U-M Routs UNO 10-1 in Playoff Opener

Michigan opened 2008 CCHA tournament play with a 10-1 win over the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on Friday night at Michigan's Yost Ice Arena. Michigan got a hat trick from senior Chad Kolarik, along with scoring contributions from Brandon Naurato, Carl Hagelin and Travis Turnbull, Louie Caporusso, Mark Mitera, Kevin Porter and Danny Fardig.

The No. 1-ranked Michigan ice hockey team opened play in the 2008 CCHA tournament with a dominating 10-1 win over the No. 8 seed Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on Friday night at Yost Ice Arena. Sparked by a pair of first period goals from senior Chad Kolarik, the top-ranked Wolverines are now one win away from advancing to the CCHA Final Four at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit next weekend.

"We got the bounces tonight. I cannot remember a game this year where the puck was going in like it did tonight. We know UNO is a much better team than the score," said Michigan coach Red Berenson. "We were opportunistic tonight and we didn't give them a lot. They have some top players who were on their heels, and we got the early goals."

The first goal came just 4:53 into the contest when Brandon Naurato scored the Wolverines lone power-play goal of the contest. Naurato found open ice in front of Nebraska-Omaha goalie Jerad Kaufmann and redirected Steve Kampfer's shot from the blue line into the net for the first of three first period Michigan goals.

Chad Kolarik, who finished with his third hat trick of the season, added the final two goals of the first period. Skating in his first game back from a hamstring injury suffered back on February 16, Kolarik snapped a wrist shot into the left side of the net at 10:29, and banged a shot in off Kaufmann's skates from just behind the net at 18:05 to give the Maize and Blue a 3-0 advantage after one period.

Nebraska-Omaha held the Wolverines at bay for the first 10 minutes of the second period. Despite maintaining a significant edge in shots, it wasn't until 10:37 that the Wolverines scored for the first time in the second.

Carl Hagelin then tallied his ninth goal of the season with just less than 10 minutes left on the clock, beating Kaufmann high on the right side after out racing a Mavericks defenseman to the loose puck at the center line and wrapping around the Nebraska-Omaha goal. It was Michigan's eighth shorthanded goal of the season.

"He is our hardest working player. I talked to him about playing center and reminded him of a few things to keep in mind. But he was just so into it from the get-go. I do not know what the playoffs are like in Sweden, but he was definitely another impact player tonight," Berenson said on Hagelin.

With just 1:13 left on the clock, Travis Turnbull made it 5-0 scoring on a two-on-one break with freshman Louie Caporusso.

The rout continued as Michigan pulled away with a five goal outburst in the third. Chad Kolarik scored his third goal on a breakaway just 30 seconds into the period. Pacioretty fed Kolarik who netted his 27th goal of the season.

Just 55 seconds later Caporusso made it 7-0 with a goal from right out in front of the second Nebraska-Omaha goalie Jeremie Dupont. Chris Summers threw the puck at the net and Caporusso scooped up the rebound and flipped it into the netting.

Michigan would also get goals from Mark Mitera, Kevin Porter and Danny Fardig before the end of the period.

Nebraska-Omaha scored its lone goal of the game with 17:10 left in the period with a power-play goal from Tomas Klempa. Klempa crashed the slot and took a feed from behind the Michigan net and flipped it off Billy Sauer and into the Michigan net. It made the score 7-1 before the Wolverines answered with the contests final three goals.

With the win, the No. 1-ranked Wolverines take a 1-0 series lead over the visiting Mavericks. With a win on Saturday night, the Wolverines would advance to Joe Louis Arena to participate in the 2008 CCHA Final Four. Game time is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. on Saturday night.

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