Last year's NCAA tournament runner-up, the Michigan Wolverines, once again find themselves as the second-best team in college hockey -- only this time, it's to begin the tournament.
The Wolverines began the season slow, trading wins and losses before a seven-game losing streak in November saw coach Red Berenson's team hit rock bottom. They've found their way since then, only losing four times and getting back one of the best defensemen in the country in sophomore Jon Merrill (New Jersey Devils). However, that's not the only reason for their success, as they get it done on both ends of the ice.
Michigan is fourth in the country with 2.15 goals per game and have only allowed more than three goals in a game once since November. A big reason for that is Shawn Hunwick, who after guiding the Wolverines to three wins in the NCAA Tournament last season continues to stand tall between the pipes. He enters this year's Tournament in the top-five for almost every major goaltending category and has played in all but one game this year for Michigan.
Offensively, the Wolverines average over a goal more than they give up (3.25 goals per game) and rely on a balanced attack. Four Michigan players, including David Wohlberg (New Jersey) and Alex Guptill (Dallas Stars), have scored more than 30 points, and eight have topped 20 this season. With so many options, teams are going to have their hands full trying to pick and choose who to focus.