Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 2, 1989
BY TAYLOR LINCOLN
During the final of this year's Great Lakes
Invitational at Joe Louis Arena, Michigan trailed
North Dakota 5-1 with 1.5 minutes of play remaining.
The Wolverines proceeded to score four goals in the
final fifteen minutes, pushing the game into overtime
and setting up Mike Moes tournament-winning goal.
Team co-captain Todd Brost led the comeback,
racking up two goals and two assists.
Is it coincidence that Brost played such a key role
in the miracle comeback? Probably not.
"The guy just never gives up," coach Red Berenson
said after the game. "He just never gives up."
Such has been the trademark of Brost's four-year
career as a center on the Wolverine hockey team.
"Todd Brost is a 110 percent player in every practice
and every game," Berenson said. "Nobody I've had in
this program has given me more than Todd Brost."
"It's something my dad taught me," Brost said of
his characteristic effort. "Until I went to Penticton
(junior hockey) he had been my coach every year I
played hockey. He gave me the attitude that as long as
you go out and do your best, you won't have anything
to be ashamed of."
Co-Captain Myles O'Connor attests to Brosts'
competitiveness, having played against him while
growing up in Calgary, Alberta.
"The play always centered around him and he was
always in the middle of it," O'Connor said of Brost,
who is rather liberally listed at 5'9" tall in the team's
media guide. "Even though he's one of the smallest
players you wouldn't see him backing down."
And how well did the two get along?
"Oh we hated each other," Brost said. "Now were
Brost and O'Connor went separate ways during their
high school years. Brost played for Penticton, British
Columbia in the Canadian Minor Junior Hockey
League, where he played alongside former Detroit Red
Wings first-round draft choice Joe Murphy. O'Connor
played for Notre Dame high school.
I put on him."
"I was nervous at first," Brost said. "But I still felt
challenged and it felt good to know Coach had
confidence in me."
The pressure was high, but results were slow. In
Brost's first year Michigan finished 12-26. The next
year Michigan managed 14 wins.
Last season, Brost's junior year, there were more
wins - 22 of them against 19 defeats, making for the
first winning season in Red Berenson's tenure.
And this year, winning has become the expectation,
as Michigan has a 14-9 record in the CCHA and finds
itself tied for second place.
"Todd and Myles have gone through the full cycle
from the adversity of being with a team that didn't
know what winning was to just the opposite - a
team that knows how to win," Berenson said.
"They went through the tough things and the kids
coming in right now are getting the gravy."
When things have gone badly, Berenson says that
he has used the adversity faced by Brost and O'Connor
to inspire the younger players.
"I've always used them as a reference as to what
things were like before," Berenson said.
Despite the team's current second-place standing,
this year's success has not been without its ups and
downs. Essentially, the team has sandwiched two
winning streaks (the current one stands at six games)
around one long cold spell.
In its first series after the new year Michigan
dropped both games to Lake Superior and fell to fifth
"We just tried to say 'We can determine where we
end up - we've got the talent to finish where we
want," Brost said.
Since then, the Wolverines have not lost, setting
them up for the final stretch of the regular season and
"It's really satisfying to see the team going in this
direction," Brost said. "This is definitely the most fun
I've had here."
In his four years here Todd Brost has been a consistent force on the Michigan hockey team.
It is ironic considering their childhood rivalry that it
was Brost and O'Connor, along with former Wolverine
right-winger Billy Powers, who were given the
responsibility for turning around the downtrodden
Michigan team three years ago.
These three players joined a team that had won only
13 games the year before.
"In Todd Brost's first game as a freshman, we were
down two men on the power play and I put him out on
the ice," Berenson said. "That was the kind of pressure
There is a certain image of the
hockey player. Rough, tough, and
unshaven. Someone who asked for
his two front teeth for Christmas
when he was six-years old, and then
started asking for them again every
year after the age of twelve. A guy
who speaks in slurred words,
incoherent sentences, and has a black
That's what a hockey player is.
Now listen to this.
As the team dined in a restaurant
during their annual voyage to
Chicago, Jeff Urban eyed a big grand
piano. He waltzed over to it and
"entertained the boys."
Out came the tunes. "Misty."
"Color My World." A couple jazz
tunes. Civilization indeed. Tim
Keough perked up the tempo when
he attempted to pound out "The
Victors." It was high-class dining at
It's the other side of life -
ual hockey players are tough on the ice.
1o. In fact, with the stride the Wol-
verines have recently struck, few
opposing teams would call them a
A kinder, gentler hockey team. But
there are points of light - talents
other than the slam to the boards.
