#2 Icers Pound Minnesota 5-1; Sweep Showcase

The No. 2 Michigan Wolverines completed their sixth straight weekend sweep by knocking off the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday night in the finale of the 2007 College Hockey Showcase. Senior's Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik stole the show for the Wolverines with four of the five Michigan goals.

ANN ARBOR -- It had been a while since the last time the Wolverines tasted success against Big 10 foe Minnesota on the ice. Dating back to the 2002 season, the Maize and Blue accumulated an 0-6-0 record against the Gophers. On Saturday night, the Wolverines made up for lost time.

Senior's Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik combined for four goals and three assists, all coming in the first two periods, as No. 2 Michigan completed a two-game sweep of the 15th annual College Hockey Showcase with a 5-1 win over No. 15 Minnesota on Saturday night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.

Michigan also received another near-perfect performance from Billy Sauer in net. The Michigan netminder turned aside 26-of-27 Minnesota shots to lower his goal against average to just 2.00 on the season.

"I think we were opportunistic. The game was a close game, the shots were close, but we took advantage of breaks. I mean, obviously (Chad) Kolarik and (Kevin) Porter were huge factors in the game and that line again, our power play, penalty killing, it was a good team effort, but I thought we were opportunistic," Red Berenson said.

Kolarik opened the scoring with the lone goal of the first period. With just over two minutes left on the clock, Kolarik tipped a pass up to Porter racing through the neutral zone. Porter skated in alone on Minnesota goalie Jeff Frazee, but when he was unable to get a clean shot off, the puck trickled back to Kolarik trailing the play. Kolarik fired the puck past Frazee into the net with 2:14 left on the clock to make it 1-0 Michigan.

"We came out flying, and we came out ready. We were all over them. When we shook their hands at the last game they were all bloodied up, and I think they were pretty intimidated tonight," Kolarik said later. "We came out and we started banging, and it was huge."

Just 1:50 into the second, Kolarik doubled the lead with his second goal of the night. On what would eventually become his team-leading fourth game-winning goal, Kolarik crashed the right post on a two-on-one rush with Porter. Porter drew Frazee to the left post before feeding Kolarik at the bottom of the right circle. Kolarik fired the puck into the near side of the net to make it 2-0. This was the first of three special teams goals for the Wolverines.

Porter added his first goal of the game three minutes later. Skating shorthanded, Porter scored the Wolverines third goal of the game.

"I think it was just one of those nights where we were clicking. We were finding each other and things just happened to go our way. We got a couple lucky bounces and it worked out," Porter said.

This lucky bounce came when Frazee misplayed the puck behind his net allowing Porter the easy open net wraparound goal.

Minnesota then scored its only goal of the contest with a scrum in front of the Michigan net. Ben Gordon fired a loose puck past Sauer, who has won back-to-back CCHA Goalie of the Week honors.

"They had some chances that another year might have gone in against him, but Billy battled. I like that he's got a lot of confidence now but he's competing hard. Last year we lost 8-2 and he suffered a pretty frustrating loss in Minnesota, so he shared some kind of payback too," Berenson said.

Michigan got one more power-play goal, this one coming on a breakaway by Kevin Porter, before the end of the period.

In the third, the Wolverines blanked Minnesota 1-0 with a goal from Ben Winnett.

With the win, the No. 2 Wolverines improve to a record of 13-1-0 on the season. It was Michigan's first College Hockey Showcase sweep since 2002.

The Wolverines next return to the ice to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes next weekend at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.

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