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November 21, 1994 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-21

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6- The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 21, 1994

00 it --%

Ulu( c.inds

a

MiamhasMchigan' s
number once again
By BARRY SOLLENBERGER
Daily Hockey Writer
Something strange happened Saturday night at Yost Ice Arena.
An unranked, mediocre Miami (Ohio) hockey team actually lost to the
highly touted, top-ranked Wolverines.
Prior to Saturday's 7-4 Michigan win, the Redskins had won three straight
-over the Wolverines. Going into all three games, Miami was unranked and
Michigan held the top spot in the nation.
Late last February, the top-ranked Wolverines rolled into Miami with a
glittering 28-3-1 overall record and were stunned by the unranked Redskins in
successive 5-3 setbacks. The losses sent Michigan into a tailspin from which
it never really recovered. The Wolverines were eventually upset by Lake
Superior State in the national quarterfinals.
Friday at Yost, unranked Miami knocked off No. 1 Michigan again, 4-3.
So why do the Wolverines -a combined 41-10-1 over the last two seasons
- struggle so much with the Redskins?
Michigan is traditionally a quick and skilled team. The Wolverines are at
their best when they take advantage of their superior speed. In recent matchups,
Miami has forced Michigan to play a slow, methodical brand of hockey.
"The Redskins play a close checking style," Michigan coach Red Berenson
said. "They don't let you skate and they work hard."
But is this really reason for the Wolverines to have to claw their way to a
split with Miami? After all, the Redskins were picked to finish sixth by both
the coaches and the media in preseason CCHA polls and hardly resemble the
team that won the CCHA regular season title two years ago.
The fact is that the Wolverines were flatter than a warm Pepsi in Friday's
loss.
Sure Michigan was without the services of star right wing Mike Knuble
Friday who was sitting out a one-game suspension.
Sure the Wolverines lost left wing Jason Botterill late in the first period
:Friday when he was whistled for interference and then tossed for calling
-referee Matt Shegos a !@#$ and a %A&*!.
But where were the intensity and emotion that was present in recent wins
over Michigan State and Lake Superior State?
"If anything might have had an affect on our team it might have been that
last weekend was such a high," Berenson said of Michigan's victories over
Michigan State and Bowling Green. "It all of a sudden puts a gun to our head."
The Wolverines rebounded to post the victory Saturday but it didn't
sufficiently impress the voters in the WMEB college hockey poll, who
dropped the Wolverines to No. 3 yesterday. Michigan tallied two goals in the
opening seconds and an empty netter at game's end. Take away those goals and
it's anybody's game.
"We probably played better in the loss (Friday) than we did in the win as
far as generating scoring chances is concerned," Berenson said.
Clearly, the words "Michigan" and "No. 1" did not belong in the same
sentence either night.
The season, however, is young, and two subpar performances at this point
is no reason for the Wolverines to seek out Dr. Jack Kervorkian.
"We're still getting to know our team," Berenson said. "We're going to go
through some adversity and not roll along and be an unbeaten team."
That's fine.
But it would be in Michigan's best interest to get performances like the ones
against Miami out of its system early.
After all, one mediocre effort in the NCAA Tournament and it will be an
early sayanora.
Again.

I.
JOE WESTRATE/Daily
Michigan goaltender Marty Turco stretches to make a tough save on Miami's Barry Schutte in Friday's 4-3 Wolverine
loss. Turco stopped 22 shots while absorbing the loss, but rebounded Saturday with 18 saves in a 7-3 Blue win.
is no longer an afterthought
Redskins' netminder emerges from backup role

By MELANIE SCHUMAN
Daily Hockey Writer
Glancing at last season's final
statistics, you won't find a mention
of Chuck Thuss.
The Miami goaltender has spent
the last three seasons in Oxford as
the backup to the backup to the
backup. And if you think that is
ironic, try this - the senior ab-
sorbed his first career loss on Satur-
day dropping a 7-4 decision to
Michigan.
Thuss' biography lists him as
last season's backup to Richard
Shulmistra (Miami's 93-94 leading
goaltender with a 13-12 record) and
as a sophomore, he ambiguously
filled "the backup role." Even if his
parents wanted a souvenir of his
career at Miami, they could not even
find an action photo. Why? He has
never played.
But somewhere along the line,
perhaps when Shulmistra graduated
and Kevin 'Deschambeault racked
up a poor 5.74 goals against average
in his 1-3 start this season, Thuss
emerged.
Entering this weekend's series,
Thuss led the CCHA in goaltending
with a 1.99 GAA. The week prior,
Michigan State's Mike Buzak was
atop the list with a 1.47 GAA and

