Page 12- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 8, 1989
Berenson gushing over
A couple hours after last Friday's Michigan-Western Michigan hockey
game, I tried to join the rowdy Yost Ice Arena group known as the Alex
Roberts Fan Club.
They were out of extra large sweatshirts emblazened with their insignia
so my membership application was turned down.
But Al Roberts is turning out all right. That's a fact - a fact that once
appeared darker than a five-year old's boots in a spring mud puddle.
"There was a time in his first year," coach Red Berenson recalled, "that I
was ready to give Al the opportunity to become a full time student."
ROBERTS himself admits that he "wasn't the Red Berenson-type
player." Red looked left, and Al looked right. Their systems weren't in
synch. "I really didn't listen to him," Roberts said. "When he said
something I thought, 'Yea, OK, fine' but I've gotten away with doing this
for 15 years, so why should I change it?"
When Red offered his full-time student plan to Roberts, it was not over
exquisite cuisine at one of Ann Arbor's finer restaurants. Instead in his
office, he chewed Roberts out for his poor play, poor conditioning, poor
attitude, and poor work habits.
Berenson forgot to check on Roberts' donations to the poor - but also
was extremely upset at Roberts' part in a Minneapolis road trip prank.
Thus, the ultimatum.
But now, it's Alex Roberts, the mature junior defensemen; the man
Berenson hails as the "cornerstone" of the Michigan defense, who with a
gleem in his eye bullies the opposition against the boards, and is not afraid
to take a penalty.
- "He had a lot to learn, about the game and himself," Berenson said. "The
thing is he learned."
SATURDAY, Roberts was a Red Berenson-type player. He left the
game after being hit with a puck above the knee. He returned and added
continuity to a chaotic situation.
Now, Berenson gushes when asked to discuss Roberts. "He came back
and played that night. He could have taken the night off. I can't say enough
about his improvement."
Just back on the ice, he ran into trouble.
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More has changed than just Alex Roberts' hair since he came
to Michigan. Coach Red Berenson now calls him the
"cornerstone" of the Wolverine defense.
His knee hurt too much to keep him on the ice, so he tried to stop a
faceoff from occurring. While moving to alert the referee his stick
accidentaly hit Bronco Tom Auge in the back. Off Alex went on a familiar
stroll - to the penalty box, but not for the customary two minutes. This
time for ten.
Berenson couldn't believe the unsettling turn of events occurring to his
wayward son who came home. He climbed the boards, waved his arms,
flailed his clipboard. If he wore glasses, they would have been flying too.
But worse off, Alex Roberts had no way to move his knee in the box, and
the pain and swelling rose.
After the ten minute sit-in Roberts went again to the lockerroom, iced,
walked and worked on his knee. He wanted to play the third period. He did.
IN THE THIRD period, the guy who, according to his fan club, is
number one in people's hearts, number 20 on the ice, and two minutes in
the penalty box - again skated to his famed resting place. Two minutes.
High sticking to Ron Hoover.
"I'm going to stick it up your ---," Hoover told Roberts as he went away.
Hoover scored - setting the place into pandemonium. Hoover skated to
the penalty box, and changed his phrase from future tense, to past tense.
Then he banged his stick.
He went off for ten minutes. Ten minutes for disturbing Alex Roberts by
being a jerk.
The funny thing is, these two used to like each other. When Roberts was
a senior in high school, it was Hoover who showed him the WMU campus.
"We hit it off pretty well," Roberts admitted.
But that was then, this is now.
And now, Alex Roberts is a Red Berenson-type player.
Playoff success hinges
on home ice advantage
The Daily Sports page welcomes Wolverine hockey co-captain Myles
O'Connor as a new guest columnist. Myles will write his perspective of
the team periodically for the remainder of the season.
The current hockey season begins to wind down and we find ourselves
in a dogfight with three other teams (Lake Superior, Illinois-Chicago, and
Bowling Green) for the three final home-ice playoff spots.
With six games left in the regular season, two of which are non-
conference contests against Notre Dame this weekend, it is important for
our team to maintain our current level of play down the stretch drive.
Momentum, as in any sport, can play a very key role in a team's
success. People often speak of peaking at the right time - which is what
I like to think is happening with our team right now. Ever since the two
victories at the Great Lakes Invitational, we have compiled a 9-2-1 record.
The two setbacks came at the hands of Lake Superior the weekend
following our tournament victories.
There are many reasons for our current success but one point shines
clearly - the fact that 20 players have come ready to play each game,
every weekend. All the players on the team are beginning to now realize
what it takes to win in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association on a
WITH 20 PLAYERS contributing, it is difficult for opposing
teams to concentrate on three or four individuals because of the balance on
the team. Everybody is pulling their weight.
