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March 06, 1995 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-06

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8 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, March 6, 1995
To some, however,
TURCO Turco is too much at ease.
Continured from page 1 "A lot of people are kind
of nervous when they first
"The majority of the time she's a meet him," says Alma,
defenseman, but she was the fastest Marty's mother, "because
one out there." he's so nonchalant about 6
Shadowed by such a competitive everything.
older sister, Michigan goalie Marty "I would read articles
Turco didn't win all the games him- about other goalies, and
self at his family's backyard rink usually they're real uptight.
when he was growing up. If any- That's not my son."
body could deal with being that kid Michigan coach Red
on the left, the one who had to watch Berenson said "(Steve)
his sister grab all the glory, it was Shields was more irratio-
him. nal," of his goalie last sea-
"I just try to stay positive and let son. "Marty's calm; he
things come," the younger Turco doesn't get rattled."
says. "If I start to get down on my- Shields may have been{
self, that's only letting our team nervous at times, but he
down." managed to achieve his
It's one thing to be as cool as ice share of success at Michi-
in everyday life. Being that way gan. He left behind two
while a puck flies at you and thou- items of note: a record (for
sands of people scream in your ear the most wins in NCAA
- all of whom hate you because history) and some awfullyx
your jersey says "Michigan" - is big skates for Turco to fill.'
something altogether different. "I worried a little bit for
In such a situation, though, Turco the kid," Berenson says.
isn't nervously pouncing on the "We put a lot of (the) onus
puck, like other goalies do. Instead, on Marty coming in and
he's confidently passing it to a playing well. There was a
defenseman. Or he's calmly question about how ready
stickhandling the puck, instead of he was for Division I
firing it down the ice. hockey."
And when there's a break in the Berenson wasn't the ' '
action, the opposing goalie will take only one concerned about
a hurried drink of water before he Turco's ability to make the
skates around the crease with his adjustment.
head down, tapping the goalposts "I think I questioned it
with his stick superstitiously. a lot this summer, coming
Meanwhile, at the other end of out of junior (hockey),"N
the ice, Turco can be found leaning Turco says. "I wasn't ex-
back against the goal with his arms traordinary, butI was pretty
on top of the net, just taking it easy. good, and I started to get it
"Isn't that awesome?" says going around playoff
Vince. "He's having fun. Part of the time."
game is just having fun." Shields was good, but
"Our defense likes it when I so were the players in front of him,
handle the puck, and I think it helps and many of those guys are still
us transitionally," Turco says. "I've around. All Turco had to do was
been known to get a little bit carried play well, and Shields would be
away back there, though." reduced to a mere memory.
One such incident occurred dur- When Turco arrived on campus
ing the Team Canada game, when he last fall, he was Shields' heir appar-
hit teammate Tim Hogan in the skate ent, but he wasn't Michigan's only
with a pass, setting up an easy goal goalie.
for the opposition. He smiles as he "It was hard at the start of the
thinks of his blunder, but he was year because we really didn't know
hardly embarrassed about it, then or each other and the situation that we
now. were thrown into," says Turco, who

