December 2, 2007 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Hogan a Hero on Saturday

by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor

Billy Sauer has been doing all the right things for Michigan this season, but it may not have been enough to permanently secure his spot as No. 1 goalie.

By everyone's admission, he wasn't ready to replace Al Montoya, who left Michigan for the pros after his junior year. Sauer was called in a season early, and for his first two years between the pipes, had save percentages below .900.

Bryan Hogan was recruited to give Sauer a push, and, odds were, to take his job. But Hogan came down with mononucleosis before the season. Meanwhile, Sauer has performed admirably, and led the Wolverines to a 12-game winning streak that was only snapped Friday.

So Saturday, in the rematch against Ohio State, with Hogan now healthy, Michigan coach Red Berenson decided to see what Hogan could do in a very important game. Hogan got the win, 4-2, battling off nerves.

It didn't hurt that Michigan scored three goals in the first period, but Hogan also had to stop a penalty shot early in the game.

It remains to be seen what the significance of this game was for Hogan and the Wolverines, and Berenson was rather circumspect about it.

"I've had it in the back of my mind, and I thought tonight was a good time, at home to see where he is," Berenson said. "He sensed the importance of the game and he was up to it."

Berenson didn't exactly close the door on a goalie controversy.

"We have to evaluate our goalie situation because it's different than it was a week ago now that Hogan is ready to play and ready to battle," Berenson said. "It will be good for Billy and good for our team."

Sauer is 13-2 with a 2.07 goals against average and .913 save percentage this season.

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