4 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, January 30, 1995
Blue's juggling act falls short.
Constant offensive line changes leave Wolverines flat
By Melanie Schuman
Daily Hockey Writer
The January blahs could easily
describe the sun's absence in a typical
Michigan winter. With a slighted per-
spective, like that of players and
coaches, it is more suited to explain
what ails the Wolverine hockey squad.
Vying for a first-place tie, playing
undermatched teams, all the while
ranked No. 2 in the nation created a
stir. Yet now, all the statistics, games-
in-hand and so on cannot be among
Last season, the Wolverines, then
ranked No. 1, went 7-1 in the month of
gan State and a sweep of Lake Superior
Although Michigan knocked off the
Lakers Jan. 13 and 14, it has yet to
mirror the brilliance of a year ago and, in
fact, has begun to struggle.
This weekend, Western Michigan
and University of Chicago-Illinois both
visited Yost Ice Arena and although
neither walked away with two points,
they left the Wolverines questioning
For a team which entering this
weekend, lead the nation in goals
scored per game, 6.14, we saw it post
a mere two Friday and four Saturday.
So why is an offense so deep in talent
Before the Great Lakes Invitational,
the coaching staff was unhappy with the
lines inability to consistently click and
the lack of a cohesive effort. Then, with
left wing Jason Botterill andKevin Hilton
participating in the World Junior Cham-
pionships, defenseman Mark Sakala
skated on the checking line and Rick
Willis played with the top line.
Unhappy with Hilton's performance
of one goal and two assists since his
return from world juniors, coach Red
Berenson switched Hilton with Mike
Legg hoping to spark the top line of
Brendan Morrison and Mike Knuble
and the third line of John Madden and
The latter line was the most consis-
tent with Madden scoring two goals and
Luhning scoring one Saturday. How-
ever, the switch had perhaps one malig-
nant side effect - the power play.
"No matter what the switch was,
both power play (units) are still that
good that we should be able to get it in
the zone, setitup and get some chances,"
Hilton said. "That didn't happen this
weekend. It seemed like we weren't
trying as hard."
Michigan's power play, ranked first
in the nation, went 0-11.
"Our power play was terrible to-
night," Knuble said after Friday's 0-6
struggle. "We couldn't get anythi
settled down and set up. That's a big
factor in (a tight) game."
Legg skated in place of Hilton on the
top power play unit as well as the tap
line, and although Knuble felt they were
knocking on the door all night, they had
nothing to show for it. Neither did
Morrison, whose 15 game point-scor-
ing streak ended Friday.
"It was a total breakdown,"Berens
said of Saturday's third period. "I do
know if we went to sleep, but we just
lost our total focus on how to play
This weekend proves that the Wol
verines can't rely on talent alone even
though they have had all season to ma-
nipulate the lineup. Matt Herr debuted
on the checking line, yet he also played
with thetoptwo lines. Meanwhile, Willis
skated with Robb Gordon and E*
Muckalt and on his normal fourth line.
"It's like a leaky damn," Berenson
said of shifting forwards. "You patch
one hole and it leaks outof another one.
We need a much better balanced effort
from our forwards."
Backup goaltener Al Loges consoles Marty Turco after Western Michigan tied last Friday's game at two with 25
seconds remaining in the third period. The Broncos, who had lost their previous six to Michigan, left Ann Arbor
with a 2-2 tie, the Wolverines' first tie of the season.
By Melanie Schuman
and Barry Sollenberger
Daily Hockey Writers
Before this season, most so-called experts figured the
Wolverines would experience a dropoff between the pipes.
After all, Steve Shields, the NCAA career leader in victories
for a goalie, picked up his diploma last May.
Enter Marty Turco..
"If Marty Turco had not made some glorious saves,
we would have lost," coach Red Berenson said after
Saturday's overtime win. "He was in the right place at
the right time."
Take a look at these stats: After 24 games last
season, Shields was 16-2-1 with a 2.61 goals against
average and a .889 save percentage.
After 24 games this season, Turco is 17-3-1 with a
2.69 goals against average and a .899 save percentage.
Turco's season-high 42 saves against Lake Superiora
State on Jan. 14 is only one shy of the Michigan record
-43 by Shields also against Lake State, Nov. 6, 1993.
Not bad for a rookie.
IN FULL FORCE: Matt Herr made his debut on the
checking line as Berenson continued to juggle his
forwards. Never before in his hockey career has Herr'
filled such a role. Although he was still adjusting to this
new-found responsibility Friday, he was ever so ag-
"You always try to check hard, but when the opportunity
s between pipes
came along, I was more inclined this time to nail someone
than in the past," said the 6-foot-1, 188 pound center.
