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October 27, 1978 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-10-27

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y, October 27, 1978,-The MichiganDaily

The checkers and savers

"Dee-fense! Dee-fense!"
Last season, obviously, these chants were not heeded by the Michigan ice
hockey team as their opponents totaled 192 goals in 36 games (5.3 goals per game).
Early on in last year's 15-20-1 campaign, the Wolverine icers were ranked No.1
in the nation and were sailing along towards one of their finest seasons ever. Then
disaster struck! The Blue dekers proceeded to lose 17 of their next 20 games, a
span during which the opposition tallied 131 goals (six and a half goals a game). As
one can plainly see, the defense collapsed.
"We were not a good team defensively. We didn't have the defensemen or the
defensive team play. And we didn't play well in goal," commented Wolverine men-
tor Dan Farrell.
Farrell knows what he has to accomplish this season in order to regain the
stature of two years ago when his icers reached the NCAA finals. "We have to play
better defensively. If we can cut down on our goals against, we'll have a successful
year. "
In order to combat this weakness, Farrell has done several things. "We have
spent all our time on defense and no time on offense," Farrell noted.
Farrell, in addition, has changed the method of fore-checking and inserted a
new type of defense. "We've made a number of changes in our (defensive)
coverage by realigning the coverage in our zone," said the hopeful Farrell.
As any coach knows, all his teaching can go for naught if he doesn't have the
personnel. With the return of few key lettermen, Farrell knows he has his work cut
out for him.
"We've got a lot of inexperience back there. We're better at that position than
we were last year. The only problem is that we're going to use people without
WCHA experience. We're going to make mistakes," he concluded.
When Dean Turner decided not to finish out his stay here at Michigan and was
drafted by the New York Rangers, the icers lost one of their defensive regulars.
Also, captain John McCahill graduated to the colorado Rockies' top farm club, the
Philadelphia Firebirds. Thus, Farrell had two big holes to fill.
He feels he has filled these holes more than adequately with two freshmen,
Brian Lundberg and Steve Richmond. Two other strong prospects, Dave Richter
and Paul Brandrup wait in the wings due to a back injury and a broken leg, respec-
Lundberg, a British Columbia native, "is a young kid who has played under a
very good coach. He is the best hitting defenseman on the club and moves the puck
very well. We like what he does out there," said Farrell.
On the other hand, Richmond, who hails from the Windy City, "came as a for-

ward. He was the leading scorer in Ontario, where he played for two years. He is a
very tough boy who likes the physical part of the game. He really has adjusted
very well (with his change from offense to defense)."
These freshmen will be paired with the two veterans, more or less, Tim Man-
ning and John Blum. Manning was the one shining light for the Wolverines on
defense last year as the University of Detroit grad had an excellent season.
Blum, meanwhile, only played in seven games a year ago as a freshman walk-
on but he has improved markedly and has won a starting berth this time around.
"He was very nervous the other night (in an exhibition game at Michigan State)
because he hasn't played a whole lot. But when he settles down, he'll be a real good
player," Farrell said.
Battling it out for the remaining two starting spots are three veterans and one
relative newcomer. Dave Brennan, John Waymann and Rod Pacholzuk are the
veterans and Mark Perry, just off an ankle injury, is the newcomer who didn't see
action a year ago.
Canadians Brennan and Waymann have both had their moments here. Bren-
nan played too a lot two years ago as a freshman and was a real standout.
Waymann, the senior from Quebec, notched the goal two years ago with under six
minutes remaining in the contest which propelled the Wolverines into overtime in
that NCAA final against Wisconsin.
A defense will only look as good as the number of goals it allows. This par-
ticular burden rests solely on one individual, the goalie. Michigan lost its two
regular goalies this year due to graduation in Frank Zimmerman and Rick
Late in the season, however, Rudy Varvari tested his wares several times and
should be ready for this season. He will be contesting the netminder chores with a
transfer student from Penn, Bob Sutton, and freshmen Andy Buppert and Ron
Sutton seems to be the leader, right now, due to his 16-save performance
against MSU in ther 6-3 exhibition win. He was the player of the week in the East
several times a year ago and was able to transfer here without sitting a year due to
the fact that Penn dropped ice hockey.
Farrell has concentrated his pre-season work on defense mainly because of the
problems last season and his feeling that '"in the early going if you have a good
defense, you'll win."
Maybe he doesn't realize how true that statement is for a whole season! By the
way, those fans know more than one would imagine when they start chanting that
familiar line of 'Dee-fense!' They couldn't be more accurate in exhorting the
Wolverine icers in exactly the right direction.

