Caps vs. Isles: a spring classic
The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 20, 1987 - Page 11
M' netters sparkle
I was supposed to write a
column today on Saturday's Spring
Game, and so early Saturday night I
sat at home trying to think of what
to write about. And, in fact, there
are not many things to write about
an intrasquad football game that
really did stink. Sure, I could try to
be funny with this, but when a
game is that bad, it's often hard to
find any humor in it.
So, 'as I struggled with what
seemed an impossible task, I turned
on the television and watched the
seventh game of the New York
Islander-Washington Capital series.
And watched. And watched. And
And I proceeded to watch what
might have been the greatest game
in sports history.
And after the Isles had pulled out
a 3-2, four-overtime victory, I said,
"That football game doesn't deserve
to be written about. Not after this."
Not after I had just witnessed
IT WAS A six-hour spectacle
that kept getting better and better.
Both goaltenders - Kelly Hrudey
of the Islanders and Bob Mason of
the Capitals -- were super human,
combining for a ridiculous 129
a As each overtime period came to
S d, the players were devoid of
~ 'BY ADAM OCHLIS
energy. But not enthusiasm. And as
the next period started, the energy
was back, and the play was
I really didn't care who won the
game when it started. I edged a little
to the Capitals because of their
failures in years past, but I could, at
the outset, live with an Islander
But what made this game, the
longest in 44 years and the fifth
longest in NHL history, so great, is
that my allegiances switched as
play continued. When New York's
Brian Trottier scored late in the
third period to tie the score at two, I
started rooting for the Isles.
WHEN MASON continued
his brilliance through the overtime
periods, I found myself swaying
back to the Capitals' side. And
when Mason couldn't save fellow
1984 Olympian Pat LaFontaine's
slapper from the blue line at 8:47
of the seventh period, well, I didn't
know what to think.,I
Joy for the Islanders? Sorrow for
the Capitals? Relief, because at 2
a.m. I could finally go to bed? All
of the above?
But most of all, I sat on my
couch, emotionally worn out,
thinking that it's an honor to be
able to say I watched this game
from beginning to end.
In sports, we tend to glorify
great achievements and overblow
scandals. It is clichd to say the word
"great" is used too much in sports.
But in this case, in this game, great
is the only word you can use to
AT TIMES, the Capitals
looked like they were going to take
control. At other times, the
Islanders, with younger players and
fresher legs, skated circles around
the Caps. But for more than three
full extra periods, an entire game,
no one could score.
During the second and third
overtimes, the action was
sensational and the goaltending was
even better. I wondered how New
York's Trottier and Washington's
Rod Langway, 30-year-olds who are
considered very old in a game
dominated by "kids" could continue.
And at times during those two
periods, both teams seemed to be
playing in super slo mo, waiting
for the final six minutes of the
period when they would turn it in
The fans at the Capital Centre
were on an emotional rollercoaster
as well. Loud and rambunctious
during the "first game," they were
dazed and confused during the
second 60 minutes.
Quick arithmetic shows it cost
me 10 cents to watch this game on
ESPN (taking into consideration
the $13 per month cable charge).
For those who watched the CBC
broadcast, it didn't cost a thing.
And to think the Michigan Athletic
Department had the audacity to
charge fans a dollar to watch the
intrasquad game - a game in
which a 19-play scoring drive was
described as "boring" by Bo
Schembechler, a strong advocate of
time possession (read: boring)
Thehockey game was sports at
its best. There was no talk of drug
abuse or "fiscal responsibility" that
dominate the sports pages these
days. This game epitomized the
reason why people like to watch
sports and why people like to write
By ADAM SCHRAGER
The Easter bunny brought gifts a
little early for the men's tennis
team this past weekend as Michigan
swept through Ohio State and
Indiana in its last home meets of
The Wolverines swept Indiana,
9-0, giving the "best performance
of the year," according to coach
Brian Eisner. The victory increased
Michigan's record to 22-2, and
extended its winning streak to 16
matches. In the complete domin-
ation of the Hoosiers, previously
unbeaten in the Big Ten, Michigan
did not lose a single set.
"It was an absolutely tremendous
match," said Eisner who recorded
his 281st career victory with the
win over Indiana. "Considering the
fact that it was our sixth match in
eight days, we played extremely
well. It was the first time this
entire year that the whole team was
FROM THE outset of the
match, there was no doubt as to
who the eventual winner would be.
No one except third-singles player
John Royer gave up more than
three games in a set throughout all
of the singles matches. Fifth- and
sixth-singles players Jon Morris
and Brad Koontz were the fastest
finishers, both recording 6-1, 6-2
The doubles matches were no
different, as all three Michigan
teams recorded easy victories. The
two unbeaten Indiana doubles teams
faced defeat for the first time
"I like where we are at right
now," said Eisner. "We are going to
take a couple of days off right now
before finals. We are at a very good
level of playing right now."
