#1 Wolverines Advance to NCAA Quarterfinal

No. 1 Michigan advanced to the East Regional final with a 5-1 win over the Niagara Purple Eagles on Friday night at The Union Center in Albany, N.Y. Max Pacioretty scored the Wolverines first goal in the start of the second period, and senior Kevin Porter scored the Wolverines final four goals in the 5-1 win.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The No. 1-ranked Michigan hockey team advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament with a 5-1 win over the CHA Champion Niagara Purple Eagles on Friday night at the Union Center in Albany.

CCHA Rookie of the Year Max Pacioretty scored the Wolverines first goal, a power play tally just 55 seconds into the second period, and Hobey Baker candidate Kevin Porter reclaimed honors as the nations' top scorer with four more markers as the Maize and Blue cruised into the Regional Championship for the first time since the 2005 season with the four-goal win.

A heavy favorite heading into the contest, it took the Wolverines until the second period for Michigan to break through against Niagara goalie Juliano Pagliero. Just 55 seconds into the second, Max Pacioretty quickly snapped a shot from the high slot into the net as the Wolverines opened the frame with the teams third power play of the game. Aaron Palushaj and Chad Kolarik where each credited with assists on the tic-tac-toe power-play goal.

Pacioretty and Kolarik connected again on the second Michigan goal eight minutes later, this time setting up senior Kevin Porter for the first of his four goals. Pacioretty carried the puck across the blue line for the Michigan offense and then found trailer Chad Kolarik on a 3-on-2 Michigan rush. As the defense pinched out to Kolarik, Porter slipped behind the defense and took a pass to create the breakaway chance for Wolverines captain. Porter put it through the five-hole to make it 2-0 at 9:35.

The lead went to 3-0 near the middle of the final period. With just over 12 minutes left, defenseman Tristin Llewellyn took a shot from the blue line that trickled off Pagliero, found the heel of Kolarik's stick, and then made its way to Porter who backhanded it home for his second goal of the game.

Porter added two more, one a power-play goal and one an empty netter, in the final 12 minutes of action to clinch the 5-1 Michigan win.

Niagara finally solved Michigan goalie Billy Sauer, who finished with 16 saves, for their only goal of the game with 4:10 left to make the score 4-1. Matt Caruana scored the lone Purple Eagles goal with a backhand through traffic.

With the win, the top-seeded Wolverines advance to the East Regional final to play No. 10 Clarkson for a spot in the 2008 Frozen Four. Game time is scheduled 7:00 on ESPNU.

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