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March 30, 1995 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-30

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 30, 1995 - 11

4HOCKEY
Continued from page 9
other Wolverines that I'd like too."
Knuble is coming off a clutch
performance against Wisconsin in
which he notched two goals, includ-
ing the game-winner midway
through the final period.
Maine advanced to today's game
ith a 4-2 victory over Denver Sat-
urday, and the Black Bears have
returned to the semifinals this sea-
son despite the turmoil that sur-
rounded last year's squad.
After winning the National
Championship two years ago with a
team that some people called the
finest college hockey team ever, the
team slipped from its perch last sea-
*on and finished a mediocre 17-15-
4.
The reason for the fall was two-
fold.
First, six players, including Imes,
left the team before the season to
play for the U.S. national team, and
then during the season three other
players were ruled academically
ineligible.
That discovery resulted in the
1orfeiture of 14 games and gave the
team an official final record of 6-
29-1.
This season, Maine sprinted out
to an early start and has not looked
back.
"Our focus has been on just this
season," Walsh said. "Last year's
behind us, and we're just worried
about Michigan right now."
* What worries Walsh most about
the Wolverines is their potent of-
fense that ranks No. 1 in the nation.
"Just the general skill level and
balance of their top three lines (is a
concern)," Walsh said. "They've got
something like 50 goals on all three
of the lines, and certainly their power
play is a concern."
Berenson, on the other hand, is a
ttle troubled by a corps of
defensemen that allows the fewest
goals per game in the nation yet also
produces a hefty chunk of Maine's
offensive output.
"They generate a lot of offense
from their defense, and they'll be
tough to contend with," Berenson
said. "They have more points on
defense than most of our forwards
have.
0 "It'll be a great game between
two teams that like to play hockey
the way it should be played."
ON THE TUBE: Today's game will
be televised by ESPN starting at 1
p.m. Michigan is 8-3 this season in
games that have appeared on televi-
sion.
The other semifinal between
Boston University and Minnesota
vil] be broadcast by ESPN2 start-
ing at 8:30 p.m.

UCLA confident
for battle.against
Oklahoma State

DOUGLAS N'"IN"L" y

Kevin Hilton and the Wolverines need to get by Maine if they want to fight for the NCAA Championship Saturday.

MATCHUPS
Continued from page 9
consistently faster and more skilled
with the puck than that of their oppo-
nents.
Maine won't be an exception. The
Black Bears score an impressive 4.6
goals per game, but they get their
offense in a completely different man-
ner. Maine's attack starts at the blue
line, and defensemen Jeff Tory and
Jacques Rodrique are a testament to
that fact. Tory leads the Black Bears
with 52 points, and Rodrique (11-
25-36) is among Maine's top five
scorers.
Still, the Black Bears' greatest as-
set isn't their ability to put the puck in
the net, and they don't play as such.
They stand a much better chance if
they stick to that philosophy.
Advantage: Michigan .
Michigan defense vs. Maine de-
fense: This year's Michigan team
outclasses last year's version because
of the superior experience of the de-
fensive corps. The Wolverines didn't
lose anyone to graduation or the pros
at the end of last season, and Michigan
now has four veteran defensemen it
can depend on.
None of them, however, size up
with Maine's Chris Imes. After play-
ing with the U.S. Olympic Team last
year, Imes (4-28--32) returned to
become the team captain and Hockey
East Player of the Year.
The Blake Sloan-Steven Halko and
Tim Hogan-Harold Schock combina-
tions have been solid for the Wolver-
ines; they were the key to Michigan's
CCHA-leading 2.74 goals-against
average. However, the Black Bears

