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April 08, 1988 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-08

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i " f-

Baseball
vs. Minnesota (DH)
Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m.
Ray Fisher Stadium

SPORTS

Men's Tennis
vs. Purdue
Saturday
Track and Tennis Building

The Michigan Daily

Friday, April 8, 1988

Page 10

NORTON COUNTED ON AS DEFENSIVE STALWART

New

star in New York

By DAVID HYMAN
From the time Jeff Norton took
off his Wolverine hockey jersey and
donned the stars and stripes of Team
USA, he could not have asked for a
better script.
Even though the United States
exited early from the Olympic
hockey competition, finishing in
sixth place, the XV Winter Games
in Calgary were a great opportunity
for Norton.
"It was an unbelievable experi-
ence," said Norton. "I wouldn't trade
it for anything. It's more than just
going there and winning. It was rep-
resenting and competing for your
country."
AFTER THE GAMES ended,
Norton still had a year of college el-
igibility remaining. But Norton had
decided during the Olympic year that
he would forego his final year at
Michigan. He would turn pro and
forget his past stardom at Michigan
and instead look to his future in the
NHL.
Since then, the New York Is-
landers could not have been happier
with his decision.
From the time he first wore a No.
8 NY jersey, the Islander organiza-
tion knew they made no mistake in
making him their 1984 third-round
draft pick out of Cushing Academy
in Ashburnham, Ma.
The team was also in desperate
need of defensemen, so Norton's
timing could not have been any bet-
ter. "I was kind of worried coming in
this late in the year and maybe tak-
ing someones spot, but there were a
lot of injuries (Gord Dineen, who
has since been traded, Ken Leiter,
and Ken Morrow) and I got the op-
portunity to play."

yP~
t Jeff Norton is now starring for the New York Islanders.
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Daily Photo by JOHN MUNSON

Read
Ube
CDoajicl

MOST PLAYERS entering
the NHL, either through the minors
or college are tentative because they
do not know what to expect. It
doesn't help any that they receive
only a few shifts per period. These
players do not usually make a large
impact until they have played for
some time, but Norton has received
valuable ice time, proven he can
compete with the stars, and taken
advantage of his opportunity.
"It is harder to break into the
league when you are spot-shifted,"
said Norton. "You get a couple of
shifts a period. You break a quick
sweat, and then sit for ten minutes."
Norton, however, has done more
than break a sweat. He has seen ac-
tion on the power play and in short-
handed situations, making the
transition much easier.
Norton, a solid defensive player at
6-2, 195, is more the stay-at-home
player who can contain the opposi-
tion at the blue line. His size is well
suited to the NHL, which he is still
getting used to.
"It's a whole different game here,"
said Norton. "It's more the up and
down style. More bumping and
grinding, whereas college is more
open, and that is my game."
BUT, despite his affinity for re-
maining behind the attack, he can
still make an offensive rush when
needed. This is due partly to Nor-
ton's improved skating skills which
he learned this past winter with the
wider international rink of the
Olympics. "You cover a lot more ice
on that big surface, and here it is a
smaller surface, so I tend to cover a
lot more ice," he said.
It is now common to see him
start with the puck behind his own
net, push it forward, penetrate
through the defense, and then rush
backwards to play defense. This is
something he has done effectively in
the 17 games he has played since
joining the Islanders, with more im-
provement visible every time he
steps onto the ice.
His biggest thrill yet, in the
NHL, came March 30 in a Patrick
Division battle against the Philadel-
phia Flyers. With the score tied at 3-
3, Norton received a pass at the left
point from Mikko Makela, and rifled
a 40-footer past goalie Mark Lafor-
est, triggering a 5-3 Islander victory.
The goal also helped to keep the Is-
landers in first place over the Capi-
tals.
Mon.-Sat 11-8 551 S. Division
EXAMS THOUGHTS
S-
EXAM 1 ! ~ssI '/~
Aombntons
T AKE A BLIMPY BRE AK

E g 'I TIFCA. e', A" L V JI-$L~

"It was an exciting goal and I
couldn't ask for a better situation for
it to come - with Washington
trailing us by a point," said Norton.
"It meant more because it was my
first goal and it was the game-win-
ning goal."
NORTON again showed his ex-
cellent play in a game against the
Capitals, playing consistent defense,
while also recording an assist. The
Islanders won 7-3, and later clinched
the Patrick Division title. Norton
helped the Islanders to an unbeaten
streak of seven games (6-0-1), and
was part of the reason they finished
in first place, higher than expected.
Finishing the regular season with
7 points (1 goal and 6 assists) in
only 17 games, Norton has been the
defensive player the Islanders have
been looking for since their Stanley
Cup years. The type of player who
can hold their own against the
opposition by clearing players from
out in front of the net, while also
being able to push the puck forward
into the opponents end.
"We're at the top of our game
now since I've been here," said Nor-
ton. "We find a way to win. It was
just like playing Michigan State.
They always found a way to win."
Norton, too, is playing at a level
which is hard to believe for someone
who has not played that long in the
NHL. He is in the NHL now and in
the middle of the Stanley Cup play-
offs, hoping to continue his year of
new experiences, hoping to drink
from the coveted Stanley Cup.
"I walked into a good situation
and I don't think you can write it up
any better than this."

ANNOUNCEMENT
The Office of Minority Affairs, University of Michigan, will
host Dr. Reginald Wilson as a Martin Luther King/Cesar
Chavez/Rosa Parks Visiting Scholar, April 11 through 14, 1988.
Dr. Wilson is Director of the Office of Minority Concerns at the
American Council on Education.
Dr. Wilson will give a public lecture on "Breaking Down
Intellectual and Social Barriers: Creative Strategies for
Recruitment and Retention of Minorities in Higher Education"
at the Keffler Library, Michigan League, on Tuesday, April 12,
beginning at 4:00 p.m.
The lecture will be followed by a reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
We encourage students, faculty and staff to meet with Dr.
Wilson during his visit here. For information regarding his
schedule of activities and available meeting times please call
Cecilia Green-Gosa or Valerie Munson at 936-1055.

0

Norton
.. ,another new experience

4(, Ui "4 m
1851

Northwestern University
Personnel Department, Chicago Campus
339 E. Chicago Avenue, Room 119
Chicago, IL 60611
An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F

PROBLEMS and
SOLUTIONS in
CENTRAL
AMERICA:
The Arias Plan
'Per e ctives on Strife
in entral America"
12:30-2:30 pm
" Professor Thomas Walker
* Professor Knut Walter
* Professor Dan Levine
"Perspectives on the
Central American
Peace Affreement"
2:45-4:45 pm
* Professor Reid Reading
" Mr. Mark Falcoff
Saturday, April 9th
12:30-4:45 pm
Hutchins Hall Room 100
University of Michigan
Law School

President and Mrs. Robben Fleming
cordially invite all students to an

Sun.
April 10

The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
The End of an Era
Louis Stout, Professor of Horn,'and more
than 50 of his School of Music graduates
will perform a concert to celebrate his
illustrious teaching career.
Featuring the Hubler "Concerto for Four
Horns" with two father-son teams,
Louis Stout, Sr., Louis Stout, Jr.,
Tom Witte, and Peter Witte
Rackham, 2:00 p.m. Free.

Spring
.$1 Days
Lease any apartment between
April 1 and April 30, 1988
for $100.
(Applied to September rent)
M MMRAngMau
'

Open House

U -..- . U II

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