Sauer Is Sweet For Wolverines

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Michigan goaltender Billy Sauer was voted the second star of his No. 3 Wolverines' 4-2 win over Boston University on Friday, but don't tell that to head coach Red Berenson.

"Billy kept us in the game," Berenson said. "If Billy hadn't had a much better than average game, then we wouldn't be talking about a victory. The whole game would have taken a different direction. He was the difference."

The Wolverines' bench boss is absolutely right, which is why the junior goaltender - often looked at as a weak link on strong Michigan teams - is tonight's Player of the Game.

"I know our team was excited to play," Berenson said, "but you have to give BU credit. They were all over us, and they were the better team. We couldn't get anything going, we couldn't get any forecheck, we couldn't get any confidence. We got better as the game went on and we started to play better and it became a different game."

How did that happen? Just ask Kevin Porter, the Wolverines' captain (and tonight's third star with a goal and an assist), and the answer sounds familiar.

"I think a big part of it was Billy Sauer," Porter said. "I think they had 15 or 16 shots in the first period, and Billy kept us in the game. So that gave us a little bit of confidence."

The other thing it did was drain the Terriers. By the time the third period rolled around, and BU had come up empty on 27 shots, it became harder to score, and although BU did get a pair of tallies in the third, each Wolverines answer became bigger because of how hard those goals were to get in the first place.

"We had 51 attempts and hit 27 [on goal] in the first two periods, and we were down 2-0" BU head coach Jack Parker said. "That was tough. When we don't get the 5-on-3 goal [late in the second period], it jacked them up, too at the end of the third period."

Like everyone else, Parker was very impressed with Sauer, who turned in his best performance of the season to date.

"He played pretty well," Parker said, "and we're pressing to score goals."

In general, though, Parker was reasonably pleased with his team's performance.

"We delivered the puck to the night all night," Parker said. "We were on the net all night, much better than we have been in the past, but the same result. Two goals is not going to win a hockey game."

However, Parker's team won't be the only one looking to improve on Saturday night. "I am pretty happy with how we work," Porter said. "We work pretty hard, but I think we need to work on playing 60 minutes. We come out and play 40-minute games and we are luckily winning those games. But I think if we come out and play 60 minutes the way we work, the other team is not going to have a chance. But the way we are playing, 40 minutes is not going to cut it the rest of the year."

Michigan wants to play more than two-thirds of a game, and BU wants to score more than two goals. Both will look toward those aims tomorrow night at 8:30, when they meet again here at Yost Ice Arena.

For now, though, we're signing off from Ann Arbor. Goodnight, everybody!

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