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' w

let's just say Thuss fared somewhat
better than the league's last No. 1
goalie who was peppered in a 7-3
Wolverine shelling.
Thuss was a brick wall in goal
Friday night, squeezing the life out
of the Wolverine offense. He
stopped 29 shots on goal including
a breakaway in each of the first two
periods.
The Arkona, Ont. native has been
in net for four of the five Redskin
victories in this
short season,
and Friday's
play exempli-
fied just why he
is coach Mark
Mazzoleni' s
F~ starter.
"When a kid
hangs in there
and you think
Thuss about not play-
ing for three
years, he's a battler. If anything,
(the loss) probably gives him confi-
dence," he said, noting that Thuss is
a very technically sound goalie.
The first-year coach said he is
now more confident that Thuss, his
most vocal and hard-working player,
can still support this team in net,
despite Saturday's loss.
Last week, Mazzoleni had said
that his goaltending selection for
Saturday would depend on Friday
night's performance.
With a new coach, Thuss has a
new lease on life in Oxford.
"We got a great tandem (of Thuss
and Deschambeault) and it's very
competitive between the two of us,
yet we're great friends," Thuss said.
At one time, however, he ques-
tioned whether he would ever play
with former coach George
Gwozdecky at the helm. Thuss, the
inexperienced goaltender welcomed
IAMI (OHIO) 4, MICHIGAN 3
iami (Ohio) 2 1 1-4
ichigan 1 2 0-3
WlistPeod-1, MU,Andreev3 (Krall, Mallon),
4:06.2, MU, Reid 2 (Carter, Miller), 9:23.1, UM,
Luhning 5 (Botterill, Morrison), 14:21(pp). Penal-
ties - Herr, UM (hold stick), 1:40; Schutte, MU
(interference), 6:52; Mallon, MU (tripping), 13:54;
Willis, UM (roughing), 16:30; Rohlhoff, MU (roug
ing), 16:30; Boyle. MU (hooking), 16:47; Botteri,
UM (interference, served by Arnold, 10-mn.
misconduct,game misconduct), 17:51; Chateau,
MU (tripping), 19:13; Morrison, UM (tripping),
20:00.
Second Peiod - 3. MU, Bodnar 2 (Mallon,
Andreev), 8:38 (pp). 2, UM, Legg 3 (Madden,
Hilton),10:04 (pp). 3, UM, Legg 4 (Morrison,
Hilton), 13:14 (pp). Penalties - Willis, UM (hig
sticking), 2:49; Carter, MU (crosschecking), 6:39;
Gordon, UM (elbowing, roughing, served byAmold),
6:39; Reid, MU (slashing), 9:04; Arnold, UM (roug
ing), 10:42; Bench minor, MU (too man
men),12:23; Sakala, UM (interference), 17:07.
11*d Perod-4, MU, Mallon 4 (Boyle, Boxer),
15:07(pp).Penalties-Backen, MU (ooing),4:51;
Hogan. UM (tripping), 13:48; Krall, MU (interfer
ence), 17:54; Bodnar, MU (roughing), 20:00;
Luhning, UM (slashing), 8:38; Stone, UM (vuging),
13:47; Sloan, UM (rog r, U2000.
Shot.o.go.-MU, 13-26. UM 134-2M
32.
Pow Off-MU2of8,UM3o%8.
Go% suvs - MU, Thuss 12589-29. UM,
Turco 6-124-22.
Relere-Jim Sotiroff.
Laeemen-Larry Lulich, John LaDuke.
At Yost te Arena. A: 7,431.
MICHIGAN 7, MIAMI (OHIO) 4
Miami (Ohio) 1 2 1-4
Michigan 4 1. 2-7
Fist P ro-1, LIM, Knule 5 (Morrison),
:12. 2, UM, Morrison 6 (Hilton), :32. 1,MU,
hutte 3 (Boxer). i:17(pp). 3, UM, Botteril l
(H ilton), 11:33(pp). 4, UM, Muckalt 7 (Sloan,
Schock), 12:18(pp). Penalties - Muckalt,
UM (hooking), 9:24; Chateau, MU (hooking),
10:54; Tropper, MU (roughing), 11:43;
Backen, MU (roughing), 11:43; Botterill, UM
(roughing), 11:43, Botterill, UM (slashing),
16:28; Sloan, UM (hooking), 18:45.
*Amens a ) IrII _..I , nio4 1A1,..

the new coach and a new chance to
prove himself worthy to stand be-
tween the pipes.
"As things had progressed, I re-
ally didn't expect to start the season
4-0," Thuss admitted. "As much as
anybody else, I hate losing. But if
it's got to be to a team - the No. 1
ranked team in the nation -it isn't
a bad one to lose to."
Coach Mazzoleni credits Thuss
with surviving Saturday's mental
lapses by a young defense which
fields three freshmen, one sopho-
more and two juniors.
However, Thuss refused to pass
the blame for any of the three
slapshot goals he surrendered, of-
fering reasonable excuses for all but
the first -- a Jason Botterill rocket
from just over the blue line, which,
he said, flat-out beat him.
Prior to his newfound success
this season, Thuss endured three
years of endless practice and no
game action. .
"We hadn't seem him before, so
we started to learn some things last
night (Friday night) ...and that's why
you watch the game tapes after,"
Michigan assistant coach Mel
Pearson said.
"You get some tendencies on the
goalie, and I think we picked up on
it and took advantage of it."
After the 4-3 Redskin win,
Thuss' GAA increased to 2.19 and
continued to rise Saturday.
With Michigan on the early at-
tack, a shakier Thuss gave up two
goals within the first 32 seconds of
the game. The brick wall began to
crumble in this fairy-tale season.
"It's ridiculous to think I'll go
through the season without a loss,"
Thuss said. "Right now, I take this
one, suck it up, and get back to work
on Monday and get ready for an-
other week."

