Tomorrow, 10:32 p.m. (CBS)
vs. Cal State-Sacramento
Today, 7:00 p.m.
Northeastern defies odds
Goaltending tandem brings Huskies NCAA berth
By JAESON ROSENFELD
DAILY HOCKEY WRITER
If the NCAA college hockey cham-
pionship were awarded to the team
whose goalies had the corniest nick-
names, Northeastern might very well
win the crown.
Starting goaltender Todd
Reynolds, or "The Wrapper", his tin
foil alias in North-
eastern circles, leads
that corps with a 12-
8-5 record and 3.63
goals against aver- '
age. Of course when
Reynolds has a bad
day, the Huskies need The
a "Bud" Veisor on Road to
ice. That's where sec- St. Paul
o n d - s t r i n g runs through
goaltender Mike East Lansing
"Bud" Veisor (7-3- West Regional
2, 4.26) comes in. March 26-27
"Our goalies have
kept us in the hunt all year," North-
eastern coach Ben Smith said.
"(Reynolds) has been really strong
the last month and has been getting
the bulk of the action. (Veisor) has
been our unsung hero. We feel our
goaltending is strong."
Northeastern's goaltenders must
step up for the Huskies to advance
past Lake Superior State (27-10-4)
Saturday and face Michigan (33-6-1)
Sunday in East Lansing.
When facing the nation's best
hockey teams, Northeastern has found
out that tin foil isn't exactly impen-
etrable to hockey pucks. Against teams
in the NCAA tournament field, the
netminding tandem has given up nearly
five goals percontest, including8-0 and
9-3 shellackings by No. 1 East-seed
Boston University. The Huskies lost
five of six games to the Terriers.
"I would equate Michigan to BU,"
Smith said. "They're a high-powered,
high-skilled team that can play at a
quick pace. The (CCHA) likes to think
of itself as a grinding league. I don't
think Michigan is a grinding team."
Likewise, the Huskies like to play
a wide-open brand of hockey.
"We're not a big physical team,"
Smith said. "We're a quick skating
team with lots of puck movement."
Center Mike Taylor (11 goals-34-
assists-45 points), Northeastern's
leading point scorer, provides much
of the Huskies aforementioned puck
movement. The All-Hockey East first
teamer also leads the team in assists
on the season, and needs only one
more to top the century mark for ca-
"He's good with the puck from
anywhere and has a lot of hockey
sense," Smith said. "He finds weak-
nesses in the defense and exploits
When Taylor finds a weakness in
the opposing team's defense, right-
winger J.F. Aube (27-15-42) is often
the beneficiary. Aube led Hockey East
in regular-season goals, and earnedAll-
Hockey East second-team honors. W
"He's the type of player that will
get you up out of your seat," Smith
said. "People leave the arena wonder-
ing, 'How in the heck did Northeast-
ern get five goals.' And then you look
and Aube scored two of them."
Although Smith downplays his
squad's physicality, Western Michi-
gan coach Bill Wilkinson, whose team
lost 5-2 to the Huskies Dec. 30, said
Northeastern can hit.
"They've got a couple of
defensemen who like to step up in the
neutral zone and knock people on
their butts," Wilkinson said.
All-Hockey East first-teamers
Francois Bouchard (15-15-30) and
Dan McGillis (4-25-29) lead the Hus-
kies' defensive unit.
By making the NCAA tournament,
the Northeastern hockey team has al-
ready defied the odds.
The Huskies' 19-12-7 record gives
them the worst winning percentage in
the field of 12, and their 3-9-3 record
against teams in the NCAA tournament
could be termed mediocre at best.
"They're probably an underdog in
that they're traveling out here and
playing in an arena that they've never
played in before," Michigan coach *
Red Berenson said.
And as anyone on the Michigan
hockey team would tell you, the play-
offs are a new season where every
team has zero wins, zero losses and
Mike Knuble and the Wolverines will play the winner of the Lake Superior State-Northeastern game.
National title not out of the question for No. 3 Wolverine swimmers
By BRETT JOHNSON
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
The Michigan men's swimming and div-
ing team has its work cut out for it this week-
end if it wants to win the national title at the
NCAA Championships in Minneapolis.
However, the Wolverines do have a chance
to improve on last year's second-place finish
of last season. That quest starts today at the
Minnesota Aquatics Center.
Stanford dominated the 1993 NCAA
Championship and a first-place finish was
never really in doubt. This season, however,
both No. 3 Michigan and No. 2 Texas figure
to close the gap between the top three teams
and challenge for the title.
"I think it's definitely realistic (that we
can challenge Stanford)," senior co-captain
Rodney VanTassell said. "This year, it's more
of a balanced group between (Michigan),
Texas and Stanford. So, if you get in a situa-
tion where Texas is knocking off points from
Stanford's total and we're knocking off points,
it could definitely wind up being a much
closer meet between the top three teams than
If the Wolverines are to pull off the upset,
they must get outstanding performances from
all of their swimmers. This starts with junior
sprinter Gustavo Borges.
Borges is seeded in the top nine in all
three of his individual events - the 50-,
100- and 200-yard freestyles. In the 100,
the second-ranked Borges will be going for
his third straight NCAA title. He also hopes
to break Brent Lang's school record.
Stanford's Joe Hudepohl and Texas fresh-
man Gary Hall look to be Borges' top com-
petition in the 100.