The skaters

and scorers

The motto for the 1978-79 Michigan
hockey team should be "Don't Look
Back," the title tune of rock group
Boston's new album. After finishing
ninth in the 10-team Western Collegiate
Hockey Association last year, the team
has little choice but to look ahead and
hope for better times ahead.
A year ago at this time, big things
were expected of the dekers. Coming
off a second place finish in the NCAA
tournament, the Wolverines' offense
was led by the return of league scoring
champion and All-American Dave
Debol (99 points his junior year.) The
offensive-minded icers had four of the
previous year's top five scorers (in-
cluding Debol) skating at Yost Arena
for another season and the 1976-77 team
had set a team record with 260 goals.
AFTER ROARING through the early'
part of the seasongdisasterastruck as
the dekers lost 15 games in a row and
finished with a disappointing 15-20-1
overall record.
This time around, the team doesn't
have the seasoned talent or the momen-
tum of a championship year.,
Having lost three of their top four
scorers while racking up "only" 169
goals (almost 100 less than last year), it
looks as though Coach Dan Farrell and
his new crew of forwards have a long
and winding road ahead.
"We're young and have a lot4 of
technique to learn," says Farrell. "The
players will learn through experience."
GONE FROM last year's front lines
are centers Dave Debol and Kip
Maurer, left wingers Bill Thayer and
Ben Kawa and right winger Dan Hoene.
While Debol's production dropped
drastically from 99 points his junior
year to a "mere"' 58 points (20 goals, 38
assists) his final season, he was the
Wolverines' leading scorer. Debol now
plays for the Cincinnati Stingers :of the
World Hockey Association.

The loss of Maurer (25, goals, 20
assists - 45 points) and Thayer (13-21-
34), who ranked third and fourth
respectively in team scoring last year,
could also be evident as Coach Farrell
searches for new leadership.
One very bright spot on the ice this
season will be junior center Dan Lerg,
who claimed the team runner-up spot in
total points last year. His 21 goals and
28 assists were good for 49 points, just
behind Debol. Lerg also had two hat
tricks to his credit last season, in-
cluding a four-goal performance again-
st Wiscons'in.
LERG WAS ONE of six Michigan un-
derclassmen to be drafted by the
National Hockey League last spring,
but the 5'9", 170 pound Detroit Catholic
Central graduate chose to remain with
the Maize and Blue. Coach Farrell ex-
pects a great deal out of the Southfield
"Dan is a very capable center,"
assessed Farrell. "He can do an awful
lot for the team. He has lots of skills and
puts them together effectively."
Flanking Lerg on the front line will
be fellow junior Doug Todd at left wing
and senior captain Mark Miller on the
right side.
TODD, ONE OF a dozen Canadians
on the team, was bothered by injuries
his freshman year and didn't realize his
potential as 'a sophomore last year. If
he plays better defensively, the 6'1",
193 pounder should improve on last
season's 24-point performance (11
goals, 13 assists), which included a hat
trick against Michigan State. Playing
with Lerg, Todd should also get more
chances to score.
Newly-elected captain Mark Miller,
one of only four seniors on the 1978-79
squad, scored consistently as a junior
(19-14-33) and is highly respected by his

As Farrell puts it, "Mark was chosen
by the team to be captain because of his
outstanding qualities. He com-
municates with the others well, is well-
liked and is enthusiastic. Mark is also a
good athlete and a fine young man."
HEADING UP the second and third
lines are a pair of new recruits, centers
Murray Eaves and Terry Cullen. Both
are extremely talented youngsters who
have the unenviable task of replacing
high scoring graduates Dave Debol and
Kip Maurer. One man who is not
worried about the Ontario freshmen, at
least not at this point, is Coach Farrell.
"These guys are good athletes,"
Farrell stated matter-of-factly.
"They're learning to adjust to college
competition like a good student adjusts
from high school to college his first
year. There's an experience factor'in-
Volved - the more they play, the more
poise they play with."
Assisting Eaves in his adjustment
process will be two very able forwards,
seniorBill Wheeler and sophomore
John Olver.
CONSIDERED the dekers' number
one speedster, Wheeler is counted on to
put pressure on the opposition's defense
with his quickness. Because he is able
to get back to the zone in good position,
he can help the defensemen a great
deal. Although not a big scorer as a
junior (2-10-12), Farrell hopes the
University of Detroit High graduate
will score more this year on a new line.
Olver, a second-year man out of Nor-
th Burnaby, British Columbia, didn't
play with much confidence last year,
according to Farrell. Yet he still
produced 19 points (7-12).
"John is playing with more confiden-
ce right now," observed Farrell at
practice last week. "He and Eaves
work well together. John is putting his
skills together well at this point."

