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October 11, 1993 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-11

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34- The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, October 4, 1993

A

Lake Superior State clearly the
class of the conference this year

By JAESON ROSENFED
DAILY HOCKEY WRITER
There'are some things in life that
are infallible. Have you ever had a
badTwinkie? Itjustseems like sooner
or later, they'd mess one up.
Well if the Lake Superior State
hockey team was a snack food it would
be a Twinkie -year after year, it's the
creme de la creme of the Central Col-
legiate Hockey Association.

O n ce
again the Lak-
ers are the
class of the
CCHA, but
Michigan,
Miami and
Michigan
State all have

c poll Mom.
i'." A MY -Mm
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mom
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the wherewithal to challenge for the
top spot.
And then there are the rest.
Teams like Western Michigan,
Ferris State and Bowling Green pose
no real threat to win the conference,
but may pull off an upset or two along
the way.
What chance does Ohio State have
of winning the conference?
About the same chance the Pope
has of nailing aone-timerpast Patrick
Roy.
Without further ado, here's a look
at how the CCHA stacks up:
Lake Superior State
Look for the Lakers to put some
points on the board this year as they
return five 40-point scorers, two more
than any other team in the CCHA.
Senior Clayton Beddoes (18 goals- 40
assists- 58 points) centers Lake State's
first line, and honorable mention All-
CCHA defenseman Steve Barnes,
spearheads the blueliners.
And when it comes to post-season
hockey, ahot goaltender seems to be a
team's ticket to championships. Laker
netminder Blaine Lacher (24 wins-5
losses-3 ties, 2.69 goals per game) has
the potential to be a gamer, just as he
was in eaning CCHA championship
Most Valuable Player honors lastyear.
Miami
A couple of years back, if you
mentioned the words hockey and Mi-
ami in the same sentence you obvi-
ously had the IQ of a banana slug. But
a funny thing happened last year -
Miami (Fl.) got an NHL franchise and
Miami (Oh.) won the CCHA champi-
onship. With ahost of players back for
another season, Redskin fans can wear
their "Miami is in Ohio, dammit" t-
shirts with pride.
"I would like to think our lack of
offense will be balanced by the capa-
bilities of our defense," Coach George
Gwozdecky said.
The Redskins do return a solid
defense led by All-American Bobby
Marshall, who scored 45 points last
year in addition to being named the
CCHA's best defender. Additionally,
All-American candidate Richard
Shulmistra (22-6-4, 2.71) returns be-
tween the posts for Miami.
Michigan State
Something scandalous happened
in East Lansing last year. And no, they
didn't outlaw chewing tobacco in pub-
lic. The Michigan State hockey team
failed to qualify for the NCAA play-
offs for only the second time since
1981. Spartan coach Ron Mason
knows that his team most improve
upon last year's fourth-place finish.
"If you're in fourth place in our

league, it doesn't look like you have
any chance to advance (to the
NCAAs)," Mason said.
Michigan Statemustreplace lead-
ing scorer Bryan Smolinski up front,
but does return a trio of40-point scor-
ers in Rem Murray, Steve Guolla and
Steve Suk.
In addition, the Spartans return
seven defensemen, including senior
Ken Norton, who led the team with a
plus-25 last season.
Western Michigan
Nopun inten'ded, but Bronco coach
Bill Wilkinson has picked his team as
the "dark horse" of the CCHA.
For Western Michigan to fulfill
this forecast, it will have to replace a
pair of defensemen who opted to sign
pro contracts. With both Chris
Belanger and Scott Chartier leaving
the Broncos early, Western Michigan
has but four veteran blueliners. This
will put added pressure on the goalie
tandem of Craig Brown (9-8-1, 3.84)
and Brian Renfrew (11-8-1, 3.84).
CCHA Rookie-of-the-Year Chris
Brooks (21-25-46)heads the Western
Michigan offense.
Ferris State
The CCHA pun parade continues,
as Ferris State Sports Information has
declared that the Bulldogs "have be-
come unleashed in their march to the
top of Division I hockey." No word
yet on whether this violates any Big
Rapids city ordinances.
Ferris State has traditionally re-
lied on the strength of their defense,
but the loss of several blueliners and
honorable mention All-CCHA goalie
Pat Mazzoli to a pro contract has
changed the Bulldogs' focus.
"Up front, for the first time in a
while, we have quite a bit of scoring
depth," Coach Bob Daniels said.
Ferris State returns five 20-point
scorers, including defenseman John
Gruden (16-14-30).
"He is one of the best defensemen
inthe country," Daniels said.
Bowling Green
Although the Falcons were picked
to finish seventh by the CCHA
coaches, Bowling Green coach Jerry
York remains optimistic about his
team's prospects.
"If things go our way, we should
also have a chance of getting back
into the NCAA tournament," York
said.
The Falcons retain 85 percent of
their scoring from last year, including
leading scorer Brian Holzinger (31-
26-57).
Bowling Green's success will

