The Michigan Daily
Monday, October 13, 1986
By SCOTT SHAFFER
A season-opening sweep of
Bowling Green, the top-ranked
CCHA team, would have been too
good to be true for Michigan.
But a split of the home and
home series will do just fine, thank
AND AS THE Wolverine
players prepared to leave Bowling
Green Ice Arena after losing the
second game 5-2, the attitude of the
team that had beaten Bowling
Green 6-5 in the opener was
summed up by losing goalie Glen
Neary, "This was our first series
and we can only go up from here.
These are supposed to be the best
guys in the conference... I just
can't wait until the next game."
Neary, a freshman, played well
in his college debut Saturday night,
turning back 27 Falcon shots, but
the Wolverine power play went cold
that night, scoring only one goal in
After two periods, with Bowling
Green up 3-1, lain Duncan popped
Wolverine captain Jeff Norton in
the face as the buzzer sounded,
setting up a 56-second, five-on-
three advantage for the visitors. But
All-America goalie Gary Kruzich
slammed the door and the power
play went by the boards.
AFTER STILL another poor
power play and with a 3-1 deficit
and a hostile, sellout crowd that
chanted, "Hey, Michigan, your
power play sucks," the Wolverines
could have easily thrown in the
towel. But with fourteen minutes
left, rookie Ryan Pardoski slipped
the puck through Kruzich's legs,
giving his team new life.
When Bowling Green's Alan
Leggett was called for tripping
while Duncan was serving a major
for cross-checking, the Wolverines
were presented with a golden
opportunity to tie the score - a
five-on-three for 2:06.
But the tying goal was never to
come. Michigan's power play was
unable to even get set up in the
attacking zone. Kruzich was barely
tested during this stretch.
MICHIGAN coach Red Beren -
son offered some explanation for
the disappearance of the power play
that was a more respectable 3-13 in
Friday's win. "Power plays take
work and we just didn't handle it
well. We tried to force some passes
when we should've taken a shot."
But the ineptness of the power
play on Saturday did not erase the
good feeling that the team had
Sharples played well through -
out, but suffered occasional lapses,
such as when he let a shot off the
stick of Duncan bounce in off his
pad early in the third period.
"It was nice to get the first win
under my belt, but I need to be a
little more consistent," said the
Calgary native, whose best saves
came with the glove.
about their overall performance this
weekend. "We're not going to get
our heads down over this game,"
said Berenson. "The players are
confident that they can be a good
And the players have every right
to feel that way because they played
an excellent game in their home
opener Friday night. Freshman
goalie Warren Sharples was
generally impressive in his initial
college appearance and Norton
tallied two goals and an assist as
the Wolverines withstood a Falcon
comeback attempt to start the year
with a 6-5 victory.
NORTON tipped in a Brad
McCaughey shot just three minutes
into the game and scored a short-
handed goal later in the period when
McCaughey set him up with a pass
in front of the net.
Jeff Urban scored another short-
handed goal at 6:23 of the second
to increase Michigan's lead to 4-1.
Then the Bowling Green offense
began to get untracked, scoring four
of the next five goals to tie the
score 5-5. "Things went well early,
but Bowling Green is too good of a
team to roll over," said Berenson.
But the Wolverines reversed the
momentum when Myles O'Connor
sealed the victory by putting a
rising slapshot past Kruzich with
7:40 left to play. The defense rose
to the occasion by not allowing a
goal despite playing short-handed
for the final 2:43 of the game.
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Daily Photo by JOHN MUNSON
A Michigan player is on guard to Falcon Andy Gribble last Friday night during a 6-5 win over Bowling Green at
Yost Ice Arena.
...not on thin ice
By DARREN JASEY
he Bowling Green Falcons are one of college
hockey's finest teams. They confirmed that in Saturday
night's 5-2 victory over Michigan.
The Wolverines, meanwhile, are one of the most
improved teams in college hockey. Their weekend split
with Bowling Green confirmed that. But don't count
the Wolverines as a national power just yet.
The potent Falcon offense dominated
Michigan Saturday night at Bowling Green.
Accurate passing and rapid puck movement
kept the Falcons inside the Michigan blue
line for nearly a minute on several
occasions. Incredible pressure was put on
Michigan's freshman goaltender Glen Neary,
who performed well under the circumstances.
The Falcons also showed their
strength on defense. Midway
through the third period and two
Falcons in the penalty box,
Bowling Green snuffed the best
lineup that Michigan head coach
Red Berenson could offer on the
However, Berenson's crew
matched up well with the talented
Falcons. Michigan has a history of
playing the Falcons tough, but this
year it can't be said that Bowling
Green played poorly. Nor can it be
said that Michigan played over their
heads. The young Wolverines didn't
allow the Falcons to skate circles sPcw
around them like in the past. ...nets fi
Judging by personel, it's quite evident
which team should have the better record at
the end of the season. CCHA favorite
Bowling Green lost only one player from a
team that finished 23-9 in the CCHA.
Michigan has 10 freshmen. In addition,
those Bowling Green returnees , including
All-American goalie Gary Kruzich.
True, Michigan wasn't expected to split the BG
series, but their 6-5 win Friday night didn't come as a
shock either. "I knew they had a good (recruiting)
class," said Bowling Green head coach Jerry York. "I
expect them to finish in the top four (in the CCHA)."
For Michigan, it was just a question of whether the
freshmen would respond. "We didn't really know what
we had when we started with so many kids," said
Berenson. "It takes players a while to make a transition
and I think these guys are making it very well."
Michigan its newfound presence in the second game.
After three straight Bowling Green made the score 3-1,
the Wolverines battled the Falcons toe to toe for over
14 minutes before freshman Ryan Pardoski stuffed one
between Kruzich's pads to bring Michigan within one.
Michigan's freshmen played well, but
their initiation' wasn't flawless. Junior,
captain Jeff Norton referred to unnecessary
penalties as Michigan's major mistake.
"With the young D' it
really wears you down,"
Another problem that Berenson
and'Norton noted was the inability
of the team, and not just the
freshmen, to clear its own zone. A
critical first pass out of the
Michigan zone often landed on a
Bowling Green stick. Such
giveaways put undue pressure on
Still, the freshmen goalies took
the pressure like vetrans, as they
made key saves in both contests.
Both Warren Sharples and Neary
performed equally well in the
crease. Sharples effectively used his
t goal challenging, come-of-the net style
while Neary was more of a stand-up backstop.
Perhaps most impressive is the way Michigan has
united as a team. Berenson and assistant coach Mark
Miller deserve much credit for weaving a team with 10
newcomers into a cohesive unit. A unit so cohesive
that Bryan Deasley referred to them as "family."
The transition has been made and Michigan appears
to be stronger. The weekend performance of the new
faces have made Berenson's goal of finishing among
the CCHA's top four more than just a dream.
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