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March 11, 1992 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-11

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Ice Hockey
vs. Ohio State
Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Yost Ice Arena


Men's Basketball
at Purdue
Tonight, 8 p.m.
West Lafayette

The'Michigan Daily'

Wednesday, March 11, 1992

Gordon ready to step
in at drop of a puck
by Ken Su giura
Daily Hockey Writer
The pinnacle of Chris Gordon's Michigan hockey experience probably
came Mar. .17 of last year. In the deciding game of Michigan's first NCAA
tournament appearance in 14 years, coach Red Berenson inserted his backup
goalie to face Cornell.
"It was a chance for a coach to look like a fool or like a genius," Beren-
son explained after the game. "We just felt 'Gordo' had the pressure off him
and could come in and be loose."
Indeed, Gordon was loose, and Berenson ended up playing the role of
genius. The Sault Ste. Marie native gave up an early score, but sparkled
from that point on, as the Wolverines rolled to a 9-3 victory. Gordon started
the next game, a loss to Boston University in the second round of the tour-
With his improvement, the starting job was up for grabs. Coming into
this season, the race between him and incumbent Steve Shields started
anew, and it was thought Gordon could unseat his fellow sophomore for the
starting role.
Unfortunately for Gordon, the promise at the season's beginning has not
amounted to much. Making only 12 appearances to Shields' 33, Gordon has
not had much chance to have another Cornell, another breakthrough.
"Gordon had a couple of good games, and (then) it just seemed like the
pendulum went toward Shields as the season wore on," Berenson said. "It's
not so much that Gordon played poorly as much as Shields played well and
the team seemed to respond."
Gordon has still had his moments, including getting the starting nod in
the opener and a brilliant 35-save performance in a 9-3 victory over Ohio
State Nov. 19, but it has been Shields' job to lose.
Shields has started the last 16 games. Thus, once again, Gordon finds his
team heading into the playoffs, but with someone else playing his position.
"I don't think anybody'd be happy (not getting ice time). But the main
thing is our team's in first place," Gordon said.
On a squad full of team players, perhaps Gordon is the most team-ori-
ented. And he has to be. It's easy to be a team player and to be happy with
your playing time when you actually get playing time. When about the only
ice you see is in your Coke, enduring hellish practices suddenly becomes
less attractive. Yet Gordon has kept a buoyant attitude.
"Playing on a great team like this, you want to contribute a little more,
and be more a part of winning the league championship, or winning any-
thing, for that matter," he says. "So it makes it a little harder in that aspect,
but then again, anybody would want to be in my shoes, that's for sure. Any-
body'd want to be on a first-place team."
So it goes for Gordon. A member of a league champion, but far from the
spotlight that shines on the Wolverines. And while he doesn't get the atten-
tion like Denny Felsner or David Roberts, he's ready to go.
"You never know when you're gonna get in and when you get in, you're
pretty much expected to be ready, to be like you're in game form, and sharp
as a nail," Gordon explains. "It's very, very difficult."
Gordon knows this all too well. Feb. 15, Berenson sent in Gordon to
clean up a 6-2 lead over Miami. In his first action in three weeks, Gordon
and a flat Michigan defense permitted three scores in 4:11. After the third
consecutive score, Berenson called time and pulled his keeper.
With the season reduced to a maximum of nine games, each of them cru-
cial, it appears Shields will remain in the net for all of them. But it is all too
simple that a bad fall, or a poor outing by Shields could change all that.
"I tell our goalies, 'if you're dressed, then you better be ready to play be-
cause you might play at any time,"' Berenson says.
And while he's not pinning his hopes on Shields spraining his knee or
J getting shelled, Gordon will be waiting for the call, like a fireman at the sta-
tion, whether it comes Friday or a year from Friday.
"It'd be nice if I was playing more, but I have two more years to go," he
says. "It's not the end of my playing time."
The University of Michigan
William Monroe Trotter House Minority Student Cultural Center
"Past, Present, and Future: Building a
* Multi-Ethnic Society"
A Women of Color Panel Discussion
Thursday March 12,1992 9 7:30pm
William M. Trotter House
Gail Nomura, M. A., Ph.D. Mavirdia velez, M.A., Ph.D. candidate U. of
Visiting Assistant Professor in American Culture Michigan;Lecturer U of M American Culture and Latina/
and the Residential College o Studies; Lecturer MSU Department of Sociology

