vs. Michigan State
Tonight, 7 p.m.
Cliff Keen Arena
S " ' S }
vs. Polish National Team
Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
Blue leaps to No. 1ranking
Wolverines ride five-game winning streak to the top
BY BARRY SOLLENBERGER
Daily Hockey Writer
It doesn't take an aerospace engi-
neer to understand why the Michigan
hockey team has vaulted to the top spot
in the WMEB College Hockey Poll.
In the span of a week, the Wolver-
ines (5-1 CCHA, 7-2 overall) knocked
off three ranked opponents - then-
No.8 Lake Superior State, 4-2, Nov. 4;
No.4 Michigan State, 7-3, Friday; and
No.10 Bowling Green, 7-3, Saturday.
Michigan's victory over Lake
State knocked the defending NCAA
champions out of the top 10.
Michigan coach Red Berenson
knows the number-one ranking is no
reason to go dancing on I-94.
After all, the Wolverines were top
ranked for over three months last sea-
son - from Nov. 21, 1993 until Feb.
27, 1994- but didn't win the national
championship. Lake State upset the
Wolverines in the quarterfinals of the
NCAA Tournament, 5-4, in overtime.
"It doesn't really matter," said
Berenson of his squad's elite status.
"We want to be number one when the
"It is, however, an indication we're
doing something well."
And what the Wolverines have done
''well" over the past five games is
outscore their opponents by nearly
five goals per contest.
Since its 2-2 start, Michigan is av-
eraging nearly seven goals while sur-
rendering only 2.2 scores per game.
"If your goals against are under
three, you're going to be acompetitive
team in this league," Berenson said.
The Wolverines climbed into asec-
ond-place tie with Bowling Green in
the CCHA by dominating two of the
league's best players.
Spartan goalie Mike Buzak went
into last weekend as the top-rated
netminder in the league, allowing only
1.47 scores per contest.
Friday, however, he resembled
more of a sieve than a backstop as
Michigan torched him for six goals in
the first two periods. Michigan State
coach Ron Mason finally pulled Buzak,
briefly, late in the second period of the
Even a brick wall between the
pipes could not have stopped the
Michigan offensive attack against the
Spartans. The Wolverines made life
miserable for the preseason Hobey
Baker candidate, outshooting the Spar-
tans, 32-7, in the first two periods and,
40-15, for the game.
"Buzak's obviously not used to
getting 15 or 16 shots a period,"
Michigan captain Rick Willis noted
that the Michigan State backliners did
not come to Buzak's aid.
"He did not get a lot of help from
his defense," Willis said. "It left him
out to dry, and we took advantage of
In Saturday's win over Bowling
Green, the Wolverines shut down the
CCHA's leading scorer, Brian
Holzinger. The senior centermanaged
only one assist and went scoreless
against Willis and company.
"The coaching staff made a point
that you have to respect a guy like
Brian Holzinger," Willis said."Wejust
got in his face and shut him down."
One negative that did emerge from
the weekend for Michigan was a bi-
zarre situation involving right wing
The senior forward was ejected
from Saturday's game for high stick-
ing the Falcons' Jason Clark. The
nature of the penalty means he must
serve a one game suspension Friday
against Miami (Ohio).
Knuble did not agree with the of-
"(The penalty) was totally acci-
dental," Knuble said. "There's no way
that I'd ever try to spear a kid in the
"You respect a guy enough to not
try and end his career."
Mike Knuble received a five-minute m
ejection means he must sit out Friday
By PAUL BARGER
Daily Basketball Writer
Few know what to expect when
the Michigan men's basketball team
takes the floor tonight against the
Polish National team.
Coaches, players and fans are in-
terested in seeing what the Wolver-
ines can do as a team outside of
The first issue is that of seniors
immy King and Ray Jackson. The
only remaining players from the Fab
Five will be expected to pick up their
game this season and assert them-
selves as leaders on and off the court.
This year in particular, Michigan
coach SteveFisher will need all thehelp
he can get in the leadership department.
Once again, Fisher has landed a top
recruiting class, reeling in five highly-
ated players. He has called upon King
d Jackson, as well as the team's other
veterans, to help the new additions fit
-into the program.
.nTonight's game should be a barom-
eter to test how the freshmen have pro-
gressed since arriving in Ann Arbor.
"We've matured a lot as players,"
first-year forward Maurice Taylor
'We're starting to use
0ur heads with our
-- Maurice Taylor
said. "The first day of practice we
were doing everything on talent.
We're starting to use our heads with
four talent. (King and Jackson) have
F helped us a lot because they were the
same situation as us three years ago."
One thing that is uncertain is which
freshman will start in tonight's con-
test. Sophomore Makhtar Ndiaye
takes over for Juwan Howard at cen-
ter after working with the former
ajor penalty for high sticking against
y's game against Miami (Ohio).
Bowling Green Saturday. His subsequent
ught as 'M' opens with Polish team
Wolverine during the off-season. Jun-
ior Dugan Fife once again joins King
in the backcourt, and Jackson returns
as the team's small forward.
Most onlookers anticipate that for-
ward Jerod Ward will be the first
rookie to break into the starting five,
but Fisher has not indicated that.
Injuries to sophomores Bobby
Crawford and Olivier Saint-Jean have
virtually assured that a freshman will
start tonight and in the regular season
opener Monday against Tulane.
This year's freshman class is vastly
different from the 1991 group that
saw three newcomers start early in
the year and five in the starting lineup
by February. Still, there is obviously
a great amount of anticipation to see if
the freshmen are as good as their
billings say they are.
"I'm anxious to see how we're
going to react in a game situation with
the crowd and an outside opponent
that doesn't know every move that we
make," Fisher said. "I was anxious to
see it when Jimmy and Ray were
freshmen. First game they played we
had more turnovers than points in the
"I know it will be far from perfect
but I'm anxious to get a good look at
The freshmen understand that they
will be put under the microscope dur-
ing the early part of the season. All of
them are relishing the opportunity to
display what kind of players they are
and will be in the future.
"I'm real excited," Willie Mitchell
said. "I've got the butterflies right
now just knowing about tomorrow
night. It's a dream come true to play
in a Michigan uniform. Tomorrow
(tonight), I finally get my chance."
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