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March 18, 1996 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-18

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, March 18, 1996

HOCKEY

'M -Laker nvalry heats up

By Danielle Rumore
Daily Sports Writer
Saturday night at the Lake Superior
State and Michigan CCHA tournament
championship game, a Lakers' fan held
up a poster featuring a Michigan hockey
player hanging from Lake State's an-
chor with a rope around its neck.
The fan was undoubtedly hoping
that the Lakers would sink the Wol-
verines en route to the tournament
crown, and she wasn't exactly pray-
ing. Lake State has dumped Michigan
the last four out of five times at some
point in the conference tournament.
A fifth crown was not to be this
year as the Wolverines skated around
Joe Louis Arena with the champion-
ship trophy after prevailing, 4-3, in a
game that went down to the wire.
I thought it could have potentially
been another Lake State-Michigan
overtime game," Lakers' coach Jeff
Jackson said. "There is so much ri-
valry between two great opponents."
Rivalry seems to be the operative
word. There is little doubt that the
rivalry between Lake State and the
Wolverines is as strong, if not stron-
ger, than the instate rivalry between
Michigan and Michigan State.
And Lake State has been truly spec-
tacular in postseason play, compiling a
24-2 record in its last 26 CCHA playoff
games. Theonly two losses were to Michi-
ga.
The Lakers and the Wolverines are
relatively close in regular season head-
to-head competition, but somehow
things always take an interesting turn in
the CCHA tournament. The Lakers have
virtually dominated Michigan in the
tournament ever since the start of the

1990's. The Lakers have been an alba-
tross, or more accurately, a heavy an-
chor, around the Michigan hockey
program's neck. The Lakers usually
determine whether the Wolverines swim
or sink in the tourney.
And excluding Saturday's game,
the Wolverines have sunk more often
than they have swam.
"Ifyou look at games in league play
since Jeff Jackson and I have been
coaching, I think it's about a one-
game differential between the two
teams," Michigan coach Red Berenson
said. "They've had an edge in this
tournament and I think we have an
edge in league play."
In regular season play, Berenson is
15-25-3 against the Lakers since be-
coming head coach in 1985-1986
while Jackson is 7-12-1 since taking
over the helm of Lake State in 1990-
1991. Berenson gets the edge in the
category, with a .384 winning per-
centage compared to Jackson's .375.
The Lakers have dominated the
Wolverines and the CCHA tourna-
ment for the majority of the decade.
Before Saturday, their only lost oc-
curred during the 1993-1994 season
in the championship game against
Michigan. That victory handed Michi-
gan its first CCHA tournament crown.
But Lake State turned around and
eliminated the Wolverines from the
first round of the NCAA tournament a
week later.
The Lakers knocked Michigan out
of the CCHA tournament in the cham-
pionship game in 1991 and 1992 and
in the semifinal round in 1993 and
1995. Lake State went on to win the
crown each of those four years.

"We seem to end up playing Lake
Superior for the CCHA title or the
championship," Michigan left wing
John Madden said following the win.
"We meet them in big games so the
rivalry is definitely there."
What has been the key to the Lakers
success against Michigan in the
postseason tournament? Berenson be-
lieves it has something to do with
Lake State's style of play.
"They're a good checking team and
a good team defensively," Berenson
said. "We are traditionally as strong
team offensively but now we are de-
veloping our own defensive style."
Maybe Michigan's new defensive
style is beginning to shine through,
loosening the grip of the albatross.
Michigan's victory this weekend gave
it the last two-out-of-three champion-
ships with wins over the Lakers. The
two championships make it difficult
for the current Michigan quad to re-
late to the Lakers' mystique. In fact,
may of the players feel it is virtually
nonexistent and overhyped.
"Since I have been here, we have
won the last two-of-three," Michigan
junior defenseman Blake Sloan said.
"But some people feel that they are
our nemesis."
This time around, the Wolverines
felt they had more to prove against
the Lakers. Michigan's league action
this season did not prove as success-
ful in years past. The Wolverines went
1-2 against Lake State, including two
losses in Sault Ste. Marie, Feb. 23-24.
Michigan lost 5-4 in overtime in game
one and 7-3 in game two.
"There was a definite revenge fac-
tor here," Sloan said.

Michigan forward John Madden skated his way to the CCHA tournament MVP.

