Indiana Daily Student

Tie, win clinch title for Hoosiers

Team captures championship after battling back from deficit

To clinch the Midwest Collegiate Hockey League regular season championship, the hockey team had to do no worse than a win and a tie against top-ranked University of Michigan this weekend.\nSo in a Hollywood-style turn of events, the Hoosiers (15-7-2, 11-1-2 MCHL) fought back from a 4-1 deficit to tie the Wolverines Friday, then crushed Michigan (20-5-2, 11-2-1 MCHL) 7-3 Saturday.\n"First place is nice," assistant coach and general manager Alex Kyrias said. "For the next two or three days, we'll just enjoy what we've done. Winning the league is a really nice accomplishment."\nThe standout Hoosier this weekend was sophomore goalie Charlie Pulley. When Michigan scored with 11:10 remaining in the second period Friday to take a 4-1 lead, IU's coaching staff opted to pull starting goalie senior Justin Wojtowicz for Pulley. Pulley made 15 saves to help the Hoosiers to a 4-4 tie Friday, then allowed just three goals during Saturday's blowout.\n"The key for any of our goalies is making those key stops at key times," Kyrias said. "Making stops when it's 1-0 or 2-0 is key, and that's what I've been preaching all year."\nThe Hoosier offense got off to a slow start Friday. Michigan maintained a 4-2 lead at the end of the second period and a definite momentum advantage. But just 27 seconds into the third period, IU's first line took the Michigan defense on a 3-on-2 breakaway. Junior forward and assistant captain Bryan Grant took a pass from junior forward and captain Dan Hauck, and before Michigan goalie Ted Parsons could even ready himself, the Hoosiers had cut the Michigan lead to 4-3.\nOn a 4-on-4 play with just under four minutes left in the contest, junior forward and assistant captain Brandon Phillips crushed a shot past Parsons to tie the game.\n"That was a big character game," Hauck said. "We showed a lot of heart battling back, and we set ourselves up for the biggest game of the year."\nGrant had two goals in Friday's contest, while Hauck and senior defenseman Brad Lutsch each had three assists. Each of the Hoosiers' 11 points Friday were earned by the starting lineup, which includes Grant, Hauck, Lutsch, Phillips and freshman defenseman Mike Piotrowski.\nWith the pressure on both teams Saturday, Hoosier fans packed the Frank Southern Center to watch the single most important conference game of the regular season. Fans were not disappointed, as both teams fought hard for the first ten minutes. \nAlmost halfway through the first period, junior defenseman Tim McMahon slipped a shot past Parsons to give the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead and, more importantly, an edge in confidence. IU followed McMahon's shot with four more unanswered goals before Michigan finally got on the board.\n"The team really came together and played hard (Saturday)," Holdeman said. "Intensity is really something we've been struggling with the past few games. Tonight, there were a few holes there, but by and large, we dominated the whole way, and I was very happy about that."\nGrant had two goals and two assists for the Hoosiers Saturday, while Lutsch chipped in a goal and three assists. Twelve Hoosiers were involved in the scoring onslaught Saturday.\n"When Michigan would score, we would answer," Kyrias said. "That says a lot about our intensity."\nWith the weekend's victories, the Hoosiers take the No. 1 seed in the MCHL tournament.\n"Having seen everyone this year, if we're playing our game, I feel confident playing anybody," coach Rich Holdeman said. "Of course, I say that having played (Miami (Ohio) and Michigan) on our rink"

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