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February 10, 1988 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-10

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, February 10, 1988- Page 13
Jeff Norton becomes first 'M
hockey Olympian since 1956

The last time Jeff Norton wore a Michigan hockey
uniform was on Feb. 28, 1987 in the first round of the
Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs against
Michigan State.
The Wolverines lost that night in East Lansing, 6-
3, ending their 1986-87 season. Now, almost a year
later, Norton finds himself on a different team in a dif-
ferent sort of playoffs as a member of the U.S.
Olympic hockey team.
He wears the red, white and blue of the United
States instead of the maize and blue of the University
of Michigan.
His followers stretch all across the country instead
of just the city of Ann Arbor.
AND COME Saturday in the team's opener
against Austria at the Calgary Saddledome (8 p.m.
EST, ABC-TV), fans will chant "USA! USA! USA!"
instead of "Let's Go Blue! Let's Go Blue!"
"I don't think I can compare anything to this," Nor-
ton said last December from his Acton, Mass. home.
"This is the biggest thing that's ever happened to me.
It's the opportunity to play for your country."
So it came to no surprise that Norton left the
Wolverines with still one year of eligibility left. Last
year, he captained Michigan's squad and was a Second-
Team All-CCHA selection.
The road to Calgary started in May 1987 when try-
outs were held at three sites in the Detroit, Boston, and
Minneapolis areas. From that pool of players 80 were
chosen to compete in the U.S. Olympic Festival in
North Carolina in July.
THE NEXT CUT occurred prior to Team USA's
p August training camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. The names
Norton and former Wolverine Brad Jones, a final cut
yesterday, still appeared on the roster.
"I think their play speaks for themselves," U.S.
coach Dave Peterson said in December. "We've gone
from 700 hockey players to 25, and they're still here.
I'd say that says a lot for them."
Norton fit the mold Peterson and general manager
Art Berglund looked for in their selection process.
More of a stay-at-home type defenseman with the
U,S. team than he was at Michigan, Norton has the
size at 6-3, 198 pounds to play aggressively. He is also
agile enough to hold his own on the Saddledome's
large ice surface.
Team USA's preparation for the Olympics included
a grueling exhibition schedule that started in mid-Au-
gust and concluded just this week. Competition con-
sisted of both professional and amateur teams.
THE U.S. TEAM received its only extensive rest

.S. team cuts Jones
The U.S. Olympic hockey team yesterday cut ex-
Wolverine Brad Jones along with Tom Chorske,
trimming the team's roster to 20 players.
The team extended invitations to both of them to
join the team in Calgary. Jones and Chorske had been
with Team USA since its training camp last August.
Jones, who graduated from Michigan last year,
finished as the Wolverines' second all-time leading
scorer. Last year he was an All-CCHA and Second-
Team All-America selection.
The Sterling Heights native is property of the
NHL's Winnipeg Jets. He played four games with
them last year before he broke his jaw.
say, 'I'm proud of you that you're representing the
University of Michigan,' and I feel I'm representing it
the best I can."
WHETHER THAT includes helping the United
States win a medal remains uncertain. The Soviet
Union, Canada, and Czechoslovakia enter the games as
the likely favorites.
But one only has to turn back the clock to 1980
when the United States won the gold medal to realize
that upsets do happen.
That's when Norton fell in love with the idea of
playing in the Olympics. He remembers Mike
Eruzione's game-winning goal against the Soviets and
goalie Jim Craig searching for his father in the stands
after the game.
Saturday, he will get his turn to make some of his
own memories. "There's a ton of pressure and a ton of
excitement and a ton of pride, and it's great to part of
something like that," said Michigan coach Red Beren-
son, who played against the Soviets in the original
Canada Cup in 1972.
Norton realizes, however, that in a couple of short
weeks his experience as an Olympian will come to a
sudden halt.
AFTERWARDS, Norton could return to Mich-
igan for his final year, but seems destined to turn pro-
fessional with the New York Islanders of the National
Hockey League.
Whatever lies ahead for the him, he will not soon
forget the last nine months.
"It's a great learning experience," Norton said. It
will be with me for the rest of my life. I'll sit back
every now and then to think about it..
"I'll probably remember everything."

Dolly Photo by JOHN MUNSON
Defenseman Jeff Norton left Michigan with one year of eligibility remaining to join the 1988 U.S. Olympic
hockey team. The team plays its Olympic opener Saturday night against Austria.

during the holiday season in December.
"People don't realize those two, three-hour flights
really take a lot out of you," Norton said. "You're liv-
ing out of aasuitcase for five months. It's pretty tough
- no home-cooked meals."
While on the road Norton found time to follow the
path of this year's Michigan hockey team. "I'm still

there in spirit, that's for sure," Norton said.
The Wolverines' first hockey Olympian since
Willard Ikola in 1956 may be playing for his country
first and foremost, but he still believes he represents
the University of Michigan.
"I meet Michigan alumni all over the country," said
Norton. "People that I don't know come up to me and

Won't you be my Ballantine?



