Page 6-.The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - April 6,1992
i i i
by Ken Sugiura
Daily Hockey Writer
Michigan coach Red Berenson, in his opening
statement to the press after his team's 4-2 loss to
Wisconsin at the Final Four, gave this
"It's disappointing when you lose, especially
when you don't play well." Okay, with that es-
tablished, here's the $64,000 question: Why did-
n't Michigan play well? Players, any comments?
"The reason is unbeknownst to me because if
we knew it, I think we would have changed it,"
senior Mike Helber said.
"No idea at all," rookie Tim Hogan said.
Perhaps in a fitting end to a crazy season,
which saw Michigan ride the so-called roller
coaster ad nauseam, the Wolverines perplexed
even themselves in falling to the-Badgers.
So what is the answer? Perhaps it wasn't one
reason in particular, but the sum of a couple of
The pressure of playing at the Final Four
might have gotten to the Wolverines. They en-
tered the Final Four with the unenviable position
of being, along with Lake Superior State, a co-
favorite to take home the trophy. Pressure is like
a cup of coffee: Taken in normal amounts, both
will keep you alert and sharp. Too much of it
makes you a little crazy, as well as take repeated
trips to the washroom. However, coffee only
stunts your growth.
Against Wisconsin, it was obvious the pres-
sure did not help Michigan.
"I guess a lot of the guys were nervous, and it
carried out onto the ice," Hogan said. "We were
ready, but I just think, in our minds, there was a
lot of tension and pressure."
The pressure could only have been exacer-
bated by the fact that, of the four teams in
Albany, N.Y., Michigan had the least tournament
experience, or more importantly, had less than
Wisconsin was the 1990 titlist, and Michigan
State has appeared in six of the last seven tour-
naments taking the 1986 national title, along with
a berth in the 1988-89 Final Four. Lake Superior
State is a perennial tournament team. The
Wolverines' trip to the Final Four marked this
squad's second straight appearance in the tour-
nament, and first time in the Final Four since
bellbottoms were in style (1977).
"Obviously, Wisconsin had been there before
recently, and Lake Superior had, and Michigan
State had. I definitely think we felt like new kids
on the block," David Harlock said. "I think that
we certainly did get a little bit caught up in what
was going on."
"In our minds," Hogan said. "We built it to be
so big and everything, that we thought physi-
cally, it was just going to happen. But it just did-
Lastly, while Michigan bore the brunt of the
pressure, Wisconsin had little placed upon them.
The Badgers were the lowest seed in the tourna-
ment and were hardly expected to be in Albany,
let alone win. And whatever pressure was ap-
plied, they were oblivious to it.
Before they played Michigan, the Badgers
watched the highlight film of their 1990 champi-
onship and sang and danced along with the ac-
companying music. Asked his impression of
Wisconsin, Harlock confirmed this notion.
"They play with a lot of confidence and a def-,
inite arrogance on the ice," Harlock said. 20
The fact that the Wolverines were without
senior Doug Evans could not have helped, either.,,;
The senior defenseman suffered ligament damage;;,
in his right knee eight days ago against Northern,
Michigan and was unable to play this weekend.,
It wasn't that Evans' talent was irreplaceable,.
because Michigan's depth has been a strength alL-
year. Evans' backup, Hogan, played admirably.
What might have been missing was the se,.
nior's leadership and presence on the ice,.
Berenson is a firm believer in seniors leading his
team, and Evans was a perfect example.
"Timmy stepped in and did a fine job as far as
play is concerned, but having Doug as a senior
leader would have helped," Helber said. "It may
have had an effect as far as our attitude goes, be,
cause Doug is a senior leader on the ice."
Another explanation could be simply that
Wisconsin was a much better team than Northern,,
Michigan. The Badgers foiled the vaunted
Michigan power play all seven times it took the,,
ice, unlike Northern, which allowed th-e
Wolverines to score on five of 12 opportunities.
"Northern gave us more opportunities than-
Wisconsin did," said Helber, he of the game-
winner vs. NMU. "The whole team truly believed'
we would come back in the third period. And I
believed that until they scored their open-net W
However, whatever the reason, it is now aca
demic. All that is left to do is look to next season.
"We gained some valuable experience,",
Harlock said. "If we get back to the Final Fout-
next year, we'll know what to expect."
KHIaI. UI+ LH "ILL I IIaiiy
Aaron Ward (left) and Mark Ouimet appear dejected after Michigan's loss
to Lake Superior in the CCHA finals. The Wolverines ended the year 32-9-3.
