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October 26, 1992 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-26

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Page 6 -The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday - October 26,1992

to1 ecl ef*
Depth unlocks door
to 'M icers success
by Chad A. Safran
Daily Hockey Writer
BIG RAPIDS - Team depth. It is a clich6 every coach talks about
when his team takes the field. If a team does not have scoring depth in
hockey, the defense can key on the one line that contains a team's best
scoring punch. That was the case last year, but what a difference a year
makes for Michigan.
Against Notre Dame, it was the line of Ryan Sittler, Brian Wiseman
and David Oliver that led the Wolverines to victory with five of the
team's six goals, including four from Oliver.
This weekend the team
y traveled to Ferris State and
another line came to the
forefront.
The threesome of Mike
Knuble, David Roberts and
Mike Stone provided the
firepower that helped Michigan
defeat Ferris, 7-2 Friday night.
Knuble pumped in four goals,
three on the power play. Roberts
managed a goal and an assist
while Stone added an assist.
Saturday, it was Cam
Stewart who came up with the
iame winner in the Wolverines'
5-3 come-from-behind victory.
And what about David
Oliver?
I e scored two goals in each
Knuble game, giving him a season total
of eight.
Three games. And many different players have stepped up to give
the Wolverines what they needed to come out ahead.
Last season, the team looked to Denny Felsner whenever they
needed the big play. Get behind, don't worry Denny will score.
Oftentimes, though, the Felsner line would get shut down and the
offense could not produce. Now, they can look to anyone on any of the
lines. The reason - better depth.
When winger Dan Stiver went down with a shoulder injury in
Saturday's game, Michigan coach Red Berenson had flexibility. He
moved freshman center Kevin Hilton to right wing, and Hilton re-
sponded with his first career goal, an empty netter that sealed the tri-
umph.
The depth on offense is even more impressive when you consider
that Knuble only scored seven goals last season and almost eclipsed
that total inthree games. Add to that the fact that Patrick Neaton, the
team's top offensive defensemen a season ago with 30 points, only has
one assist this season.
This is a team which can have a player score a couple of goals one
night then not dress the next night because another player can step in
and perform just as admirably. This is a situation that other coaches
dream to have. For Red Berenson, it is reality.
Depth is not the exclusive property of the offense.
The defense is the deepest and one of the most experienced in the
nation. Six of the eight players are returning letter winners and when
one is replaced, nothing seems to change. The Wolverines still shut
down the opposition. This weekend served as an example.
Freshman Steven Halko made his debut Friday night, replacing Al
Sinclair. The result was a fine performance from the rookie and two
Wolverine victories. A new part, but the machine does not function any
differently than it did when the original piece was in.
The depth is the key to how successful Michigan will be this season.
The Wolverines first two opponents are part of the lower tier of teams
in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, but now is when the test
begins for the Wolverines. The next two weekends, Western Michigan
and Lake Superior State are the opposition, respectively. These are two
teams that are among the more competitive in the conference.
These two weeks are a test to prove how good the Wolverines really
are, especially having to travel to Sault Ste. Marie to play the Lakers.
Now, it becomes a questipn of which line will step into the spotlight.
Knuble, Shaw capture CCHA
player-of-the-week honors
ANN ARBOR (AP) - Michigan right wing Mike Knuble and Kent

State goalie Scott Shaw were named Central Collegiate Hockey Association
offensive and defensive players of the week.
Knuble, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound Caledonia native, had five goals in the
Wolverines' sweep of Ferris State.
In Friday's 7-2 win, he scored the first three goals of the game, while his
"fourth tally of the contest gave Michigan a 5-1 advantage. His goal Saturday
"evened the score 1-1, and the Wolverines went on to win 5-3.
Shaw, a 5-10, 160-pound native of Warminster, Pa., was in goal for Kent
State's first two wins as a CCHA member. He totaled 50 saves in the
Golden Flashes' 2-1 and 7-5 victories over Notre Dame. Shaw allowed just
.one power-play goal in 10 opportunities.

Knuble shines in homecoming
Sophomore right wing scores five goals in weekend at Ferris

by Tim Rardin
Daily Hockey Writer
BIG RAPIDS - While the Ferris
State hockey team experienced a
rather disappointing Homecoming
weekend, losing twice to Michigan,
Mike Knuble's homecoming proved
very successful.
The Wolverine rightwing tallied
five goals, including four in Friday's
game, in his return to west
Michigan. Knuble hails from Cale-
donia, just over an hour from Big
Rapids, and came to Michigan after
earning all-state honors his junior
and senior seasons at East Kentwood
High School. As a freshman and
sophomore in high school, Knuble
played for the Grand Rapids
Whalers of the Bantam "A" league,
and then spent a year with the
Kalamazoo Junior Wings of the
North American Hockey League in
1990.
"I didn't get many goals last
year, so it's nice to get some up
here," Knuble said. "I saw a lot of
people from my old neighborhood in
the stands. It's nice to score in front
of some of the people who watched
me play. "
"It was nice to see him (Knuble)
get off to a good start like that,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
"We knew he had it in him. He's
just a different player now as a
sophomore."
Indeed he is.
Knuble scored only seven goals
in the 43 games he appeared in as
freshman with the Wolverines, and
has almost equaled that total in just
three games this season.
Knuble admits that, hockey-wise,
a year has made all the difference.
"I just feel so much more com-
fortable this year than I did last
year," Knuble said. "I know what's
going on, and I know who I'm going
against. I can't explain it. I'm just
more confident now, and I think I'm
feeling more confident every game."
That confidence showed at
Ferris, particularly in Friday's 7-2
Michigan victory. Knuble scored the
first three goals for the Wolverines,
including two power play goals in
the first period.

