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October 24, 1994 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-24

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, October 24, 1994 - 7

D Blue, Tigers are
B51 n os both 'Victors'

Colorado's Judd Lambert can only watch as Michigan's Mike Legg slips one by him in Saturday's victory.
'M' d

Daily Hockey Writer
At every home hockey game the Michigan faithful
proclaim one of the teams on the ice as "The Champions
of the West."
Ninety-nine percent of the time the last line of the
Michigan fight song is an obvious cheer for the Wolver-
This weekend was not one of those times.
This past Friday and Saturday nights, the opposing
team at Yost Ice Arena could have thought that the maize-
and-blue clad fans were singing about them. When the
Colorado College Tigers skated out Friday night, they
took the ice as the defending champions of the Western
Collegiate Hockey Association.
Fourteen years ago, Michigan was still a member of the
WCHA and such confusion could not have happened.
That all changed when Michigan joined Michigan State,
Notre Dame and Michigan Tech in leaving the WCHA and
heading for the more geographically compact Central
Collegiate Hockey Association.
Last season, Michigan finished on top of the CCHA,
setting the stage for this weekend's contest between two of'
last year's title winners.
Coming into Friday night's game, only two spots
separated the teams in the WMEB media poll. Despite
both coaches' attempts to downplay the matchup, both
teams had a lot to prove.
The No. 3 Wolverines had to show that last week's 8-
0 dismantling of York University was no fluke. They also
had to prove that the absence of last year's leading scorer
had not left them high and dry.
No. 5 Colorado College entered this weekend with the
stench of last year's disappointing finish still hanging in
the air.
The Tigers finished first in the WCHA during the
regular season but suffered an upset loss to Michigan Tech
in the conference tournament. Then, after anticipating an
at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament, they were not
invited despite a 23-11-5 record.
In the first game of the series, the representatives from
both conferences came out firing. As the game wore on, it

looked like the squad from the WCHA looked like they
had more to prove.
To start the third period, the Tigers' Peter Geronazzo
scored a one-handed goal with two Wolverines hanging
on him to put Colorado College ahead, 5-3. After a Kevin
Hilton tally pulled Michigan within a goal at the 10:02
mark of the period, the Tigers scored a mere minute later
to extend the margin to two goals. They then proceeded to
squash any hopes of a Wolverine comeback when R.J,
Enga's short-handed goal put the game out of Michigan's
reach for good.
"We knew Michigan would be a good test for us,
Geronazzo said. "All of our veterans are coming back with
a bitter taste in their mouth after not getting to finish our
season last year. We wanted to get this season started off
Friday's loss pushed the Wolverines' backs against the
wall. They had to show that their defensive lapses were not
the status quo, and another loss would leave the Wolver-
ines with two defeats at the earliest point in their season
since 1987.
The urgency of Michigan's plight was obvious in the
first period Saturday as they scored three unanswered
goals, including a short-handed score by John Madden.
The Wolverines appeared to be well on their way
toward victory, but the Tigers tied the game in the third
period. With overtime appearing imminent, Jason Botterill
scored in the game's last second to secure the win for
On the night, Warren Luhning - playing for the.
injured Mike Knuble - had two goals and Botterill scored
twice and added two assists. The Wolverines were 3-of-9
on the power play and kept Colorado College from scoring
on its seven power play attempts.
Botterill's last-second heroics notched this weekend's
totals at one win apiece for the CCHA and the WCHA.
It was an ending to this clash of the titans that even
Hollywood could not have scripted better.
The Wolverines and the Tigers battled each other this
weekend like two Roman Gladiators, and in the end both
emerged as "Victors."

