University of Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson has changed his mind.
“I don’t even like small goalies,” he said with a smile on his face Saturday evening. “I’ve always been a big goalie fan, but I am a fan of small goalies who battle hard.”
And then Berenson looked over at his 5-foot-7 junior goaltender Shawn Hunwick and said, “he’s a warrior.”
Hunwick was named the most valuable player of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournament as he led the Wolverines to a 2-1 championship game victory over Northern Michigan at Joe Louis Arena. It was a historic win — no team that finished below fourth place in the league’s regular season had ever won the title but Michigan ended the regular year in seventh place.
The Wolverines went 5-0 in CCHA tournament play to win its second league crown over the last three seasons. It was the ninth overall CCHA title for Michigan and it cemented Michigan’s 20th straight trip to the 16-team NCAA hockey tournament.
On Sunday morning it was revealed Michigan will travel to Fort Wayne, Ind., on Saturday to take on Bemidji State at 7:30 p.m. in the Midwest. Michigan will be the No. 3-seeded team in the Midwest, Bemidji State will be the No. 2 team. The top team in the region is Miami of Ohio, which will take on No. 4 Alabama-Huntsville at 4 p.m. Saturday. The regional final will be played on Sunday , March 28 at 7 p.m.
Miami was the CCHA regular season champ but Michigan upset the Red Hawks, 5-2, in the CCHA tournament semifinals on Friday night.
Hunwick, who was a walk-on at Michigan, only broke into the starting lineup because of a groin injury to regular starter, Bryan Hogan. But Hunwick allowed just nine goals in five playoff games while Michigan scored 28.
On Saturday Hunwick stopped 28 shots, including a stuff on a wrap-around attempt late in the first period.
“I don’t know if I deserve to be the MVP. I don’t know if I deserve to be a star,” said Hunwick. “The boys played tremendous and it’s nice to get a little recognition.”
Michigan is 25-17-1 overall and Northern Michigan falls to 20-12-8. NMU also qualified for the NCAA tournament and will play in St. Paul, Minn. On Friday against St. Cloud State.
Junior center Louis Caporusso scored both goals for Michigan, on a blast off the post in the final minute of the second period and on a tap-in in the third frame. Caporusso now has scored 20 goals this season.
The NCAA Frozen Four will be played at Detroit’s Ford Field in April.
For more info: mgoblue, ncaa.com, Detroit News