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February 28, 1994 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-28

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, February 28, 1994-5

'M' falls to Spartans, 5-1
Michigan State beats Wolverines for second time

DETROIT - As many students
split for warmer climates, the Michi-
gan hockey team began its spring
break splitting games against Miami
and Michigan State.
The Spartans defeated the Wol-
verines for the second time this sea-
son, 5-1, Feb. 19 before a crowd of
18,398 at Joe Louis Arena. The night
before, Michigan held off Miami, 4-
3, at Yost Ice Arena.
Michigan State jumped out to a 3-0
lead before the Wolverines could even
get on theboard. Michael Burkett scored
nearly halfway through the first period
on the Spartans' first power play of the
Anson Carter and Chris Slater tal-
lied goals for Michigan State in the
second period.
Meanwhile, goaltender Mike
Buzak held the Wolverines score-
less until Mike Knuble converted
on a power-play chance to make it
3-1 after two periods of play.
"At the end of the second period,
I thought we were having a good
game," Michigan coach Red Berenson
said. "We weren't ahead but I liked

the way we were playing."
In the third period, Buzak contin-
ued to hold off the Wolverines, while
at the other end the Spartans were
able to get two more goals past Steve
"(Buzak) made the key saves to
keep it 0-0, until we could get our feet
under us," Michigan State coach Ron
Mason said. "Then our power play
clicked and we loosened up and were
able to play a lot better."
"We just came out to show that we
can play," Buzak said. "We played
well tonight."
The teams split their four meet-
ings this season, but the Spartans
took two of the three CCHA
matchups. The Wolverines defeated
Michigan State in the champion-
ship of the Great Lakes Invitational,
4-2, and defeated the Spartans in
East Lansing, 3-1.
Michigan State's other victory
over the Wolverines was a 6-3 tri-
umph at Yost Arena.
"We just play hard against them,"
Michigan State forward Anson Carter
said. "We're fortunate that the games
we've won, we've played the most
solid hockey fundamentally. That's

what you've got to do to beat a team
like Michigan."
Against Miami, David Oliver
scored his 22nd of the year 22 sec-
onds into the second period to give
the Wolverines a 2-0 lead.
The teams traded power play goals
with Jason Botterill scoring for Michi-
gan and Dan Carter finding the net for
the Redskins.
Warren Luhning scored his ninth
of the year on a no-look backhander
to give the Wolverines a 4-1 lead.
Miami ended the period with two
power-play goals to cut the Michigan
lead to one. However that would be
all of the scoring.
"I thought we played well over-
all," Michigan captain Brian Wiseman
said. "Our special teams were not on
cue and that's what made the game
Miami pulled goaltender Kevin
Deschambeault with 1:58 to play, but
the Redskins were unable to score the
tying goal.
"Shields stopped the shots he had
to," Miami coach George Gwozdecky
said. "As long as the puck doesn't go
in you've done your job and he did his

Ryan Sittler and the Wolverines are mired in their worst slump of the season as they head into the final weekend of
CCHA play. Michigan has lost three straight games for the first time since 1990.

Oliver and teammates worthy ofattention -

It is often an adventure answering
the phone at David Oliver's house.
You see, his teammates enjoy placing
prank calls.
"They'll phone up and ask for
Hobey," he said.
The problem is, Oliver is never
sure if they want to speak with him or
one of his roommates.
Who is Hobey, you ask? What is
Hobey, you mean.
Hobey is the Hobey Baker Memo-
rial Award, given each year to the
outstanding player in college hockey.
And Oliver, along with fellow seniors
and roommates Brian Wiseman and
Steve Shields, is a prime candidate to
be Michigan's first player to ever be
able to answer to "Hobey."
Arguably that honor should be-
long to former Wolverine Denny
Felsner. In 1991-92 the current St.
Louis Blue led the nation in scoring
with 94 points. Yet Felsnerwas passed
over in the voting for both the CCHA
Player of the Year and the Hobey
The 1992 winner of college
hockey's top prize, Maine's Scott
Pellerin, finished with fewer points

than four different Michigan players.
Oliver was one of those skaters.
He scored 58 points in his sophomore
season, and was second to Felsner in
goals with 31. Last year, Oliver tal-
lied 55 points, including 35 goals.
Entering this season, he had his
sights set on the school record for goals
in a season (43), a mark Felsner came
one shy of tying in 1991-92. The record
just happens to be held jointly by Dave
Debol (1976-77) and Oliver's coach,
Red Berenson (1961-62).
However, with just two regular
season games to be played, and a
maximum of only eight in the play-
offs, Oliver has 23 goals.
"(Breaking the record) would have
been nice. I've improved on my stats
every year," Oliver said. "It's been
tougher to score goals this year. I
haven't had the open ice I used to
"I would have liked to have gotten
two goals a game. My roles have
changed, and I haven't been able to
do that."
That tends to be the case when
your team loses eight players in one
off-season. Because of those losses,
the opposition is able to key more on
Oliver, without having to worry about

David Roberts (now with the U.S.
Olympic team), Cam Stewart (Bos-
ton Bruins), Pat Neaton (Pittsburgh
Penguins) and the other offense that
exited Ann Arbor.
Something strange has happened,
though, as Oliver has become some-
thing of a playmaker. The Vernon,
B.C. native now has 39 assists, 12
more than his previous season high.
"He's more of an all-around com-
plete player," linemate Wiseman said.
"He's turned into a pro-type player
that guys are going to notice."
People have noticed, as talk of the
Hobey Baker Award swirls around
every arena in which Oliver plays. It
must be difficult to shut out all the
noise. But Oliver seems to have been
able to do just that.
"He's doing all the things he was
doing at the start of the year, when he
wasn't getting all this exposure,"
linemate Jason Botterill said.
Although winning the award
would certainly add bulk to his re-
sume, Oliver stays ever-mindful of
the team-oriented nature of the game
of hockey.
After a solid tryout for the Cana-
dian Olympic squad in Calgary last
summer and a prolific first half of the

CCHA season, Oliver'sprioritieswere
Team Canada asked for his ser-
vices in the Spengler Cup, held in
Davos, Switzerland in late Decem-
ber. That would have meant missing
the Great Lakes Invitational, a tour-
nament Michigan has owned for the
last half-decade. Oliver said no to his
country and yes to his teammates.
"I've seen the seniors after they
won (the GI) four times in a row,"
Oliver said. "I really didn't want to
miss that. (Team Canada) had a hard
time understanding why I would miss
the Spengler Cup for the GLI."
Thanks to fine performances
turned in by Oliver and the flu-stricken
Shields and Wiseman, Michigan cap-
tured its sixth straight GI trophy.
"I thought (Oliver) would get bet-
ter exposure in the GI in terms of
just playing in front of people that
would recognize that he's a good
player in a good environment,"
Berenson said, "rather than hearing
about what he did maybe over in
Europe somewhere."
Oliver impressed so much so that
he was chosen MVP of the tourna-
"I remember coach as I was get-

Michigan's David Oliver is a leading candidate for the Hobey Baker Award,
which goes to the nation's top college hockey player.

ting on the bus after the GLI," Oliver
said. "He said, 'It's better than the
Spengler Cup, eh?'"
More rewarding than the GLI
championship, however, would be the
NCAA title. Oliver knows his per-
sonal accolades are forever hinged to
his team's success. With so many
distractions, though, that is sometimes
difficult to keep in mind.
"I think (the talk) has weighed on
everybody a little bit," Berenson said.

"Sometimes it takes away from what,
you're doing that might help you get
the rewards."
But Oliver continues to light the
lamp, and should be left standing when
the finalists for the Hobey Baker are
trimmed to 10 next month.
"He's done everything the Hobey
Baker (Award) symbolizes -leader-
ship qualities, sportsmanship quali-
ties and all-out talent," Botterill said.
"He's definitely a strong candidate.",


Poor power play leads
to Wolverine slump

OXFORD - As the Michigan hockey team has
slumped over the past couple of weeks, so has its
power play.
Two weeks ago, the Wolverines were tied for
first with the nation's best power play at 33 percent.
In the four games since then, Michigan has con-
verted on only three of 21 opportunities (14 per-
cent) to drop to 30 percent on the season.
"A lot of teams have watched our tapes and they
know what we do," senior captain Brian Wiseman
said. "We have to throw some kind of curve balls at
them. But really it comes down to us working
harder than them."
STREAK sroPPED: THE Wolverines had not lost
three in a row since Jan. 1990, but they hadn't even
lost back-to-back games since Feb. 1992. Michi-
gan dropped a home series to Bowling Green two
years ago, losing 7-4 and 4-3.
MORRISON HURT: Freshman forward Brendan
Morrison sat out Saturday's game nursing a sore

shoulder. Morrison aggravated an injury in Friday's
game that he had originally received while playing
junior hockey before coming to Michigan.
He expects to practice and play in this weekend's
games after Saturday's night off.
GORDON srArs: Another Wolverine with the
night off was goaltender Steve Shields. Chris
Gordon started for the sixth time this season and
stopped 25 of 29 shots he faced, but suffered his
first loss of the season.
"Shields needed a break," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "He's had a lot of pressure on him."
KNUBLE Hrrs 50 MARK: Junior forward Mike
Knuble knotched his 50th point of the season with
a power-play goal last weekend against Michigan
State. Knuble joins Wiseman and David Oliver as
Wolverines who have gone over 50 on the season.
Coming into the weekend, Knuble was tied as
the nation's leader with 20 power-play goals and
was second in the nation with 28 total goals.
Now THAT'S ENTERTAIMENT: At the Michigan-
Michigan State game at Joe Louis Arena on Feb.

19, intermission entertainment took a new turn.
Instead of the traditional scoring contest or figure
skating exhibition, the crowd watched as two fans
from each school fought it out on the ice.
The two played each other in a short game of
Sega Genesis hockey on the arena's video
scoreboard to the delight of the crowd. One team in
the game represented Michigan and the other rep-
resented Michigan State.
The Spartans not only took the real game 5-1, but
also were victorious in the video game version, 4-3.
PACKING YosT: Michigan fans continue to pack
Yost Ice Arena in record proportions. The Wolver-
ines are averaging 6,828 on the season. With one
more regular season home game, plus at least two
home playoff games, last year's record average of
6,290 should be easily surpassed.
If the Wolverines average over 7,100 for those.
three games, they will surpass the all-time Michi-_
gan record of 110,266 for a season set in 1991-92.: -
Six out of the last eight games at Yost have been.


Continued from page 1
Even down five men to three, the
Wolverines nearly tied the game. Mike
Legg's point blank shot with 2:17 left
sailed over the net.
"We're just not capitalizing on
our chances," senior forward David
Oliversaid. "We definitely didn't want
to be on a three-game losing streak
heading into the last few games of the

regular season."
Mike Knuble notched his 29th of
the season 3:11 into the game to give
the Wolverines the early lead. The
power-play goal was Michigan's lone
tally in 10 chances with a man advan-
tage over the weekend.
Chris Gordon started in goal for the
first time since Dec. 29 and stopped 25
shots for the Wolverines.
In Friday's game, Miami scored
three times in the third period to break
a 2-2 tie en route to the victory.
AWarren Luhning penalty less than

a minute into the third period gave the
Redskins their chance to take the lead.
Shawn Penn scored on the ensuing
power play to put Miami ahead to stay.
Eigner and Matt Oates added goals
to give Miami a three-goal lead until
Botterill scored with 21 seconds left.
"(Against) a No. 1 team with the
highly-skilled players that Michigan
has - when you come away with a
victory, you feel you really worked
hard," Shulmistra said. "We were for-
tunate to come away with two victo-
ries this weekend."



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