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November 25, 1991 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-25

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Page 6- The Michigan Daily-Sports Monday- November 25, 1991

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Faceoffs,
checking

4

"M' shaken, not stirred
by new Flame intensity
by Andy De Korte
Daily Hockey Writer .
If a tie is bad, then a tie against against Illinois-Chicago is worse.
UIC came to Yost Ice Arena with a 1-4-1 record and a nine-game losing
streak against the Michigan hockey team. The Flames were tied for last in
the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, while the Wolverines were
deadlocked in first and the top-ranked team in the nation. Michigan ex-
tended the streak to 10 by virtue of its 5-4 victory Friday, before UIC
broke out of its doldrums Saturday, earning a 3-3 tie.
The polar position of the two teams set the stage for a classic Holly-
wood scene. However, what transpired would not make for cinematic
greatness whether you enjoy rooting for the much-ballyhooed favorite or
the upstart underdog.
While the contests were extremely close, both literally going down to
the final seconds; neither team achieved what its Hollywood roles would
dictate - the mighty Wolverines did not sweep the action, nor did the
lowly Flames win a game.
UIC had chances to prevail in either contest. The Flames played much
stronger than the Wolverines-Friday, but could not finish the game. Satur-
day, the Wolverines played better for most of the game, but the Flames
were equal to the task when it counted.
"I thought they deserved to win the game," Berenson said. "They kept
us off balance, and they played well. I thought their goalie (Jon Hille-
brandt) also played well."
Berenson's words were not hollow.
Faceoffs had been a constant source of delight for Wolverine centers un-
til this weekend. While the recent impressive numbers put up by Wolver-
ine centers against Miami could not reasonably be expected to continue, the
Flames were gaining possession of the puck at an alarming rate. Losing so
many faceoffs hurt the Wolverines by reducing the number of chances that
they had been accustomed to having.
Michigan's response to the missing chances illustrated its worst de-
viance from a champion - losing its poise. .
Although, Mark Ouimet's game-winning goal with one second left Fri-
day closely resembled Robert Redford's home run in The Natural, it did
not prove to anyone that the Wolverines were the dominant team.
The Wolverines left the locker room sullenly, but they were satisfied
to have escaped with two points. The Flames left the locker room., banging
the door against its stopper, accentuating their dismay with playing one of
their best games of the year and still losing. The manner of the victory
bolstered the Flames attitude of competing evenly with the Wolverines.
UIC still made mistakes Saturday to provide Michigan with some early
opportunities, but again the Wolverines did not burn the Flames early.
Furthermore, coupling the tie score after two periods with the strong
showing the night before, the Flames elevated their play and began to make
less errors.
The pressure caused Michigan to lose its head. Suddenly, it was the team
"making the mistakes, not even garnering a shot on goal during the overtime
period, and even though UIC could not convert opportunities either, this
should only encourage goalies Chris Gordon, and Steve Shields, not the rest
of the team.
UIC coach Larry Pedrie, a former Berenson assistant, did his best to du-
plicate the coaching performance of Gene Hackman in Hoosiers, and inspire
the Flames to defeat the Wolverines, but also unlike the movies, UIC lost.
His knowledge of the Wolverines aided a game plan which made the
Flames the most prepared team the Wolverines have played. None of the
.Wolverines seemed to be surprised by the Flames' performance Friday. But
although the close nature of the game disturbed them, it apparently did -not
concern them enough to make them realize that they would need a 60-
minute effort to beat UIC.
After six periods of play, Michigan had not proven they were the better
:team. After winning on a last second goal the night before, mighty Casey
had another chance in the overtime and all he could do was foul off pitch
after pitch.

KRISTOFFER GILLETTE/Daily
Ron Sacka skates in for his penalty shot in Friday night's game against Illinois-Chicago. The rookie center
missed the shot, but the Wolverines won on a goal with one second to play.

ICERS
Continued from page 1
pleased with his squad's
performance.
"I think for us to come into
their building, play six periods, and
lose by one (total) goal is pretty
encouraging," Pedrie said.
"When the ref signalled the
penalty shot, I almost cried," Sacka
said. "It was my first ever. I
thought I could beat him high with
the backhand.
"As I skated in, the hole
between his pads opened up," he
added. "I tried to get the puck up,
but I couldn't."
Neither team was able to create
quality scoring chances as time ran
down in regulation, and overtime
seemed imminent. But with four
seconds left, the Wolverines drew
a faceoff in the UIC zone, to Hille-
brandt's right, and Berenson pulled
Gordon for an extra attacker.
David Roberts pushed the puck
forward off the drop. Ouimet
skated to it and beat Hillebrandt to
the short side with one tick left on
the clock.
"I saw the puck squirt loose,
and no one covered me," Ouimet
said. "I just tried to get the puck on
net, and luckily it went in."

