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December 06, 1991 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-12-06

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Page 14-The Michigan Daily- Friday, December 6, 1991
Wrestlers roll their bones -
'M' knows when to hold 'em as it heads to Vegas

by Tim Rardin
Daily Sports Writer
Wrestling, like many sports,
employs a gradual training program
that ultimately prepares athletes to
peak at specific meets. For the
Michigan wrestling team, this
weekend's Las Vegas Classic is the
first of these meets.
The Wolverines have used their
previous competition to prepare for
this weekend, which will be their
first tournament in which team
scores are kept. Coming off a 21-15
dual-meet victory over 17th-ranked
Lehigh last weekend, the
Wolverines appear to be right on
schedule.
Coach Dale Bahr felt that the
Lehigh meet could not have come at
a better time.
"We had been wrestling six-
minute matches in the Opens, but we
went back to the standard seven-
minute matches against Lehigh,"
Bahr said. "It'll be seven again this
weekend, so I think we'll be ready

for it.
"I think the meet with Lehigh
also helped us keep our weight
down, which can be tough over
Thanksgiving."
A host of top-ranked teams will
join No. 8 Michigan in Las Vegas
for the tournament, including four
of the Amateur Wrestling News'
preseason top five. Only third-
ranked Penn State is missing from
this group that includes defending
Big Ten and NCAA champion Iowa,
Oklahoma State, Ohio State, and
Iowa State.
"This ,is like a mini-NCAA
tourname t," Bahr added. "We are
definitely looking at some good
competition. I think Iowa has to be
the favorite."
For the most part, the young
Wolverines are healthy, with the
major exception being senior Phil
Tomek (Hwt.), who is still recover-
ing from a bout with food poison-
ing. He has finished eighth and third

in this event the last two years, and
is still scheduled to start for the
Wolverines.
The rest of the Wolverines ap-
pear to be in good shape, with all-
American Joey Gilbert (134) once
again leading the way. Gilbert has
not lost a match yet this season, de-
spite wrestling at 142 for both the
Eastern and Ohio Opens. He will be
looking to improve upon last year's
second-place performance in Las
Vegas.
Overall, Bahr is pleased with his
team's progress at this point in the
season.
"From a conditioning and train-
ing standpoint, I think we're where
we want to be," Bahr added. "Now
we just have to go out there and see
what happens."
This will be the Wolverines'
last competition before the
semester ends. They will wrestle
next on Dec. 28-29 in the Midlands
Championships in Evanston.

Michigan sophomore goalie Chris Gordon makes a save against the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames
earlier this season. Gordon will be sharing time in the nets this weekend with Steve Shields as the second-
place Wolverines face conference-leading Lake Superior State in two critical CCHA contests.

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Continued from page 1
overtime squeaker in the CCHA Fi-
nals and should have the largest im-
pact on this weekend's games of all
the other history.
"(LSSU) has not been a rival, its
been a nemesis," Berenson said. "We
have shown that we can beat that
team, we had four games last year
decided by one or less goals and we
still only came away with three
points. The final showed we were as
good as them and that's what we
will try to prove."
Junior captain David Harlock
also saw the championship game at
Joe Louis Arena as an important fac-
tor for team motivation.
"This year I think we will give
them a little less respect ... I think
maybe we gave them a little too
much last year," he said. "We
proved that we are as good as them
and we are not going to take a back-
seat to them again. We were unsure,
both of physical strength and men-
tal strength, but now we know we
are as strong if not stronger."
Michigan's No. 2 ranking in the

nation has convinced LSSU coach
Jeff Jackson of the Wolverines'
strength, even if his own team is
ranked fourth.
"Michigan is one of the best
teams in the nation right now," he
said. "We will be happy to get a few
points from Michigan up here. For
some reason we have been more suc-
cessful at Yost Arena recently."
Michigan's last victory against
the Lakers was last season at The
James Norris Center, 4-3.
Berenson has said that the Lakers
have shown they are human by los-
ing as many conference games (two)
already this year as they did all last
season. On the contrary, they just
showed they are collegiate, because
they lost nine players and did not
exit from national elite status.
"I wasn't necessarily sure how
we would do, I thought we would
be in the middle of the pack. The
freshmen haven't made a great con-
tribution to the offense, but overall
they adjusted great," Jackson said.
"(Michigan) has a great incentive
to come out hard, but our freshmen
have no great motivation other
than playing a great team."

CCHA first team selections,
Doug Weight and Jim Dowd who
combined for 102 points, headline
the Lakers' loss. Unfortunately fobg
everyone in the CCHA, LSSU ree
tained the services of Darrin Made-
ley, who leads the CCHA in goals
against by over afull goal (1.51), and
save percentage (.932). With Made-
ley as the anchor, the Lakers feature
a great defense which leads the
league in penalty killing.
Power play goals have been a
constant for the Wolverines and
will be a key in their performance
this weekend. David Oliver's seven
power play goals tie him with
Colin Ward of Western Michigan
for the conference lead.
Michigan has three scorerg
among the top 10 in the CCHA, as
well as some of the top defenseme ,;
in the league, putting added pressure
on LSSU. Jackson has admitted the
Lakers won't be able to key on any
particular Wolverine. .
While he may be scared that the
statistics and records favor the
Wolverines, the numbers have not
allowed Michigan to conquer LSSU.

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