team in Canada, which,
from a small city, is pretty
remarkable.
"I've just been fortunate
to always be on a lot of good
t Y teams."
When he says "always",
he's talking about an awful
ong time.
"My dad had me on
skates ever since I was two,"
he says. "He thought hockey
was pretty important, and it
eventually carried over to
me. I was pretty much des-
tined to be a hockey player."
Still, Turco hardly
seemed fated to mind the
nets at Yost Ice Arena.
"His coach at 10(years
old) asked him one time if
he'd like to split the
goaltending duties because
L he was a good skater," says
Vince of his son, who played
left wing up to that point.,
"He did and he liked it, and
he's been there ever since."
With the success the
Wolverines have had with
Turco in net, most Michi-
gan fans wouldn't argue
with his choosing to play
k goalie. Heading into this
weekend, Turco's 2.94
goals-against-average was
the eighth-best in the na-
tion. And after getting lit up
: $>for six goals by Notre Dame,
Turco responded by post-
ing his first shutout of the
season, a 2-0 win over Mi-
ami (Ohio) on Friday.
However, as long as he
sports a blocker and glove,
some of his other talents are
NTERDaily going to waste.
Mike Zuke believes this
to be true. Zuke, whose son played
for the St. Louis Blues while
Berenson coached there, has a back-
yard rink of his own in Sault Ste.
Marie, and has seen plenty of Turco
both in and out of the net.
"I'll tell you - the moves that
kid's got!" he says. "I've told Marty
this many times. Marty, I said, 'If
you weren't a goaltender, I think
you would've made our (bantam
league) team playing forward."'
While his dad's backyard was a
good spot to start, Zuke's miniature
arena was the place to really im-
prove. That rink offered boards,
lights and three-on-three hockey
against the best players in town -
for Turco and other kids in Sault
Ste. Marie the past 40 years.
"That's where you get the ones

that love the game," Zuke said. "The
reason why they were good enough
for college or major junior hock
is because they love the game.
"All the years that we've had it,
the guys that really use this rink,
you could tell they loved the game
and a lot of them went on."
Turco had that love - he was at
that rink practically every night -
and he was good enough to move
on. The next level, however, meant
playing and living some eight hou,
away in Cambridge, Ontario.
"My first year being away from
home and being away from my fam-
ily, I tried to take it all in stride," he
says. "I had to take care of myself
more, both academically aitd
hockey-wise. It was definitely a
maturity-building situation."
Turco's statistics from Cam-
bridge don't jump out at you --h
gave up 3.47 goals per game a
won 19 of 32 games. While those
numbers are nothing to sneeze at,
almost every Michigan player has
high school or junior league statis-
tics that are still being raved about
in his hometown.
"Stats don't always indicate what
kind of a player someone is," says
Dallas Stars general manager Les
Jackson, whose team selected Tur@
in the fifth round of the 1994 NHL
Draft. "(We) liked the aggressive-
ness in his game."
NHL teams sometimes draft
players before they're ready for the
pros, though, and Jackson is quick
to point out that Turco is no excep-
tion.
"He's got to be the best goalie in
that league before he moves on,"
said, "and he looks like he's heads
in that direction. But when he's
ready, we'll know and he'll know."
So playing at Reunion Arena in
Dallas is a few years away, but it's
in Turco's future. The ice play-
grounds of Sault Ste. Marie are defi-
nitely in the past.
These days, Zuke's rink is host-
ing his annual tournament, featur-
ing players from the post office*
used to work at. The backyard rink
at Turco's home doesn't exist any-
more, now that Marty and his sister
are grown up and all the neighbor-
hood kids are gone.
All that's left to do now, then, is
help Michigan capture that elusive
national championship. A loss at the
NCAA Tournament this year, and the
Wolverines' title woes would startt
seem Ranger-esque.
"Things are going to go the way
they do for simple reasons," he says.
"You've just got to accept that."

DOUGLAS KA

had to compete with senior Al Loges
for the starting job. "But I think we
came along the best we possibly
could. Every time on the road, we
room together.
"I'm grateful to have Al as my
partner. It's going to be hard to see
him go next year."
Despite the obvious opportunity
for animosity between the two, they
managed to avoid any real problems
while they competed for the job.
"I think there's always some

competitiveness between each
other," says Loges. "But at the same
time, you have to aim for the team's
goals. If the team's winning, that's
all that counts.
"There's always competitiveness
on the ice, but I learn from him and
he learns from me."
So without any off-ice problems
to hold them back, Turco and the
Wolverines are winning - not that
that's anything new for either of them.
"He has a way about him,"
Berenson says. "He's just used to
winning."
"Since I was eight years old, I
always played triple-A travel teams,
and we always had good teams,"
says Turco, who also has a seven
handicap in golf. "My last year in
midget (hockey), we were the third

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