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Laura Gardner/The Journal Gazette
Michigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick has been stellar lately

Michigan wins 5-1

Michigan's hockey team made it to Fort Wayne, unexpectedly, because of its ace goaltending and opportunistic offense.

It's staying in Fort Wayne for those reasons.

The Wolverines defeated Bemidji State 5-1 on Saturday night, earning a berth in the Midwest Regional Final against Miami (Ohio), with those teams set to meet tonight for a spot in the Frozen Four.

Credit, again, goes to goaltender Shawn Hundwick, a 5-foot-7, 163-pound mite who had played only 18 minutes before getting the start Feb. 25 against Notre Dame. Since then, he's achieved legendary status among the Wolverines' fans, winning 8 of 9 games, including the last seven.

Against Bemidji State, which reached the Frozen Four last year, he stopped 25 of 26 shots. His best came midway through the second period, when the Beavers' Jordan George accepted a pass all alone in front of the net. Hunwick sprawled to keep the puck from crossing the goal line.

Bemidji's goalie, Dan Bakala, admirably stopped 26 of 30 shots, including a save that saw him slide to his left to thwart Luke Glendening's attempt at the end of a 2-on-1 rush.

But the Wolverines (26-17-1), stocked with 11 NHL draftees, are difficult to contain, even if they were best described as a mediocre team before they got on their recent tear.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at