DOWN TO THE WIRE: Having not played an extra
period in their first 18 contests, the Wolverines were
tested in overtime in four of the past five games. Michi-
gan has found the sudden death period to its liking,
however, as the Wolverines are 3-0-1 in those four
games. They have defeated Lake Superior State, Bowl-
ing Green, Illinois-Chicago, and tied Western Michigan.
A year ago, Michigan went 2-1-1 in sudden death.
STREAKS, STREAKS AND MORE STREAKS: Despite strug-
gling to a win and a tie this weekend, the Wolverines still
haven't lost since a 4-3 setback to Minnesota Nov. 26.
Since then, MichiganIs 9-0-1 - the longest current
unbeaten streak in the CCHA.
Additionally, several Wolverines are enjoying cur-
rent streaks of their own. Freshman Bill Muckalt ex-
tended his current point streak to 11 gamesin which he
has eight goals and six assists. Mike Knuble is also in
the midst of a 16-game point scoring streak. He scored a
goal Friday and the game-winner in overtime Saturday.
AT THE TOP: Despite struggling this weekend against
Western Michigan and Illinois-Chicago, Michigan is
once again the No. 1 team in the land, according to the
WMEB college hockey poll. The Wolverines jumped
ahead of the previous No. 1, Maine, when the Black
Bears lost to unranked Massachusetts-Amherst, 4-2,
Despite not playing well enough to satisfy coach Red Berenson, the Michigan hockey team moved into the No. 1
spot in the country this weekend.
Continued from page 1
"We're playing at a level to where
we're as vulnerable as the teams
we're playing," Berenson said. "We
didn't make our chances count and
gave them that catchup goal at the
Both Western and the Flames kept
the Wolverine offensive attack at
bay. Michigan mustered only seven
goals in the two games, a far cry
from their nation leading average of
6.14 a game.
Additionally, the Broncos and Il-
'linois-Chicago pulled the plug on
the Wolverine power play. It was
tops in the nation heading into the
weekend in making good on over 30
MICHIGAN 2, W. MICHIGAN 2 (OT)
Western ichigan 0 1 1 0-2
Michigan 0 1 1 0-2
fMst Pedal - Penalties - Lovett, WMU (holding),
1:29; Brooks, WMU (elbowing), 7:59; Schock, UM
(interference), 10:44; Rucinski, WMU (holding), 14:59;
Maloney, WMU (roughing), 14:59; Gordon, UM (rough-
ing),14:59; Gordon, UM (roughing-served by Botterill),
14:59; Muckalt, UM (holding), 14:59; Rucinski, WMU
(hooking). 18:47; Herr, UM (roughing after whistle),
SecondPatod-1, UM, Knuble 19 (Turco), 9:07.2,
WMU, Gallentine 15 (Duke), 11:10. Penalties-Duke,
WMU (holding), 3:05; Brooks, WMU (interference),
5:52; Nordstrom, WMU (checking from behind), 8:28;
Botterill, UM (holding), 8:34; Legg, UM (interference),
13:19; Cressman, WMU (holding), 18:37;
11*dPeod-3, UM, Muckalt 16 (Schock, Hogan).
15:01.4, WMU, Brown 19 (Brooks, Whitton), 19:35.
Penalties - Luhning, UM (charging), 2:36; Innanen,
WMU (roughing),20:00; Muckalt, UM (roughing),8:03;
Balkovic, UW (roughing), 8:03; knuble, UM (roughing),
Ovrtime - No scoring. Penalties - none.
Shotsa n god - WMU 811-101--30. UM810.6-
Power pas -WMU 0of 5,UM 0of 6.
ome saves - WMU, Renfrew 8-9Z4-26. UM,
Lheuse-Rn-John Dobrzelewski, John Nowosatka.
At: Yost Ice Arena. A: 7,287.
percent of its chances but was a com-
bined 0-11 against the conference
"The power play was disastorous
this weekend," Berenson said.
"When you're struggling, it always
tends to start with the power play."
In what is becoming a common
occurrence, the play of Marty Turco
in goal was a bright spot for Michi-
gan. The freshman saved 53 of 59
chances in running his record to 17-
3-1. In 22 appearances this season,
he is still yet to allow more than four
goals in any one contest.
"We're not giving him the sup-
port he needs," Berenson said. "If he
played like most freshman goalies,
we would be in sixth or seventh
place in the league."
MICHIGAN 5, ILINOIS-CHICAGO 4 (OT)
Illinois-Chicago 1 1 0 - 4
Michigan 1 2 1 1-5
First Period - 1, UIC, Peron 12 (Dunbar
Hutson), 5:23.2, UM, Madden 12 (Hilton), 19:11.
