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January 13, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-13

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 13, 1994
First half of' 'hockey season nearly perfect-
A loss and a tie are only blemishes at midpoint of Wolverines' 1993-94 campaign

It's hard to argue with the success
of the Michigan hockey team at the
midpoint of the season. To date, the
Wolverines are 20-1-1, with a 15-0-1
CCHA record and a 10-point league
lead. The questions that surfaced about
the team at the beginning of the sea-
son have certainly been answered.
The squad has been fueled by out-
standing specialty units, depth on the
offensive lines and consistent
The defense was the main topic of
conversation before the puck was ever
dropped. Following the loss of David
Harlock, Patrick Neaton, Chris Tamer
and Aaron Ward, few thought the
backliners would play as well as they
Two big reasons for that are fresh-
men Blake Sloan and Harold Schock,
who have played like veterans in the
first half. Schock leads the CCHA in
plus/minus rating, although he has a
tendency to make mistakes going af-
ter the puck, which sometimes leads
to breakaways for the opposition.
Sloan plays on the second power play
unit and is paired with sophomore
Steve Halko in the starting lineup.
Halko has been the team's best
defenseman, providing stability. He
played a key role in Michigan's sweep
of archrival Lake Superior State last
weekend. His scrappy play against
the Lakers - using his body to stop
shots from the point and break up
two-on-ones - should serve as an
example for the other defensemen.
Junior Tim Hogan has played well at
times and poorly at others, but has
shown good leadership qualities as
one of Michigan's most experienced
The Wolverines' biggest question
mark has been their third defensive
pairing. Berenson has rotated junior
Alan Sinclair, junior Mark Sakala,
freshman Peter Bourke and freshman
Chris Frescoln. At times, Berenson

has used only two defensive duos in
the third period of close games. How-
ever, if the third defensive unit is all
Berenson has to worry about this sea-
son, Michigan has an excellent chance
of going al lthe way.
Lake Superior coach Jeff Jackson
calls it "devastating."
Laker goalie Blaine Lacher calls it
"the best I've seen in my three years,
by far."
The "it" in question is the special
effects display at Yost Ice Arena.
Just kidding. Actually, Lacher and
Jackson were referring to the Wolver-
ines' power play, which has inspired
awe around the CCHA.
The first power play unit, which
features Brian Wiseman, David
Oliver, Mike Knuble, Brendan
Morrison and Jason Botterill, is
Michigan's ultimate strength. In or-
der to stop the Wolverines, opponents
must stop the power play; in order to
stop the power play, opponents must
stop those five players, which is nearly
Hyperbole is unnecessary when
speaking about this bunch. Statistics
speak for themselves. Oliver,
Wiseman, Knuble, Morrison and
Botterill rank 1-2-3-5-8 in the CCHA
in scoring. Knuble has 16 power-play
goals in league games, tops in the
CCHA. Michigan has scored on 34.5
percent of its power-play opportuni-
ties, far and away the highest percent-
age in the CCHA. Michigan has 40
power play goals in league games.
Miami and Ohio State have not scored
that many goals - total.
"I'm surprised the power play has
done as well as it has," Oliver said.
"But I'm not surprised we've been
The penalty killing, though a shade
below last year's production, is tops
in the conference as well. Senior Mike

Stone has been the most important
contributor in this department.
Berenson calls Stone "the best pen-
alty-killer in the league, if not the
It's a good thing Michigan is so
strong on special teams, because the
Wolverines have had more power play
opportunities and havecommittedmore
penalties than anyone else in the league.
The last line of defense for the
Wolverines has been stellar thus far
for this season. Michigan's team goals
against average stands at 2.50.
Steve Shields has received the
majority of the playing time, but Chris
Gordon has been ready to play when
Shields has already surpassed two
milestones this season. Shields be-
came the NCAA all-time victory
leader on Nov.26 with his 89th career
victory. On Dec. 11, Shields became
the winningest goalie in CCHA his-
tory with his 68th career league win.
The senior goaltender needs just
two victories to reach 100. Shields
leads the CCHA with I1 wins and
ranks fourth with a 2.55 GAA.
"That's a reflection of how the
team has been playing so far," Shields
said. "More than any year, I've been
prepared to play every game. I've
been more consistent than I've been
in the past, and that's helped us."
Gordon gives Michigan a more-
than-reliable backup goaltender. Gor-
don started three games when Shields
went down with a knee injury, and the
first game of the Great Lakes Invita-
tional as well. Gordon's 2.17 GAA
leads the league.
"He's done a tremendous job,"
Shields said. "No one realizes how
tough it is to come in off the bench."

Michigan senior Brian Wiseman scores against Illinois-Chicago Dec. 18. The Wolverine captain has 45 points on the
season and is one of the catalysts behind Michigan's high-powered offense and power play unit.

