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October 21, 1991 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-21

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday- October 21, 1991
1991-92 PREVIEW


Lu-Team Preview
9 -n----- 91-92
Stro ng co m petitio
characterizes CCHA
by Andy De Korte
Daily Hockey Writer
Last season, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association achieved na-
tional prominence with two teams - Lake Superior and Michigan -
ranked in the top four in the nation entering the NCAA Tournament.
However, the conference faltered with both Michigan and Lake Superior
losing in the quarterfinals.
Michigan has been picked by both the coaches and the media to win the
conference. Here is a look at the other eight teams' chances this season.
Bowling Green (13-17-2 in the conference, 15-23-2 overall 7th,
coach Jerry York): Only Michigan State experienced a greater slide in
standings last year than Bowling Green. While MSU's greatness seem-
ingly ran out of eligibility, BGSU's was crippled. Injuries to two key de-
fensemen, including this year's co-captain Otis Plageman triggered the
demise of the defense.
While the defensive unit is still young, it has another year of experi-
ence and should be greatly improved.
"Bowling Green is not used to finishing sixth," Bowling Green assis-
tant coach Wayne Wilson said. "I think our forwards can play with any-
one ...with them and Plageman we should reach 50 points."
Lake Superior State (26-2-4, 36-5-4 1st, Jeff Jackson): Losing nine
lettermen, tops in the CCHA, and returning only 15 would eliminate
most teams from a conference title hunt. Furthermore, with two first-
team all-CCHA players, both in the top five of conference scoring, among
those losses, a cellar finish might appear imminent.
However, the school is LSSU, and its seems to have a miracle salve that
fills in all the holes and bolsters weakened areas.
The Lakers' recruiting class is deemed one of the nation's best and de-
fenseman Steven Barnes and forward Clayton Beddoes were both on the
CCHA All-Rookie first team.
LSSU also returns Darrin Madeley, the conference's best goalie.
Western Michigan (16-14-2, 22-17-3 4th, Bill Wilkinson): Western
Michigan has risen steadily from sixth place in 1988-89 to fifth in 1989-
90 to fourth last year. Because the Broncos return 16 lettermen, while los-
ing four, opponents will be ready for them.
"For us to progress, we will need to put forth the effort on both
ends," Wilkinson said.
Excellent seasons from Andy Suhy and captain Brian Sulik, both senior
defensemen, will be needed for the Broncos to continue their ascension.
Michigan State (14-13-5, 17-18-5 5th, Ron Mason): After a disap-
pointing showing last year, the Spartans have no delusions of grandeur.
"I think our players may have forgot what it takes day in and day out,"
Mason said. "We want fourth place to get home ice in the playoffs."
In goal, the Spartans are still strong. Mike Gilmore was second only
to Madeley in the CCHA. If their newcomers can restore the tradition-
ally strong defense, the Spartans should have a good year.
Ferris State (15-12-5, 23-14-5 3rd, Bob Mancini): The Bulldogs
shocked the CCHA last year, jumping five places in the standings.
Unfortunately for FSU, it lost seven lettermen.
Marc Felicio, one of the CCHA's top five goalies, is gone, as are lead-
ing Bulldog scorers John dePourcq and Rod Taylor.
Illinois-Chicago (9-21-2, 13-23-2 8th, Larry Pedrie): In his second
year as coach, Pedrie brought the team from last to eighth, another spot is
open for the Flames.
Although losing six lettermen and returning 18, the core of the squad
is intact and "having another year under both my belt and the players
should help us improve," Pedrie said.
While weak goaltending really hurt UIC last year, rookie netminder
Jon Hillebrandt should help the Flames.
Ohio State (9-19-4, 11-25-4 7th, Jerry Welsh): The Buckeyes find
themselves without a star player, so they will have to count on attitude
and goalie Mike Bales for any improvement.
"We'll be looking to establish a game plan which will allow us to be
competitive with most of the teams in the conference," Welsh said. "I
think we need to dominate in our arena to go far in the CCHA."
Miami (3-26-3, 5-29-3 9th, George Gwozdecky): Returning 18 letter-
men, and losing five, a team should be able to pass other teams. However,
the Redskins only won five games all season and need to make changes.
"I don't think we had any real strengths last year," Gwozdecky said.
"I think Mark Michaud will have a good year in goal this year. Our
biggest asset may be our team attitude."



