FRIDAY,. FEBRUARY 10, 1967
TIFF MICHIGAN DAii.v
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By GRAYLE HOWLETT
Last season was an off-year for
Michigan State hockey coach Amo
Bessone. The Spartans did grab
the NCAA crown after a .sixth-
place finish, but somehow Bes-
sone proved a disappointment. He
Bessone has been dubbed the
WCHA's Leo Durocher but last
year his hollering tactics and
tempestuous tirades were notice-
ably absent. He even was known
By DAVE TICKTON
Take a scale, put -WCHA com-
petition on one side and the Mich-
igan hockey team on the other.
Result: an unbalanced scale and
an outweighed team.
Add Bob Baird.
and a steady player," Keough of-
the Wolverine skaters.
The Michigan icers this year are
enjoying one of their finest sea-
sons with an extremely well-
rounded and highly spirited squad.
Senior forward Bob Baird is one
of the prime reasons for the
hockey team's success.
Baird has finally come into his
own this season. He leads the team
in scoring with 19 goals and 20
assists for 39 points.
Baird played his pre-collegiate
hockey in Toronto. Since there
aren't any high school hockey
teams in Canada, he played along
with sophomore goalie Jim Keough
to sit down on the bench instead
of assuming his more familiar po-
sition of standing. And his quotes
were beginning to sound just like
In his 14 years as a coach at
Michigan State, Bessone's most
successful season was last year-
the year of the big change. When
word came from a Minnesota
paper that Bessone may have re-
turned to his old ways, the rest
of the WCHA rejoiced.
According to a newspaper ac- i with a 4-9-1 conference record atl
count, during the first game of
the Michigan State-Denver series,
Bessone made such a commotion
on the bench that his players
voted him off the bench for the
Saturday night rematch. He was
banished to the stands, and ran
the team from the third row. The
old Bessone seemingly had re-
After all, the NCAA champions
were mired deep in seventh place
'uts Icing On 'M
in various leagues near his home.
"Baird was always a good scorer
and a steady player," Keough of-
fers. "He convinced me to come to
From Brown to Books
Baird didn't go to Michigan
right after high school. "I didn't
even know what the University of
Michigan was," he jokes. "I start-
ed playing semi-pro hockey and
was working at the same time."
This convinced him that school
was more practical and "more im-
Bob is in education school. "I
plan to go into semi-pro or pro
hockey after graduation. As for the
future, I'd like to be a coach or
teacher. I've had some offers from
Toronto teams and would like to
play for the Maple Leafs."
If Baird decides some day to
coach hockey, much of his strategy
will probably come from the Mich-
igan hockey rinks.
"I'm glad I came to Michigan,"
he states. "I learned a lot from
Mel (Wakabayashi). He taught
me quite a bit about team-work.
When I was playing in Toronto
it was mostly every man for him-
Baltimore 128, Boston 124
Only game scheduled
No games scheduled
Army 69, Manhattan 64
NYU 83, Georgetown (DC) 77
No. Carolina 75, Wake Forest 73 (ovt)
St. Johns (NY) 83, West Virginia 71
Fordham 78, Colgate 57
Tulsa 72, Bradley 71
Houston 92, Hardin-Simmons 85
Baird has shown steady im-
provement over the last three
years. "My skating has improved
and I'm back-checking better
Along with his hard skating has
come an increase in penalties. He
chuckles when questioned about
this, and answers, "Oh, I guess
I've gotten mad at the refs a
couple times. Most of those penal-
ties have been ten-minute ones
Hockey hasn't taken up all of
this 6' 175-pounder's time. He
married his Toronto high school
sweetheart last summer.
Mrs. Baird has been watching
Bob play hockey since his high
school days. "I really love, the
game and life is very pleasant
even in the midst of the hockey
The Wolverine skaters have
played strong, consistent hockey
all season. "Balance and being
stronger in the goal has been the
the time and everybody figured
that the Spartans were down so
Bessone had returned.
"You didn't believe that story,
did you?" chuckled a calm Bes-
sone. "That reporter just needed
some information for his column.
Besides, he was in Minnesota
while we were in Denver. He was
i working through a contact. The
real truth is that their benches
big difference this season," Baird
says. "All three forward lines are
good and there isn't any one
standout. The penalty killers have
also been doing a real fine job."
'Til the Cows Come Home
The Toronto native feels that
the big games so far this year have
been the series against Michigan
State and the tournament game
against Michigan Tech in Detroit.
On the recent split at Hough-
ton last weekend against Tech,
Baird comments, "It was a smaller
rink than we usually play on. We
were up for the games but just
didn't seem to have that little
The Michigan puckmen have
had that little extra nearly every
game this year. This team's po-
tential has been underestimated.
With the steady all-around plat
of the Toronto terror, Bob Baird,
the Wolverines could go a long
are so crowded that
in the first row of
I had to sit:
Last weekend the Spartans swept
their first series of the campaign,
bouncing Minnesota twice. The
double win elevated them from
seventh to fifth and it looked like
an instant replay from last year.
"It looks like the same kind of
season for us as last year," Bes-
sone confided, "the only differ-
ence is we're not scoring as much.
But we played well last weekend."
The key to the Michigan State
hockey machine is still senior All-
American Doug Volmar. "The dif-
ference between our squad this
year and last is most of the other
teams are concentrating on Doug."
Last year's league-leading scor-
er, Volmar is only eleventh in total
points in the conference, netting
ten goals and helping out on six
"A lot of people," challenged
Bessone, "say that Doug 'Just has
a shot' but he also can skate with
anybody in the league, He's also
quite strong and has done well
despite the handicap of not having
played much hockey."
The Wolverines have already
feasted on the Spartans three
times this year, and are looking
for a sweep of this weekend's
home-and-away series to keep
second place North Dakota at bay.
Tonight the Wolverines and
Spartans face-off at 8 p.m. at
the Coliseum, then Michigan jour-
neys to East Lansing for the re-
vaatch on Saturday night.
IOf special interest to Wolverine
fans should be the mood of Amo
Bessone: "Sure, I holler and yell
a lot, but it's a great way to avoid
If Bessone is providing the fire-
works, chances are the Spartans
won't be. But if Bessone is com-
fortably seated at 8 p.m. face-off
tonight, it could be a long weekend
for the Wolverines.
SPORTS NIGHT EDITOR:
This Weekend in Sports
Gymnastics--Eastern Michigan at IM Building, 3:30 p.m.
Hockey-Michigan State at Coliseum, 8 p.m.
Basketball-Michigan at Northwestern
Hockey-Michigan at Michigan State
Swimming-Indiana at Matt Mann Pool, 7:30 p.m.
Track-Michigan at Michigan State Relays
Wrestling-Toledo at Yost Fieldhouse, 3:30 p.m.
Wrestling--Wisconsin at Yost Field House, 3:30 p.m.
It's in the CARDS at
1203 South University
OPEN TONIGHT TILL 9
Saturday, Feb. 11
Inter House Assembly will
provide skating, tobagganing,
snowman - building, skidoos,
fun & frolic. Bus service from
the Union will provide free,
warm transportation to WEST
PARK between 12:30-4:30. A
"Mixer at Markley" at 8:30
will provide a climax to the
day of events with music by
Sol Estes. Bring your skates &
sleds & join us in saluating
winter with the first Annual
I HA DAY
FRIDAY, 9-12 P.M.
Michigan Union and Michigan League
University Activities Center
Petitions available 2nd floor Union and
3rd floor League. DUE FEB. 19.
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