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November 16, 1992 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-16

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Page 6-The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday -- November 16, 1992

Continued from page 1
including its only power-play
conversion of the weekend from
defenseman Joe Cook only 5:45 into
the game. But Saturday was another
story, as Shields was a veritable
brick wall, turning away 10 Redskin
shots in the first, and 20 for the
"After the first two goals last
night, I doubted myself a little,"
Shields said. "Coach lit a fire under
me, and I went out tonight and did
what I should be able to do every
"I thought our defense played
better," Berenson said. "We didn't
make as many mistakes. They
(Miami) earned the chances they
The third period witnessed the
kind of explosive hockey expected
of Michigan, and the kind of hockey
that has been lacking of late.
The Wolverines scored three
goals in the period to seal the vic-
tory, getting goals from each of their
top three lines. The first came from
line No. 3, as center Mark Ouimet
rushed down the right side behind
the net and set up Dan Stiver in front
of the goal with a perfect pass that
Stiver slapped through for his first
goal of the season.
"Stiver played well, and came up
with a big goal for us," Berenson
said. "That next goal was going to
be a big goal."
Line No. 1 would strike next for
Michigan, as right wing David
Oliver, standing in front of the net,
rebounded a Brian Wiseman shot for
his team-leading tenth goal of the
season. Only 26 seconds later,
Knuble stole the puck deep in the
Miami zone and smoked a shot over
the left shoulder of Deschambeault
"We should be a team that can be
explosive," Berenson said. "We
have three lines that should be able
to score on a consistent basis."
"We came out more on fire, more
ready to play tonight," Knuble said.
"We started playing Michigan
That was not the case at all
Friday, as the Wolverine offense had
too many missed chances. The sput-
tering power play evidenced the nu-
merous blown opportunities for
Michigan, as the Wolverines failed
to convert on any of their ten
chances for the weekend. They mus-
tered only two goals to come back
from a 2-0 deficit late in the first.
The first, 17:19 into the first
stanza, came as defenseman Steve
Halko centered a pass into a crowd
just in front of the Miami net. Oliver
took the pass and snuck it under the
pads of netminder Richard
At almost the same time in the
second period, center David Roberts
slapped a wrist shot glove side for
Michigan's second and final goal.
"We didn't finish off our
chances. We couldn't generate the
kind of offense that we should be
capable of," Berenson said. "As a
coach, you hate to preach offense,
because it's defense that wins
games. But we still have to put our
chances in."
"I guess you can look at the posi-
tive side," Wiseman said. "We are
getting the chances, so we just have

to keep hammering away and play-
ing a high-level intensity game."


n e4Li e ,



Senior defenseman Pat Neaton carries the puck up ice during the Wolverines Saturday night victory over Miami.
Along with strong goaltending from Steve Shields, the defense held the high scoring Redskins to two goals.
AM'is powerles ihs advae
Ailing power play hinders MVichigan's off(,ensive success

competve LA
by Andy Stabile
Daily Hockey Writer
[)on't be ftoled.
Michigan took three points from Miami this weekend, but considering
the way the Wolverines fought to Saturday's win following Friday's tie, all
is not well in the land of Maize and Blue. At least not yet.
After Saturday night's 4-2 victory over Miami, Michigan coach Red
Berenson spoke about a sense of desperation that teams need to win hockey
games. "They showed more desperation last night than we did and we
showed more desperation tonight," Berenson said.
lDon't read that quote twice. It is correct. It only sounds strange because
it is.
Replace the word "desperation" with "hunger" or "intensity" and you
have the tired old cliche you expected. But Berenson chose his words care-
fully and they prove what everyone watching this weekend's series felt:
Friday's tie was mostly a result of Miami's hunger to win while Saturday's
Michigan victory was a result of the Wolverines desperation not to lose.
Let's face it. Miami had no cause for desperation coning into this se-
ries. The Redskins were rolling through the CCI IA, unbeaten in the confer-
ence. What they did want to preove is that they are winners who are in the
upper echelon of the conference to stay.
Michigan, on the other hand, finds themselves desperately trying to tread
the CC1-IA waters, determined not to drown. 'he Wolverines won last
I"riday's match against Lake Superior after taking only one point from
Western Michigan the week before. After losing Saturday's game against
the Lakers and tying Miami this Friday, the Wolverines were indeed desper-
ate again for a win Saturday.
And even this game was tied, 1- 1, after a second period in which the
Wolverines were outplayed and held to four shots. Michigan got a spark in
the third when lDan Stiver netted the go-ahead goal. Mike Knuble then
scored two of his own, but this was anyone's game before the Wolverines'
third-period barrage.
And let it be said now that the balance el power in the ('CCIA is chang-
ing. Once doormats, Western and M iami are now good teams. Lake
Superior State is strong again this year, but with Western and Michigan
State ahead on the schedule, it does not get any easier. Michigan could well
join any combination of these teams as the last four CC IA teams standing
at the Joe Louis Arena in the spring.
But to get that far Michigan needs to play intense hockey more often.
Most coaches around the leagzue agree that Michigan has as much or more"
talent than anyone in the conference. Because of this, teams get fired up to
play the Wolverines. What is clear in the last three weeks is that the
Wolverines cannot beat other good teams in the CC1IA with their talent
alone. 'they need to bring to the ice a desire to win.
Now, no one is questioning this team's will to win, but. Michigan had
struggled through droughts of emotionless hockey. lven the players know
"It's the same old, same old," center Brian Wiseman said after Friday's
gune. "1 think tonight we didn't come out the way we should have. We
went in spurts of intensity and at times with no intensity at all."
Miami matched the Wolverines through five periods and an overtime
this weekend. Michigan had another gear in the third period of Saturday,
night's game, but the fact that Michigan has the ability to dig down and winr
games when they need a victory only forces one to ask where that spark wil
come from in games they do not need to win.


