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October 12, 1992 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-12

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The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - October 12, 1992 - Page 5

Roberts keys drive for CCHA title
Senior centermust step up playfor'M' to succeed

by Brett Forrest
Daily Hockey Writer
Three years ago Dave Roberts
was a 19 year-old freshman about to
begin his first season of Division I
college hockey. He had played at
perennial powerhouse Avon Old
Farms in Connecticut and made a
difficult decision to join a
Midwestern hockey program that
had finished fourth in the Central
Collegiate Hockey Association and
only seven games above .500 overall
the year before.
Since that time, Michigan has
surged to first in the CCHA and
made its way to a national semifinal
appearance in the NCAA tournament
last year. Roberts has played a vital
role in this resurgence of Michigan
Dave Roberts was courted by
many of the top East Coast Athletic
Conference and Hockey East schools
during his final years at Avon.
"There was a lot of pressure on me
to go to school out East," Roberts
recalled. He had strong roots in the
Midwest, though.
His father Doug and uncle Gordie
both played at Michigan State before
heading to the National Hockey
League. His cousin Alex was a
junior playing at Michigan during
Roberts' last year of prep school. He
visited Ann Arbor and liked what he
saw. "The program was building and
I could see a lot of progress," he
said. The decision was made as he
wanted to get in on the ground floor
of something that was about to go
Roberts began his Michigan
career with a bang. In the 1989-90
season he became the first freshman
since 1946 to lead the team in
scoring. He had 53 points in 42
games and was selected as the
CCHA Rookie of the Year. He was
also named to the Great Lakes
Invitational all-Tournament team. It
was an amazing year for a player
many thought would have a tough
time making the transition from the
"He was a noted high school
player. He's a skill player, more of a
finesse player," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "There was a
question of whether he could step
into this league and be that type of
player. I really felt that he would
thrive on this environment.

him. He's been able to adjust to a
physical, fast-paced league and still
have success."
In his sophomore season, Roberts
was even more ferocious around the
opposing net. He raised his point
total to 71 in 43 contests, good for
second on the team. Things were
looking up for Roberts and many
were prognosticating dominance by.
the Wolverine squad led by Roberts
and then-senior Denny Felsner in the
upcoming season.
Last season, however, Roberts
slipped off the pace he had set for
himself. He had 58 points in 44
games. Last year's team belonged to
Felsner. "If you play hockey long
enough, you're going to have an off
year every now and then when
things don't go your way," team
captain David Harlock said. "I think
that's the way things went last year
(for Roberts)."
"By my standards, it was a bad
year," Roberts admitted. "I felt like I
took a step backwards. Hopefully I'll
make up for that this year.
Rather than depend on each
other, the players often looked to
Felsner to rescue the team. "I think
we're trying to equal each line out,
have more depth so we don't rely on
one line or one guy as much. Last
year, if we were losing, down by
one, everybody would say, 'Let's go
Denny, let's get another goal.' This
year, we're not going to do that."
Roberts knows he will have to
come up with a big season if this
team is going to go far this year.
Felsner, Michigan's all-time leading
scorer, is currently in the St. Louis
Blues organization. Thus, Roberts,

Forward David Roberts wants to make

MI'H"LL "Uily
his senior season one to remember.


e -White scrimmage. White won the game 2-1 on a third-period goal by Knuble.
How to make Yst

"I think it would be a natural step
forward for him to have a big year
this year," Berenson said. "I'm sure
he knows he will have to have a
better season overall than he had last
year. He is obviously an offensive
player and I think you'll see him
generate more offense than he did
last year."
"I think he's already gotten off to
a good start in terms of having a
good year," Harlock said. "He
worked really hard this summer and
that certainly puts you in the right
direction towards having a good
Roberts, drafted by the St. Louis
Blues in the sixth round of the 1989
NHL entry draft, wants to have
options at the end of this season. The
Blues are high on him and have been
for years. Also, the Olympics are
only a year and a half away. Before
he considers these things, though,
there is much work to do this season.
"Hopefully I'll have a really good
year this year and then talk with St.

