The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 8, 1990 - Page 15
icers can never
Yill expectation cup
by Matt Rennie
Daily Hockey Writer
There's a magic trick that has been performed by virtually everyone
in the business at one time or another. What happens is the magician
pours water into a glass from a pitcher. The glass is only a fraction of
the size of the pitcher, yet it never seems to overflow despite the
continuous pouring by the magician.
The question is: where does all the water go? It seems that no matter
ow long the magician pours, it will never be enough to fill the glass.
That particular magic trick reminds me of college athletics these days.
No matter what successes are attained, there's always room for more.
The glass is never completely filled.
One could say that this is no different from any other aspect of life,
which is true to a certain extent. The difference is that partial successes
can be savored more in our daily lives. In sports, nothing is ever
Consider the case of the Michigan hockey team, which will embark
on a new season this weekend. The so-called experts are predicting the
Volverines to do big things this year. The public expects it, and they
expect it of themselves.
It wasn't always this way, though, for Michigan coach Red
Berenson's squad. In fact, it wasn't long ago that the Wolverines were
the doormat of the CCHA.
This is Berenson's seventh season as the top man in the Michigan
hockey program. During his first three years, his teams compiled a
dismal 39-77 record. CCHA playoffs? Get real. The only way the
Wolverines were going to Joe Louis Arena back then was through the
While Berenson certainly does not want a return to those Dark Ages,
ven he would probably admit that those were easier times. No one
expected anything from the Wolverines. They'd skate through their 25
games a year, and if they won a few, that was a bonus.
Upon reflecting how far the program has come, Berenson remembers
his first game at Michigan.
"The kids didn't expect to win," Berenson said. "They were surprised
sometimes when they won games. I couldn't believe it. We won our
first game, and I felt good, but the team was so excited it was like they
won the Stanley Cup. I told them, 'Hey, we played well, but we
expected to win this game. The season's not over.'
"But for them, the season was over. We didn't win another road game
until the second to last game of the year."
Those days are, in the words of Ernie Harwell, long gone. Berenson
has instilled a new attitude in the hockey program that starts with self-
respect, and his recognizable name has brought plenty of young talent to
High school players see a program on the rise, and they want to be a
part of it. Top players do not go to schools that don't expect to win their
But as more top players come to Michigan, more is expected from
the team. Last year, the Wolverines won their opening series of the
CCHA playoffs over Western Michigan to advance to the semifinals at
the Joe. It was the first time since Berenson's arrival that the team had
gone this far.
This year, the Wolverines are regarded as a lock for the CCHA final
four, and most fans are counting on a trip to the finals.
Last year, the team generated excitement by nearly qualifying for the
NCAA tournament. This year, anything less would be a disappointment.
Like the magician pouring the water, Michigan achieves higher and
higher goals each year, but it never seems to be enough. And the
pressure continues to mount.
The number two ranking in the CCHA by both the coaches and the
media poll. Berenson's statement that this is potentially his best team
ever. These things are like extra weights placed on the Wolverines'
The team knows what they are capable of doing, and for some that
might be scary. When they skate onto the ice this Friday against Miami
of Ohio, they will be expected to win.
It's a tough life at the top. You either do what you are expected to do
or you fail.
The glass is never completely filled.
"We do not have to overachieve to beat anybody," Berenson said. "We
don't have to go into a game and say, 'I hope we get all the bounces and
we hope they don't play well. And maybe then we'll have a chance to
win.' We're not like that anymore.
"We hoped to win then; we expect to win now."
Notice that word that keeps popping up: expect. The Wolverines'
efforts are like the water, and their expectations are like the glass, which
somehow grows big enough to contain all the water that is poured into
Don't shed any tears for the Woverines, however. This is the nature
of their business. And when it gets down to it, it's still better to be good
than anything else.
"We want that pressure," Berenson said. "I wouldn't have stayed here
if I didn't feel that one day we could have that kind of pressure."
The strongest pressure is that which comes from the team
themselves. The team does not need a poll to tell them what they are
capable of doing.
"When we look around, we can see that we've got a good team,"
junior Doug Evans said. "Every year we raise our goals. This year, we
don't want to stop short of the NCAA's because once you get there,
anything can happen."
Maybe then, in the NCAA tournament, the Wolverines can find a
way to make their cup runneth over.
by John Niyo
Daily Hockey Writer
It may be "out with the old and
in with the new" this year in the
Central Collegiate Hockey Asso-
ciation, but despite turnover in per-
sonnel for league members, a
turnover in league standings is not
Three conference programs looked
for new guidance and new leadership
by selecting new head coaches, yet
both the coaches and media alike
don't foresee much change in the
way those teams will play this
And while one-third of the league
was playing musical chairs, the song
really remained the same, with
CCHA assistant coaches now
grabbing center stage in each case.
The biggest change occurred in
the Upper Peninsula, where Lake
Superior State - one of the
dominant -teams in the CCHA for
many years - decided not renew the
contract of successful, but contro-
versial head coach Frank Anzalone.
Taking over the reigns will be
LSSU assistant Jeff Jackson, who
had just resigned and taken an
assistant job at Michigan State when
Anzalone was let go.
The other two coaching changes
were not quite as abrupt. Illinois-
Chicago hopes that former Michigan
assistant (1987-90), Larry Pedrie,
can breathe life into a floundering
program, while Ferris State brought
back a former assistant (1986-89),
Bob Mancini, from a one year hiatus
in the NHL where he was a scout for
the Quebec Nordiques.