by Brett Forrest
Daily Hockey Writer
With an explosive offense and a
solid, veteran defense, Michigan was
supposed to dominate nearly every
team it played this season. That has
not come to pass and the early part
of the schedule has been decidedly
frustrating for the Wolverines. One
cause of this frustration is the power
The Michigan man-advantage
system has been hurting as of late.
Over the last three and a half games,

The team usually places Brian
Wiseman in the right circle, David
Oliver in the left circle and Mike
Knuble in the low slot. Meanwhile,
Pat Neaton and David Roberts work
the points. Standard plays such as
one-timers from Oliver and Knuble
and screen shots from Neaton have
not been achieving their goal.
"Penalty killing units have been
real aggressive," Knuble said. "They
have been jumping on us because
they know if they let us set up, we'll
take advantage of it.
"I'm 6'3" and it's my job to get
in the way (of the goaltender). It's
also my job to get open because I
know if I get open, the guys will get
me the puck. We are always trying
to work it down low. Teams are
collapsing on us down there and
we're not taking advantage of
Neaton from the point."
"We have to move the puck
quicker," Neaton said. "If we stop
moving the puck, we give the pen-
alty-killing units time to set up. We
just are not working hard enough."
It is surprising to hear players
and coaches speak of the power play
as a negative force - this team was
expected to win games with the man
"It is real important," Oliver ad-
mitted. "In (Friday's) 2-2 game, if
our power play had been playing
well, it would have been two points
for us.
"The first thing we're doing is
not breaking out of our zone well.
We're not getting the chance to set
up in the offensive zone. On top of
that, we're not making real smart
"We're not working as hard as
we should," Wiseman said. "Teams
are keying on our power play. We
have to move the puck quicker. With
a man advantage there always has to
be somebody open and we have to
find him."

Even though the power play is
converting at a meager rate of 18
percent this season, there is a feeling
among the players that the right per-
sonnel is on the ice and that effec-
tive plays are being run. Players say
it will'just take some time to gain
experience playing with each other
to get the man advantage working to
their advantage.
"The system is definitely work-
able," Roberts said. "We have five
very good players on the ice. It's not
due to not having the right guys. We
have to pick up the overall intensity
- right now it comes in spurts."
"It's early in the season," Knuble
said. "I know it's going to break
open. We're going to break the bub-
ble. It's just a matter of time."
The importance of the power
play is not lost on the Wolverines.
With the new two-referee system in
the CCHA, penalty calls and power
play chances have increased. As of
yet, though, this has not been bene-
ficial for Michigan.
"It is very important," Roberts
said. "If you look at our offensive
numbers in the past, it was all be-
cause of the power play."
"If teams are going to check us
close and get penalties, we have to
make them pay," Berenson said. "So
far, we have not done that."
Whatever the reason for the
power play not converting, the bot-
tom line is that the Wolverines need
the man advantage to put the puck in
the net on a regular basis.
"We have to work harder. The
power play is very important in col-
lege hockey because there are a lot
of penalties," Neaton said. "It is a
matter of execution. The system is
fine, it's whether you perform or not
that matters."



the team has garnered one goal in 22
power play attempts.
"I am concerned about it," coach
Red Berenson said. "It is very im-
portant to have a good power play.
We have a lot of top offensive
players out there and when they
don't score, they get frustrated."
The power play unit has been
able to move the puck effectively in
games but has had a difficult time
putting it in the net. At other times,
though, the unit has not been al-
lowed to set up in the offensive

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Michigan forward Brian Wiseman fires a shot on net The Wolverines
continued to struggle on the power play, going scoreless in 10 chances.

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