Louis and get something going
there," Roberts said. "I want _to
finish school, I want to have a really
good year. I want to finish this
chapter of my life before I start
another one."
This year's senior class boasts;six
three-year letter-winners who made
an immediate impact in their
freshman seasons. They have grown
with the hockey program in Ann
Arbor and there is a sense of
urgency with them as they attempt to
reach the zenith not attained at
Michigan since 1964, when the
Wolverines captured the national
title. Roberts will have to be a
cornerstone in the foundation of the
Wolverines' drive for NCAA glory.
"I want people to remember this
team," Roberts stated. "I don't think
it's a big deal for me to have people
remember who Dave Roberts was. I
just want the team to be recognized
as being one of the best teams that
Michigan ever had. Just being part
of that would be enough for me."

'an impolite host

by Andy Stabile
Daily Hockey Writer


So, you like sports in your face?
Well this isn't about hockey on ESPN, it's about hockey at Michigan.
And hockey at Michigan means fans - fans who like hockey in their
All of America knows about Michigan's football fans: "Thank you
again for being part of the largest crowd watching a football game in
America today." While the sheer athleticism and talent of Michigan's
basketball has sparked an up and coming bunch of crazies at Crisler.
But if you're in the mood to scream, I mean the mood to tear vocal
chords, then you are probably part of that cult of puckheads that,
squeezes into Yost Ice Arena every weekend to get hockey in your face.
Here's how it works: The Wolverines play fast hard-nose hockey.
They skate, they hit, they score. They do it all a little better than other
teams. In return, you yell. Yell anything that comes to mind and yell it
loud. Hockey is the only sport where the athletes hear what's said and
can see who said it. If you don't believe this, ask someone who saw
Ferris St. goalie Pat Mazzoli responding to a fan's criticism by, well,
I* adjusting himself' last season.
Over the past few years, Michigan hockey fans have brought cheering
to a new plateau, although not to the highest plateau, which is reserved
only for hockey moms. Anyone who has ever heard a hockey player's
mother cheer knows they are absolutely unsurpassable as, well,
In case you can't think of anything to yell, here are some standbys to
keep you busy:.
1. Michigan may own the most famous and hated cheer in college
hockey. Let's say Lake Superior's Brian Rolston gets a penalty and he's
;f really mad - thought it was a terrible call. A din reverberates through-
*out the stadium while he's arguing with official Steve Piotrowski (in
which case it probably was a bad call). Ahhhhhhhhh... As Rolston skates
off the ice the din grows louder and raises in pitch until he puts one skate
in the box See Ya! If he only fakes entering the box in an attempt to foil
the crowd, yell it again. I promise he'll end up there eventually.
This cheer is on the move, it found it's way to Crisler Arena where it
welcomes opposing teams' fifth foul victims to the bench.
2. Now let's say Rolston rides the pine for two minutes and leaves
the box. When the announcer says, "Lake Superior, full strength." Fans
yell They still suck! Be ready for this cheer. It is important to pay atten-
tion. This is the type of cerebral cheer that separates Michigan fans from
Lake Superior fans.
3. After "The Victors" plays when Michigan scores, stand and
hold up as many fingers as the Wolverines have goals. The band yells
Ready, and then pounds on the bass drum while everyone counts all
those goals aloud: One, Two, Three,... We want more goals! Now this
cheer gets fun. It is now time to partake in the time-honored tradition of
"riding the goalie." Sieve, Sieve, Sieve, Sieve. And if that weren't
enough: It's all your fault, It's all your fault, It's all your fault. If the
goalie disagrees, he just might have to 'adjust himself.'
4. When the band plays the Olympic fanfare, haul out your lighter.
Some free spirits even run "the torch" up the arena steps. The pizza
cheer happens when Cottage Inn holds pizza specials for games when
°' .Mir n r c a certainmiimher of inoals. You've heard "Let's go

"It would be a good league for
him. It would be a good program for
him. It would be a good school for

one of the CCHA's purest scorers
and playmakers over the past three
seasons, automatically assumes a
role as a clutch scorer for Michigan.