are marginally better in that depart-
ment (2.59) and their blueliners pose
an offensive threat.
Advantage: Maine
Michigan goaltending vs. Maine
goaltending: Maine goalie Blair
Allison struggled through all of last
year, finishing 11-8-3 as he shared the
netminding duties with Blair Marsh.
Both goalies returned this season,
but the platoon system did not. It's
Allison's job now, and the security of
being the clear-cutNo. 1 is how Walsh
explains Allison's goals-against av-
erage dropping from 3.37 to 2.64.
Marty Turco has never wondered
about his status as Michigan's No. I
netminder - he was recruited to fill
that role. Turco, the CCHA Rookie of
the Year, has hardly disappointed,
but he has struggled some lately, giv-
ing up some puzzling goals against
Lake Superior State and Wisconsin in
the postseason.
Advantage: none
Special teams: The most often-
heard clich6 in college hockey is the
one about special teams winning the
big games.
If that were the case, it's a wonder
the Badgers aren't playing in the
Wolverines' place. In the NCAA
quarterfinal round, Wisconsin went
2-for-4 with a man-advantage, stopped
Michigan's first eight power plays
and even scored a shorthanded goal.
To their credit, the Wolverines did
win the game on a power play goal.
Michigan's special teams play was
most noteworthy that day because the
Wolverines are as strong as anyone in
that department - they score on 29.4
percent of their power plays, tops in
the nation.
The Black Bears aren't far behind

at 28 percent, and their penalty-kill-
ing percentage (85.9) beats
Michigan's 84 percent.
Since Maine is the more defensive-
minded team, however, the puck will
be in the Black Bears' end more often
than not. In the process of knocking the
bigger Wolverine forwards off the puck,
Maine will resort to hauling people
down, which leads to penalties.
Michigan's power play is the best
around, and it'll get more chances.
Advantage: Michigan
Coaching: Maine's Walsh has
won at least 30 games seven of the
past eight years; Michigan's Berenson
has 30 or more victories in each of the
last five seasons. This year, both
coaches' teams clinched their respec-
tive conference's regular-season title
well before the season was over.
Obviously, neither is here by acci-
dent. Yet, when a team has the kind of
talent the Wolverines have had the
last few years and doesn't win a na-
tional title at some point, the coach is
sure to get most of the criticism.
Berenson hasn't gotten to this
point. His NCAA Tournament losses
of late have been the result of bad
luck, or so it seems. Walsh did win a
title, though, and his BlackBearshave
never shown a penchant for dropping
the big games - no matter what the
reason - like Berenson's Wolver-
ines.
Advantage: Maine
Overall: Berenson and Walsh
don't believe it, but Michigan has a
serious edge in offensive speed and
skill. Can the Wolverines convert on
the power play? That's the question.
The answer is, nobody's better with a
man advantage.
Prediction: Michigan 4, Maine 2

SEATTLE (AP) - UCLA's Jim
Harrick sounded nearly too confident,
almost cocksure.
He wasn't cautiously optimistic like
Nolan Richardson of defending cham-
pion Arkansas, Dean Smith of North
Carolina and Eddie Sutton of Okla-
homaState. Each expressed confidence,
but with the proper amount of doubt,
too.
"I feel good," Harrick said during
a telephone news conference Wednes-
day. "If you didn't think that, you
probably shouldn't come."
As NCAA Final Fours go, Harrick
is a rookie. When the top-ranked Bru-
ins (29-2) play Oklahoma State (27-9)
in the NCAA tournament semifinals in
the Kingdome on Saturday, it'll be
Harrick's first game as a coach in the
Final Four.
He'll be giving away a lot of big-
game coaching experience to the likes
of Richardson, Smith and Sutton, who
have coached in Final Fours before.
Smith has coached Final Four teams in
four decades.
"That sounds old," Smith said with
a chuckle.
And wise.
Smith said all the right things about
Saturday's other semifinal, between
North Carolina (28-5) and Arkansas
(31-6).
"I think it should be an exciting
game if we can handle their excellent
pressure defense," Smith said. "But
this could be our last game."
Harrick has reason to be confi-
dent. His Bruins have won 17 games
in a row, including a 102-96 victory
over Connecticut in last Saturday's
West Regional final at Oakland,
Calif.
"We have made a great run through
our conference, which is a very, very