hinge on the performance of its
netminders. The Falcons return Will
Clarke, who had a mediocre 5-9-0
record and 4.72 GAA. If newcomer
Bob Petrie (26-6-0, 2.98 for Omaha
of United States Hockey League) du-
plicates his USHL numbers, Bowling
Green could move up in the stand-
ings.
Kent State
In only its second year in the
CCHA, Kent State is no longer a
cellardweller. ButGoldenFlash coach
Bill Switaj knows the nextstep won't
be easy.
"Getting competitive is one thing.
Working your way up is another,"
Switaj said.
Kent State returns eight of its top
10 scorers, including junior center
Claude Morin (25-34-59) and Dean
Sylvester (33-20-53).
Senior Scott Shaw protects the net
for Kent State. He saw heavy rubber
last year in saving a school-record
1,030 shots on his way to a4.35 GAA.
illinois-Chicago
Even Illinois-Chicago, one of the
CCHA's lower-echelon teams, lost a
player to the NHL.
Goalie Jon Hillebrandt left a year
early for the NHL, extinguishing the
Flames' goaltending corps. SeniorJeff
Featherstone, Paul Spencer and Sean
Carter will vie for netminding duties.
This means captain Mike Dennis,
as well as juniors Shannon Finn and
Jeff Blum will be called on to relieve
pressure from the net.
Notre Dame
Would someone please tell Notre
Dame coach Ric Shafer that close
only counts in horseshoes and hand
grenades?
"Looking at how close we were in
so many games is actually encourag-
ing," Shafer said, "even though that's
a loser's excuse."
If the Irish are to become a winner
in the CCHA, their unproven players
must produce. Notre Dame returns
only two 20-goal scorers - Jamie
Ling (14-26-40) and Jamie Morshead
(12-9-21).
Ohio State
It's probably going to be a bad
year when sentences like this one are
in the team's prospectus: "It is unbe-
lievable that the shell-shocked
(goaltenders) Askey and Brown made
it back this year, after the beating they
took in 1992-93."
Steve Richards (7-23-30) leads the
Buckeyes' scoring attack, while cap-
tain Tim Green and Rob Peters direct
the defense.

The Michigan Wolverines celebrate their fifth straight Great Lakes Invitational championship at Joe Louis Arena last@(
Bluescans
.1se Despite los, Wolverines can stiUl

By ANTOINE PITTS
DAILY HOCKEY WRITER
The Michigan hockey team made its second
consecutive appearance in the NCAA Final Four
last year, before bowing out in the semifinals with
a bhartbreaking loss to ventual cba piQn Maine.
The prospects for returning to the Final Four for
a third straight time appear to be more difficult due
to the loss of last year's talented senior class, along

with the departure of Cam
Stewart and Aaron Ward to
the NHL.
"It will be ayear ofchal-
lenge to our team to live up
to last year's performance,"
Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "I think this
team could be capable of
that."

;:t ^.~

A senior class of forwards Brian Wiseman,
David Oliver, Mike Stone and goalie Steve Shields
will try to help the Wolverines live up to that
challenge. A strong freshmen class, nine in total,
will also try to fill in the holes left by last year's
departures.
"People are just going to have to step it up,"
Wiseman said. "We have a big freshman class and
they're going to come in and be expected to contrib-
ute right from the get-go."
"People are always taking about how much we
lost," Berenson said. "I think it's important to take
a look at what we have and what we're going to do
with it.
"We probably don't have the experience we had
last year, but I think we'll have excellent leadership
from our seniors."
One of those leaders will be Wiseman, who will
serve as the team captain.
"I'm not going to change the way I play or
anything," Wiseman said. "It's not so much myself
as our whole senior class. We've just got to provide
some leadership and some direction for the young

