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March 16, 1992 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-16

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The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday- March 16, 1992 - Page 5

Felsner gives fans
Special Yost finale
by Rod Loewenthal
Daily Hockey Writer
Hobey Baker Award candidate and Michigan senior Denny Fesner
bade "adieu" to the hometown fans while saying "sayanora" to the
Buckeyes in a standout performance Saturday night at Yost Ice Arena.
Pacing the team with a four-goal, five-point effort, Felsner notched his
first goal just 18 seconds into the game. His second score came on a
power-play goal less than four minutes later, and Felsner had the hat
trick at 28 seconds into the second period. The alternate captain's third
goal Saturday night gives him eight career hat tricks.
"I just wanted to let the fans know that we appreciate them," Felsner
NEXT, PLEASE: With the sweep of Ohio State this weekend, the
Wolverines advance to the next round of the CCHA playoffs. This com-
ing Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, the Wolverines will
meet the Miami Redskins in the 4 p.m. semifinal matchup. The Redskins
advanced to the semifinals after an upset sweep of Western Michigan in
Kalamazoo this weekend.
At 7:30 p.m. that same evening, Michigan State will take on Lake
Superior in the other semifinal. The victors of the two semifinal games
will then meet at The Joe the following day at 4 p.m. to determine the
CCHA playoff champion and who receives the automatic bid to the
NCAA Tournament.
"It's good for as that Lake State and Michigan State get to go at it in
the semifinal game," Felsner said. "But we can't take Miami lightly.
They're gonna be jumping."
Michigan owns a 4-0 record against Miami this year, beating the
Redskins by a combined 34-14 score.
AN EYE FOR AN EYE ...: In one of the lengthier contests of the
season Saturday, the two teams combined for an hour and eleven minutes
of penalties. Michigan was whistled for 10 penalties. But, the Buckeyes
clearly dominated in this category, racking up a whopping 16 infractions
for a total of 51 minutes.
Included among these Buckeye Brian Loney's five-minute high-
sticking and ten-minute misconduct penalties. The rookie was tossed
from the game late in the third period after slashing Michigan's David
Oliver in the neck as both players skated toward their benches.
During the first moments of the five-minute Buckeye penalty,
Michigan sent Brian Wiseman and Felsner - its top power-play unit
- out onto the ice. OSU Jerry Welsh insisted this proved the
Wolverines intended to run up the score.
"We started with them (Felsner and Wiseman) and then we rotated
four different lines. We wanted to send them a message," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said. "In that instance we did want to run up the score.
We thought that they got off easy with only a five-minute penalty."
Michigan's coach had more to say about Loney's penalty.
"That was a cheap shot," Berenson said. "You don't take a stick to the
back of a player's head. Especially to an honest player like Oliver."
ANOTHER HELBER?: Michigan's Mike Helber isn't the only
"Helber in the Ann Arbor area earning recognition these days. Mike's
younger brother Matt led his Pioneer hockey team into the State A
championship game, which it lost to Brother Rice, 6-1.
"I couldn't be more proud of him," Mike said of his younger brother.
"The team showed a lot of guts. They've put in a great effort."
Even though Mike is graduating from Michigan this year, Matt is
ready to take his place with the Maize and Blue. Matt and fellow Pioneer
co-captain Drew Denzin plan on attending Michigan next year and both
intend try out for the team as walk-ons.
WE WANT 'ZA!: The Yost Yahoos again won half off their pizza be-
cause of the Wolverines' 9-4 victory Saturday night. But the fans were re-
ally hoping for a ten goal effort so that they could cash in their ticket
stubs for a free small pizza. With two minutes left in the game,
Michigan's Aaron Ward sent the puck skidding toward the open net. The
long-distance shot caromed off the left pipe, narrowly missing.
Referring to the man responsible for the last two pizza giveaways,
Michigan's Cam Stewart, Ward said: "If it were the 'Doughboy', he
would've scored."
WHERE ARE THE FANS?: This weekend's series was the lowest-
drawing series of the year for the Wolverines. Friday's game had a
season-low attendance of 4,429. The previous low had been 4,835
Valentine's Day against Miami. The total crowd for the series was 9,676
or 399 fewer fans than the Miami series.

Seniors take last skate around Yost
Evans, Felsner, Helber and Kramer share four years of memories