Continued from page 1
The White squad threaded the
nets for the game's first goal at the
3:03 mark of the first period. Mike
Stone slipped the puck past Blue
goalie Chris Gordon off a Tim
Hogan assist to put the White up, 1-
Cam Stewart evened the score at
1-1 with a power-play goal with just
over two minutes to play in the
period. White goalie Steve Shields
stopped a Mark Ouimet blast from
the left circle but the Blue's Dan
Stiver collected the rebound. He fed
it back to Ouimet who spotted a
wide-open Stewart for an easy tap-
The White came up with the
game winner at 12:47 of the third
period on the game's prettiest play.
White defenseman Rick Willis took
a David Roberts pass near the right
circle. He spun around in almost a
complete circle to find Knuble on
the net's opposite side. Willis slid
the puck across the crease and
Knuble flipped it in to give the
White a 2-1 victory.
For the newcomers to the
Wolverines, the game represented
the first opportunity to show
Berenson how they would respond
to game action at the college level.
I thought they were nervous at
times," Berenson said. "And at other
times, they looked like they
As is the case for intrasquad
competitions, the players quickly

** * * |||||| ||||| ||||||.||.|||| .|| |||| .|| . .|. .|.|| .|.|.|. . ..|. . . . ..||||||||||||||||||

When Red Berenson arrived at
Michigan in 1984, he inherited a
hockey program at the bottom of the
CCHA. Now, entering his ninth sea-
son as head coach, Berenson's
Wolverines are a college hockey
powerhouse. Berenson spoke to the
Michigan Daily hockey staff about a
variety of topics, this is what he had
to say...
...on last season.
We thought we were good
enough to go all the way last year
but we didn't do it. The good thing
is that most of the players on that
team gained some valuable experi-
ence. They may have what it takes to
go a step further this year. We still
have some challenges. I mean we
had a great season but yet we did not
win the CCHA championship. I
didn't like the way we won first
place near the end, and at the Final
Four we didn't play our best, so we
have some things to prove, but
there's only one champion every
year. We were a young team last
year we'll be a little more experi-
enced this year.
...on getting to the Final Four.
You don't just finish in first place
by accident; it's a lot of hard work, a
lot of breaks, a lot of things have to
happen, and its the same thing when
you go to the Final Four. And the
same thing when you win it all, it's
down to a one game shoot out. And
there is so many little things that can
1 the Afferenre in a gme. So



contribution, I think you'll see him
improve as the year goes on. But it's
pretty tough for a freshman to cdme
in to a team like this and make a big
impact. If he can play regular, I
think he's got the tools and the char-
acter to be a top division one player.
It's just a matter of how long it takes
to get to that level.
... on the change in the team's
attitude over the years.
The kids coming in now, they're
going to be on a winning team, and
they expect to win. And that was the
big difference in the early years that
I was here. The teams, as a rule, did-
n't expect to win. They just didn't
think they were good enough to beat
the good teams. It took a long time
before they were able to prove to
themselves that they were good
enough, and that they should beat
those teams. We expect to win now.
That's the mental part.
... on his future as Michigan's
I don't know if I'm going to be
coaching when I'm sixty. But right
now, I mean these are the years that
I worked so hard for. You know we
really worked hard. We paid our
dues. There were a lot of long bus
trips home and a lot of long nights
worrying about this team and recruit-
ing. And I've tried to build some-
thing here that, you know: this is the
way I've always envisioned it, this is
the way Michigan hockey should be.
We shnu1d have ton nrozram: we

about their impact. Mark Ouimet
ended up being our No. I centerman
by the end of his freshman year so
they were solid players. And Chris
Tamer has been one of our top four
defensemen for the last three years
along with Harlock and Neaton. So
they've been a real impact class and
that's another reason why this team
will have a little better leadership, a
little more experience than last
year's team and the previous years
- because we do have a good senior
class. And in Division I hockey, if
your seniors don't play well, your
team is not going to be successful.
You really need your seniors to play
well, and this is the kind of class that
omld he R significant leadershin)

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