good conference," Harrick said.."We
beat Kentucky and Louisville and
Notre Dame and North Carolina State
and Duke. We've gone out and played
anybody we could possibly sched-
ule."
UCLA last won a national title 20
years ago in San Diego. It was the last
ofJohn Wooden's loin adizzying 12-
yearrun.
The Bruins are back in the Final
Four for the first time since 1980 when
nomadic Larry Brown was the coach in
Westwood.
Harrick thought UCLA could
make it to the Final Four this season.
When the Bruins were in Seattle to
play Washington in a Pac-10. game
Feb. 9, he took his players to the
Kingdome to show them where they
could be playing in April if they
worked hard enough.
"We did it for a special reason," he
said. "We wanted to put it in their
minds that it was a place we wanted to
return to."
UCLA is favored by 4 points to
beat "Big Country," Oklahoma State's
7-foot, 300-pound center Bryant
Reeves, but Sutton likes the odds.
Back in the Final Four with Okla-
homa State after his coaching career
appeared over at Kentucky, Sutton
enjoys being the underdog.
"We're going to be wearing black
uniforms so I guess we'll be the un-
derdogs," Sutton said. "I think we
have the toughest challenge that we've
had all season. I really believe UCLA
deserves the No. 1 ranking in the
country."
The Cowboys got to Seattle with a
68-54 victory over Massachusetts in
the East Regional final, holding Mas-
sachusetts to a season-low 28 percent
shooting.

BASEBALL
Continued from page 9
"You have good days and you have
bad ones," said John Arvai, who leads
the team in saves. "Today just hap-
ned to be one of our bad days."
M The Wolverines pulled ahead of
Western, 6-5, in the fifth. Scott Niemiec
walked with two outs in the inning.
AfterVan Oeveren flared abloop single
over the shortstop's head, Goble ripped
a single to rightfield to score Niemiec.
Simmons scored the Wolverines'
seventh run on a two-base error in the
eighth.
Kevin Gorlewski (1-0) picked up
Ohe win for Western.
Van Oeveren went 3-for-5 yester-
day, hissecond three-hitgamethis week.
The senior co-captain also scored three
of Michigan's eight runs. He has been
on a tear his last five games, batting
.500 with eight hits in 16 at bats. Van
Oeveren, last year's most valuable
player, was batting only.209 in the first
21 games of the season.
"A lot of (my slump) just had to do
ith what's above my shoulders," Van
Oeveren said. " Ijust tried not to dwell
on it and focus on positive things. I drew
a line last weekend and said 'this is a
new season."'
Brian Simmons was 2-for-3 at the
plate with a double for the Wolverines.

Hokies pokey
NEW YORK (AP) - Shawn Marquette 57-54 on
Smith made two free throws with less scored six straight poir
than a second left in overtime to give 59 lead.
Virginia Tech a 65-64 victory over Marquette counter
Marquette for the NIT championship run to move ahead 64-
last night. layup by Pieper with 1
Smith, who finished with 24 Tech then ran down
points, was fouled by Faisal Abraham Smith was fouled afters
as he went up for a shot under the fake near the basket.
basket with seven-tenths of a second Smith, who grabbe
remaining. The junior forward made was voted the tourr
his first free throw to tie the game, Shawn Good added 1
then sank his second after Marquette Hokies.
called a timeout to make him think Hutchins and Ton
about it. scored 15 points for M
Marquettethen inbounded the ball McCaskill had 13 poi
to Anthony Pieper just across bounds.
midcourt, but he couldn't get a shot
off before the buzzer sounded.
Smith, a 67 percent free throw
shooter during the season, made 10 of
12 Wednesday night.
It was the second NIT title for
Virginia Tech (25-10), which also
won the final in overtime over Notre A re
Dame in 1973. Y
Marquette, which won the NIT in
1970, finished at 21-12. your b
Aaron Hutchins scored the first
basket of overtime to put Marquetted 7 T , h
r

to NIT title

Jan. 17, then
nts to take a 63-
red with a 5-0
63 on a driving
8 seconds left.
the clock and
making apump
d 12 rebounds,
inament MVP.
4 points for the
ny Miller each
arquette. Amal
ints and 15 re-

Penn State 66, Canisius 62: Dan
Earl scored 17 points, including two
free throws with 6.4 seconds left, as
Penn State survived a late Canisius
rally for a 66-62 victory Wednesday
night in the NIT consolation game.
Penn State led 58-46 with 7:55
left, but Canisius fought back to tie
the game at 62 on a steal and dunk by
Craig Wise with 1:56 remaining.
John Amaechi hit two foul shots
with 46 seconds left to give Penn
State a 64-62 lead. Canisius missed
three shots on one possession in the
closing seconds and then fouled Earl,
who made both free throws to clinch
the victory.

AP PHOTO

Oklahoma State is getting up for its game against the Bruins.

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