Page 9
'M' wants payback
victory at Purdue

by Albert Lin
Daily Basketball Writer
The Big Ten does not have a
postseason tournament, so only the
regular-season champ gets an auto-
matic bid.
But the strength of the conference
has traditionally led to four or five
at-large bids, and Michigan staked
its claim to one of those with Sun-
day's upset of conference co-leader
The task of coach Steve Fisher
for the last week of the season now
is to keep his players from looking
ahead to the tournament.
"We want to think exclusively
about those last two games," Fisher
said. "I told the guys I don't want to
hear anybody say, 'If we win in
Boise (an NCAA tournament first-
round site), we'll go here.' I don't
want to hear one guy say that."
Fisher should have no problem
motivating his team for tonight's

Jimmy King and the Wolverines took their lumps from the Boilermakers
earlier this year, 65-60. Tonight, they hope to avenge the loss.

matchup with Purdue (7-9 Big Ten,
15-13 overall) in West Lafayette.
The Boilermakers beat Michigan (9-
7, 18-8) at Crisler Jan. 15, 65-60,
marking Fisher's fifth consecutive
loss to Gene Keady's club.
"It will be a tough, tough game
for us," Fisher said. "Since I have
been head coach, we have not beaten
Purdue, and we've gone in with
some pretty good teams. So we hope
to be able to break that jinx."
But the Boilermakers may still
need to win their final two games to
get into a post-season tournament.
Purdue is coming off victories
against Wisconsin and Minnesota,
two teams which have beaten Mich-
igan this season. In Saturday's 68-58
toppling of the Gophers in Minne-
apolis, senior guard Woody Austin
scored nearly half the club's points,
finishing with 33.
"He is playing as well as any-
body in the league. He was nearly
unstoppable against Minnesota,"
Fisher said. "They have a go-to guy.
When they need a basket, they can
get a basket with him."
Since the Boilermakers outre-
bounded the Wolverines in that ear-
lier matchup, 40-20, Michigan has
been on a carom tear, pulling down
568 to its opponents' 443. They will
need that prowess tonight.
"They are physically strong and
tough. They are a very, very good
rebounding team. They have posed
problems for several people, not
only us," Fisher said.
Another key to Purdue's victory
was its ability to slow the tempo and
capitalize on Michigan's impatience.
"We had trouble at our place
adapting, and they ran us all over the
court," Fisher said. "I know they'll
try to do it again, and hopefully the
experience will make us a little
tougher, a little smarter and a little

Wymer pushes for perfection

by Mike Rancilio
Daily Sports Writer
The meet was already decided.
The women's gymnastics team was
easily ahead of Western Michigan
heading into the floor exercise, but
there was still great anticipation
for Beth Wymer's performance.
Fan enthusiasm grew with each
powerful stride, exploded with each
backflip, culminating with an erup-
tion when she stuck her landing. Her
routine rounded out a first-place
38.65 performance.
"This wasn't my best perfor-
mance by far," the rookie said when
asked about her execution. "I'd rate
it a seven."
Yes, she has performed better,
but because she's a perfectionist, you
get the feeling that if she totaled a
maximum 40 that she would only
give herself a nine.
"I've had some good meets, but
I'm not yet satisfied with myself,"
Wymer said. "I need to work a lot
That determination has placed
Wymer among the college elite.
"Beth is the highest level of ath-
lete we've ever had at Michigan,"
coach Bev Fry said. "Her stylistic
performance is her best quality. She
is incredibly aggressive, but some-

times she pushes too hard."
This push separates Wymer from
other gymnasts.
In the middle of October, Beth
attempted a flip on the bars and fell
eight feet onto solid concrete. She
suffered a broken tailbone, and a
quick recovery was doubtful.
"We hoped I would be ready af-
ter Christmas," Wymer recounted,
"but I was back on the bars in a
week. I just can't be away from
gymnastics for long."
And she hasn't. Beth began prac-
ticing gymnastics when she was 4.
She was competing by nine - work-
ing out several hours a day, six days
a week.
She followed in the footsteps of
other Wymer gymnasts - her
mother, father and her two older
sisters. Sports were a family affair.
"My twin brother would be
learning to catch a football, and I'd
be right there next to him learn-
ing," Beth said.
"My parents were always sup-
porting me," she said. "They made
me, and they were always there for
Wymer rode this support to
Sunrise Gymnastics Academy,
where, competing under Yusaku
Hijioka, she won Class One State,

Regional and National Champion-
ships in 1987.
She then competed under the
Elite classification, the first of her
academy to do so, en route to the
U.S. and American Classics. Wymer
finished her high school career as a
three-time qualifier for the U.S.
Championships. There she became
disinterested with the United States
Gymnastics Federation(USGF).
"The politics in gymnastics are
unbelievable," she said. "I'm so
glad to be out of it."
And she couldn't be happier in
the collegiate ranks.
"I love college gymnastics, I re-
ceive more support from my team-
mates. Now it's like 'this is going
to help us - not help me.' It's great
See WYMER, Page 10


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