SEEDING
Continued from Page LB

round and will play the winner of the
contest between third-seeded Minnesota
(29-9-2) and sixth-seeded Providence (21-
14-3) at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing
March 24 at 2 p.m.
'At this point, it's pretty automatic
what you have to do," Michigan
goaltender Marty Turco said. "Our team
has confidence especially after the week-
end. We're having fun but we're taking
this seriously."
Lake State (29-7-2), which finishedthe
regular season first in the CCHA, is the
No. 3 seed in the East bracket, which will
be played in Albany, NY.
Michigan State (28-12-1), the No. 5
seed in the West, captured one ofthe four
at-large berths. The Spartans sat atop of
the CCHA standings for most of league
play before finishing the regular season
tied for third with Western Michigan (25-
12-3) behind Lake State and Michigan
which were tied for first. The Spartans
will play Massachusetts-Lowell (25-9-
4), the No. 4 seed March 23 on its home
ice.
Western Michigan of the CCHA,
Clarkson (23-9-3) ofthe ECAC and Mas-
sachusetts-Lowell of Hockey East round
out the other three at-large berths.
If Michigan wins its second round
game, it will advance to the Final Four to
be played at Riverfront Coliseum in Cin-
cinnati March 28 and 30. The Wolverines
will not face Michigan State at Munn, or
any of the other two possible conference
opponents, before the Final Four.
None of the other eight teams from the
three other conferences will have to face
each other before the Final Four either
unless Cornell (21-8-4) upsets Lake State
in the first round of the East bracket. In
that case, Cornell will face fellow ECAC
opponent Vermont in the second round.
"1 think it's good that (the selection
committee) separates teams in our league
and in the others as well," Berenson said.
"If it's truly a tournament of all leagues,
then it's good to cross teams right away."
In total, all four conferences sent at
least two teams to the tournament field
with the CCHA leading the way with four
teams. The ECAC and Hockey East were
next with three apiece, followed by the
WCHA with two.
"Ithas been agreat year forus and there
ar'e a lot of great teams out there," Colo-
rado College coach Don Lucia said." It's
just a great 12-team field."
Tickets for the two-day long West
bracket at Munn will goon sale beginning
today at 9 a.m. at the Michigan Athletic
Ticket Office on State Street. The ticket
package costs $42 and includes all four
games in the first and second round. This
includes Michigan State in the first round,
Michigan in the second and Colorado
College, the No. 1 team in the country, in
the second. Tickets can be ordered in
person or over the phone at 764-0247.
Visa and Mastercard will be accepted.

In the end Hayes not
sac/i an unlikely hero.

ETROIT - He was the most
unlikely of heroes. A freshman.
A fourth-line center. A
defensive forward who had hit the back
of the net just seven times all season.
In fact, Bobby Hayes didn't even
have a scholarship when he came to
Ann Arbor as a 17-year-old kid in
August. He still doesn't.
His biggest asset is his defense. He
has seen most of his ice time this year
killing penalties. He is, on a team with
players named Morrison, Botterill,
Hilton and
Madden, by no
means a
superstar.«
Hayes isn't
even your typical s:
freshman,
standout. He
didn't receive a JOHN
single vote for
the CCHA all- LEROI

WA KER VANDYKE/Daily
David Lambeth and the Laker defense surrendered one too many goals against Michigan Saturday night.
Title gm+irosreetmacu

By Alan Goldenbach
Daily Sports Writer
Lightning didn't strike the Michigan hockey team twice. But
in Saturday's 4-3 win over Lake Superior, the Wolverines
undoubtedly heard the thunder.
It was the thunder ofthe Lakers' relentless attack on Michigan's
net in the closing minute of a one-goal game.
In fact, the scene had an eerie resemblance to the situation the
Wolverines faced no less than three weeks ago at Sault Ste.
Marie, when the Lakers tied the game in the closing seconds and
then shocked Michigan 5-4 in overtime.
The similarities between the two games are scary. The
Wolverines relinquished two-goal leads in the first period of
both games. Michigan had a 4-3 lead going into the final minute
ofboth games. With just overaminute remaining in both games,
the Lakers pulled goaltender John Grahame for an extra skater.
And this led to the Lakers having complete control of the puck
deep in the Wolverines' zone, usually behind the Michigan net.
Laker center Brian Felsner, who scored the game-tying goal
three weeks ago, was on the ice this time and missed a good
chance to give the Wolverines another heartache.
Add to all of that the fact that Lake State has lost only once in
the CCHA Tournament in Jeff Jackson's six years at the helm
of the Laker ship, and it seem ed that fate would somehow find
the Lakers a victory.
But this time the luck fell into Michigan's hands. No weird

