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January 21, 1992 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-21

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Page 6--The Michigan Daily- Sports Tuesday - January 21, 1992

Watson

looks

for equality

11 L IK . :

Flames' forward deals with racial imbalance

° . ,

by Ken Sugiura
Daily Hockey Writer
CHICAGO - As far as Detroit
native Chris Watson is concerned,
he'd just as soon be the same as ev-
eryone else - simply another mem-
ber of the Illinois-Chicago (UIC)
hockey team.
"I play just like everyone else. I
mean, I don't get treated any differ-
ent," he said. "There have been no
discrepancies or anything."
But he knows well that can't and
won't be the case. All because Wat-
son is a Black man playing in a pre-
dominantly white sport. The
sophomore is one of two Black
players in the Central Collegiate
Hockey Association, and one of only
a handful in collegiate hockey.
He will forever be different, no
matter what he does, as long as he
continues to play. He will face the
remarks and slurs from opponents
and fans. Although to Watson, that
barely stands as an obstacle.
"You have to expect a little of

IF

that, slurs here and there," he said.
"But its not anything that's gonna
slow me down. I just look over
that."
Watson's father was a hockey
coach in Detroit and had Chris and
his brother on the ice at an early age.
"I grew up skating on the ice
pretty much," Watson said.
Eventually, Watson moved onto
St. Martin de Porres High School,
where he played basketball and ran
track in addition to his club hockey.
In 1989-90, he played junior league
hockey for Compuware, a nationally
recognized club that spawned the
career of NHL star Pat LaFontaine.
While there, he played with Eric
Lindros, the top pick in last spring's
NHL draft and currently a member
of the Canadian Olympic team.
In 37 games, Watson totalled 17
goals and 30 assists, as well as pick-
ing up honors as Compuware's best
defensive forward.
Since arriving in Chicago, Wat-

Watson

son has had a hand in lifting the
Flames out of the cellar. He has
played on UIC's top line with Rick
Judson and Derek Knorr much of the
season, and is a fixture on the UIC
power play.

After the weekend, Watson's
statistics included seven goals, in-
cluding the game-winner in UIC's
first victory, and eight assists. His
15 points rate fourth best on the
team.
Friday, Watson assisted on the
Flames' third goal in their 4-1 vic-
tory over the Wolverines. With just
over half of the season complete, the
7-10-3 Flames will easily better last
season's mark of 9-21-2.
Recognition should come to
Watson, as a player rather than as a
curiosity, with the improvement
UIC has shown this year. He hopes
the attention will parlay itself into
a shot at the NHL.
"I pretty much want to go as far
as I can to make the next person go
further than me," Watson said.
"That's what I wish: to get more
Black players in hockey."
ICERS
Continued from page 1
forced the puck past Shields.
The Wolverines countered at
15:23, with the "Mike Line." Mikes
Helber, Stone and Knuble's efforts
resulted in the equalizer. Stone sent
a pass to Helber, who went to the
left wing.
"Luckily, I was able to get the
pass to (Knuble) and he was able to
put it in on the far side," Helber
said.
There was little luck for Michi-
gan Friday. From UIC's Mike
Real's goal at :14 of the first period
onward, the Wolverines seemed a
step slow and out of sync. In the
first, Michigan received five
straight power plays, but Hille-
brandt was all but impregnable,
stopping innumerable close-range
shots.
"I knew we had to get good
goaltending, which we did early in
the game," Pedrie said.
"Hillebrandt was the difference."
"We did not play well for a road
game," Berenson said. "It was de-
moralizing in the way we played."
Michigan got on the board with
the score, 4-0, at 5:46 of the third
period on a David Oliver goal, but,
as they say, the fat lady had sung.

Michigan forward Cam Stewart squares off with UIC's Randy Zulnick earlier in the season at Yost Ice Arena.
The Wolverines and Flames split their weekend series in Chicago.