most recruited player in North
America according to Farrell, will be
two of the bigger men on the team,
sophomore Gordie Hampson and senior
Mike Coffman.
At 6'3", 212 pounds, Hampson is, says
Farrell, "a tough man to turn away
from the net," to say the least.
Originally a center when he came to
Michigan, Farrell considers the Min-
nesota native a better left winger. The
biggest forward on the team, he drives
to the net well. Splitting time between
center and left wing as a freshman last
season, Hampson picked up nine goals
and seven assists, good for 16 points.
"Only time will tell how good Gordie
can be," quipped Farrell.
AT THE "ancient" age of, 22, right
winger Coffman is the "elder
statesman" on this year's squad. After
a semi-productive junior year (6-12-18),
Coffman, also from Minnesota, hopes to
regain the form that enabled him to
score 15 goals as a sophomore. The
6'1", 192 pound forward's hould get
numerous, scoring opportunities this
year with Cullen at center.
Keeping the members of the starting
three lines on their toes will be three of
four players who will make up the four-
th line of forwards. Returning
sophomores Jeff Mars (0-2-2) and
Roger Bourne, along with newcomers
Jeff Tessier and Dennis May are all
battling for a spot on the final line.
As coach of one of many young teams
in the conference this year, Farrell
believes that, "What happens to us
early won't be indicative. After
Christmas is important. The test will be
whether or not our young players
develop. At this point it definitely looks
Let's just hope Coach Farrell can say
the same thing in March.

New faces dot the roster

Michigan Hockey Coach Dan Farrell cracked a sly
smile as he put his hands behind his head and leaned
back in his chair, obviously feeling pleased.
What was he smiling about? Well, somebody had
just mentioned his top freshman recruit, centerman
Terry Cullen from Puslinch, Ontario, and his eyes lit
"Cullen was probably the most heavily recruited
player in the nation this year," says Farrell. "He's a
very quick skater with good moves, he forechecks
well and I think he will fit in real well with our*
program here."
Cullen is not the only new player to be recruited for
this year's edition of the Michigan hockey team. It
just so happened that last season was one of those
years that would make any college coach cringe at
the very thought of it. Not only was it disappointing in
the win column (15-20-1) but the Wolverines also lost
nine of their top players, eight through graduation
and one who took off two years early in pursuit of the
big dollars of the National Hockey League.
Gone are goaltenders Frank Zimmerman and Rick'
Palmer, forwards Dave Debol, Kip Maurer, Bill
Thayer, Dan Hoene and three hard nosed defensemen
in Ben Kawa, John McCahill and sophomore Dean
Turner. Of those nine, three are currently playing in
the ros whlae two other ar etill trvinou t. It's nn

In Richmond, Farr'ell will have a defenseman
capable of scoring more than the normal amount of
points for that position. He is a native of Chicago and
has two years of playing experience in Canada,
where, as a left wing, he led his league in scoring the
last two seasons.
According to Farrell, Richmond is a very tough kid
and likes the physical part of the game. "He's
adjusted very well to playing back on defense," said
Farrell, "and that's a very interesting surprise for
Brian Lundberg is a right defenseman and is cast
from a different mold than is Richmond. While
Richmond is physical and' choppy , Lundberg is.
smooth and graceful, more of a "finesse player" as
Farrell puts it.
"Brian has a lot of potential to be a good player in
this league," continues Farrell. "He has quite a bit of
playing experience for a college freshman and a very
hard shot from th0epoint. If we're going to do well this
year we have to play better defensively and I think
these guys, with playing experience, will contribute
much in that department.
"Already, I see some of the older players working
harder. They can feel the pressure."
If the defense is still a question mark, then the
offense is an exclamation point, from the freshman
standnnint anvwnv And the main reann has tn he

plays," commented Farrell. "He's tougher than Mike
too and he's a hard worker who doesn't know the
meaning of the word quit. That kind of player will be
very effective for us in the long run.
Another rookie forward to be counted on this year is
Jeff Tessier, a rugged 5-10, 165 pound left wing from
Windsor, Ontario. Farrell calls Tessier the strongest
player on the team who has great speed down the
lanes. He should see plenty of ice time, especially
during the early part of the year.
Dennis May is the other freshman forward and, like
the other new recruits, he plays more of a physical
brand of hockey than a finesse brand. Says Farrell,
"We concentrated on getting players who play with a
lot of intensity and are hard workers. This year more
than others they are players who don't look all that
fancy, but they get the job done."
To replace the two goalies that graduated, Farrell
has sophomore Rudy Varvari back and has also
brought in a pair of new recruits--Andy Buppert and
Bob Sutton. Buppert is a freshman while Sutton is a
sophomore transfer from Pennsylvania. Before the
season started, Farrell was undecided as to which of
the goalies would be dressing for the games.. "All
three of them have been playing well in practice and
Sutton did a very good job in the exhibition against
State," he said.
Th a ', ,nn Irama na1a.r h nwva.. ,in lsa

Doug Todd

-11 E ::'

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