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December 12, 1994 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-12-12

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8 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, December 12, 1994

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Michigan needs
Knuble to be No.1

1 !

By BARRY SOLLENBERGER
Daily Hockey Writer
KALAMAZOO - The Michigan
offensive attack without Mike Knuble
is about as effective as a rifle without a
firing pin.
With the preseason Hobey Baker
candidate on the ice, however, the No.
4 Wolverines are tougher to beat than
Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
They mightbe, in fact, (dare Isay it)
the best team in the land.
Consider this:
Michigan climbed into a first-place
tie in the CCHA with Bowling Green
after Friday's 7-2 victory at Ohio State
and Saturday's 4-3 win at Western
Michigan. Knuble torched the Buck-
eyes for four goals and added a fifth
against the Broncos.
Saturday's win markedthefirsttime
this season that the Wolverines reached
the league's penthouse.
"For us to be sitting in first place
right now after the start we had is a real
positive," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said.
Here's one vote that says the Wol-

verines won't drop from that perch the
rest of the season.
And a healthy Mike Knuble is the
main reason.
The Wolverines' sweep of Ohio
State and Western Michigan brings
Michigan'srecordto 10-1 with Knuble
in the lineup.-Granted, the Buckeyes
and Broncos are not in the same class as
Michigan State and Bowling Green.

setback at the hands of Minnesota in
front of 15,078 screaming Minneso-
tans in St. Paul.
And by the way, Michigan led that
game, 3-1, entering the third period.
If the Wolverines could have hung
on against the Golden Gophers, they
would be a perfect 11-0 this season
with Knuble on the ice. Michigan is
simply not the same team with its star
right wing on the sidelines, as evi-
denced by its 2-3 mark this season
when Knuble is out of action.
He missed the first four games of
the season due to a chest infection and
served a one-game suspension against
Miami for fighting the night before.
Since returning to the lineup
against the Redskins, Knuble has
been on fire. He has tallied 10 goals
and five assists in the past six games.
"I'm starting to play like I pictured
myself playing back in the summer,"
Knuble said. "One of my preseason
goals was to show up every night and
have people leave the building won-
dering who that was on the ice."
There's no doubt that the Buckeyes
remember him. Three of his four goals
Friday came in the opening period.
"I've just been getting off to a good
start lately," Knuble said. "My overall
game is really getting better."
With an improving Knuble, are the
Wolverines capable of capturing the
national championship come April?
A lot depends on his health. If he's
on the sidelines forget it.
But if the Wolverines' main offen-
sive threat is in the lineup, they are as
explosive as any team in the nation.
And they will be very tough to beat.

FIRST PLACE
Continued from page 1
the score 4-3.
The late rally plus a couple of
big checks - including one that
knocked defenseman Chris Frescoln
out of the game - seemed to breathe
life into the sellout crowd of 4,575
at Lawson Ice Arena.
Down the stretch, though, a
couple of key saves by Turco kept
the Broncos at bay, and the Wolver-
ines were able to return home with
the victory.
"When we got our fourth goal, I
thought we were in command, but
then they came back," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. "We got
through it, but it wasn't pretty."
Western Michigan Coach Bill
Wilkinson summarized the game
with a note from Berenson.
"I think I'll use Red's quote,"
Wilkinson said. "They escaped with
their lives.
"Turco played pretty well in the
net. We had opportunities but we
threw it behind him, around him,
over him, but not enough at him."
Friday night in Columbus, it was
Buckeye Tom Askey who was lucky
to escape with all of his faculties
intact.
Knuble was responsible for the
Ohio State goalies' troubles after he
pulled off the natural hat trick in the
MICHIGAN 7, OHIO STATE 2
ichigan0 1 1-2
Ohio State 4 2 1-7
First Period - 1, UM, Knuble 10 (Frescoln,
Morrison), 3:32. 2, UM, Knuble 11 (Sinclair), 9:09
3, UM Knuble 12, 16:52. 4. UM, Luhning
(Madden), 17:47.
Second Period - 5, OSU, Rathwell
(DiPasquo, Smith), 7:38. 6, UM, Herr 4 (Gordon)
14:07. 7, UM, Hilton 9 (Halko, Luhning), 16:48.
Third Period - 8, OSU, Holmes 3 (Smith
DiPasquo), 8:40. 9, UM, Knuble 13, 12:35.
Shots on goal - UM 20-13-9-42. OSU 2
8-18.
Power-plays - UM 0 of 5; OSU 0 of 7.
Goalie saves - UM, Turco 2-6-X-8 (40:00
Loges X-X-7-7 (20:00). OSU, Askey 16-11-8-35.
Referee -Sotiroff.
Unesmen - McHugh, Faria .
At: State Fairgrounds. A: 2,187.

first period, putting Michigan ahead'
in the process, 3-0. Knuble's per-
formance Friday marked the second
time in three weeks he had scored at
least three goals in one game.
"You can't get real excited about
that," he said, "because some nights
are just going to be like that. What if
the game was 3-2: then (the hat
trick) could've been important, but
it was 7-2 and kind of a laugher."
Michigan kept relentless pres-
sure on Askey and put 42 shots on
net in all, including 20 in the first
period alone.
One might think Askey has seen
enough of the Wolverines by now,
having given up 16 goals in the two
times he's faced Michigan this sea-
son.
"No, I never wanted to come out
(of the game)," said the Buckeye
netminder, who played all 60 min-
utes and surrendered all of the Wol-
verines' seven goals. "I wouldn't
say the loss is my fault but I'm not
satisfied (with my performance)."
Prior to Friday's contest, Ohio
State coach Jerry Welsh expressed
concern about Michigan's speed
advantage over his Buckeyes.
As the game wore on, however
the Wolverines gave him something
else to worry about. Michigan lim-
ited Ohio State to just 15 shots for
the evening, allowing the Buckeyes
just eight shots in the first and sec-
ond periods.
MICHIGAN 4, WESTERN MICHIGAN 3
Michigan 2 1 1-41
Western Michigan 1 0 2-3
First Period - 1, UM, Knuble 14 (HIlton,
Gordon), 8:05 (pp). 2, UM, Luhning 8 (Legg,
Hogan), 13:13 (sh). 3. WMU, Brown 11 (Brooks,
Mayers), 18:04 (pp).
Second Period - 3, UM, Botterill 9 (Gordon,
Morrison) 3:28 (pp).
Third Period -4, UM, Muckalt 10 (Frescoln),
1:44.5, WMU, Brooks 2 (Brown, Maloney) 3:43.6,
WMU, Brown 12 (Zimmerman, Duke) 10:12 (pp).
Shots on goal - UM 6-6-9-22. WMU 14-16-
6-36.
Power-plays - UM 2 of 9; WMU 2 of 10.
Goalie saves-UM, Turco 13-16-4-33. WMU,
Renfrew 4-5-8-17.
Referee - Piotrowski.
Unesmen - LaDuke, Dobrzelewski.
At: Lawson Ice Arena. A: 4,575.

Knuble

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But Michigan didn't have any trouble
with those teams, either.
Maybe it's just that the Wolver-
ines, with Knuble, aren't even in the
same universe with the rest of the
CCHA.
Michigan handled the Spartans
Nov. 11 at Yost and the Falcons the
next night in Bowling Green by identi-
cal 7-3 scores, with Knuble seeing
action on both occasions.
The Wolverines' only loss this sea-
son with Knuble in uniform was a 4-3

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