Hilebrandt stones
'M' hockey in spit4.
by Rod Loewenthal
Daily Hockey Writer
CHICAGO - Last season the Michigan hockey team was undefeated
against Illinois-Chicago (UIC). In the teams' four contests, Denny Felsner'
paced the squad with six goals while Dan Stiver dumped in four of his oWhi,"
and the Wolverines outscored the Flames, 26-11. Then during the offseason,
UIC coach Larry Pedrie got smart. He found himself a goaltender named
Jon Hillebrandt.
When UIC travelled to Ann Arbor this past November, Denny Felsner
and company did not have such an easy time suffocating the Flames. The
Wolverines did not outscore UIC two-to-one as they had done the past'
year. And it was only through the grace of the Great Wolverine In The Sky
.that Mark Ouimet's shot sailed through the posts at 19:59 of the third pe-
riod to break the deadlock and give Michigan a 5-4 victory.
After the heartbreaking loss, the Flames rebounded the following
night, managing a 3-3 tie and left Ann Arbor eagerly awaiting this week-
end's series with the Wolverines in Chicago.
This weekend there was no intermission, no breather, not even a preg-,
nant pause as the Wolverines and Flames picked up in Chicago where they:
had left off at Yost Arena. The Flames won Friday night, 4-1, and lost in=
overtime Saturday, 2-1.
This season UIC outscored Michigan, 12-11, and the difference is Hile-
brandt. The first-year goalie has now started between the pipes in all of the
Flames' 20 games, and should start the next 100 if he stays at UIC for the
remainder of his collegiate career. Hillebrandt has not recorded a shutout
yet, but Friday's performance was his fifth one-goal effort.
Earning praise from one of Michigan's talented wingers is not commotn
David Roberts labelled Hillebrandt "one of the two best goalies in the
CCHA."
Larry Pedrie, UIC's second-year hockey coach and former Michigan
assistant, deserves almost as much credit as his first-year goalie. The two of
them, with a little help from a few other UIC skaters, came within seconds
of stealing three of four points from the Wolverines this weekend.
Hillebrandt, as well as being a top goaltender, also said a lot for a per-
son of his limited tenure.
"I think every team wants to get off to a fast start," Hillebrandt said
mentioning the Flame goal scored 14 seconds into the game during UIC's'
4-1 victory Friday night. "Especially with this team, if you get them be-
hind the eight ball early, they're going to quit on you."
While Michigan did not exactly quit on the ice, it did not look overly
enthused, either. Give some credit for the split to the Flames' home-ice
advantage, but the Wolverines did not come prepared Friday night.
Friday, the offensive pressure was there, but it was the defensive break-
down that let UIC take the game. Holes in the Wolverines' defensive play
gave the Flames three breakaways on goaltender Steve Shields.
"It was not a good team effort," Michigan coach Red Berenson said of
Friday night's game. "We did not play well for a road game."
The players recognized the sluggish play, too. "No one had their head in
the game," defenseman Aaron Ward said. "People had the idea, but the
added effort wasn't there."
When Michigan took the ice Saturday night, Hillebrandt was just as
stingy, although this time the Wolverines were able to hold their own.
Michigan was ready to play road hockey and it showed. A better command
of the ice and a strong defensive effort kept the Flames at bay all night.
Maybe the biggest difference between the Wolverines' play Friday and-
Saturday night was their attitude. Friday night Michigan thought the of-.
. fense would take over and as a result the defense suffered. When the skaters
returned to the ice Saturday, the Wolverines got the job done by staying fo-
cused for 65 minutes of hockey.
Wayne State LhInves y
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If you wish to participate in cutting-edge life-science research in a new
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Phone: (313) 577-0601 Fax: (313) 577-6891
The Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies honors
the memory, the achievement, the wisdom, and the vision of
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
He confronted the conscience of the powerful with the
plight of the poor, the oppressed, and the non-white
world.
He forged suffering into a moral force. With his noble
words and courageous acts, he inspired separated
peoples to overcome their differences, to sing and march
as one, to defeat established evils, and to define new
ways for people to work and live together.
He revived the message and the method of Mahatma
Gandhi, showing the world once more that non-violence
and disciplined disobedience can hold sway over police
dogs, brutality, popular ignorance, and legal injustice.
in his last years, he spoke loudly, bravely, passionately
for the cause of peace, for an end to the barbarism and
horrors, in Southeast Asia.
We halt our daily business to urge that his dream, his fearless
activism, and his steadfast devotion to non-violent social change
take hold where people yet today imprison, torture, and kill each
other to settle differences. We remember and reject the killing that
goes on today in the Sind,.Punjab, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Myanmar,
Timnr the Philinnine and the hnrders of 'amhndia We rAflet on

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