The key to the offensive success
this season has been consistency on
all four lines throughout most con-
The team is led by starters Oliver
and Wiseman who have 47 and 45
points, respectively.
However, it has been the play and
versatility of all four lines that has
positioned the Wolverines atop the
conference standings.
Berenson placed freshman
Botterill on the first line with Oliver
and Wiseman, and the move has paid
huge dividends.
Playing with a freshman is noth-
ing new for Oliver and Wiseman,
since last year they sometimes shared

line duties with Ryan Sittler. Sittler,
who was moved to the second line at
the start of this season, has missed
most of this season due to injuries, but
his anticipated scoring has been picked
up by others.
Knuble has 22 goals in 22 games,
and Morrison has scored 33 points.
Freshmen John Madden and Mike
Legg have split time on the left wing
and have improved every week.
The third line center, sophomore
Kevin Hilton, has had a very produc-
tive year, tallying 15 points on eight
goals and seven assists. He has been
flanked by an array of freshmen, in-
cluding Madden, Legg and Warren
The fourth line gets the team's

intensity award. Night in and night
out, the fourth line seems to make key*
contributions to the team's cause.
Stone, who has adapted smoothly to
being shuffled around the lineup, has
17 points on the season, and junior
Rick Willis' efforts are immeasur-
"When one line has a bad night the
other lines pick it up," Oliver said.
"All four lines are playing well. Even
the guys that are in and out of the
lineup have done a tremendous job."
- Paul Barger, Antoine Pitts,
Michael Rosenberg and Jaeson
Rosenfeld compiled this report.

Continued from page 5
the first three weight classes," Bahr said. "But the good thing
is that we have the strength of our lineup in the last half where
they are a little weak right now."
The Wolverines are led by senior All-Americans
Bormet (second at 158) and Steve King (second at
Heavyweight), as well as All-America candidate Brian
Harper (sixth at 150). Between them, the trio has
notched 44 victories and has dropped only four deci-
sions so far this season.
"We're going to have to minimize how many points we
give up in the first three weight classes," Bahr said. "It's
going to boil down to the team that wins six out of ten weight
Overshadowed by the successes of those seniors
have been the performances of sophomore Jesse Rawls,
Jr. (177), and juniors Mike Ellsworth (142) and Chad
Biggert (167).
The three have quietly combined for an overall record of
They will be counted on to lift Michigan Saturday.
"We're going out there with the feeling that we can beat
Penn State at their place and Lehigh at their place," Bahr
Though Lehigh is listed as honorable mention in the Top
25, the Engineers do notpose the problems to Michigan that
The Nittany Lions do.
"I think that we're probably a little more balanced than
they are," Bahr said. "Our strong people like Sean (Bormet)
and King and Harper will probably put extra points on the
board for us.
"We just have to minimize the points we give up in the
'irst three weight classes."

Hudepohl hopes to lead
Cardinal to greatness

STANFORD, Calif. - The first
thing one sees when stepping into the
coach's office at DeGuerre Pool, the
home of Stanford swimming, is the
trophies. Not just one or two, but six
NCAA championship trophies.
Numerous Olympians have helped
the Cardinal capture the half dozen
titles. Names like Pablo Morales, Jeff
Rouse and Jeff Kostoff are just a few.
This weekend when Stanford
comes to Ann Arbor, it will once
again have the services of an Olym-
pian. And it was this international
experience that has provided a great
asset to both Joe Hudepohl and his
"It was a great experience," the
Cincinnati native said. "I got a chance
to swim with guys that I saw swim in
"I learned a lot over those two
weeks prior to the Olympics."
Despite being only a sophomore,
Hudepohl is mature beyond his age
when it comes to leadership in the
pool, say his teammates.
"He means a lot to the team,"
fellow Cardinal Ray Carey said.
"There are times at dual meets when
we're tired, and (Joe is) ready to get
up on the blocks and say, 'Now's the
time to get in and beat the guys next to
Stanford coach Skip Kenney said
that Hudepohl's "always positive" at-
titude rubs off on the rest of the swim-
"He comes in with the (of being
the) best in the world," Kenney said.
"When you have specific goals like
he does, you come ready to work
every single day. It's contagious, it

just goes down the pool like a wave."
This drive got Hudepohl to the
Olympics, and helped him bring home
some hardware: a gold medal in the
400-meter freestyle relay and a bronze
in the 800 freestyle relay. He also
placed sixth in the 200 free.
At the collegiate level, Hudepohl
has performed well, too. He took sec-
ond in the 200-yard freestyle, fourth
in the 54 freestyle and ninth in the 100
free. But to some people, his results
did not live up to his billing.
"(There was) a lot of pressure my
first year. I had a lotof expectations to
fill," Hudepohl said. "Maybe (my
swims at last year at NCAAs) are
something I have to put behind me."0
Hudepohl succeeds in academics
as well, boasting a 4.0 high school
grade point average. He had many
schools seeking his services, but when
it boiled down, one of the deciding
factors was Stanford's academics.
"For me, I think Stanford offered
the best balance (of academics and
swimming)," he said.
This weekend's dual meet will
showcase perhaps the top two sprint-
ers in college swimming today:
Hudepohl and Michigan's Gustavo
Meanwhile, Hudepohl has shifted
his sights to the future.
"World Championships are com-
ing up in September in Rome, that's
kind of my individual focus," he said.
As for his team, Hudepohl said it
wants to be one of the greatest teams*
in NCAA history.
"Hopefully we can score the most
points ever," he said
If it is true that Hudepohl's atti-
tude is contagious, Stanford may well
accomplish this feat.

Michigan's 167-pound wrestler Chad Biggert grapples against Ferris State.

with guest D.J.
"The Buckster"




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