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January 05, 1995 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-05

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8 - The Michigan Daily -- SPORTSThursday - Thursday, January 5, 1995

B I&S Tech's Mancini chose
B! ~NQS Jguts over glory at GLI

By DARREN EVERSON
Daily Hockey Writer
DETROIT - Late in last
Thursday's game, Luciano Caravaggio
braced fora shot that he must have been
relieved to see. There was no way the
Michigan Tech goalie was giving up his
12th goal of the night on that one,
mainly because the puck wasn't even
headed toward the net.
Somehow, he didn't know Michi-
gan was running the old bounce-the-
puck-off-the-dropped-stick-on-the-
ice play. Ordinarily, when a shot like
that and 11 others find the net, the
victimized goalie gets the rest of the
night off. All Caravaggio could do,
though, was fall to the ice in agony,
because there was no one on the bench
to replace him.
Backup netminder Matt Kucway
and six other Huskies violated team
rules. Because of this, coach Bob
Mancini suspended them for that
game.
Mancini deserves praise for his
action. Michigan Tech sure could have
used some of those guys - among
those suspended were a couple of the
team's top scorers. But at a time when
coaches place winning above ethics,
Mancini did just the opposite.
"That shows great character by

(Mancini), to discipline his guys like
that," Michigan forward Mike Knuble
said.
Considering the current climate in
collegiate athletics, Knuble's state-
ment is quite true. If you're a coach,
winning is everything these days;
don't do enough of it and you'll soon
be looking for work elsewhere.
While a hockey coach at Michi-
gan Tech doesn't endure the same
pressure that coaches at other places
do, the Huskies haven't really been
any good for quite a while. What's
more, they haven't won the annual
Great Lakes Invitational - a tourna-
ment they created - since 1980.
With that in mind, Michigan Tech
fans and alumni are probably getting
a bit restless waiting for a winner. So
when the Huskies got a shot against
No.3 Michigan attheirGLI, the coach
let a trivial thing like morality get in
the way?
"I'm 100 percent totally convinced
that I made the only choice," Mancini
said, "and it was the right choice. You
can't play favorites."
This doesn't mean that Matt
Kucway would've made all the dif-
ference in the world that day, or that
the Huskies would've won had the
others played. However, Jimmy Roy

and Dave Dupont, two of the offend-
ing players, combined for five points
in the consolation game against
Cornell. Both also had an assist on the
game-winning goal.
Their play in that game and the
17 other ones this season prove
they're an important part of
Mancini's team. And since all the
parts weren't in place for Michigan
Tech last Thursday, the Huskies
weren't at their best when they truly
needed to be.
"Hopefully all the statements have
been made and all the punishments
taken care of," Mancini said after the
Huskies' win over the Big Red.
Thanks to his own choice of ac-
tion, that probably will be the case.
When Kucway, Dupont and the rest
think of Michigan's record-breaking
13-0 victory, they'll know they were
the only ones who got embarrassed
that day.

JOSE JUAREZ/Spncialto the Daily
Michigan forward Mike Knuble fights for a loose puck during the Wolverines' 5-4 win over MichiganState.
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By NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - They call it the stepping stone. The
midterm examination. The dress rehearsal for "down
the road."
But whatever they call it, the Great Lakes Invita-
tional is nothing less than a booster rocket for the
Michigan hockey team.
The Wolverines have won a record seven consecu-
tive GLI titles. During that streak, Michigan has gained
important notoriety, recognition and recruiting power.
"The GLI gives us a lot of local visibility and
national visibility," Michigan coach Red Berenson
said. "A lot of people watch this tournament. It's a
prestigious tournament.
"To win this once, then twice, then three times and
so on, people start to look at Michigan and say, 'Hey,
they must be pretty good.' Maybe we are."
One of the Wolverines' preseason goals is to show
how good they are in the GLI. Their doing so is
important to the players, coaches and the program -
not to mention the alumni.
"It is a big team goal to win this," captain Rick
Willis said. "It's something we work for, focus on and
push for.
"We hear from all the guys that graduated before the
tournament. You hear from Steve Shields, Mike Stone,
Brian Wiseman, they all call. They make sure we've
got all the troops together and we're ready to rock. It's
a prestigious tournament and it's important to a lot of
people."
Beyond the reputation of the tournament itself is the
prestige of the venue. The GLI is played in Joe Louis
Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings. That is quite a
draw for recruits and quite a thrill for players like Willis
and Mike Knuble.
"This is the ultimate hockey building, besides the
Boston Garden," said Willis, a Lynn, Mass. native.
"Down here in Detroit, with all of this tradition ... it's
just awesome. Mike Knuble said it a thousand times,
it's got that certain aroma to it. It's big-league and it has
a big-league smell."

"When you walk in here you can smell the spilled
beer and hot dogs," Knuble said. "It's a professional-
type atmosphere. We love to play here."
Their love of playing in the GLI gives the Wolver-
ines new focus when headed into the second half of the
season. Championship wins following long holiday
layoffs can do wonders for a team's psyche. The title
certainly did that for Michigan last year, as they regis-
tered a .750 winning percentage following the tourney.
"Although you can't plan it, (winning the GLI) has
been a very positive part of the second half of our
seasons for the past few years," Berenson said. "Walk-
ing out of this building tonight, our kids just feel so
good, and they build on that. We're a better team in the
second half, after the GLI."
'To win this once, then twice, then
three times and so on, people start
to look at Michigan and say, "Hey,
they must be pretty good." Maybe
we are.'
- Red Berenson
Michigan hockey coach
For Berenson, the tournament is also a time to test
his team. The Wolverines' ability to come back after a
long layoff and play well against tough competition is
a stern challenge.
"The GLI is like our midterm exam;" Berenson said.
"Winning it is like getting 100 on your midterm exam."
But the GLI is only the midterm. With all of their
elation created by winning the tournament, the Wolver-
ines know their final exam is coming soon. The GLI
title is only a rehearsal for the real thing - the NCAA
tournament.
"This is kind of our dress rehearsal for down the
road," Willis said. "Tonight we did well in, our dress
rehearsal."
If they do as well on their final, their report card will
hang from the rafters.

"

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