offense leads 'M'

by Rod Loewenthal
Daily Hockey Writer
Finishing last year 34-10-3, gain-
ing home ice in the Central
Collegiate Hockey Association's
playoffs for the third consecutive
year, and earning its first trip to the
NCAA playoffs since 1977, the
Michigan hockey team has arrived.
The Wolverines set numerous
team and individual records during
their 1990-91 season. The team set a
new record for victories (34) , road
triumphs (17), and consecutive
games won (15). Individually,
sophomore goalie Steve Shields set a
new school record with 26 victories,
right wing Brian Wiseman was the
1990-91 CCHA Freshman of the
Year, and senior Denny Felsner led
the CCHA with 75 points.
It is possibly the best team that
Berenson has coached in his tenure at
Michigan, and this year's squad pos-
sesses the potential to be the best-
ever at Michigan. As a result, the
Wolverines have tabbed as the pre-
season favorite in both the CCHA
coaches' and the media poll while
being ranked second nationally in
The Sporting News behind Maine.
What remain untested are the intan-
gibles of every season: composure,
team chemistry, and the luck to
avoid serious injury to key players.
"This year's team on paper could
be a better team (than last year's)."
Berenson said. "I say that because of
the experience that last year's team
had, the returning nucleus, and be-
cause our team is literally a year
Berenson believes that there is no
one specific area in which the team
has to improve. Instead, develop-
ment is needed on a general level.
The sophomores must play better,
the juniors have to keep striving, and
the seniors have to peak. More than
anything, Berenson believes that the
little things will make the differ-
"We're going to be a good team,
but we have to do the things that
we're capable of doing and do them
well," Berenson said. "It's execu-
tion, you have to go out and do it."
To "do it", Berenson has the help
of a talented cast. One of the key
players is Denny Felsner. The senior
right wing, a first-team all-CCHA
selection last season, comes back
this year to anchor an potent
Wolverine offense. Teamed with
Felsner during last Friday's Blue-
White game were Mike Helber and
frosh Mike Knuble. Helber, a senior
who caught fire in last years' post-
season, looks to carry that momen-
tum into this year's campaign.
"Being around here since I was a
freshman, I've seen the steps. I've
seen us go from a .500 team to a top-
rated team," Helber said. "I know
what it's going to take to be even
better. We're going to have to work
mmmmmm m mmi

harder than the other teams so that
we can be the strongest at the end."
Helber sees the Wolverines' suc-
cess not based on individual efforts
but on the team as a whole.
"Any team can do well when
things are going their way," Helber
said. "It's the team that stays to-
gether when things aren't going
well that will surface to the top
and be the best."
An integral part of this team is
junior David Roberts, who finished
second to Denny Felsner for the
team scnring lead last season.

order that the opposition can't focus
on one line.
Among the other offensive
standouts is Brian Wiseman, who
has been centering the line of fellow
sophomores David Oliver and Cam
Stewart. After garnering the
league's top rookie honors last sea-
son with his 25 goals and 58 points,
there will be high expectations
placed on this gifted skater just to
perform with the same intensity
that he did last year.
Wiseman will not be the only
plaver feeling the heat, though