On Friday, the Wolverines
coasted past the Buckeyes by the
same 9-0 score. Junior number-one
singles player Ed Nagel led the way
with a straight set 6-2, 6-2 victory
over OSU's Stephen Miguel, the
Buckeyes' best player.
DURING THE doubles com-
petition, Michigan "lost concen-
tration," according to Eisner and
were taken to three sets in two
separate matches. Overall, the
Wolverines, ranked 17th in the
nation, lost a total of two sets the
The Wolverines have two more
away matches at Northwestern and
at Iowa May 3 and 4, before the Big
Ten championships in Minneapolis
the weekend of May 8-10.
STATE ST EET
334 S. State Street, Ann Arbor
SPORTS OF THE DAILY:
Batsmen bash Buckeyes, sweep four
COLUMBUS (AP) - Jim
Abbott and Mike Ignasiak both
pitched shutouts over the weekend
as Michigan swept a four-game
series from Ohio State. Michigan
raised its record to 29-7, 7-1 in the
Big Ten. The Wolverines are now
ranked 14th in the nation.
The victories leave Wolverine
head coach Bud Middaugh tied for
second place on the school's all-
time win list with Moby Benedict
Michigan won the opening game
of yesterday's doubleheader, 3-0.
Darrren Campbell and Kourtney
Thompson each hit home runs
while Ignasiak allowed only five
hits and struck out 10. The junior
right-hander raised his record to 4-3.
In the second game yesterday,
the Wolverines erased a three-run
deficit en route to 6-4 win. Ohio
State jumped all over starter Tim
Lata, who failed to make it through
the first inning. But the Wolverines
roared back with four runs in the
top of the second, highlighted by
Tom Brock's two-run homer.
The Buckeyes tied the score at
four, but Michigan put the game
out of reach with solo round-
tiippers by Phil Price and Rich
Samplinski in the fifth inning.
Chris Lutz (4-0) entered the game
ins the third inning and picked up
'On Saturday, Jim Abbott began
the series by four-hitting Ohio
State in a 1-0 pitchers' duel. It was
thie second straight shutout for
Abbott (5-1) who last week blanked
Purdue in the Big Ten opener.
Michigan got its only run when
Greg McMurtry singled and scored
on Steve Finken's shot to left
which just eluded a diving Tom
Eiterman. David Burba took the
hard-luck loss for Ohio State (11-14
overall, 0-4 Big Ten).
The Wolverines won the
nightcap, 6-5 in eight innings.
Brock led off the eighth with a
single and moved to third when a
sacrifice bunt was thrown away.
Ohio State reliever Joe Caudell
balked Brock home with the
winning run by dropping the ball
while on the rubber.
The Wolverines scored their six
runs with the benefit of only two
hits. However, Buckeye pitchers
were wild, issuing 10 passes.
Dave Perralta, who earned the
win, entered the game in the
bottom of the seventh with two out
and fanned Dirk Pica with the
winning run on third. Ignasiak got
the final out in the bottom of the
eighth to earn the save.
five of six
Beth Mueller and Bridget Venturi
keyed late inning rallies and
Mueller, Jenny Allard, and All-
American catcher Alicia Seegert
blasted Michigan's first homers of
the season as the Wolverines took
five of six over the weekend against
Eastern Michigan and Big Ten rival
Behind solid pitching and timely
hitting, the Wolverines split the
first and swept the second of two
doubleheaders with Indiana last
Friday and Saturday, then took two
by identical 4-1 scores from non-
league opponent Eastern Michigan
yesterday. Michigan improved its
Big Ten record to 10-4 (23-12
overall). All four games against the
Hoosiers here in Ann Arbor were
tight one-run contests which fired
up the streaking Wolverines.
"We're on quite a roll right
now," said Michigan head coach
Carol Hutchins. "Vicki (Morrow) is
pitching brilliant ball, and Alicia
(Seegert)... she really creamed that
ball on Saturday. That pumped us
up, helped us get real loose. Then
Sunday, we got the homers from.
Jenny (Allard) and Beth (Mueller).
Our hitting is certainly coming
On Friday, after losing the
opener in heartbreaking fashion, 2-
1, the Wolverines bounced back in
the closer, as junior Bridget Venturi
came through with a two-out,
seventh-inning single which scored
Martha Rogers with the game-
Michigan's bats also came alive
in the sixth and seventh innings of
Saturday's nightcap to wipe out a
2-0 Indiana lead and improve pitcher
Vicki Morrow's record to 13-5.
Beth Mueller singled in a run with
two outs in the bottom of the
seventh to give the Wolverines an
exciting come-from-behind victory.
Earlier in the sixth, All-American
catcher Alicia Seegert had hit
Michigan's first round-tripper of the
year to bring the Wolverines within
- KENNETH GOLDBERG
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Reminder To Our Readers
Wednesday, April 22 will be the last
date of publication for The Michigan Daily.
Have a great summer!
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SEMESTER BREAK HOURS: May 2, 1987 - May 5, 1987
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