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November 11, 1991 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-11

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01

Page 6-The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday - November 11, 1991

Power play falls

in line

by Rod Loewenthal
Daily Hockey Writer
Nonexistent against Michigan
State, and timid vs. Western Michi-
gan, the Wolverine power play fi-
nally surfaced last weekend with
the (arrival of Minnesota.
The team's power play exploded
against the Golden Gophers due to
the play of Denny Felsner, Brian
Wiseman, David Oliver, and Chris
Tamer. The group recorded three
power-play goals and amassed all
seven goals Friday night in Michi-
gan's 7-3 triumph. Oliver's hat trick
and Felsner's seven points paced the
line, while Wiseman dumped in two
goals of his own.
"The power plays and the penal-
ties: were a big part of the game,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
"I thought it was a real factor."
Again Saturday night, the potent
line dug into the Gopher defense
early, with Felsner scoring on the
power play at 7:04 into the first pe-
riod.
The second line line got its only
points of the weekend on the
Wolverines' next power play
opportunity. An assist by Dan
Stiver at 14:58 into the first period
fueled David Roberts' second goal
on the season. That was all the
scoring the line got.
Oliver recorded his second con-
secutive hat trick and led the first
line to four of Michigan's seven
goals.
'"We heard that as soon as Denny
got .the puck they were going to go
after him so that leaves two of us
open," Oliver said. "I think the rea-
son we did so well is that they, be-
ing in the West, don't see our power
plgythat often."
Wiseman attributed his line's
power play dominance to a combina-
tion of factors. He cited the differ-
ent formations used between his
line and Ouimet's second line as one
possible explanation for the scoring
difference.
"Maybe they key in on Denny

je.0
Shields buries Gophers
Woog's bitter criticism
by Josh Dubow
Daily Hockey Writer
After Friday's 7-3 loss to Michigan, Minnesota coach Doug Woog was
not in the mood to pay compliments to the victorious Wolverines. In fact,
Woog handed out more criticisms of Michigan than Denny Felsner dished
out assists to his Wolverine teammates.
While David Oliver and Brian Wiseman were the recipients of Felsner's
good will on the ice, Michigan goaltender Steve Shields received the brunt
of Woog's criticisms in the postgame press conference. That's kind of inter-
esting when you consider that Shields gave up only two goals to the No. 5
team in the country.
Woog feels Shields' footwork prevents him from being a good goalie.
"He can't move on the ice," Woog said. "But everything we shot was
upstairs. He comes rushing out, but he can't move his feet laterally.
"You can come out one side, but when you're coming out on the ice, your
can't move back to the other side," he added. "He'd come out to play the
angle, and instead of us going back the other way, we'd shoot the puck up so
he could use his body."
If it were that simple, you would think the No. 5 team in the country
could exploit that weakness. But the Gophers beat Shields twice on 36
shots - once on a rebound, and once when he overcommitted on a shot from
the point.
This could mean one of three things: Minnesota is not a top team be-
cause it could not take advantage of this; or, Michigan's defense is so out-
standing that it protects Shields from having to face tough shots; or, while
Woog is right that Shields isn't the quickest goalie on his feet, he compen-
sates for this with his size.
I'll side with the latter theory. So Shields has a weakness. All players
have weaknesses, but the good players use their strengths to overcome
them.
Most big goalies struggle with low shots and excel on high shots
Shields is no different. But the final results are what matter, and the Go-
phers couldn't beat Shields low or high Friday.
Woog says the Gophers needed to move Shields around so they could
take advantage of his footwork. He felt if his team could do that, the Go-
phers could beat Shields.
If Woog noticed this shortcoming so quickly, wouldn't Central Colle-
giate Hockey Association coaches and players also notice this? Wouldn't;.
they be able to exploit this flaw in Shields' game considering they see him
more often than Minnesota?
There is no way Shields would have a goals against average of 2.91 in the
CCHA for his career if all teams needed to do to beat him was move him
around. Woog's comments shouldn't insult Shields, but rather they should
insult the rest of the CCHA.
Though his record should be enough defense of his ability, Shields re-,:
sponded to Woog's criticisms verbally.
"People always think if you can move a big goalie, you can go back the
other way and beat him," he said. "They tried that once on me, and I kicked
it away. I'll let that speak for itself."
Maybe Woog's comments were motivated by frustration. It must be
disheartening to get blown out by a team when you can clearly see weak-
nesses you think you can exploit.
But the point is, Minnesota couldn't.

Michigan goalie Steve Shields stops a shot from Minnesota defenseman Travis Richards. The Wolverines
swept the weekend series from the Golden Gophers by scores of 7-3 and 7-6 to give them a record of 4-1-1.

too much and that leaves us free,"
Wiseman said. "But Denny fights
off his checks anyways and gets his
stick on the puck."
Special teams played exception-
ally well during short-handed
penalty killing situations Friday
night. Rookie Ron Sacka dogged Go-
pher attackers all evening as the
Wolverines stopped the Minnesota
power play cold. However, Saturday

night the penalty-killing was not as
impressive.
On the weekend, Michigan went
a combined 7/17 on its power-play
opportunities while Minnesota, af-
ter a wretched 1/7 power play show-
ing Friday night, regrouped Satur-
day night to go 5/14 for the two
games.
But Berenson was not overly
concerned about his team's penalty-

killing performance Saturday night.
"We had trouble with their
power play," Berenson said. "I
didn't like some of our penalties we
took. Cheap penalties are harder to
kill. When you take a good penalty
it's easier to kill. They took advan-
tage of their power play and we
took advantage of ours."

a
a

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WHAT'S
HAPPENING

I

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ICERS
Continued from page 1
After Felsner and Nielsen
opened the scoring for their teams,
the Wolverines began putting on A
clinic. David Roberts, Oliver, and
Helber all scored in a 2:12 stretch
starting at 14:58 of the first period.
While the second period was
played evenly, the Wolverines still,
outscored the Gophers, 3-2, for the'
7-3 lead.
Minnesota upped the score to 7-
6, after which Shields replaced
Chris Gordon in net and turned aside
seven shots to maintain the one-goal
edge.
"It was a good weekend," Beren-
son said. "We played better on Fri-
day. I thought we were lucky
(Saturday)."

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