MIAMI
Continued from page 2.
ines' top line proved to be overpow-
ering. Brendan Morrison, known more
for his playmaking than his scoring,
notched his first-ever collegiate hat
trick. The sophomore center scored
two late goals to ensure the Michigan
victory.
Right wing Mike Knuble, who
missed Friday's contest due to a sus-
pension resulting from a game mis-
conduct received last weekend at
Bowling Green, came back with a
vengeance to record one goal and one
assist. Junior Kevin Hilton recorded
three assists.
"We didn't shoot smartly or with
any desperation (Friday)," assistant
Mel Pearson said. "Tonight we wanted
to try and say hey if we get our chances
we're going to bury them."
The Wolverines scored four goals
in the first 20 minutes, including aBill
Muckalt slapper you could hear hit
the back of the net. Miami crept back
to make it a one-goal game with 7:28
left in the third. Thuss was pulled
later, but the Redskins didn't score.
"We were a little upset that we
didn't have the killer instinct in the
third period, but you can't complain
with a win," Knuble said.
Playing without Knuble is an ad-
justment the Wolverines are used to
making after he missed four games
earlier this season with a chest infec-
tion. But losing one physical pres-
ence, not to mention the slot man on
the power play, really affected Michi-
gan in the scramble to tie Friday when
another predominant figure was ab-
sent as well.
At the 17:51 mark of the first pe-
riod, Michigan had 39 seconds left on
a four-on-three when Botterill was
called for interference after clearing a
glove. NCAA rules state one cannot
deflect another person's equipment.
Botterill disagreed with the call that
elicited not only a ten-minute mis-
conduct, but also a game misconduct.
Captain Rick Willis double-shifted to
compensate.
"We're not that good that you can
just take two top players off our team
and be the same team,"Berenson said.
Other penalties were a big factor.
Michigan scored all three of its goals
on the power play and Miami's alter-
nate captain Jason Mallon converted
with the man advantage. He scored
the winning goal with just under five
minutes left when he screened Michi-
gan goalie Marty Turco and redirected
freshman Dan Boyle's slapper.
"It wasn't a fluke we won by no
means," coach Mark Mazzeloni said
Friday. "I think our kids really played
disciplined and deserved to win the
game as much as Michigan did."
Miami had the edge from the start,
striking first and second, netting two
goals in close. The latter came at the
hands of defenseman Jeff Reid while
Turco was in the net underneath an-
other Miami player.
Michigan's lone Friday night high-
light was sophomore Mike Legg who
scored two power-play goals.

O

HOCKEY N OTEBOOK
Berenson still worried
about Michigan's lines"

By DARRN EVERSON
Daily Hockey Writer
When is a two-night, 10-goal per-
formance not a great showing?
For Michigan hockey coach Red
Berenson, it certainly wasn't this past
weekend. Despite outshooting Miami
both nights, Berenson maintains there's
still a lot of room for improvement
among the Wolverines' four lines.
"Before we were getting some lines
playing well," Berenson said. "Right
now, I can't say I like our four lines."
Michigan did score seven times
against Miami goalie Chuck Thuss,
who entered the series as the CCHA's
top goaltender. However, the Wol-
verines also gave up a number of
chances and goals themselves-many
of whichcan't be blamedonnetminder
Marty Turco.
"Offensively, most of the lines
were clicking," center Brendan
Morrison said, "but defensively there
were some lapses and it almost cost us
the game.

with a man advantage, including
Friday's game-winner.
On top of that, Miami scored twice
just moments after a power play had
ended.
"We didn't kill penalties, and that
was the difference (Friday)," Michi-
gan captain Rick Willis said. "Their
special teams just outplayed ours."
Part of the Wolverines' problem
could be the number of penalties
they've been committing. Botterill,
in particular, has spent a lot of time in
the penalty box.
"He might be a bit of a target for
the referees, or maybe he's making
himself atarget," Berenson said. "But
he's just taking too many penalties."
THE mADHAr=: Morrisonpulled
off an impressive 'trick'.Saturday and
the sophomore center received quite a
reward from the Michigan hockey
faithful.
With the Miami net empty and the "
Wolverines ahead 6-4late in the third
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