by Ken Su giura
Daily Hockey Writer
On the warm-fuzzies-o-meter, it
buried the needle. We're talking a
film this and turn it into a Hallmark
card commercial type of moment.
"It was special, and it was a trib-
ute to our fans, too," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said. "We've had
great support this year. And that just
makes us a better team. But this is a
special class, obviously."
In a lovefest to end all lovefests,
seniors Denny Felsner, Doug Evans,
Mike Helber and Ted Kramer led
their team around the ice Saturday
evening to acknowledge and thank
the fans following Michigan's sweep
of Ohio State in the first-round of
the CCHA playoffs. After the first
lap, the underclass-players left the
ice and the spotlight, giving the
foursome one last chance to thank its
fans and enjoy one last moment in
Yost Ice Arena.
"We're very proud of each other
and glad we could share this kind of
moment together, because it's some-
'Tonight I was
definitely thinking,
looking around,
putting photographs in
my head, knowing that
this would be the last
- Michigan forward
Ted Kramer
thing we'll always remember,"
Helber said. "Forty years from now,
we'll come back and sit down and
talk about this night."
The venerable barn on State
Street has seen players come and go,
some leaving their mark more than
others, and in Saturday's aftermath,
the seniors reflected upon the past,
upon each other, and upon the
'We just tried to do our
best and play 100
percent every night.
Every year, the team
progressed, got better
and better. I think we
had a big part in that.'
- Michigan alltime
leading scorer
Denny Felsner
It was 1988, when the class, then
seven players, arrived. Evans re-
members well.
"We all kind of hated each other,
because none of us played on the
same team," he said. "So, we all
kind of looked at each other, and
said, 'Oh, well, we're stuck with
each other, so we're just gonna have
to make the best of it."'
Helber was the hometown hero,
the Pioneer grad who could score
goals easier than he could breathe.
College hockey was not to be the
same, but he eventually adjusted. A

torturous sophomore year, in which
he sustained multiple shoulder sepa-
rations, was followed by a break-
through junior season.
The Alton D. Simms Memorial
Trophy, symbolic of most improved
player, came his way following that
year. He came in a scorer, but now
plays with Mike Stone on Mich-
igan's top penalty-killing unit, while
chipping in the occasional score.
An at-large academic all-Big Ten
selection last season, Helber will
graduate with a degree in history and
communications, and a lifetime of
memories of playing in Yost.
"The fan support, playing here at
Yost, was an absolute thrill for me
and the rest of the seniors, I know,"
he said Saturday. "But it was also
going through my head that this was
the last time I'll ever play in this
building. Growing up in Ann Arbor,
playing here for 21 years, it's some-
thing that I'll always remember, be-
cause it's something that's special in
my heart. It's always been this

and we're very close," he said. "He
probably knows me the most (of the
three) because we do live together."
Evans came to campus at the age
of 17, by far the youngest in the
quartet. Coming from San Jose,

igan hockey should be like."
Finally, there is Felsner. Perhaps
the greatest Wolverine to lace up a
pair of skates, he has done it all.,
Michigan's alltime leading scorer
and a top Hobey Baker Award can-
didate, the simultaneous rise of the
program and his tremendous play
have not been coincidental.
"When we got here it was kind of
rough," he said. "We were a fifth-
place team, but we came in here, and
we just tried to do our best and play
100 percent every night. Every year,
the team progressed, got better and
better. I think we had a big part in
But beyond goals and assists,
there is more. There is the growing
up together, the hours of practice,
the road trips and everything else.
"(Felsner) means a lot to me,"
Evans said. "Denny and I really un-
derstand each other. He picks me up
when I'm down, I pick him up when
he's down."
"Denny and Dougie, those two

Calif., perhaps it shouldn't be sur-
prising he is the most loquacious, the
most offbeat, the most different.
"I don't know if they get sick of
me after awhile, but it's been fun
going through it with them," he said.

Michigan forward Denny Felsner slides the puck by Ohio State goaltender Mike Bales in Saturday's 9-4 Michigan
victory. After the contest, Felsner and his fellow seniors skated around the ice to thank the fans for their support.

building. I've grown up in it."
Dependability has been Kramer's
calling card. He has appeared in
132-straight games, and this week-
end in Detroit will become the
school recordholder for games
played in a career with 170. Before
game 168, Kramer tried his best to
freeze the moment.
"Tonight," he said, "I was defi-
nitely thinking, looking around,
putting photographs in my head,
knowing that this would be the last
time." .
He and Helber have become tight
friends, as Felsner and Evans have,
- indeed, most references to each
other sounded like something out of
Romper Room: Me and Denny,
Dougie and Denny, Teddy and
Helbie - and Helber brought up
their friendship.
"Teddy and I, we live together

He has enjoyed a solid season, a
far cry from the preseason plans to
keep him on the bench. His forte has
been providing trusty stay-at-home
defense, but he found the net Friday,
a knuckleball that dipped past Buck-
eye goalkeeper Mike Bales.
"I think it dove because it was
tired," Berenson reasoned.
Evans offered a better explana-
tion, straight from the Warren
Commission, as to how his attempt
pierced the OSU goal: "The Magic
It has been a magical season for
him, and he said he feels lucky to
have shared it with his fellow
"I couldn't ask for three better
classmates," he said. "They really
represent Michigan and the tradition
of Michigan hockey. They are just
the bread and butter of what Mich-