Athletes are often faced with tremendous amounts of pressure. Some
more so than others. It is how an athlete responds to this pressure that
determines their success.
First-year winger-center Jim Ballantine has been introduced to major
pressure since he donned a Michigan uniform. After being forced to re-
place assistant captain Joe Lockwood at right wing earlier in the season,
Ballantine is now faced with the unenviable task of replacing captain
Todd Brost, who is out with a knee injury.
"I want to do the best that I can for the wingers on the line," said
Ballantine of Don Stone and Billy Powers, who have scored 38 goals
between the two of them this season. "I hope that they tell me what
they expect of me. I just hope I can do my best in this unfortunate
BROST, the junior captain, was third on the team in scoring with
17 goals and 20 assists through 34 games before his knee injury Friday
night against Western Michigan. Ballantine, who had-been centering the
fourth line, was thrust into Brost's role for the rest of weekend.
"The pressure on Ballantine is going to be there," said Michigan head
coach Red Berenson, whose team currently occupies third place in the
Central Collegiate Hockey Association. "He stepped in earlier and did a
very good job replacing Lockwood when he was injured. He seems to
have gained a-great deal of confidence and I feel that this will help him
Ballantine's high confidence level can be traced solely to the Dec. 4
game against Boston College. At 19:40 of the second period on a feed
from Lockwood, Ballantine scored a shorthanded goal, which turned out
to be the game-winner in the Wolverines 6-2 victory.
"I knew that I could score," said Ballantine, who compiled 43 goals
and 85 points in 60 games with the Compuware Jr. A team last year.
"It was just a matter of when I was going to put the puck in the net.
The pressure is now gone."
THE SHORTHANDED pressure-filled situations are something
that Ballantine has grown to enjoy more and more with every passing
series. Ballantine, who has been teamed with Lockwood, Mike Moes,
and Ryan Pardoski on the penalty killing unit, thrives on the opportu-
nity of defeating an opposing team's power play.
"I love short-handed situations," smiled Ballantine. "I guess that it is
the satisfaction of stopping their best players. They have these plays
that they practice every day. It's fun to mess them up."
Messing opponents up is something that many rival coaches are
noticing regularly, particularly Western Michigan head coach Bill
"Normally, we are an extremely patient team on the power play,"
said Wilkinson after his team missed a veritable bevvy of power play
opportunities on the weekend. "I was extremely impressed with the
poise that the freshman Ballantine showed on the weekend. We couldn't
get anything going."
Poise is something that the psychology major will have to have in
the next few weekends in order to step in and fill Brost's role.
LOOK for great gift ideas .

causes court clamor
(Continued from Page 11)
BOTH TEAMS were assessed technical fouls after Wolverine
forward Tanya Powell was mugged under the basket, setting off a
small ruckus. Fields was steaming at her bench.
"Next time that happens," she warned, "Don't just sit there. Stand
up. If somethings going to happen, don't just sit there. Be ready to get
out there."
Fields later said she did not advocate fighting but instead meant to
teach her players to be "assertive women" and "to stand fo'r what they
believe in."
While Fields delivered her call to arms, VanDeWege brought a
tearful Powell to the bench, knelt down, and spoke to her.
"I told her 'Hey, - you gotta try to keep your head because they're
trying to do something to get them back in the game."'
More was said than that. It was full of feeling, added security to a
body that was coldiand ached, instilled perspective and added pride to an
ego temporarily crushed.
This comparison between coaches says it all.
Sorry Bud, you lose. You weren't the coaching winner. After all,
Ms. Fields said it herself: "Bud's a nice guy - he didn't do anything
technical though or nothing complicated."
Nope. He didn't. He just showed compassion to his team.
So this Bud's for yQu, LaRue Fields. You win.
Correa gets to rest on Sabbath
ARLINGTON, Tx. (AP)-The Texas Rangers have agreeed to let
pitcher Edwin Correa rest on his Sabbath, but the team said he may be
pressed into service in a pinch.
The Rangers agreed they will try to keep the pitcher off duty from
sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, and Correa, a Seventh-day Ad-
ventist, said he would help out if necessary.
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Daily Photo by ROBIN LOZNAK'
First-year winger-center Jim Ballantine checks a Western Michigan
player in last Saturday night's 5-1, Wolverine victory. Ballantine will be
centering injured captain Todd Brost's line for the next few weeks.
"I figure that I will play an important role in the near future," said
Ballantine, who currently has eight points on the season. "I have confi-
dence in my hockey and I believe that I can contribute to this team."
Pressure? Nah.

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