More importantly, Borges will anchor
Michigan's four relays that qualified - in-
cluding the defending NCAA champion 800
freestyle relay. These relay points will be
crucial to a top-two finish.
After Borges, freshman Tom Dolan, sopho-
more Royce Sharp and junior Marcel Wouda
must swim up to their All-American poten-
tial. All are capable of winning at least one
event, if not more.
Dolan, the 1994 Big Ten Swimmer of the
Year, ranks in the top two in all three of his
events (the 500 and 1650 freestyles and the
400 individual medley) and has the potential
to win all three. Dolan's time of 14:51.79 in
the 1650 free is over six seconds faster than
any other swimmer in the meet.
"I'm definitely looking to have some
good drops in times in all three events,"
Dolan said. "I definitely think I can im-
prove on the 1650 especially having people
there with me (in the race). It will help me
bring it home."
The Wolverines' top backstroker, Sharp,
has set his goal as the short-course American
record in the 200 back. He already holds the
long-course equivalent. However, Florida's
Greg Burgess and Stanford's Derek
Weatherford will make the challenge even
more difficult. Sharp will also compete in the
100 back and the 200 IM.
Wouda, who struggled at the Big Ten
Championships in late February, won two
events at last year's NCAAs (the 500 and
1650 frees) and appears ready to challenge
Dolan for top honors again.
"Marcel is looking very good," Michigan
coach Jon Urbanchek said. "The last two
weeks, he has looked outstanding."
In addition to Michigan's top four swim-
mers, the Wolverines have many other com-
petitors that must score in their events. Senior
Brice Kopas is seeded ninth in both the 1650
free and the 400 IM. Freshman John Piersma
ranks top eight in both the 200 and 500
VanTassell (15th- 200 free), juniors Tom
Blake (10th- 1650 free) and Steve West (6th-
200 breaststroke) and freshman Chris Rumley
(10th- 200 free) all rank in scoring positions,
in one event.
Senior Tom Hay, junior Scott Dill and
sophomore Courtney Faller also made the
meet, and although they are not seeded in the
top 16, they all have a chance to score indi-
vidually. Hay will also swim the butterfly
during the medley relays.
Michigan's final participant is diver Eric
Lesser. The senior qualified for the NCAA
Championships at the NCAA Zone C meet
two weeks ago. Lesser has had success at the
NCAA level last season when he finaled on
both the three-meter springboard and 10-meter
With 14 team members competing, every-
thing is in place for an outstanding meet, and
Urbanchek feels his team is ready.
"Things are going beautifully," Urbanchek
said. "Everyone is in good spirits, and every-
one is right on target both mentally and physi- *
cally. We're ready for the challenge."
For the best coverage of Michigan's
NCAA tournament run, read
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Softball heads west to prepare for Big Ten season
By BOB ABRAMSON
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
With the beginning of the Big Ten
schedule just over a week away,
Michigan softball coach Carol
Hutchins would like nothing more
than seven solid innings from her
squad as its heads into a three-day
tournament beginning tomorrow in
"We need to show up every in-
ning," said Hutchins, referring to the
seven errors her players made in the
Wolverines' 4-0 loss to Iowa back on
"We have also been swinging at
bad pitches and making All-Ameri-
cans out of every pitcher we have
faced. We're just putting too much
pressure on ourselves."
The Wolverines (9-9) will have
plenty of innings to concentrate on
this weekend at the Cellular One Capi-
tal Softball Tournament.
Michigan is part of a 15-team
field that includes five teams ranked
in the preseason top 25 (Long Beach
State, Iowa, California, Texas A&M
and Cal-State Sacramento) and seven
teams which earned bids to last year's
"There are no slouches in this tour-
nament," Hutchins said.
These teams will be grouped into
three pools of five, and the pool play
records from today and tomorrow's
competition will determine the
seedings for the single-elimination
championships on Saturday.
Michigan, which is in Pool A, has
its first contest tonight at 7p.m. against
Cal-State Sacramento. The Hornets
(13-7 overall, 4-0 WAC) are ranked
23rd in the nation, and are led by the
powerful pitching of Tami Blunt.
Blunt, a sophomore, has only
started three games this season due to
her recovery from shoulder tendinitis.
But in those three games, Blunt
has 26 strikeouts in 26 innings, three
wins, including a no-hitter last Friday
in a 3-0 victory over Colorado State.
"She's good," Hutchins ex-
claimed. "She's a bona fide pitcher."
The Wolverines have a full slate
on Friday, taking on Connecticut at
11 a.m., Toledo at 3 p.m., and Hawaii
at 5 p.m.
Michigan's hopes will rest on the
arms of Kelley Kovac and Kelly
Holmes. Hutchins has the luxury of
using both of them as number-one
Kovak, ajunior, is 5-5 this season,
despite a phenomenal 0.87 ERA.
Kovach moved into second-place on
Michigan's career strikeout list with
her 300th during the Wolverines' loss
to Iowa in the South Florida Classic.
Holmes, a freshman, is 4-4 so far
in ten starts, registering a 2.27 ERA.
She has struck out thirty batters in 61
innings, and surrendered twenty runs.
"It's our final chance to tune-up
for the Big Ten season and we need to
get on a roll," Hutchins said.
"We've got a tough schedule and
our goal is to play well and consis-
The Wolverines will close out its
preseason with a doubleheader at
Notre Dame Wednesday.
You should get a little experience
before you navigate these roads: