The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 18, 1994 - 11
Wolverines shooting for first-
ever CCHA postseason title
By MICHAEL ROSENBERG
DAILY HOCKEY WRITER
Everyone on the Michigan hockey team insists they
are concentrating on themselves, not the opponent, for
tomorrow's CCHA semifinal at Joe Louis Arena at 2 p.m.
Not that they have a choice.
You see, the Wolverines won't
know who they are playing until
around 9:30 tonight, when the
quarterfinal game between Miami
and Western Michigan ends.
Michigan has a bye and will face the
winner of the Redskins-Broncos
Wolverine assistant Mel Pearson
knows exactly what he wants to
"I hope Miami and Western
Michigan go four overtimes,"
Michigan goalie Steve Shields said. "It is just a matter of
playing our best and winning. If we have to play Lake
State in the final, we will be ready."
Michigan ran away with the CCHA regular-season title,
clinching earlier than any team since the 1985-86 Spartans.
However, the Wolverines have not played well since
winning the championship. They lost four out of their last
five regular season games, and struggled to a 5-4 overtime
win over Kent State last Friday before beating the Golden
Flashes, 10-3, to advance to the semifinals.
"I don't know if one game can bring you all the way
back," said senior Mike Stone of the blowout of Kent. "But
we feel we can go out there this weekend and play our best."
During the losing streak, Michigan lost to Miami twice
and Michigan State once. The Wolverines also lost to the
Spartans in January. Michigan could end up playing
Miami tomorrow and Michigan State Sunday.
If this season's results are a proper measure, then
Michigan would much prefer playing Western Michigan
tomorrow and the Lakers Sunday. The Wolverines swept
the season series from both of those teams.
The Wolverines, who were ranked No. I in the nation
for most of the season but have dropped to No. 2 during
their skid, have never won a CCHA postseason title.
However, they have been quite successful in other games
at Joe Louis Arena. Michigan has won six straight Great
Lakes Invitational titles there.
If the Wolverines win tomorrow, they will likely take on
Lake Superior State or Michigan State in Sunday's
championship game. The Lakers play the winner of today's
quarterfinal game between the Spartans and Bowling Green.
Lake State has defeated Michigan in each of the last
three CCHA tournaments.
"We have been close when we have played them,"
*CHA Freshman of the Year Brendan Morrison goes to the ice in pursuit of the puck last weekend against Kent
State. The Wolverines play the winner of the Miami-Western Michigan quarterfinal in tomorrow's first semifinal.
Michigan players, coach best in conference
By ANTOINE PITTS
DAILY HOCKEY WRITER
DETROIT-Much like it ruled the
*CHA regular season, the Michigan
hockey team dominated last night's
CCHA Awards Banquet at the Westin
The Wolverines took four awards
and learned that three players had been
named finalists for the Hobey Baker
Coach Red Berenson, senior for-
ward Mike Stone, freshman forward
&rendan Morrison and senior forward
'DIavid Oliver took home honors. Oliver,
senior forward Brian Wiseman and se-
nior goaltender Steve Shields are among
the ten finalists for Hobey Baker Award.
Berenson became the first Michi-
gan coach to win the league's coach of
the year. In ten years with the Wolver-
ines, Berenson has coached Michigan
to a 234-155-22 record.
"I think this league is loaded with
*oaching talent," Berenson said. "One
of the reasons I've been so successful is
the assistant coaches I have around
Berenson won NHL Coach of the
Year in 1981 with the St. Louis Blues.
Oliverclaimed honors as the CCHA
Player of the Year. Oliver lead the
league in scoring with 52 points to
claim Michigan's first player of the
"He had some doubt when he first
came here whether or not he could
score," Berenson said. "After that first
weekend, though, there was no ques-
tion he was going to be a scorer."
Oliver tallied a league-leading six
game-winning goals and 13 powerplay
goals during the regular season.
"It's an honor considering all the
reat guys in the league and even on
ur team," Oliver said. "It's a tribute to
our program and the coaches."
For the third time in five years a
Michigan player is rookie of the year.
Morrison, who led all newcomers with
21 assists and 39 points, took the prize
for the Wolverines.
"I usually set lofty goals for my-
self," Morrison said. "At the beginning
of the year this was something I wanted.
I'm happy I acheived it, but I had lots of
Wiseman won the award in 1991
and former Michigan forward David
Roberts claimed the award a year ear-
Stone took the honor of best defen-
sive forward. As an integral part of
Michigan's penalty-killing unit, Stone
helped the Wolverines kill off a league-
best 85 percent of their penalties.
In four years with the team, Stone
hasplayedin 167of 168 possible games.
The winner of the Hobey Baker
Award will be anounced on April 1 -
the eve of the national champonship
game -in St. Paul, Minn.
The three Michigan tinafists are not
concerened with which one of them
wins the award as much as whether or
not it returns to Ann Arbor.
"Just as long as it ends up in our
lockerroom," Oliver said. "It's about
time someone from Michigan brought
the award home."
Redskins put together blistering
second half after struggling out of gates
By PAUL BARGER
DAILY HOCKEY WRITER
The Miami Redskins did not look
like defending CCHA regular season
champions for the first half of the
year. They spent
The Road the beginning of
the season mired
to in the bottom
The Joe half of the
prospects for the
rest of the
winter. After an
overtime loss to
CCHA Brown on Dec.