But while CCHA Media Day
offered new faces, it certainly did not
offer a much different outlook on the
conference race, as the preseason
polls reflect. Without a doubt,
Michigan State looks like a cham-
pion, while Lake Superior and a
consistently improving Michigan
squad will play the part of chal-
lengers to the throne. Consistent
Bowling Green is fairly steady in
fourth with only Ohio State -
picked by coaches to finish anywhere
from third to seventh - left to pose
a real threat of pushing its way into
the first division. Miami, Western
Michigan, and Ferris State ought to
battle it out for positioning and
Illinois-Chicago was a pretty unani-
mous choice for the cellar.
One coach whose job was
certainly not in jeopardy after last
season was Michigan State coach
Ron Mason, who earned CCHA
"Coach of the Year" honors for the
second consecutive year. It was the
sixth time he has won the award in
his 11 years at Michigan State and
he ranks as the second-winningest
coach in NCAA history with 609
Last year his Spartans rode a 27-
game unbeaten streak to a 26-3-3
league record and a 35-7-3 record
overall. They won both the regular
and postseason CCHA crowns before
bowing to Boston University in the
Mason wil, however, have some
holes to fill. Gone from that
powerhouse is the offensive punch
provided by 1990 Hobey Baker
Award winner Kip Miller (48 goals,
53 assists) and by Pat Murray, the
league's second leading scorer with
61 regular season points. Miller used
up his eligibility, while Murray
decided this fall to pass up his final
year, signing with the Philadelphia
"We will have to rely on different
people to score goals, whereas last
year we could really look to Kip
Miller to lead the way almost every
Freshman center David Oliver (r) and senior center Jim Ballantine (1) battle along the boards during the annual
Blue-White game . Oliver scored one goal, and Ballantine tallied two assists as Blue beat White 8-3.
game," Mason said. "We hope that
some of our goal scorers will
continue to do so and maybe we can
upgrade some scoring from different
areas to add to our totals."
Senior Shawn Heaphy, State's
top returning goal scorer, and junior
Peter White, the CCHA Tournament
MVP last year, will headline the
offense this season for the Spartans.
They will be joined by a host of
others forming what Mason feels is
"as much depth as we've ever had
since I've been here."
If the offense gives Mason any
nightmares he need not worry
because the rather impenetrable
goaltending of Michigan State will
most likely be causing nightmares
three straight years. The pressure
will be on him to carry on the
successful tradition of Laker hockey.
Helping ease that pressure will be
Hobey Baker Award candidate Jim
Dowd, the top returning scorer in
collegiate hockey, and senior Karl
Johnston, who may emerge as one
of the top defenseman in the
country. Add to that the league's top
goalie last year, Darrin Madeley, his
standout backup, Brandon Reed, and
newcomers like left winger Kurt
Miller - the MVP of the United
States Hockey League last year -
and the pressure on the young
Jackson isn't so bad.
Bowling Green has enjoyed nine
straight 20-win seasons, but veteran
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Michigan State (6)
Lake Superior St.
fallen since 1983 when they were the
top-ranked team in the country. Last
year they finished tied for fifth in the
CCHA after being picked to finish
last. With most of last year's squad
back for the 1990-91 campaign,
Buckeye coach Jerry Welsh and hid
team hope to edge back into the first
division with solid all-around play.,
Miami lost All-CCHA center
Craig Fisher to the Flyers and right
wing Todd Harkins to Calgary. But a,
veteran trio - seniors Bob Wall-
work, Jim Bodden, and Rob Van-
derydt - returns to lead the offense,
and junior Mark Michaud who won
11 games last year returns between'
Western Michigan will find it
hard to replace the leadership and
talent of eight top players who
finished out their careers last year.
Only in goal were the Broncos;
unhurt by graduation. It will be
tough for them to improve on their,
fifth-place finish of a year ago.
Ferris State returns 16
lettermen overall and eight of ten top
scorers from 1989-90, but that's not
saying much for a team that scored
only 106 goals and won only six,
CCHA games. New coach Mancini
may not find things much different,
at Ferris State than they were with
NHL doormat Quebec - though he
was only a scout there for the
Illinois-Chicago was picked to
finish fifth last year. They finished
last. This year they are picked to:
finish last. Will they finish fifth?
Doubtful. New coach Pedrie will
have his hands full trying to return
UIC to the respectful team it was'
two years ago.
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1. Michigan State (20)
2. Michigan (3)
3. Lake Superior (1)
4. Bowling Green
5. Ohio State
6. Western Michigan
8. Ferris State
for opposing coaches and forwards as
well. The Spartans return not one,
but two of the top three goaltenders
in the CCHA last year. Senior Jason
Muzatti and junior Mike Gilmore
both allowed less than three goals
Jeff Jackson is taking over a
Lake Superior State team that has
finished in the nation's top ten for
coach Jerry York has to replace
three-time Hobey Baker finalist
Nelson Emerson as well as the
nation's top scoring defenseman,
York does have ten returning
forwards and Angelo Libertucci back
in goal, but the defense will consist
mainly of untested younger players.
Ohio State has consistently
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Keep the Spartan fans
at home: sell out Yost
at Mich. St.
at B. Green
at Ferris St.
at Ferris St.
at Ohio St.
at Ohio St.
by John Niyo
Daily Hockey Writer
Michigan is out to get Michigan
State. After the Wolverines kick the
partans out of Michigan Stadium
next weekend. the master nlan to
If you can't wait that long, single
game tickets are available right now
for all games - including the State
contest - at the Michigan Athletic
Ticket Department, 1000 S. State