pects other teams to be "gunning
for Michigan." Tamer has his work
cut out for him as a junior who sees
himself as taking on more of a lead-
ership role with the younger play-
"I need to play my game, which
is a lot of hitting and a tough defen-
sive style," Tamer said. "I think
there's a factor of intimidation.
Teams need to come out on the ice
and know we're going to hit them
David Harlock, co-captain of last
year's squad, returns to the blue line
as captain of the Wolverines. With
the graduation of Don Stone, last
year's other co-captain, Harlock as-
sumes the head leadership role.
"A leader is someone who's go-
ing to put forth a consistent effort
night after night," Harlock said.
"I'm not afraid to speak my mind.
I'm very vocal. I lead a bit by exam-
ple and a bit by talking in the locker
Harlock truly understands the
pressure being placed on a top-
ranked squad.
"Being expected to come out of
every game victorious will be very
hard to deal with night after
night.," Harlock said. "It will be a
difficult thing to play consistently
night after night."
Harlock, who plays a defensive-
oriented game, will be paired with
junior defenseman Patrick Neaton,
who complements Harlock's style
with a more offensive-oriented
game. Neaton will team with
Roberts to run the points on the top
power-play squad.
These defenseman will be re-
sponsible for keeping the pucks at a
comfortable distance from the pads
of sophomore goalies Steve Shields
and Chris Gordon. Like last year, the
two will share time in the net.
"This year Gordon and Shields
should be better prepared to play in
this league at this level because they
have a year under their belts,"
Berenson said. "I'm not afraid to use
either one of them."
With these experienced Wol-
verines come a talented group of
Michigandnewcomers who are
quickly adjusting to the rigors of
college hockey, among them left
wing Mike Knuble, defenseman Tim
Hogan, and Soviet import Anton
Fiodorov, a forward.
"I don't think this year's fresh-
men will be able to make the same
kind of impact that last year's
freshmen made just because of the
strength of our team this year,"
Berenson said. "But they'll have to
provide solid performances and
depth and fill in any roles that are


Michigan junior defenseman Patrick Neaton (above) will once again team
with David Harlock this season to help anchor the Wolverine defense.


mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm o o o e

I ~


25 at Michigan State
2 at Western Michigan
15,16 at Miami (Ohio)
ar 6,7 at Lake Superior State
13 at Western Michigan
Great Lakes Invitational (Joe Louis Arena)
27 Harvard
28 Michigan State or Michigan Tech
10 at Notre Dame
17,18 at Illinois-Chicago
24 at Ohio State
7 at Bowling Green
14,15 MIAMI (OHIO)
18 at Ohio State
21,22 Michigan State (Joe Louis Arena)

Centering his line Friday night was
another junior, Mark Ouimet.
Ouimet came up with some clutch
goals last year, including the game-
winner against Ohio State in the
CCHA playoffs and the slapshot
with under a minute left to nail the
6-4 victory against Cornell in the
second game of the NCAA playoff
This season, Berenson has decided
to split up last season's top line of
Ouimet, Roberts, and Felsner in
Continued from page 1
Mark Ouimet scored the Blue's
sixth goal on a nice centering pass
from Roberts.
Berenson said that he felt coaches
generally put too much emphasis on
intrasquad games, while the players
put too little. This game was no dif-
"We've got to pick up our team
speed, and really get into a game
mentality, where we do the things
necessary to win a game no matter
what they might be," Berenson said.
"We had guys on breakaways taking
token shots. We've got to shoot the
puck through the goalie."
Blue goalie and third star of the
game Chris Gordon stopped the to-
ken shots as well the blasts, includ-
ing a breakaway shot from David
Wright and a nice play under heavy
pressure in the middle of the third
"I felt confident tonight -
steady," Gordon said. "I made a
couple of mistakes, a couple of er-
rors. It takes time to get back into
the orrnve has why ,we ,4nlnv

Sophomore defenseman Aaron Ward
will be counted on for major con-
tributions following his superb
first year. Ward's combination of
physical play and potent offense
were impressive enough for him to
be drafted fifth overall in last
summer's NHL entry draft, the
highest ever for any Wolverine.
Some players are expecting to
dish out some heat of a different
type. Team penalty leader and
rugged defenseman Chris Tamer ex-


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