Our first-year players have really stepped to the forefront. The bigger
part they've played has also helped with our progress. Players such as
Doug Evans and Mike Helber have gotten over the adjustment period of
playing college hockey and are now playing a more important role.
You know what? We're getting offensive production from some
defensemen lately. And as a defenseman myself, I know it's always nice
to contribute with a goal or an assist.
Yet, we all realize that our job as defensemen - along with that of
goalies Warren Sharples and Tim Keough - is to prevent the other team
from scoring. That's pretty basic. The ability of our team to allow other
teams as few goals as possible each game has also been a main factor in
our current winning streak. This will become more and more important as
the season continues and we battle for home-ice advantage.
PEOPLE. often ask me if we really want to play at home considering
that we have had much more success playing on the road this season. We
are 5-7-3 at Yost but 10-2-1 on the road in league play.
Regardless of the records, there is no doubt that home-ice advantage is
very critical in the playoffs. Consider these facts: It is a best two-out-of-
three series with all three games played at the home team's rink. Ever
since I've been in the league, ten of the 12 first-round playoff series have
been won by the host team.
This is not to say that home-ice advantage will almost guarantee
advancement to the next round at Joe Louis .Arena - but there's nothing
like playing before your own fans and in an environment that you're
I can remember back to my sophomore year when we were playing up
at Michigan State's Munn Ice Arena in the first game of the playoffs. We
were leading 5-4 with a minute and a half left in the game.
ON THE ROAD it seems like referee's calls always go against the
visiting team. This game was no different - we were called for too many
men on the ice. The Spartans subsequently scored on the power-play and
won the game in overtime. This situation may have been reversed had the
game been played in Yost rather than at Michigan State.
From a personal standpoint, I am enjoying this season more than any
of the three previous years I have played at Michigan.
Winning, I believe, really takes care of itself. It makes things go
smoother in the classroom. Coming down to the rink for practice is that
much more enjoyable.
However, and I know I speak for all my teammates and the coaching
staff, when I say that we are not satisfied and are not about to become
complacent with what we have accomplished so far this season.
It is still far from over.
And we know things aren't going to get any easier - we still have a
long ways to go.
Continued from Page 11
he learned "it was a lot more fun
winning championships than having
your name in the paper."
Then what about Notre Dame, the
national champions? A little luck
against the Irish this time. Notre
Dame is set at tight end with rookie
Derek Brown, and Michigan loses
Jeff Brown, to be followed by
Derrick Walker next year. McGee
cited the "tight end situation" in
explaining his decision.
And then of course there's Bo,
who visited McGee at home, as he
does for many recruits, jetting back
and forth across the country.
And the players. McGee spent a
weekend in Ann Arbor, as do most
recruits when no holds are barred to
impress. His host was Greg
McMurtry, Michigan's leading re-
ceiver. A coincidence? Probably not.
Everything is planned out, talked
out, worked out. Every recruit who
signs today has his own story.
Stories of lost chances, lucky
breaks, and the tireless efforts of
Michigan's coaching staff.
Continued from Page 11
baseball's front offices.
Perhaps owners think that in
order to take minorities' minds off of
the real problems that still exist, the
naming of White will make up for
the lack of Blacks in top positions.
While the NBA does not have a
Black commisioner, it has created a
pool of qualified Black candidates for
the post by first naming them
coaches and general managers.
Baseball should follow their lead.
There are problems, but the
answer should be a gradual increase
rather than a dramatic one which can
often disguise remaining problems.
If Blacks were put into
managerial positions where they
could move up the ladder, their
qualifications wouldn't be challenged
in circumstances such as White's.
As figureheads, they put a cloud
over the more serious issues that can
easily be overlooked and forgotten.
Supreme Court Case
oldjng the Cobstutona ty
g rse-nicar) Iernmer
Xn~Wor nnld War II
Minority Affairs Comm/MSA (MAC/MSA)
UM Asian Student Coalition-Asian Amer. Lecture Series
One of the "Best of '87"
AWARD - performance
in her original one -woman show
"Coming Into Passion/Song For A Sansei"
a series of vignettes dramatizing experiences
~ aAI V sH p of different Asian women
ssha's goldirected by Peter Flood
In an astonishing solo performance, Jude Narita, a versatile actress and a
fearless writer, sheds an authentic, humorous and deeply moving
light on the dilemma of the Asian American woman.
CRITIC'S CHOICE/ L.A. READER
ROOM 100 HUTCHINS HALL
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RECEPTION FOLLOWS AT RACKHAM (3RD FLOOR)
Minory Affairs Committee (MAC) U4
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Office of Mfinority Affairs