Page 6-The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday- November 30, 1992
- *4e c
by Andy Stabile
Daily Hockey Writer
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Let's talk chemistry.
The elements we're working with today are Michigan's hockey for
wards: three seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and two rookies. The
compound they compose is Michigan's scoring punch.
So far this season, Wolverine coach Red Berenson has chosen to mi
up all those elements, hoping that a couple upperclassmen on each li z
would formulate scoring on all fronts. Thus far, that equation has yield
inconsistent results - only one line has reacted properly.
For this weekend, Berenson scrapped science and went with the old,
apples with apples concept: Three seniors on the first line. Three juniors,
on the second line. Three talented underclassmen on the third line. Three
other players who skate as hard as they hit on the fourth line.
Somehow he wound up with team chemistry.
What Berenson did, in essence, was consolidate some of the scorini
punch he hoped to spread out at the onset of the season. Berenson re
united Dave Roberts with Mark Ouimet, alongside of Dan Stiver. Thy
three seniors were all struggling coming into the weekend series but
flourished against Western and Notre Dame, combining for five goals and
12 points in the two games.
"They should be a dominant line," Berenson said.
This weekend they were.
Ouimet and Roberts have played together in their previous three sea-
sons at Michigan, but they were often paired with Denny Felsner and ex
pected to score big. Since the breakup of that line, Ouimet - probably the:
fastest player on the team - has struggled with many different wingers;
while Roberts shuffled around playing center, wing and maybe even de-
fense if blueliners were thin. Stiver, a sharp-shooter, has been skating
alongside Ouimet for a season on a line that proved solid, but without
much scoring punch.
"I've played with those guys for years now it seems," Ouimet said aof
ter Friday's game. "You'd think we could start to get it together."
The beauty of the line is what it does to the team overall. With the e'
fective duo of juniors Brian Wiseman and David Oliver now playing with
Cam Stewart, Michigan may have two dominant lines. Which do oppos-
ing coaches focus on? .
If both lines keep playing well, there may be no easy answer. Both op"
posing coaches this weekend tried to stop the Wolverines by shortening
their benches, often going with only three lines. Both opposing teams suf-
fered from a third-period collapse. Michigan netted five goals in the third,
against Western, three against Notre Dame.
And while these other teams were trying anything to stop the first twd
lines, the third line of Ryan Sittler, Kevin Hilton and Mike Knuble
(Michigan's second-leading goal scorer) clicked for three goals and crd'
ated two more on the weekend. Add the pesky forechecking and hard-hit-
ting line of Mike Stone, Rick Willis and Anton Fiodorov, and thb'
Wolverines had four contributing lines in both games.
The paradox of the Wolverines' balanced scoring this weekend was
that the skillful upperclassmen spread out the attack more when they
played together than they did when playing apart from each other.
But then who doesn't find chemistry a paradox.
Michigan netminder Steve Shields kicks away a harmless Notre Dame shot Saturday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Shield stood tall against both the
Western Michigan Broncos Friday night at Yost Ice Arena, where he face 18 shots, and against the Irish, whom he stoned 30 times.
New Palace ice surface brings mixed reviews
by Andy Stabile
Daily Hockey Writer
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Palace officials
hoped for a good game between Michigan and
Notre Dame Saturday night. But even when they
got one, most of the attention was not on the
teams, but the arena itself.
The two squads christened the new ice surface
at the Palace by drawing an NCAA non-tourna-
ment record crowd of 18,147. But while the
crowd was big and the game exciting, the re-
views of the arena were mixed.
The ice surface was expected to be rough, and
it didn't disappoint.
"It was like playing out on a pond in northern
Canada," Michigan captain David Harlock said.
"But this is the first real game they've ever had
here. They did a decent job."
Indeed, players from both teams complained
of ruts on the ice, but they generally agreed that
it was not much of a factor on the game because
both teams had to play on it. But then again so
After Wednesday's Piston game against
Charlotte, the Palace crew worked all day on
Thanksgiving to lay the ice surface. Friday night,
the rock group, its 80 foot stage and a host of
metalheads took to the arena floor where the ice-
surface had been covered by a layer of Homosote
compressed cardboard for protection. After
Saturday's game, the crew immediately began
the de-construction of the rink for yesterday's
Piston's game against New York.
