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March 21, 1994 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-21

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, March 21, 1994- 5

'Seniors finally get CCHA tourney title

DETROIT - For the first three
years of their careers, Michigan's run
in the CCHA playoffs ended the same
For seniors Chris Gordon, David
4)liver, Steve Shields, Mike Stone
and Brian Wiseman, a loss to Lake
Superior State ended their chances
of a CCHA championship every
Even with all the awards the team
claimed at the CCHA banquet Thurs-
day night, there was one league award
that until Sunday, Michigan had never
been able to lay its hands on in 13
ears of CCHA play.
With the 3-0 victory over the Lak-
ers, those seniors earned the confer-
ence tournament championship in
their last attempt.
"It's huge," said Mike Stone,
named the tournament's most valu-
able player. "It's great after all those
years of getting beat by Lake Supe-
rior State in this tournament."
The five Michigan seniors - in-
'luding Gordon, who wasn't in uni-
form - claimed their prize at the end
of the ice and carried it back to center
ice, hoisted above their heads for all
to see.
"This is a big thing for the se-
niors," freshman forward Jason
Botterill said after Saturday's victory
over Western Michigan that put the
Wolverines in the final. "There's not
nuch they have to say, you can see it
n their eyes."
Three of those seniors were instru-
mental in yesterday's championship
game. It was Wiseman who finally

'We wanted this really badly. It's eluded us a
couple of times in the past years.'
Brian Wiseman
Michigan captain

broke Blaine Lacher's scoreless streak
in the first period, while at the other end
Shields stymied the Lakers - stop-
ping everything they sent his way.
Stone's MVP performance not only
included a goal in the championship,
but his usual brand of defensive play as

"If you watched late in the game
when they had the goalie out, they
had the puck at the point," Michi-
gan coach Berenson said. "Who
comes out to block the shot but
Mike Stone.
Lake Superior was attempting to tie
the record for most CCHA tourney

titles in a row, however the Michigan
seniors would not be denied their taste
of glory.
"We wanted this really badly,"
Wiseman said. "It's eluded us a couple
of times in the past years."
In 1991 and 1992 the Wolverines
fell to the Lakers in the championship
game, and last year, lost to them in the
Yesterday's victory avenged all of
those losses, giving Gordon, Oliver,
Shields, Stone and Wiseman the prize
they have missed since coming to

Team effort propels
Blue to champinship
Individuals can shine throughout a season, but it takes a real team effort to win
a championship.
The Michigan hockey team was the portrait of a team yesterday, defeating
Lake Superior to earn its first-ever CCHA tournament title.
This was the game that the seniors desperately wanted and they gave the
performance to get the job done. What the seniors registered on the stat sheets
pales in comparison to their overall contribution to the team.
The facts speak for themselves.
Captain Brian Wiseman scored Michigan's first goal, ending the NCAA
record streak of 375:01 scoreless minutes posted by Laker goaltender Blaine
Lacher. Mike Stone solidified his position as tournament most valuable player
with the final goal in the 3-0 victory. Steve Shields, overshadowed by Lacher's
five consecutive shutouts, answered the doubters with a shutout of his own.
It is, however, an intangible quality that these players have that willed the team
to victory.
"We could see it in their eyes," freshman Jason Botterill said.
After three years of frustration, Wiseman, Stone, Shields, David Oliver and
Chris Gordon got what they wanted, and deserved. On the verge of the end of their
careers, they pulled off the magical victory that had eluded them for so long.
However, they would have never gotten the opportunity if it were not for the
help of their less-experienced teammates. This weekend was big-time hockey and
the freshmen never flinched. In fact, as a unit, they played about as well as they
could have been asked to.
Saturday afternoon, in the semifinal game against Western Michigan, the
freshmen accounted for five of the six Wolverine goals. The Wolverines would
not have been able to limit the Lakers to an incredible 15 shots, in the finals, if it
were not for the contributions of freshmen defensemen Chris
Frescoln, Harold Schock and Blake Sloan.
Sloan was rewarded by being named to the All-Tourna-
ment team.
"We have great quality freshmen that stepped up and
played well," Wiseman said. "They really focused on what
we had to do this weekend. That comes from our senior
leadership straight down through our junior and sophomore
SThiswas also a weekend where the overlooked deserved
Stone to be recognized. Shields, Wiseman, and Oliver have been
the glamour players all year, but they will be the first to admit
that their teammates deserve as much credit as they do.
When Stone went out to receive the MVP trophy, one could be sure the other
seniors were smiling.
Stone is truly a coach's dream. He will play anywhere and do anything. He is
one of the nation's best penalty killers, who has been inserted into all four lines
and on the power play units.
"He does so many things," Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "He gives us
an element of desperation and second effort and he'll sacrifice anything for this
This weekend Michigan regained the edge that they had seemingly lost.
Everyone came together at the ideal time and quieted the critics. The freshmen
helped the seniors on Saturday and the seniors returned the favor on Sunday.
With depth like this, Michigan will be tough to beat in the NCAA tournament.
If the Wolverines can keep the edge and repeat this weekend's team effort, there
will be much bigger and better celebrations in the near future.

Steve Shields and the rest of the Michigan seniors captured their first CCHA tournament title this weekend with a
3-0 shutout of Lake Superior State. The Lakers had won the last three conference tourney championships.