Daily Hockey Writer
A roller-coaster week full of frus-
tration and elation kept the Michigan
hockey team on its toes as it prepared
for this weekend's matchup with
Colorado College.
Starting right wing Mike Knuble
was absent from this ride until late
fbursday afternoon when he suited
up to practice after doctors cleared
him to play.
Warren Luhning stepped up last
Monday, filling the void left by
Knuble's exit and practiced with the
top line of Brendan Morrison and
Kevin Hilton. In not only a physical
challenge, but also a psychological
adjustment, Luhning rode this coaster
ntil he got off the ice Thursday
afternoon in disappointment. It
seemed Knuble was ready. He prac-
ticed and went to the team dinner
before the game. Then he got a phone
Trainer Rick Bancroft called Cot-
tage Inn and told Knuble he was
taking him to the hospital to undergo
one last-minute test. The team ar-
rived at Yost and dressed for Friday's
*ame against Colorado College. An
eerie feeling engulfed the team when
it saw something wasn't right -
Knuble's jersey was not in his locker.
Knuble's chest infection not only
kept him out of both games this week-
end, but it will also sideline him from
practices and training of any form for
at least three to four weeks. At this
point, Knuble is out for the Nov. 4
Continued from page 1
in the period, the Tigers still managed
to put the game out of reach, scoring
two more goals on just four shots.
The Wolverines also played a bit
carelessly at times. Enga tallied a short-
Wanded goal - the first allowed by
Michigan since the '92 season. In addi-
tion, the Wolverines seemed to let up
defensively after scoring, allowing
Colorado College to score twice just
seconds after Michigan goals.
"I don't know if you can really
point a finger at any one aspect of the
game," Loges said. "I don't think any
of us had an exceptional game, start-
*ng from myself to the defense to the
forwards, considering we've been

and 5 homestand against conference
foes Ohio State and Lake Superior
"It's so hard to sit up in the stands
and watch the team struggle and go
through what they did (Friday night)
and to not be there knowing I feel 100
percent fine," Knuble said.
Knuble's biggest frustration is his
awareness - knowing he has no aches
and pains, but something hidden in-
side is keeping him from playing.
"It's a heartbreaker," he said. "My
legs were a little bit wobbly coming
out and it's really disappointing. It's
something you have to get through on
your own."
Individually, Knuble will have
more than a rigorous make-up session
come time when he can begin his
reconditioning. One day off is con-
sidered a rest, but for each day there-
after, a week of training is required to
The entire team must step up its
play to offset Knuble's injury. Friday
night's shaky performance reflected
the Wolverines' emotional ride.
"We're more arrogant when he is
playing with us," Luhning said. "The
team looks a lot more to him to score
goals. The first night we were missing
him. Tonight, we clicked a lot more."
Morrison, the No. I center, did
score Friday night in the first period,
tapping in the rebound of defenseman
Chris Fox's shot. The top line lacked
chemistry, though, as did the power
play unit when Michigan failed to
convert four chances.
"Knuble was a big force on the

team physically and he's a really
good goal scorer. If I can do those two
things, I can help fill in for him,"
Luhning said.
Luhning did just that in Saturday's
rematch. The team rebounded from
Friday's loss, led by the starting line.
"I played with Mike all of last year
and we jelled last year and tried to
carry it over to this year," Mornison
said, admitting he misses Knuble on
his wing. "Early in the year, we looked
pretty good together. Obviously, it
hurts your whole lineup because he is
pretty creative out there ... and he
opens up a lot of room.
"(Luhning) is a power winger simi-
lar to Knuble, but he doesn't have
quite the finesse as Knuble yet and
he'll get that with experience."
Muscling his way toward two
goals and a number of more quality
scoring chances, Luhning's strength
was apparent Saturday night. The
Wolverines went three-for-nine on
the power play, with Luhning scor-
ing both his goals with a man ad-
"I think (Knuble's absence)
played a big part yesterday and to-
day we kind of worked over it,"
Hilton said after Saturday's last-
second victory. Hilton assisted on
both Luhning goals.
The coaching staff will now map
out a long-term change of plans for
Luhning and his teammates.
Saturday's victory displays the char-
acter of a Michigan squad without
Knuble. The results of next weekend's
road trip will confirm it.



Here are the top 10 hockey
teams in the nation according
to the media as compiled by
WMEB radio in Orono, Me. First-
place votes are in parentheses.

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1. Boston (12)


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4. Colorado College
5r Michigan (1)
6. Harvard
7. Clarkson

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skating with each other for the last
three or four weeks."
Loges saved 24 of 31 shots before
being replaced by Turco late in the
third period. Turco, a true freshman,
started Saturday night and played the
entire game, stopping 18 of 22 shots.
As expected, the two-game set with
the experienced and nationally-ranked
Tigers did allow Michigan coach Red

Berenson to assess what might lie
"It's an awakening," he said.
"We're going to go through this all
year. We're not going to start off like
we did last year. We're a different
team, and we're going to be humbled
like we were (Friday) and it's going
to be a test of our team character and
our team spirit and leadership."

Others receiving votes:
New Hampshire 18, Maine 16,
Vermont 9, St. Cloud 8, West-
ern Michigan 4, Massachusetts-
Lowell 3, Norther Michigan 2,
Bowling Green 2.

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