Saturday, the Wolverines con-
trolled the action throughout most
of the game, outshooting UIC, 42-
19. The Flames did dominate the fi-
nal 10 minutes of regulation, but
they didn't register many quality
scoring opportunities.
In overtime, UIC twice seemed
to have the game won. Thirty sec-
onds into the extra session, Michi-
gan goalie Steve Shields stopped
Mark Zdan from in close, and the
rebound came out to Rick Judson.
All that stood between Judson and
the net was Wolverine defender
Patrick Neaton.
"I coughed up the puck in the
corner," Neaton said. "It was sort
of desperation. I dove in front of
the net. It never should have
happened in the first place."
Shields was thankful for his
teammate's play.
"The guy cut across from the
corner, and I got it with my pad,"
Shields said. "It bounced in front,
and by the time I turned around, I
saw the puck in the air and Neaton
in the crease. It's a hopeless feeling.
All I could do is hope he blocks the
puck."
Three minutes later, the
Flames' Chris MacDonald
rocketed a forehand from the right
circle past Shields, but it hit the

post, and the Wolverines escaped
once again.
In the extra period; Michigan
could not even get one shot on net.
"The overtime really bothered
me," Berenson said. "It was the
worst part of the game for us be-
cause we never got it going."
The one-goal difference between
the two teams came in Friday's
game, which was one of the most
exciting matches in Michigan
hockey history.
Throughout the game, UIC had
scoring opportunities turned away
by the glove of Michigan
goaltender Chris Gordon.
"The glove is something that
for goalies is their pride," Gordon
said. "If a goalie is on, he gives the
glove. Sometimes,she gets burned."
Michigan sandwiched goals by
Ouimet and Ted Kramer around a
MacDonald tally for a 2-1 lead
after one period.
UIC tied the game when
Shannon Finn nailed a centering
pass from Chris Watson past a
diving Gordon. MacDonald then
followed with his second and third
goals of the game for the Flames.
David Oliver answered for
Michigan late in the second, and
Brian Wiseman knotted the score
early in the third. Then, with UIC
on the power play, Mike Stone
cleared the puck to Ron Sacka at the
blueline. Sacka broke in alone on
UIC goalie Jon Hillebrandt, and
Flame defenseman Jim Maher
pulled him down from behind at
the 15:11 mark.

hurt Blue *
results
by Josh Dubow
Daily Hockey Writer
In this weekend's series, Illinois-
Chicago dominated two areas the
Wolverines had been controlling
throughout the season - forecheck-
ing and faceoffs.
Most teams usually forecheck 0
with two forwards, but UIC often
sent in all three forwards alohg
with a defenseman to hinder the
Wolverines' advancement of the
puck.
."They got away with a lot of
mistakes that we didn't capitalize
on," Michigan coach Red Berenson
said. "(UIC goalie Jon) Hillebrandt
was obviously the difference."
Michigan was stopped on riu-
merous two-on-ones and three-dn-
twos both nights by Hillebrandt.
The biggest opportunity the
Wolverines had was in Friday's
third period.
With UIC on the power play,
Flame defenseman Jeff Blum came
in from the left point, leaving the
blue line uncovered. Michigan's
Mike Stone controlled the puck apd
passed to a breaking Ron Sacka, who
was pulled down from behind by
Jim Maher. However, Hillebrandt
continued his fine play, stopping the
penalty shot awarded to Ron Sacka.
However, because of the aggres-
sive forechecking, Michigan missed
many other breakout opportunities.
"They were a good forechcckipg
team," defenseman Patrick Neatpn -
said. "(UIC coach Larry) Pedfrie
knows us better than anyone else.
There was a way to beat them, but
we were rushed, and a lot of times
we just missed the passes.
"When we had the opportunities,
we didn't bear down hard enough on
our shots," Neaton added.
Fellow defender Aaron Ward
agreed that the influence of Pedrie,
who was a Michigan assistant coach@
from 1987-90, hindered the Wolver-
ines' play.
"Larry knew everything we were
going to do," Ward said. "That
makes it really tough to take advan-
tage of."
Faceoffs were another facet of
the game where Michigan lost its
edge. Led by the play of senior Brad
Smiley and rookie Chris Mac-
Donald, UIC centers consistently
beat Michigan's.
"It was terrible," Wolverine
center Mark Ouimet said. "We were
really bad on faceoffs. Everybody
has got to be alert on the draws, not
just the centers."
Ironically, the Wolverines cid
win the most important draw of (he
series when David Roberts set )up
Ouimet's game-winning goal Pri-
day.

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