'M' could face Lakers again in NCAA tourney

For the last two years, CCHA pow-
ers Michigan and Lake Superior State
have both reached college hockey's
Final Four.

It will not be happening again this
As expected, the seeding commit-
tee gave the Wolverines the top seed
in the West region. However, it sur-
prisingly placed the Lakers in the
West as the fourth seed, setting up a

possible second-round matchup be-
tween the two teams in East Lansing
Sunday. The committee has assured
that Michigan's hockey game will not
conflict with the Wolverines' pos-
sible NCAA-tournament basketball
"Seeding Lake State behind (Mas-
sachusetts-) Lowell is hard to figure,"
Berenson said. "I am surprised to see
that we were matched up against them
so early."
Lake State coach Jeff Jackson an-
ticipated a two seed after his team lost
to Michigan, 3-0, in the CCHA finals
"I do believe (we deserve a two-
seed) over Minnesota because we beat
them head-to-head, and we have a
better overall record," Jackson said.
"They can take the RPI indicator, or
whatever they call it, and stick it some
'Seeding Lake State
Lowell is hard to figure.
I am surprised to see
that we were matched
up against them so
- Red Berenson
Michigan hockey coach
The RPI indicator to which Jack-
son so blatantly referred is the Rating
Percentage Index, one of the five cri-
teria used by the NCAA seeding com-
mittee to select the tournament field.
The index is a team power rating
based on winning percentage, strength.
of schedule and opponents' schedule
The other four criteria considered
are head-to-head record, record
against common opponents, record in
the last 20 games and record against
teams under consideration.
According to committee chairman
Tom Conley, these criteria almost

fully determine which teams will be
included in the field of 12.
"The coaches want it decided on
the ice (and not by a subjective com-
mittee)," Conley said. "We feed it in
the computer and it spits it out."
The computer was favorable to
the CCHA and Hockey East, admit-
ting four teams from each. Western
Michigan and Michigan State join
Michigan and Lake State to repre-
sent the CCHA, while No.1 East-
seed Boston University, Massachu-
setts-Lowell, New Hampshire and
Northeastern are Hockey East's con-
"It's great for the league," West-
ern coach Bill Wilkinson said. "We've
been snuffed enough. I am sure they
are very excited back in Kalamazoo.
I'm just ecstatic."
The Western Collegiate Athletic
Association (Minnesota, Wisconsin)
and East Coast Athletic Conference
(Harvard, RPI) only received two bids
each. Regular- season WCHA cham-
pion, Colorado College, was among
those left out of the tournament. They
are joined by St. Cloud State, Clarkson
and Brown as teams whose bubble
"I don't think anyone around the
country wouldn't agree that a league
champion should get in," Minnesota
coach Doug Woog said. "I definitely
think our conference got slighted."
Conley offered justification for
Colorado College not being included.
"I think you have to look at Colo-
rado College's strength of sched-
ule," Conley said. "I think they
played Michigan Tech seven times.
Michigan Tech was having a down

Year Result
1948 Champions

19 77

Third Place
Third Place
Third Place
Second Place
Third Place
Second Place
Fifth Place

Michigan In the
last three years:
First Round, Ann Arbor
(Best-of-three series)
Cornell 5, Michigan 4 (OT)
Michigan 6, Cornell 4
Michigan 9, Cornell 3
Quarterfinals, Boston
(Best-of-three series)
Boston U. 5, Michigan 1
Boston U. 8, Michigan 1
Quarterfinals, Detroit
Michigan 7, N. Michigan 6
Semifinals, Albany, N.Y.
Wisconsin 4, Michigan 2
Quarterfinals, Detroit
Michigan 4, Wisconsin 3 (OT)
Semifinals, Milwaukee, Wis.
Maine 4, Michigan 3 (OT)


Michigan's Mike Stone celebrates a Wolverine goal in Saturday's semifinal
game against Western Michigan. Michigan won the game, 6-4.

Continued from page 1
Stone's contributions cannot be
measured by statistics, but if one
*tat is an indication of how he helped
the team, it is shots on goal. The
Lakers had only 15, compared to 28
for Michigan.
"I define my role as a defensive
player," said Stone, who has played
in the shadow of fellow seniors
Wiseman. David Oliver. and goalie

think you will see the Lakers in St.
Paul (for the Final Four.) Hope-
fully, Michigan will be there too."
Saturday against Western Michi-
gan, the Wolverines scored three
straight third-period goals - in-
cluding two shorthanded tallies on a
single power play - to take a 5-2
lead. The Broncos fought back, clos-
ing to within 5-3.
Western Michigan then pulled

goalie Craig Brown and narrowed
the deficit to one before Jason
Botterill scored an empty-net goal
to seal the 6-4 victory for Michigan
and put the Wolverines in the title
western Micnlgan .e p -
Michi an 2 0 4--6
First Period -1, UM, Sittler 8 (Hilton, Legg),
4:20 (pp). 2, WMU, Kenny 1 (Mayers), 7:25.3, WMU,
Brooks 12 (Brekke, Innanen) 12:23 (pp). 4, UM,
Madden 6 (Stone, Frescoln) 17:45. Penalties -
Brown, WMU (hooking), 3:57; Botterill, UM (high-

'U ,.. -.., I

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