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March 02, 1992 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-02

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The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - March 2, 1992 - Page 5

CCHA title should
be stepping stone
by Andy De Korte
Daily Sports Writer
BIG RAPIDS - Shortly after Michigan dispatched Ferris State, 4-3, in
Ewigleben Ice Arena, Ohio State finished a sweep of Lake Superior. At
night's end, the Wolverines had 45 points and second-place LSSU had 40
and could finish no better than 44, giving Michigan its first Central Col-
legiate Hockey Association championship in its 11 years in the conference.
The team showed far more enthusiasm after its victory than upon
learning of OSU's improbable sweep of LSSU.
The Wolverines no doubt knew that after winning Saturday's game, all
they would need to win the conference would be a victory Tuesday over
Bowling Green regardless of the OSU-LSSU outcome.
Despite the magnitude the game would have held, one cannot be sure of
which team would show up to play: The team which Michigan State coach
Ron Mason called "capable of winning the national championship," or the
one that has not decided to knock out the lesser-skilled teams.
Hockey fans may point out that Michigan has lacked motivation against
the lower-division teams. However, going into this weekend the Wolverines
knew that a sweep against then seventh-place Ferris State, and a victory
over eighth-place Bowling Green Tuesday would earn them the CCHA title.
Yet, the team played poorly and dropped Friday's game. While the
Bulldogs may have played their best game, Michigan should expect it
because the Wolverines have been getting everyone's best game.
Berenson has said that the Wolverines are not a great team unless
everyone works hard.
No one believes him - perhaps not even his players.
Why should they?
The voters put Michigan at the top of the polls after winning big games.
First, on the heels of its sweep over top-five ranked Minnesota.
Second, after its sweep of LSSU. Then again after a sweep of MSU.
The players read the papers and hear the expectations. Before games they
vow to play hard anyway. Unfortunately, that does not always work. After
Bowling Green swept the Wolverines, goalie Chris Gordon stated the
obvious, "We're taking teams for granted and we obviously can't do that."
* The Wolverines know what they want.
"This is a step in the right direction for this program," senior Mike
Helber said. "It's one of the things we want to accomplish at this point of
the season. Winning this is one, winning the CCHA tournament is another
and further down the line the NCAAs. This will be a good stepping stone."
They need to make sure is that they know how to accomplish their goal.
The regular season ends Tuesday against Bowling Green. There are no
more games to lose if they want to achieve all of their goals.
In the first round, the Wolverines will have to play Illinois-Chicago,
BGSU, or Ohio State. UIC and BGSU have both given Michigan trouble
this season. Another pratfall of losing games to teams with losing records is
showing those teams that they can win.
Michigan coach Red Berenson said that Saturday's game represented a
total mental turnaround. The attitude after the game was certainly different.
Outside of their first loss to the Lakers the Wolverines have only lost when
they have not played well. Berenson had nothing new to say to his team
after Friday's loss - he walked back to the hotel. There are no words left
for the hockey team to hear or say, only games for all of them to play.

Wolverine forward Denny Felsner sets up a wrist shot on Michigan State goalie Mike Gilmore in the second game of Michigan's 4-1, 5-4 sweep of the
Spartans at Joe Louis Arena. This Saturday, Michigan beat Ferris State, 4-3, to clinch its first CCHA championship.

Continued from page 1
from the goal out."
Knowing they had received a
reprieve in the CCHA standing be-
cause second-place Lake Superior
had lost to Ohio State, Michigan
came out swinging, with Stiver scor-
ing the only goal of the first period.
However, Ferris was not ready to
submit and registered nine shots
from inside the circles to Michigan's
As the game progressed so did
Michigan's penetration. Ouimet was
stationed in the bottom of the circle
then hit Mike Knuble right in front
of the net before he smacked the
puck past Lisko.
"The game went in waves but

Michigan was able to get inside
more often than we were," Mancini
said. "It wasn't that we weren't
doing things right, they were just
keeping from getting as many
chances as we did Friday."
The Wolverines missed an
opportunity to ice the conference
lead against Bowling Green after
sweeping LSSU at the end of
Last Tuesday, the Michigan
hockey team returned to BGSU Ice
Arena to avenge its last trip there
holding and pushing happens down
David Oliver broke the 2-2 tie at
the start of the third period. Oliver
redirected a bullet pass from
Roberts, before Mike May knotted
the score at the 6:36 mark.

by Ken Sugiura
and Andy De Korte
Daily Hockey Writers
DETROIT - Despite clinching the CCHA
championship this weekend, mum's the word on the
S future.
When Michigan coach Red Berenson was asked
about the possibility of playing NCAA regional tour-
nament games at Joe Louis Arena, Berenson deftly
turned aside the question smoother than a Steve Shields
stick save.
"It'd be a bonus for our team," he said. "It'll be a
good regional tournament, but we're not looking that far
It certainly would be fortunate. The Wolverines con-
tinued their dominance at Joe Louis Arena. Including
the Great Lakes Invitational, and the series with MSU,
Michigan now stands 4-0 in their games there this sea-
Shields, as well, has found a second home at the Joe.
In his 10 appearances there, the sophomore has amassed
a 8-2 record and a sterling 1.75 goals against average,
including three one-goal allowed games.
After the weekend, everyone seemed to have an ex-
planation to their exceptional performance in the arena.
"I don't know. Maybe they all want to play in this
league someday," Berenson joked. "It's important. I
think our team likes to play in important games, in big
games, and most of the games here are big games."