and less experienced guys."
Tending the nets once again this year will be
Shields. Senior Chris Gordon and junior Al Loges
backup the league's best goaltender. Shields needs
five more victories to get the NCAA record of 88.
"(Goalie) hs t0bethe most important position
on any team," Berenson said. "We should be as
good or better than any team in the league in terms
of goalkeeping."
But though the last line ofdefense will definitely
be strong, those lining up along the blue line could
pose some worries for the Wolverines. Juniors
Mark Sakala, Alan Sinclair, Tim Hogan, sopho-
more Steven Halko and freshmen Blake Sloan,
Harold Schock, Chris Frescoln and Peter Bourke
make up the defensive corps.
"Although we're going to be young on defense
we have four returning, experienced defensemen,"
Berenson said. "I know everyone's concerned about
that, but I think we'll be alright."
Sloan and Halko will form the top defensive
pair, followed by Sakala and Sinclair as Berenson
tries to work more of the freshmen into the lineup.
The three senior forwards, along with juniors
Mike Knuble, Anton Fedorov, Rick Willis, Ron
Sacka, sophomores Ryan Sittler, Kevin Hilton, John
Arnold and freshmen John Madden, Jason Botterill,
Brendan Morrison, Mike Legg and Warren Luhning,
will lead the Michigan offensive charge.
"Up front we have a lot of depth," Berenson
said. "We have some youth - five freshmen for-
wards that we'll try to work into the lineup."
The top line will be made up of Sittler, Wiseman
and Oliver. However, Berenson feels that this will
not be the only line that will produce in a major way
for the Wolverines.
"I think we'll be more than a one-line team,"
Berenson said. "Wiseman's line promises to be the
top line, but I think you'll see some other lines
surface as good scoring lines."
Those other lines Berenson has to chose from
include Madden-Hilton-Botterill, Stone-Morrison-

Knuble,. Fe
Luhning.
"Our tea
of intensity,
play againsi
enough, sr
Asawpx
beyond thei
league,
Michiga
season, but
will be an ii
"I think
know who"
about David
Ouimet's. .
Wiseman's
line.
"The bes
expect t*

SHIELDS
Continued from page 2.
Roses gained notoriety and then
fame before being hailed in some
circles as the best band in the world.
Shields took a similar path to
stardom. He was criticized early in
his career, finally gained some
respect and is now considered one of
the best in the country.
Appropriately, each stage of
O i ee n-- - r a liIa v ..

"He put on the equipment and
went out on the ice while I wasn't
looking," Gord said. "He ended up
becoming a goalie behind my
back."
Steve won the tournament's
MVP. After that, everybody on the

to Ann Arbor during his junior year
in high school, and as soon as he
arrived on campus he knew he
wanted to be a Wolverine.
"I liked the combination of the
academics and the athletics,"
Shields said.
Berenson had watched Shields
play in Juniors, and he liked what he
saw.
"I liked his size, skating, and
puck handling skills," Berenson
said. "We signed him rather early."
Shields' rnkie vear was rnckv.

sophomore year, Wiseman and
Shields were riding to class on
Wiseman's scooter when they hit a
mud patch and skidded out. The
incident would probably still incite
horror in Wiseman and Shields,
except that neither player was hurt,
so it's hilarious.
"I ended up so far from the
scooter that people who saw us
didn't even know I was riding with
Brian," Shields said. "I was in some
bush like five feet away."
Live and Let Dry

Wiseman said. "Before the game,
you can just see he's ready to play.
When guys see this they say, 'He's
ready, I should be ready too."'
"He's a very intense competitor,"
says senior wingq
Mike Stone,s
another of
Shields's
housemates. "I
don't even talk
to him before
games. He-
dnn't talk to

Four," Shields said. "It says a lot for
our team to be so close to winning.-
But it's disappointing when you
expect to win and you don't."
The Maine loss was especially
upsetting. The Black Bears scored
the game-winning goal in overtime
when the puck barely squirted past
Shields and into the net.
"We thought we were the better
team," Shields said. "I still think we.
were the better team. To have it end:
the way it did ... we couldp't
believe our season was over. We

team
insisted he
play goalie.
"I don't
know if they
made me
nlav there

I

I

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