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Posted on Sat, Mar 2, 2013 : 10:16 p.m.

Michigan hockey tops Ferris State in shootout to end regular season, will start CCHA tournament at home

By Kyle Austin

Updated at 11:30 p.m.

The Michigan hockey team will be fighting to preserve its 22-year NCAA tournament streak when the CCHA playoffs start next week.

And after a 1-1 tie and shootout win over Ferris State Saturday night at Yost Ice Arena, it will start the tournament at home, while riding its longest winning streak of the season.

The Wolverines won their fourth straight game and swept the fifth-place Bulldogs to end the season on a four-game winning streak. Senior captain A.J. Treais scored in the first round of the shootout, and Wolverines freshman goaltender Steve Racine stopped all three Bulldogs shooters.

The Wolverines end the season at 13-18-3, in seventh place in the CCHA. They will open a three-game first-round playoff series Friday against Northern Michigan. Had Michigan lost in regulation or overtime, it would have started the postseason on the road.

And just like they did three years ago, when Michigan wrapped up an unlikely NCAA tournament bid with a CCHA Tournament championship, the Wolverines know that it will take a tournament win to keep the hallowed streak intact.

“I don’t think any person in that locker room has any doubts that we can go on a run or that we can keep winning and keep playing Michigan hockey," Michigan forward Kevin Lynch said. "Everyone believes in that locker room that we can do things that a lot of people probably think we can’t do.”


MIchigan seniors celebrate a shootout win and Senior Night at Yost Ice Arena on Saturday, March 2.

Andrew Kuhn | For

On senior night, it was Treais, who hasn't scored a goal since Jan. 19, who gave the Wolverines the one extra point they needed to move up to seventh place.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s been a while since I put a puck in the back of the net, and even though it doesn’t count, I can still feel that as a goal," Treais said.

Lynch got Michigan on the board eight minutes into the game, when he took a pass from Andrew Copp and tucked a shot into the top corner of the net, over the shoulder of Ferris State goaltender CJ Motte.

After making several standout saves on a first-minute Ferris State power play chance, Racine let up a goal on a deflection in front midway through the second period.

But from there he was lights out, making a pair of standout saves with 11 minutes left in the third, one on a breakaway and the other seconds later on a back-door chance, to preserve the tie before the game went to overtime.

“All year we’ve been complaining about our goals against, and I think it’s pretty clear tonight that our goalie won us the game," Michigan coach Red Berenson said.

In overtime, after the Wolverines couldn’t capitalize on an empty net opportunity in the final minute, Racine stopped a breakaway chance from Ferris State’s Travis Ouellette with 10 seconds left to send the game to a shootout.

The Bulldogs pulled their goalie early, needing the three points of an overtime win to move into position to get home ice advantage.

Racine earned first-star honors after giving up one goal for the second straight game while making 24 saves.

After cycling through three goalies most of the year, Michigan has finally found its hot hand just before the playoffs. Racine has now backstopped Michigan to consecutive series sweeps.

“I was playing a lot in the beginning of the year, and once that kind of goes away you notice that you maybe took it for granted a little bit," Racine said. "I just tried to work hard and get back in there and make the most of my opportunity.”

The four-game win streak to end the regular season gives Michigan a dichotomy heading into the postseason. It's still a seventh-place team with an uphill climb to an NCAA berth-clinching CCHA tournament win.

But it's also a team with a hot riding a hot goalie and a CCHA-high four-game winning streak heading into the tournament.

“I still think we’re a team that has something to prove," Berenson said. Let’s face it, you can’t forget about the 30 games we played before the last four. But nevertheless, I like our team, I think we have a chance to be a team that moves forward.”

Kyle Austin covers sports for He can be reached at or 734-623-2535. Follow him on Twitter @KAustin_AA.



Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

Another correction, per the CCHA page: Ferris State was playing for home ice; they achieved the bi week after last weekend's play. By failing to get the 3 points, they will be playing at Ohio State on the 15th. (We were trying to figure out why they pulled their goalie, so we looked it up) Also, Steve Racine WAS huge. Keep up the good work, Michigan!!


Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

Kyle, that IS interesting! A few of us commented that it's too bad they didn't pull their goalie earlier, as that last minute of overtime ended up down at Ferris's end. Great game. I also liked the pictures, as well, especially the one capturing Treais's glee. Great way for him to end Senior Night!

Kyle Austin

Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

Thanks, Sarah. Red talked about after the game how he knew Ferris would be pulling their goalie in overtime because it needed the three points. But he didn't tell his players that.


Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

Goaltending, goaltending, goaltending. Where was this goaltending all year long? Blue Marker you are spot on, Racine huge tonight.


Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 4:31 a.m.

One correction. Officially Michigan is 13-18-3 on the season. Tonight's win was in a shootout, which under NCAA rules counts as a tie. For CCHA purposes only, the shootout earns teams an additional point in the standings. The CCHA and USCHO both have the record correct at 13-18-3. Michigan will need to win the CCHA tourney to continue the NCAA appearance streak. The good news is they have moved up in the RPI rankings from the upper 40's to #40 as of right now. The bad news, unless they win the CCHA crown, they won't be close to making the NCAA tourney.

Blue Marker

Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 3:42 a.m.

Wow, Steve Racine was huge again tonight. Way to win on senior night.