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The Big Chill At The Big House: Bryan Hogan To Start For Michigan

So far this season for the Michigan hockey team, Shawn Hunwick has been starting at goalie on Fridays and Bryan Hogan has been getting the call on Saturdays. This is similar to what happened two years ago. Billy Sauer would play one night and Hogan would be in the lineup the next. The two alternated starts until it became obvious that the team just seemed to play better with Hogan in net. At that point, head coach Red Berenson went with Hogan and he became the full-time starter for the rest of the season.

This season, it looks like Hogan is on his way to once again becoming the full-time starter. He was the main man in net for Michigan last year until suffering an injury late in the season. Hunwick finally got a chance to play and Michigan went on an amazing winning streak, playing its way into the NCAA tournament by way of a CCHA tournament championship. The Wolverines were a bad call away from playing in the Frozen Four, and Hunwick really served as the spark for a team that had struggled most of the season.

Although neither goalie has played bad this season -- Hunwick has a 2.79 goals against average and a .903 save percentage and Hogan has a 2.11 GAA and a .923 save percentage -- it's becoming clear that the team just seems to play better with Hogan in net. The same thing happened with Sauer two years ago. Michigan just didn't seem to play well with him in net, so Hogan won the starting job. This year, Hogan has a 7-2-0 record and Hunwick is 2-3-4. The records speak for themselves. Michigan just wins more with Hogan in net.

Based on this, Berenson has decided to start Hogan in net on Saturday for The Big Chill at the Big House. He said that neither goalie has played "exceptionally well" lately, but Hogan has found a way to win. For Michigan, both this season and in 2008-09, that seems to be the deciding factor for who to start. Hogan has won and Hunwick hasn't, so that is why Hogan will be the goalie on Saturday against Michigan State in the Big House. Not only is this game important because it is a CCHA contest and MSU is a rival, but you don't want to lose a record-breaking event on your own ice (or turf, in this case). Considering that, starting Hogan makes the most sense.