up, so I got the puck up, and it went in," Rohlfs said.

Chris Summers added an empty netter in the final minute for the Wolverines.

Michigan's win keeps them four points behind Notre Dame in the CCHA Standings with six games to go. Michigan next returns to the ice on Friday night in Bowling Green, Ohio, for a game that will be televised on Comcast Local.

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