"It's something I'm glad my
parents made me do," Urban said
Icers' talents extend
far beyond ice level
when recalling his piano lessons,
which began at age eight. "It didn't
take anything away from playing
Playing sports may have
interfered with playing the piano,
since Urban had to temporarily stop
taking lessons when he broke his
finger and later, elbow.
But there has to be some
Jimmy Ballantine also has a
musical fetish, playing the guitar.
Ballantine - a guy who also claims
one of his hobbies is to make people
feel uneasy around him - had his
own band when he was in high
school. The group would write their
own music, play all sorts of styles
and... were booed off the stage
during a school dance.
"That's all right though,"
Ballantine added, "because I didn't
care. None of us really knew how to
play, but it sounded good - we
Players cite the fact that for seven
months of the year, they only have
one interest. It's hockey. They eat,
live, and sleep it. Practice and study.
Play and eat. Grab a minute to sleep.
"My ideal hour would be 59
minutes sleeping and a minute in the
bathroom," Timmy Helber joked. "I
love to sleep. But last summer I also
worked 50-60 hours a week building
houses, so don't gel the wrong idea."
Both Tim and younger brother
Mike have had success throwing
frisbees. They have qualified for the
World Junior Frisbee
Championships in the past,
travelling across the United States.
The most popular hobby for the
icers is golf. Ted Kramer is the best
on the team, shooting in the mid-
70's. Coach Red Berenson, who
once had a whole-in-one on the third
hole of the University's golf course,
said he never would tee-off against
Kramer because, "I don't want to be
It seems second nature for a
player to love the outdoors, as many
hail from the Canadian outback.
Then there is Kent Brothers.
Among other things, the
Newfoundland native states that
being "available" is one of his
hobbies. He asked that his telephone
number not be printed but added,
"tell them - it's in the book." You
heard it here first.
There is another side to players
besides suiting up for games at
Yost. There are moments other than
when Red Berenson slides across the
ice to coach behind the bench.
Players point to Berenson's talent
as a cook. He grills BerryBurgers,
and prides himself on the claim that
one is all you can eat.
The "Redman" leans back in his
chair and let's out a laugh, when
As the team dined in a restaurant during their anni
voyage to Chicago, Jeff Urban eyed a big grand pian
He waltzed over to it and "entertained the boys."
Out came the tunes. "Misty." "Color My World."
couple jazz tunes. Civilization indeed.
asked about them. He humbly stated
that his secret recipe is, "whatever
happens to be handy.
"But I'd have to say my specialty
is pancakes more than hamburgers."
And you thought hockey players
didn't have a soft spot.
Off Ice Interests
Jim Ballantine- Play guitar; making
people feel uneasy; scuba diving;
art/drawing; listening to obscene music.
(Velvet Underground, Dead Kennedy's).
Todd Brost- Big wrestling fan,
especially Hulk Hogan; spending time with
friends; watch funny movies.
Kent Brothers- Playing and watching
baseball; teasing his roommates; watching
Star Trek; being single.
Rob Brown- Golf (shoots in low 40's for
nine); playing softball.
Todd Copeland- Waterskiing; golf;
fishing; shooting pool; being "a
professional sports fan."
Doug Evans- Skateboarding; racing
12 speeds; collecting U2 bootlegs;
Denny Felsner- Golf (high 90's for
18); tennis; boating; skiing.
Mike Helber- World Junior Frisbee
Championship finalist; playing baseball.
Tim Helber- World Junior Frisbee
Championship Finalist; sleeping;
waterskiing; building houses.
Franz Herbert - playing the keyboards
and piano; waterskiing.
Tim Keough- playing tennis and golf
with twin brother, John; listening to music
(U2, the Doors); bike riding.
Ted Kramer-nGolf (75-76 for 18);
Randy Kwong- Tennis; fishing;
listening to music (jazz, country, classical).
Mike Moes- Photography; tennis;
sailing; waterskiing; canoeing; fishing;
Vaclav Nedomansky- Playing the
guitar; listening to music (Rolling Stones,
Myles O'Connor- Golf; squash;
Ryan Pardoski- Playing baseball;
Alex Roberts- Listening to music
(Guns n' Roses); waterskiing; golf (shoots
in mid-80's for 18); cooking.
Warren Sharples- Travelling; fishing;
Mark Sorenson- Golf (shoots in high
80's for 18); playing and watching baseball
(Toronto Blue Jays fan).
Don Stone- Playing baseball; watching
Brad Turner- Golf (shoots in low 80's
for 18); biking.
Jeff Urban- Playing the piano;
1 " It% - -
Saturday, February 4, 8 p.m.
Come see students compete
for valuable cash and prizes!
4 ' h
0at the door
Q in advance
available at the
"There Was A Time When":
The Muthic Community
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a lecture by
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