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March 23, 1979 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-03-23

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Sun-Thurs 11:30-2 am
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Page 12-Friday, March 23, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Icer captain leaps into pro ranks

The peer counselors in assertiveness training at
Counseling Services are offering a
Free 1 Day Workshop in
Assertiveness Training
Assertiveness Training is:
" Learning to speak up for your rights, feelings, and opinions
in a direct and honest manner.
" Learning to distinguish between assertiveness, non-assert-
iveness, and aggression.
" Learning how these principles may be applied to your
everyday interactions.
Join other students in a participation-oriented small
group setting.
SAT., MARCH 31-10 a.m.-4 p.m.
" Enrollment limited
" Register in advance at 76-GUIDE
Ist Floor Michigan Union
" For further information, call 76-GUIDE

Most college seniors wait until they
graduate before they venture out into
the world of the working class. But for
Mark Miller, senior captain of the 1978-
79 Michigan hockey team, opportunity
came knocking early. And when the
free-wheeling icer answered the door,
he found himself in Binghamton, N.Y.,
home-of the American Hockey League
Binghamton Broom Dusters.
Miller, whose 23 goals and 26 assists
were tops for the Wolverines this year,
was assigned to the Dusters two and a
half weeks ago by the WHA Edmonton
Oilers. Miller was drafted by the New
York Rangers of the NHL at the end of
his sophomore year and by Edmonton
in January, 1979. Both clubs kept him
on their potential list while the deker
played out his eligibility.
MICHIGAN COACH Dan Farrell and
Edmonton scout Barry Frazier worked
out the agreement that landed Miller in
Binghamton, where he is currently on
the 25 game amateur list. Under the
agreement, the Canadian-born
puckster gets only expenses, thus
enabling him to retain his amateur
Farrell downplayed Miller's move to
the pros and insisted he was more con-
cerned about his former captain's
education.b"He's having a professional
tyryout. He's just doing something he
thinks he has to do and I was in-
strumental in bringing it about," said
Farrell. "I want him back here
finishing school."

And finish school he will, according to
the man himself. "I plan to come back
(to Ann Arbor) next week to catch the
(hockey) banquet and get my

fighting with fourth place Rochester for
the third and final playoff spot. With
nine games left in the regular season, a
mere five points separate the two clubs,
so the pressure is on Miller to produce
as the season winds to a close.
The 21-year-old winger has picked up
just two points (both assists) in seven
games for the Dusters, yet he is very
content just to be in the pros.
"I think it was a great thing for me to
come here," said Miller, who scored 121
points (57 goals, 64 assists) in four
years at Michigan. "I felt bad about
what happened with the team at school.
Being captain of a tenth place team
with only six (league) wins isn't much.
of a confidence builder.
"ALTHOUGH I didn't think it was my
fault, I sort of wondered. I began doub-
ting my own abilities," he continued.
"For me to get out of there into a new
environment was a very good thing."
When he first arrived at the little
town on the New York-Pennsylvania
border, Miller was a typically nervous
rookie in a new league. It hasn't been
easy for the Essex, Ontario native to
adjust to the AHL, where many of the
players have years of NHL experience
and are bigger and stronger than the
college types.
"I was really excited and a little
scared at first," recalled Miller. "I
didn't know what to expect since I'd
never seen an AHL game before.
There's a lot of talent in this league. It's
a real challenge to play here.

"BUT I'M confident in my abilities. I
think I can play here," continued
Miller. "I've had some good scoring
opportunities. I've hit the post twice
and I've been around the net. I just
haven't put it in,"
Duster Coach Joe Hardy believes that
the 6-0, 180-pounder has the talent to
make it in the pros, but feels it will take
time to develop it.
"The kid is just out of college; that's
a big change," noted Hardy. "From
what I've seen, he's doing all right. He
can skate, he can shoot and he's a hard
worker. To me, it's just a matter of con-
"Mark has the talent to play a lot bet-
ter than he is now," added Hardy.
"He's a little nervous because of the
situation. There's a lot of pressure on
the kid. He's taking a lot of heat."
HARDY, FARRELL and Frazier all
believe that Miller can make it in the
pros. Now it's up to Miller to prove his
believers correct.
"I think I can help this team," said
Miller. "This is a big opportunity for
me if I can do it here. I'm here on a trial
basis for them to look at my wares. If I
impress them enough, they (Edmon-
ton) will give me a contract. If I don't
not all is lost.
"From what I've seen here, I think I
can go into training camp next fall and
earn a spot in either Edmonton's or
New York's system," continued Miller.
"The next step is the bigs (NHL). My
ultimate goal is to go all the way."

Mark Miller

academics straightened out," said
"I'LL EITHER TAKE incompletes in
my classes or drop them and add in-
dependent studies. But I'm definitely
interested in graduating."
For now, classes will have to wait.
Binghamton, a farm club, for Pit-
tsburgh and Buffalo of the NHL as well
as Edmonton and Quebec of the WHA,
is currently in third place in the
Southern Division of the AHL and

What's Your Major?
Tech Day 1979
an Engineering Open House
Sat. 8:30-4:00-Chrysler Center
Call 764-8511 or 764-8470
Sponsored by Engineering Council & MSA

Tough regionals await tumblers

The Wolverine men's gymnastic team, coming off a third
place Big Ten finish, will find the upcoming NCAA Mideast
Regional meet tough going.
Only two of the 12 team field, which includes nationally
ranked Indiana State and Northern Illinois, will qualify for
the NCAA finals to be held in Baton Rouge in April.
Other contenders for a berth in the finals are Southern
Illinois, a team that has beaten Michigan twice in invitational
meets earlier this season, and Big Ten champion Minnesota.
Michigan coach Newt Loken recognizes the stiff com-
petition his team faces this weekend in DeKalb, Illinois, the
meet site.
"Realistically, we could end up with our best score ever
and still place in the middle of the pack," said Loken. "It is
an overwhelming project to overtake some of the nationally
ranked teams that will be there, but the guys are determined
to make their presence felt."
In addition to the two top teams qualifying for the NCAA
meet, the six highest scoring gymnasts in each event and the
all-around will earn a place in the finals.
With three Big Ten champs in the Michigan line-up, plus
all-around runner-up Nigel Rothwell, the Wolverines are a
good bet to send some gymnasts to Baton Rouge.
Senior co-captain Rothwell injured his ankle at the Big
Ten meet two weeks ago, and that ankle is still a "question

mark," according to Rothwell.
"I still believe it will be okay for competition," said Roth-
well. "If it is, I think my best chance to reach the finals is in
the all-around."
This year's Big Ten still ring winner, Darrel Yee, says
he's been working extra hard since the conference meet.
"The competition is tougher, so I won't be too disappoin-
ted if I don't qualify," said Yee. "But if I do as well as in the
Big Tens, I should be in the finals."
Big Ten title holder in floor exercise Jim Varilek echoed
Yee's sentiments. "I've seen most of my competition. If I do
my Big Ten routine, I'll be there (the NCAA finals) in April.
Senior co-captain and high bar specialist Bob Creek is also
hoping to repeat his Big Ten performance. For Creek, main;
taining a peak has meant tapering off his work-outs.
"Toward the end of the season, we do fewer complete
routines and work on performing rough spots," said Creek.
"Practice this week has looked even better than just before
the 'ig Ten's. I feel everyone is peaking."
Competition begins this evening with optional routines.
The champion and runner-up teams will be determined
following the compulsory set scheduled for tomorrow at
noon. Individual qualifiers will be chosen after a second op-
tional performance tomorrow evening.



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