"We couldn't have made it any tougher on
ourselves than we did," Palace marketing assis-
tant Scott Heitman said of bringing hockey to the
Palace. "There's bound to be some bumps they
need to work on some, but we hope to keep that
to a minimum. Obviously, the Palace sets high
One snafu marred the debut of hockey at the
Palace. Half the tickets for the game were printed
with a 7 p.m. start time, half for 7:30. And while
the ice may have caused some problems,
Michigan coach Red Berenson felt it was better
than he expected and said the total experience at
the Palace was excellent.
"I was very impressed with the facility and
the way everything was prepared," he said.
"They ran a hockey game like they've been do-
ing it for years.
"They did a first-class job of promoting the
game and of organizing it. The boards were good
and the glass were good. And the ice was good
- it got a little snowy because it's new ice -
but I'm sure if they leave it in for any period of
time it will be as good as any other rink. You've
got to credit the people running it. They know
Irish coach Ric Schafer concurred, saying he
was looking forward to his team's return trip next
Until then, the future is uncertain for the
Palace ice surface. Designed by Michigan profes-
sor Jack Vivian and his Sport Facilities Research
Laboratory, there are some ic- shows scheduled
for the future, but the regularity of its use is not
-1 HOCKEY NOTEBOOK:
KISS pays tribute to icers
by Andy Stabile
2Daily Hockey Writer
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - About the same time Michigan and Western
faced-off at Yost Ice Arena Friday night, the rock band KISS was taking the
stage at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Their mammoth stage was set up over
the same ice surface Michigan would face Notre Dame on 24 hours later. To
acknowledge the event, the rockers dedicated all the songs in their first set
to Detroit's hockey faithful.
DETROIT R(H)OCK(EY) CITY: For the 18,147 fans who came out to
see Saturday's game at the Palace, breaking the NCAA record for largest
attendance at a non-tournament hockey game. That total topped the mark set
when Michigan clashed with Michigan State last February at Joe Louis
Arena. The all-time record was set at the Great Lakes Invitational
tournament in 1984,, also at the Joe.
ROCK-N-ROLL ALL NIGHT: To the Palace staff of 35 workers, who
transformed the Palace from a concert hall to a hockey arena between 3 a.m
and 10 a.m Saturday morning.
LICK IT UP: What the 6,187 Friday's Yost fans will be doing when they
pick up their free small cheese pizza from Cottage Inn tonight or tomorrow.
By scoring 10 goals against Western, the Wolverines gave the fans their first
'pizza night' of the season. If you are keeping track, senior Dan Stiver
netted the pizza-goal.
TEARS ARE FALLING: For Notre Dame junior Matt Osiecki, when he
took a bone-crushing hit from Wolverine sophomore Rick Willis in the third
period of Saturday's game. The two bounced off the boards behind the Irish
net as the support holding up the glass fell to the ice.
"I was just forechecking hard," Willis said of the hit. "I wasn't looking
to break the glass."
SHOUT IT OUT LOUD: Was something Irish goalie Carl Picconatto did
as he threw a stick down the ice after a skirmish in front of the net led to a
Ryan Sittler goal. Picconatto then headed to the penalty box to serve his 10-
DESTROYER: For Michigan's defense on the weekend. It held Western
to three shots in the first period, 18 on the game. When the Wolverines
allowed Notre Dame 31 shots Saturday, Michigan goalie Steve Shields
turned all but one away. It was the only goal scored against the Wolverines
I JUST WANT TO 4-GET YOU: To the four Michigan skaters who did
not score a point during Friday's blowout of Western: forward Anton
Fiodorov and defensemen David Harlock, Steven Halko and Mark Sakala.
Kevin Hilton celebrates his first period goal with defenseman Patrick Neaton.
Hilton's snipe put the Wolverines ahead of Notre Dame for good.
Wolverine Cam Stewart is surrounded by teammates Ryan Sittler (left) and
Chris Tamer after he notched a third-period Michigan tally Saturday night.
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INTRAMURAL SPORTS PROGRAM
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