Continued from page 3
Flying became a perfect succes-
sion to his athletic career, and he
displayed much of the same grace in
the air, as he did.on the ice or the
football field: Hobey reveled in the
American armed forces.
Hobey viewed the war much as
he did sport, and when the game
ended in November 1918, Hobey felt
lost. There was nothing to replace
the thrill of war in his life. Hobey
received his orders to go home Dec.
21, but before going he wanted to
Hobey became a hero immediately at
Princeton, starring for the freshmen football,
baseball and hockey teams. However, school
rules prohibited Hobey from playing three
varsity sports, so he concentrated on hockey
honor of. fighting. There were no take "one last flight in the old Spad."
cheap shots in these one-on-one bat- This went against tradition which
tles to the death. During his short said, never take a "last" flight lest it
stay in France, Hobey registered be just that. Tragically it was.
three kills, leaving him two short of Instead of taking his plane, he
becoming an official ace. Hobey was tested a newly repaired one. Through
promoted to captain and received " heavy rain, Hobey took off, and after
awards from both the French and a quarter mile, the engine stopped.
However, the Spad was an easy
plane to crash-land, and Hobey had
successfully done that a month ear-
lier. But he did not attempt a crash-
landing, instead opting for a normal
landing. The plane crashed nose
down close to the hangar, and Hobey
died in an ambulance shortly there-
after. A national day of mourning
marked his death.
People who knew Hobey well,
did not believe the crash was acci-
dental. Hobey knew he could never
achieve the level of joy he had in the
war or on the playing field and es-
caped the only way he could.
Hobey Baker is probably the
finest example of the true sportsman
in American athletics. He never
earned a dollar while playing, and
actually paid for the right to play at
St. Nick's. He always played first
and foremost for the joy of the sport.
While Scott Pellerin is a great
hockey player in his own right, he or
no other player of today can com-
pare to Hobey Baker.
Continued from page 1
Michigan never had to search for
determination. The whole season
boiled down to three goals - win-
ning the CCHA regular-season title,
winning the CCHA playoffs, and
winning the National Champ-
After opening slowly, giving
three points to Michigan State in the
opening weekend, the Wolverines
Dropping a pair to the Lakers
proved to be only a minor setback as
Michigan sandwiched it between 10
and eight-game unbeaten streaks. In
December, the Wolverines continued
their dominance of the Great Lakes
Invitational by winning their fourth
Spurred by the line of Denny
Felsner (42 goals, 52 assists), Brian
Wiseman (27, 44), and David Oliver
(31, 27), the offense thrived through
the first half of the season. Michigan
scored at least five goals in 13 of its
first 19 games.
When the potent power play
cooled and the scorers went into a
lull, the defense picked up the slack.
In a five-game span in late January,
the Wolverines won 2-1 over
Illinois-Chicago, 4-2 over Ohio
State, and 4-3, 1-0 over Lake
After the gems against the Lakers
the Wolverines had gained a full head
of steam. But yet another bump was
ahead - back-to-back losses to
Bowling Green. Two big victories
over MSU at Joe Louis Arena elated
the Wolverine spirit further and ele-
vated them to the top spot in the
NCAA hockey poll.
But the primrose path still had its
thorns. After a Tuesday toppling
over troublesome Bowling Green the
Wolverines headed to Ferris State.
Only after a 6-5 loss Friday night
and consequent gut check, Michigan
clinched the CCHA title - its first
goal - with a 4-3 decision.
The playoffs started against Ohio
State and despite rusty wheels from a
10-day layoff, Michigan dispatched
the Buckeyes, 4-2, 9-4.
In the semifinals the Wolverines
knocked off Miami, 6-2.
The final against LSSU resemb-
led their regular-season games, bulb
the Wolverine shooters could no C,
bury their chances and lost, 3-.
However, the pain of losing to tom:
Lakers was cushioned by the numb
one seed they received from thC
NCAA selection committee tlib
The importance of the CCHA,,
playoff loss dwindled as they began.,
to concentrate on the NCAAs. After
the first-round game, Michigan
learned it would play defending,
champion, Northern Michigan.
The Wolverines fell behind, 6-3,
but refused to quit. Showing the
mettle built from a season of hard,
work, they climbed to a 7-6 victory
They lost to Wisconsin, 4-2, last 9
Thursday, so goal three is left in-
"When I came here we were lucky
to finish fourth and get home-ice ad-
vantage," senior Ted Kramer said.
"Now I'm leaving and we were in
the Final Four. I hope the guys that
come back can continue to improves
like we did."
However, now that the season:,
has ended and Lake Superior has won
the National Championship, Mich-
igan should take a well-deserved
break and enjoy the season's accom-
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