Continued from page 1
and it went in."
Felsner opened the second in
nearly the same fashion as the first.
He picked up a loose puck left be-
hind the net by Wiseman and
wrapped it around by Bales at the
28-second mark.
Ohio State then sandwiched two
goals around Felsner and Wiseman
tallies, which prompted Berenson to
call timeout.
"We were starting to get a little
shaky," Berenson said. "We took
some unnecessary penalties and our
heads were out of the game. In col-
lege hockey, 7-2 isn't much of a
lead, so I wanted to do something."
Defenseman Chris Tamer beat
Bales with a forehand on a break-
away late in the second, and
Wiseman added his second score
early in the third to ice the game.
Berenson was pleased with the of-
fensive prowess of his defensemen
(three goals) on the night.
"I like to see our defense jumping
up and joining the offense,"
Berenson said. "When they are
we're usually playing a good game."
Ohio State coach Jerry Welsh
was not as pleased with his team's
efforts Saturday as he was Friday.
"I thought we had a good chance
of winning Friday," Welsh said.
"Our defensive coverage was very
poor, and our team speed was very
had tnnioht and that cnst ns "

They were frustrated, but that's not
an excuse."
Welsh placed most of the blame
on the officials' reluctance to curtail
the stickwork late in the game.
"Things got out of control
tonight," Welsh said. "They (the
refs) stopped calling penalties as
soon as the game got out of reach.
Sticks were flying and those things
However, the Wolverines did not
agree with Welsh's assessment.
"It's like taking a shot at our
team when he takes a shot like that,"
Tamer said. "Some stuff is not called
for. It gets to me, and it gets to ev-
eryone else."
Berenson implored his team to
keep its collective head and avoid
retaliation which could lead to a
fighting suspension. Ward felt the
team's reaction would have been
different if it weren't the playoffs.
"I'd like it to have been regular
season," Ward said, "there would
have been some retaliation."
In Friday's game, Buckeye for-
ward Sacha Guilbaut deflected home
a Greg Beaucage shot from the point
to give OSU an early 1-0 lead. The
Wolverines retaliated with four
unanswered goals before Ohio State
added a late goal for the final score.
"I thought we were lucky,"
Berenson said. "There were a few
times where the puck almost went in
fr them anti din't ThrPw --

Continued from page 1
While that incident was the most
gross violation of the rules - Oliver
suffered a possible concussion and
he said his head was "still spinning"
after the game - the rough play did
not have far to escalate to reach its
peak. All of the regular-season con-
tests between the two teams featured
rough-and-tumble play, and Ohio
State's aggressive tactics are known
throughout the league.
"We knew what to expect from
them," defenseman Aaron Ward
said. "They didn't have anything to
lose, so they can play (without fear
of a game suspension). But I think
their tee time is sometime Sunday."
The Buckeyes are forced into
using these tactics because they have
little ability for finesse and simply
cannot skate with the Wolverines.
Friday night, OSU enjoyed far more
success than in the previous pair of
9-3 Michigan victories at Yost. The
game resembled the 4-2, 3-2 losses
that the Buckeyes suffered in
OSU was riding its longest win-
ning streak in over a season, and by
coupling its playoff intensity with
the Wolverines 10-day layoff,
Welsh's crew was able to neutralize
Michigan's team speed and the ad-
vantage of the larger ice surface
early in the night with its own tena-
cious checking game.
"We knew what they were going

guys, I love being with 'em. The
time that I've spent with them, I'd
never give up," Helber admited.
And now there is such little time.
A few more weeks at most. Then the
season will be done. Soon after,;
Felsner may pack his skates to join
the NHL St. Louis Blues.
"I'm sad, realizing that in a very
short time, we'll be done playing
here," Kramer said.
But while they have closed one
more chapter, there still remain ka
couple more pages to write: a CCHA
tournament championship, and then
the NCAA Tournament.
"In the past, players have left,
like last year after we lost at BU1
(Boston University), and it was a re-
ally sad day," Evans recalled. "But
I'm hoping this year, when the se-
niors leave, they'll have won their
last game."
Besides the bonecrushing hits the
crowd enjoys, the dividends of play-
ing a team with a brawl-mentality
defense are the numerous resulting
power plays. Michigan converted
more chances than the Buckeyes for
a higher percentage.
While the Wolverines have seen
the tough-guy act before and have
enough muscle to handle any bullies
on the CCHA block, cooler heads
usually prevail.
"I like playing tough games,"
defenseman Chris Tamer said. "I
like it when guys come at me, and
then I get to go and hit them. There's
nothing wrong with good clean
checks, but there is some stuff that
goes too far. I expect the games at
Joe Louis to be really physical, too,
because that's what we've seen all
Tamer has been the only
Wolverine this season to get a fight-
ing penalty, the ensuing game mis-
conduct and the automatic game
suspension. Ironically, it was against
Miami, Michigan's next opponent.
Michigan took Ohio State's best
punch, so to speak, and Saturday
they only had to mop up. Loney's
brutal play was a result of recogniz-
ing his team's hopeless situation. If
the game had not been a playoff
game and suspensions were less
devastating, an ugly fight could have
Hard checks and stick work have
been staple tactics throughout the
seaon and CCHA niavoff hockey

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