EVAN PETRIE/Daily
Right wing Mike Knuble tries to get by a defender in last week's win over Notre Dame.

The first came just over halfway
through the period, as Cam Stewart
fed a rushing Knuble with a perfect
pass from behind the Bulldog net.
Knuble struck again less than three
minutes later, with 50 seconds left in
the power play. This time Knuble
received a pretty feed from center
Mark Ouimet, who had skated
around the net to the right circle.
Knuble chipped the puck past Ferris
goaltenderCraig Lisko as he was
falling to his knees.
"I really didn't have to do too
much," Knuble said about the goals.
"I got some great passes, so all I had
to do was put the stick down and put
them in."
"Sometimes you don't even see
the pucks coming, but then all of a
sudden they .hit your stick,"
Berenson said. "Knuble was in good

position, and he is much improved
around the net. He takes up a lot of
space and he's hard to move, so he
gets good position on the
defensemen."
'Sometimes, I can't hit
the broad side of a
barn, but they went in
real easy tonight.'
- Mike Knuble
Michigan right wing
Knuble's hat trick came 7:20 into
the second period after a nifty se-
quence from his fellow linemates,
David Roberts and Mike Stone.
Roberts skated down the left side of
the Bulldog zone, then led Stone
with a pass just to the left of the net.

Lisko, expecting Stone to take the
shot, committed just as Stone passed
to Knuble on the other side of the
goal. Lisko couldn't get back in tim'e
as Knuble scored easily glove side.
"That's the difference - last
year, the puck would've bounced off
the stick or I would've shot it off the
toe or something like that," Knuble
said after Friday's game. "Some-
times, I can't hit the broad side of a
barn, but they went in real easy
tonight."
"It's great (to see Knuble score
four goals). I hope someone else
scores four more tomorrow night,'
said Michigan rightwing Davinl
Oliver, who scored four goals
against Notre Dame. "Their ling
(Knuble-Roberts-Stone) playe0
good. They worked hard and they
got four goals out of it."

ICERS
Continued from page 1
last came on an empty-netter from
freshman Kevin Hilton, who had re-
placed Dan Stiver after a first period
shoulder injury - Mazzoli kept his
team in the game. The Wolverines
nearly tripled Ferris' shot production
(45 to 16), but Mazzoli came up
with 40 saves.
"Mazzoli had to play well for
them," Berenson said. "We had I
don't know how many shot attempts,
but Mazzoli played a great game. He
kept them in it, there's no question
about it."
That was not the case for Bulldog
goaltending Friday, as Ferris's other
goalkeeper, Craig Lisko, played the
whole game and gave up seven
goals.
The Bulldog offense had more
shots (24) Friday, but Michigan
netminder Steve Shields, who in
three games has conceded only five
goals, made some big saves.
"Shields played very well, par-
ticularly in the second period (15
saves)," Berenson said. "Had he not
made some key saves, it would've
been a much closer game."
The power play was also a big
factor for the Wolverines Friday, as
they capitalized on three of their six
opportunities. The first came 10:14
into the first period, as Stewart, lurk-

ing behind the net, set up a rushing
Knuble who knocked the puck home
just inside the crease. Knuble had
four goals in the game, - three of
them power play goals - and added
another Saturday.
"He (Knuble) had his stick on the
ice, which is a sign of a good goal
scorer," Berenson said. "He never
really got into a scoring confidence
last year. He's much improved
around the net.
"The power play was h factor for
us," Berenson added. "You don't
usually see that early in the year. I
think the penalty killers have the ad-
vantage."
Indeed, the defense did have the
advantage Saturday. Michigan man-
aged only one goal in seven power-
play attempts, including three failed
5-on-3 chances, while the Bulldogs
did not convert any of their four op-
portunities.
The two defenses held their re-
spective grounds, and after two peri-
ods of play, the score remained 1-1.
An Oliver goal just 3:13 into the
third, almost identical to the one he
would score later from the face-off,
put the Wolverines up 2-1. Ferris
State answered in a hurry, as center
Gary Kitching knocked in a loose
puck at the 4:28 mark. Michigan's
defense would experience another
lapse just 1:32 later as Kitching

T.

EVAN PETRIFJDaly
Center Mark Ouimet handles the puck last week against Notre Dame.

again capitalized, this time off a be-
hind-the-net feed from rightwinger
Doug Smith.
"I think, hockey-wise, we played
a better game than we did Friday
night," Berenson said. "I think their
goals came on a couple of mistakes
on our part. We had some turnovers

in our zone and they put the puck in
the net."
"We got caught in our zone and
we couldn't get the puck out," de-
fenseman Aaron Ward said. "In rto
way did they outplay us to get their
goals. It was just the result of our
mistakes."

r

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