Icers enjoy
second home
Winger Denny Felsner added a simple, yet astute ob-
"It's a big rink, and we like big rinks," he said, "We
just seem to come together here."
COMING OUT IN DROVES: The Saturday atten-
dance of the home-and-home series at the Joe made a
bit of hockey history. A crowd of 16,643 turned out, an
NCAA regular-season record for a hockey contest. The
fan factor is yet another benefit the Wolverines would
enjoy if the playoffs were at JLA.
RED ARMY CANCELED: The March 7 game with
the Soviet Red Army at Yost has been canceled, leaving
the Wolverines with an open weekend before the begin-
ning of the CCHA tournament. The playoffs will start
March 13 at Yost with a best-of-three series against the
eighth-place team.
EYEING FELSNER: Denny Felsner's goal against
MSU Saturday made him the CCHA's all-time leading
scorer. Felsner's four points against the Bulldogs this
weekend leaves him just two points behind Dave
Debol's Michigan career record mark of 246.
RECORD REVELRY: Berenson's career mark
against Bowling Greeni had fallen below .500 with the
two losses earlier this year. Last Tuesday's victory
pushed him up to an i8-18 record. Friday's loss to
Ferris was only the second in the last 17 games for the

Continued from page 1
and keyed a stellar defensive effort.
Dwayne Norris' power-play tap-in at
3:17 of the third ended a scoreless
stint of 102:13 for Shields.
"For the most part, Shields was
the difference," Berenson said.
"When it came right down to it,
when they did get a good scoring
chance, Shields made the stop."
The Wolverines' four straight
goals - two in the first period and
two more in the second - gave
Michigan a large enough lead to
render a third-period lapse, Norris'
goal, inconsequential.
Forward Mike Helber opened the
scoring and charged up the pro-
Michigan crowd with his seventh
goal of the season. Defenseman Tim
Hogan's excellent up-ice feed to
Helber left him virtually alone as he
crossed the Spartan blueline. The
senior skated into the slot from the
left wing and wristed the puck past
MSU goalie Mike Gilmore's glove
Following a rebound tally by
Mark Ouimet and Mike Knuble's
sixth score of the year from point-
blank range, winger David Roberts'
goal ended Michigan's scoring for
the evening.

"He hit my stick perfect," Oliver
said. "We practice that quite a bit, it
was right there."
The one-goal margin was fitting
for the weekend. Despite the dispar-
ity in the two team's records, the
fierce competition kept the teams
extremely close - they were never
more than two goals apart and were
separated by more than one goal for
less than five minutes all weekend.
"I thought they were great
hockey games," Ferris coach Bob
Mancini said. "They were great
games to coach, great for the fans,
they were a lot like playoff hockey."
While Mancini could afford to be
pleased with his players effort,
Berenson was less congenial.
"(Friday) night was a coaches'
nightmare," Berenson said, "Every
time there was a loose puck we went
to get it instead of taking the body,
we made a lot of wrong decisions,.
and every time we made a mistake
they put the puck in the net."
Despite-the lackluster perfor-
mance by the Wolverines, they took
the lead on a David Oliver drive to
the bottom right corner of the net at
the 14:22 of the first period. The first
score usually means a Michigan
victory - Michigan had only lost
one of the previous 22 games in
which they scored first - but things
went awry quickly as the Bulldogs
exploded for three goals in the last
4:49 of the opening stanza.
Dave Karpa beat Steve Shields
from between the circles three sec-
onds after a power play ended to
start the flurry. Aaron Asp continued
the scoring with a deflected blast
from just inside the blue line. Robb
McIntyre intercepted a Doug Evans
clearing pass and outmanuevered
Shields to score with three seconds
left in the period.

In previous contests the
Wolverines have had trouble making
comebacks. However, Friday they
which resulted in a 7-4 loss that
crushed the Wolverines spirits.
The Wolverines gained a measure
of revenge with a 2-1 victory, but the
winning margin left Michigan
"I think that our team feels happy
to get out of here with a win,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
"I don't think we proved anything."
With the third period waning,
Denny Felsner led a charge into the
Falcon zone and left the puck for
Patrick Neaton. Neaton's blast re-
bounded out between the circles
where Brian Wiseman collected the
puck and scored the game-winner at
the 13:12 mark of the third period.
"I thought it was a playoff-type
game," BGSU coach Jerry York
said. "There was tight checking,
good goaltending, and the oppor-
tunistic team won."
Falcon Bret Harkins made the
most of his opportunity to open the
scoring. An unmolested Harkins ac-
cepted a pass between the circles
from Martin Jiranek and beat an
outstretched Steve Shields.
David Oliver tied the score at
16:59 of the first period by guiding
in a David Roberts rocket in front of
the net.
. "The goalies kept both teams in
the game," Berenson said. "I wish
that both teams would keep their
sticks down and play better hockey."
The quality of play and prospect
of playing the Falcons in the first
round of the CCHA playoffs con-
cerned Shields.
"We really let them come out and
do what they wanted," he said. "We
didn't come out with any intensity."


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At the Crossroads
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