vs. Northwestern and Wisconsin
Today and tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.
Today, 7:30 p.m.
The Michigan Daily
Friday, October 30, 1987
BY DOUGLAS VOLAN
If you want to see a couple of
close hockey games, come to Yost
Ice Arena tonight and tomorrow
night to watch Michigan (3-3) take
on the University of Illinois-
Unlike last season, when the
Flames outscored Michigan by a
combined 32 to 11 and skated'away
from the season series sweeping all
four games, this weekend's contests
slould be very tight.
"No matter what our past success
has been against the Wolverines,
you can't take them lightly," said
Flames coach Val Belinonte.
"They're a different hockey team this
year and they're playing very well."
THE F L A M E S, despite
finishing fourth in the CCHA last
season with a 21-17-1 record, were
rnked sixth in the CCHA preseason
coaches poll, one point behind fifth
."The games will be good games,"
said Michigan coach Red Berenson.
"The team that finishes ahead in this
four game series will probably finish
ahead of the other team (in the
CCHA at season's end).
"The four game sweep (last year)
made a big difference in their season,
and it made a big difference in our
The Wolverines, who finished
seventh in the conference last year,
did not. have fun when they played
the Flames. Besides suffering four
defeats, the Wolverines were stricken
with food poisoning when they
ventured into Chicago.
BERENSON, however, thinks
this season will be different.
"They're as good as any team in the
league, but so are we," Michigan's
four-year coach said. "There's not
much we could do about them. The
important thing is that we take away
their game and we play ours."
The two teams show m a n y
similarities. The most obvious is
that each team counts on a balanced
scoring attack; neither team has a
scorer amonghthe conference's top
15. In fact, the Flames' leading
scorer, Jeff Nelson (UIC's co-MVP
last season), ranks 23rd in the
league's scoring race.
Belmonte, however, thinks this
gives his team an edge. "It's a lot
better for a team if you've got a
well-balanced attack because you
don't have to count on one or two
players," said Belmonte.
"This way, the other team will
have to key on every line that comes
out on the ice because the potential.
of anybody being able to score is
MICHIGAN and Illinois-
Chicago are also alike in that each
team has to play seven of their first
ten games on the road. Also, both
teams are among the league leaders
in preventing power play goals.
Belmonte . found additional
likenesses. "Neither of us suffered
big losses from last season, and we
both like big ice surfaces," he said.
The Flames' main strength lies in
their goaltending where Brad Ryan
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'No matter what our past
success has been against
the Wolverines, you can't
take them lightly. They're
a different hockey team
this year and they're
playing very well.'
-Val Belmonte, Minois-
Chicago hockey coach
resides. Ryan set a school record last
season with a 3.19 goals against
average, good for second in the
His backup, sophomore Dave
DePinto, ranked fourth in the league
with a 3.33 goals against average.
"It could come down to a
goaltending duel between
(Michigan's Warren Sharples) and
our guys," said Belmonte.
This weekend, Belmonte will be
counting on a defense which allowed
just 3.7 goals per game last season.
"If we could play a solid defensive
style of game, the worst that could
happen is a zero-zero hockey game,"
Leading the defense is senior co-
captain Darin Alexander, who also
racked up 20 points last season.
Joining him on the blue line will be
three newcomers, all of whom figure
prominently in the Flames' plans.
"I'm very pleased with the
freshmen," said Belmonte.
"Hunan Garden reaps the rewards
of fine preparation."
from Detroit Free Press, March 21, 1986
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