Championship 30 the Redskins
March 18-20 were a lowly 4-
But then the real Redskins arrived
on the conference scene. Miami (17-
12-1 CCHA, 21-15-1 overall) caught
fire, reeling off ten consecutive victo-
ries before losing in the middle of
The run proved that last season's
championship was not a fluke.
Now they have a legitimate shot at
winning the CCHA title and qualifying
for the NCAA tournament.
"At the beginning of the year it was
difficultto gain any consistent rhythm,"
Miami head coach George Gwozdecky
said. "The resiliency and team work
that these players have developed is the
reason we are back here."
Nobody wants to play Miami, espe-
cially No. I seed Michigan. The
Redskins won back to back 5-3 games
against the Wolverineslast month and
took the season series for the second
year in a row.
"They are definitely one of the
best teams in the nation in their last 20
games," Western Michigan coach Bill
Wilkinson said. "They are by far one
of the best in the league."
Wilkinson's Broncos will face the
Redskins this afternoon at 4 p.m. in
the first quarterfinal game.
Goaltender Richard Shulmistra
has been the key to Miami's
turnaround. The senior has a 2.91
goals against average and a .893 save
percentage. He was recently named to
the American Hockey Association's
(AHCA) West All-Star team.
Joining Shulmistra on the AHCA
team, which will be coached by
Gwozdecky, is senior defenseman
Bobby Marshall. This is the second
year in a row that Marshall has made
The Redskins could conceivably
make the NCAAs by beating
Western and then losing on Saturday
or Sunday. More than 20 victories
for a CCHA team is impressive, but
the NCAA will probably take only
three teams from each of the four
If Miami can beat Western and
Michigan State performs poorly in the
CCHA tournament, it will likely fol-
low the Wolverines and Lake Superior
into the NCAA field of 12.
Then again, Miami has the per-
sonnel to walk into Joe Louis Arena
this weekend and end all specula-
tion. The Redskins have the poten-
tial to take the conference crown
and the automatic bid back to Ox-
ford with them.
Wolverine forward David Oliver was named the CCHA Player of the Year.
Coach Red Berenson, freshman Brendan Morrison and Mike Stone also
received honors at last night's CCHA Banquet.
'M' takes on Sun Devils in Grand Canyon State
Michigan, Arizona State bring good hitting, questionable pitching into three-game series
*y SCOTT BURTON
DAILY BASEBALL WRITER
If you are one of those traditional
baseball fans who enjoy old-fashioned
pitcheing duels, you best not catch the
Michigan baseball team in this
weekend's three-game series with No.
11 Arizona State at Packard Stadium
Both teams sport an impressive
ay of hitters, but are struggling to
nd consistency among their pitchers.
The Sun Devils (19-9 overall) are
batting a bombastic .334, but their
pitching staff has yet to hit its stride.
Likewise, the Wolverines (4-7) have
been hitting at an impressive rate this
season with a .284 batting average,
but have struggled keeping other
teams of the scoreboard with their
ERA of 5.12.
0 "They have a real good offen-
sive ball club," Wolverine coach
Bill Freehan said. "We'll have our
hands full. Our job will be to pitch
well against them and play better
Arizona State third baseman
Antnen Wiliamsnn (.404 7 home
stone to the offense. A candidate for
Player of the Year honors and a pre-
season All-America, the junior was
also named by Baseball America as
the top collegiate prospect for the
major league's June draft.
Arizona State has a vast depth of
other standout hitters that can pile up
the runs. Junior Jacob Cruz (:390, 7,
29) is a continually improving
centerfielder who also impresses de-
Junior college transfer first
baseman Damon Lembi (.371, 3, 26)
has also been a force in the middle of
However, to Michigan's great
benefit, Arizona State will be without
the muscle of outfielder Scott Shores
(.303, 13, 32) in the lineup. He was
beaned Wednesday in the Sun Devils
6-0 win over Nevada-Las Vegas, re-
sulting in a broken nose and a broken
bone under his eye.
Arizona State has also been
plagued by several other nagging
injuries. Sophomore starting shortstop
Cody McKay has yet to play this year
due to an arm iniury. He was named to
Collegiate Baseball, after hitting .373
as a starter.
Catcher Todd Cady, a preseason
third-team All-America by Baseball
America, also will miss this weekend's
action. He hit a team-leading 19 home
runs last year.
"We'll still get by," ASU coach
Jim Brock said. "We're not a great
ball club without those guys in there,
but we've been able to win most of the
The Sun Devils are hoping that
their pitching staff can settle in and
complement the offensive fireworks.
This weekend, only one starter is set
- freshman Jason Bond (2-1, 3.58
ERA) will start today's game. The
only other constant for the ASU's
pitching staff is Noah Perry (5-0,
2.06, four saves) who will do the
closing throughout the series.
"(The pitching staff) has had some
good days and some bad days," Brock
said. "We have the potential to be a
good pitching staff, but we don't think
it is a set staff yet. So far, they've
pitched OK, but it hasn't been on a
consistent basis yet."
Michigan hopes to tame the Sun
Devils bats with starters Heath
Murray (1-1, 5.25) today, Ray
Ricken (1-2, 4.01) Saturday and Ron
Hollis (0-2, 6.39) Sunday. Murray
is coming off a 14 strikeout perfor-
mance last Friday.
Those three, along with Chris
Newton and John Arvey in short relief
have been pitching the majority of
Michigan's innings this year -
something that Freehan isn't anxious
to change this weekend.
"I would just like them to keep on
pitching the way they have been,"
Freehan said. "Is my pitching depth
going to be tested? I hope not."
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