The No. 1-ranked Michigan hockey team clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament with a 2-1 win over No. 2 Miami in the CCHA Championship Game on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Michigan goals came from Aaron Palushaj and Brandon Naurato. Billy Sauer made 27 saves for the Wolverines.

DETROIT -- The top-ranked Michigan hockey team knocked off No. 2 Miami University 2-1 on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit to secure both the 2008 CCHA Tournament Championship and the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey tournament.

Aaron Palushaj and Brandon Naurato each recorded markers for the Wolverines, and goalie Billy Sauer made 27 saves in guiding the Wolverines to their first CCHA Tournament title since winning the Mason Cup during the 2004-05 season.

In a highly anticipated match up of the top two teams in the PairWise Rankings, neither team was able to punch the puck across the goal line in the first period. Ben Winnett had the Wolverines best opportunity, a breakaway roughly four minutes into the game, but Miami's Jeff Zatkoff gloved the shot to end the threat.

With just over two minutes left in the frame, Miami threatened on a wraparound scoring chance from the nation's leading goal scorer, Ryan Jones. Wrapping his stick around the right side of the goal, Jones' shot was slowed by Michigan defenseman Tristin Llewellyn, and the puck came to a dead stop on top of the goal line, where Billy Sauer eventually covered it up.

Aaron Palushaj finally did pot the games first goal at 7:38 of the second period. Crashing hard to the left post, Palushaj took a feed through traffic from center Matt Rust and pushed it into the left side of the net past Zatkoff to make it 1-0 Michigan.

Miami answered, peppering Michigan goalie Billy Sauer with shots for the remainder of the period, but the Michigan goalie held the RedHawks off the board through two periods, despite the RedHawks holding a 21-12 edge in shots on goal.

Kevin Porter had the Wolverines best opportunity to double the lead before the end of the period, but his breakaway shot was snared out of thin air by Zatkoff, who finished as the All-tournament team goalie.

Exactly halfway through the final period, Brandon Naurato scored what eventually became the game-winner. With a face-off in the Miami zone, Michigan capitalized on a learned tendency of Miami center Nate Davis. On a set play, Michigan center Tim Miller pushed the face-off through Davis' legs, then backhanded a pass to Naurato crashing the far post after the puck drop. Naurato put his stick on the ice and directed the pass behind Zatkoff to add to Michigan's lead and make it 2-0.

Miami continued to pressure, however, and Sauer was looked upon to make another big save with just 2:58 left on the clock. After Michigan defenseman Steve Kampfer tripped on the ice, Miami skated in on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Sauer calmly directed the Miami shot into the netting behind the goal to end the threat, however, and it wasn't until just 38 seconds remained on the clock that Miami scored their lone goal of the contest.

Skating with a 6-on-4 advantage, Miami's Alec Martinez slap shot in the final minute beat Billy Sauer to conclude the scoring.

With the win, the Wolverines complete a regular season that saw the Wolverines win the GLI championship, CCHA Championship and CCHA Tournament Championship. The NCAA selection show will reveal the Wolverines bracket for the NCAA Tournament with an 11:30 show on ESPN2.

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