Penalties- Dunbar, UIC (slashing), :26; Luhning,
UM (slashing), :26; Mottau, UIC (elbowing), 12:24.
Second Period - 3, UIC, Hutson 10 (Gohde,
MacDonald), 5:47. 4, UM, Gordon 12 (Muckalt),
7:04. 5, UM, Madden 13(Luhning), 11:29 (sh).
Penalties- Sloan, UM (holding), 3:08; Finn, UIC
(holding), 7:41; Botterill, UM (holding the stick),
10:22; Blum, UIC (interference), 12:05;
MacDonald, UIC (high-sticking), 14:54.
Third Period - 6, UM, Luhning 11 (Madden,
Schock), :22. 7, UlC, MacDonald 9 (Hutson,
Mottau), 5:58. 8, UIC, Tymchyshyn 4 (O'Keefe,
Zdan), 16:07. Penalties -Sloan, UM (slashing),
1:18; Dunbar, UIC (roughing after whistle), 4:57;
Hilton, UM (roughing after whistle), 4:57; Dunbar,
UIC (holding), 13:45.
Overtime - 9, UM, Knuble 20 (Sloan,
Morrison), 2:12. Penalties - Mottau, UIC (cross-
checking), 1:28; Gordon, UM (roughing), 1:28.
Shots on goal - UM 13-13-9-2-35. UIC 8-
Power plays - UM 0 of 5, UIC 0 of 3.
Goalie saves- UM, Turco 7-9-9-0-25. UIC,
Referee -John Piotrowski.
Linesmen - John Pearson, Larry Lulich.
At: Yost Ice Arena. A: 7,145.
Through games of Jan. 28
Darren To Be Different
W L T
Flames, Broncos also. to'
blame for 'M' struggles.
A fter watching its team reel off nine straight wins, the Michigan
hockey faithful has been treated to more than a taste of victory.
With the way the Wolverines had been playing, their fans are
absolutely drunk with success by now.
These same intoxicated folks probably went on a tirade or two after last
weekend's performance. But while Michigan may not have been at its best;
everyone ought to realize that the Wolverines didn't struggle without a ittl
help from the competition.
Illinois-Chicago and Western Michigan deserve some credit. These
teams have suffered from defensive problems and simply haven't played
well recently. However, both clubs were able to overcome their
shortcomings in time to play a superior Michigan team dead-even in its own,
At first glance, the Broncos didn't appear to have much of a shot on
Friday. Western was mired in eighth place and had lost twice in identical 6
2 setbacks to Ferris State the previous weekend.
This is a team that was consistently ranked among the nation's top 10
last year; an NCAA tournament selection. Perhaps that's why the
Wolverines don't strike fear in the hearts of the Broncoswhenever the two
"I thought our kids had more opportunities to win (the teams' first
meeting)," said Western coach Bill Wilkinson, who was referring to the
Broncos' 4-3 loss Dec. 10 to Michigan. "They got all the. bounces.
Sometimes you just get snake-bitten."
Having lost their last six to the Wolverines, the Broncos have been
snake-bitten for quite some time. They weren't last Friday, and
consequently, that six-game streak is broken. Western outshot Michigan, go
some solid play in goal from Brian Renfrew and finally left Ann Arbor wit
something to show for their efforts.
The poor Flames played well, but didn't come away with much else.
Although they entered the weekend slightly ahead of the Broncos in the
standings, a little more has been expected of Western. UIC usually resides
somewhere not too distant from the CCHA basement.
If anything is expected of the Flames, it's a fight or a brawl or something
Michigan State dumps
Western in Kalamazoo
Chris Smith, Anson Carter and Ri-
chard Keyes scored power-play goals
as Michigan State scored five unan-
swered goals in the second period en
route to an 8-1 victory over Western
Michigan on Saturday night.
Smith scored at 3:13 of the second
period to give the Spartans (17-6-2, 12-
3-2 CCHA) a 2-0 lead. Taylor Clarke
scored less than two minutes later and
Western's Jim Holman was called for
built a 6-0 lead before the Redskins
(10-11-5, 8-6-5) finally scored on a
power-play goal by Kevyn Adams.
Miami failed to score on six other
Mike Morin, Dan Galarneau and
Gerald Tallaire scored the power-play
goals for the Lakers.
John Grahame made 26 saves for
the Lakers. Chuck Thuss had 12 saves
for Miami and Kevin Deschambeault
Michig~an Qfcnrinp' IandArQ