Keep Hope Alive | U-M 2, Northern Michigan 1 [CCHA Championship] (3/20/2010)
Start by remembering that Michigan started the CCHA Tournament as a #7 seed, its lowest seeding in the tournament in what feels like forever. Add in an injury to starting netminder to Bryan Hogan. Add in a 3-5-0 record in the month of February. Now start doing the math about what it was going to take to make the NCAA tournament for the 20th straight season. There was just one chance: Win the whole damn thing.
After a couple of wins, 5-2 and 6-0 over Lake Superior State at Yost, Michigan headed up to Munn for a pair with #2 seed Michigan State. The offense kept clicking as Michigan rallied from 3-2 in the first game to win 5-3 (in front of a half full Munn, seriously, the announced attendance was just 3,188 and a lot of those were Michigan fans who had made the drive up.) With a chance to sweep, the Maize and Blue jumped out to a 4-0 lead on Sparty earning the sweep and rolled in to the Joe to face top seed Miami (of Ohio).
The now ranked #17 Wolverines jumped on the #2 in the nation RedHawks, scoring twice goals before being countered by Miami late in the second to make it 2-1 going in to the third. A pair of Kevin Lynch goals book ended a Brian Lebler tally in the first seven minutes of the third and the Wolverines had a date in CCHA finals against the Wildcats of Northern Michigan.
The open question would become could Michigan get the last win and get their invitation stamped to the Dance? Only the #12 NMU Wildcats stood in their way. It became the Shawn Hunwick and Louie Caporusso show, as “Tiny Jesus” made 17 saves and Louie scored a pair of power play goals, the first in the waning moments of the second off a faceoff that is as pretty as a goal you would see. Hunwick was named CCHA Tournament MVP and became a Michigan legend. Michigan was off to Fort Wayne, where nothing bad ever happens.