bounces off Michigan goaltender Marty Turco's pads. No
Superman impersonations from Laker defenseman Keith
Aldridge.
"We did not get the puck out (of our zone)," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said. "Our players were tired. They youldn't get
off the ice. It was just pure luck and good goalkeeping."
But believe it or not, flashbacks ofthe Soo Disaster didn't hit
the Wolverines during the game - not even Turco, 'vho was at
the center of action in both games.1
"I wasn't thinking about that at all," Turco said. "I put that in
the past. I wouldn't say I suppressed it because before the game
I thought about it.
"What happened a couple of weeks ago was really irrelevant
for the way I played today."
It may have been so for Turco, but not for the Lakers.
"I thought it potentially could have been another Overtime
Lake State - Michigan game," Jackson said.
But what kept it from being so this time was that Iichigan
seemed to recognize the magnitude of the game. It was Fvident
in the little things the Wolverines did in the final minutetto hold
off the Lakers. Players not known for their defense suddenly
rose to the occasion. Jason Botterill, who has seen little, if any,
penalty killing time, was diving to block shots.
But Botterill's 209-pound frame hitting the ice shoukni't be
confused with the thunder generated by the Lakers. Miqhigan
was just lucky enough to get one and not the other.

rookie team. Out of
He didn't Bounds
exactly light up
the scoreboard before his Wolverine
career began either. Twenty-four points
for the Waterloo (Iowa) Black Hawks
and 27 more for Detroit Compuware
aren't shabby, but those aren't exactly
prolific numbers for a college recruit.
Other Michigan freshmen were more
heralded.
Hayes even admits that, if yott watch
a Michigan hockey game, he probably
won't stand out.
"I'm a scrapper," he says. "I'll be in
the corners every game if that's what
I'm supposed to do."
So in the finals of the nation's best
conference tournament, he ought to be
the last person you'd expect to net the
game-winning goal. But he wasn't.
It didn't come as a surprise to anyone
that Bobby Hayes broke a 3-3, third-
period deadlock against the CCHA
regular season champions, Lake
Superior. Forget about everything else;
Hayes wanted it.
Really, why would it be a shock that
Hayes lifted the Wolverines to their
second CCHA playoff championship in
three years?
He's a coach's dream. He plays hard,
and he does whatever he's asked. He is
one of only five Wolverines, and the
only underclassman, to play in all 40 of
Michigan's games.
"When we recruited him, we asked
him, 'Bobby, where do you want to go
to school?"' Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "He said 'I don't care
about anything else, I want to go to
Michigan'... he's a selfless player, he's

done everything we asked of him."
You can bet it was no fluke that
Bobby Hayes was in the right place at
the right time Saturday. He made sure
he was there.
So when Harold Schock sent a high
slapshot from the right point that Laker.
goaltender John Grahame turned aside,
Hayes was there, right in the middle of
two Lake Superior defenders, to flip inO
the winning goal.
He tallied just one point in the
tournament before his shot spun over
Grahame with.six and a half minutes
left in the game, but Hayes was an easy
choice for the all-tournament team.
But Hayes was on my ballot before he
even scored his first post-season goal. His
hustle and defense merited a spot.
Since the first game of the confer-
ence playoffs against Miami, and even¢
weeks before, Hayes played as well as
any Wolverine - Morrison, Botterilla
Hilton and Madden included.
He made the play of the weekend in
Friday's 6-2 semifinal win over
Michigan State, hopping over a. Spartan
defender and leaving the puck for
Madden to net a shorthanded goal that
put the Wolverines up 3-1.
He won more games stifling
opponents' power plays with his
tenacity than he ever did scoring goals.
Berenson calls him "our best penalty
killer." Bobby Hayes never gives up.
Even after Lake State tied the game
at three with a shorthanded goal during
a five-minute major penalty to Laker
center Bryan Fuss, Hayes was deter-
mined not to let the game slip away.
"What are we going to do, roll over
and let them win?" he said in disgust.
Few have Bobby Hayes' gusto. And
for a defensive forward on a team with'
five 50-point scorers, few have his
numbers. Hayes tops his class in
scoring with 21 points - not bad for a
walk-on center.
Hayes has so much energy and so
much hustle that Berenson was forced
to promote him off of the fourth line
this weekend to get him more ice time.,
And when CCHA scoring leader
Kevin Hilton went down with a deep.
thigh bruise in the first period. who els
could Berenson choose to take his spot,
centering the Wolverines' top line?
Hayes has, been Michigan's most
consistent and most impressive rookie
all year. He adjusts to almost anything
and he improves every game.
It doesn't really take much thought to
realize that Bobby Hayes is not such an
unlikely hero after all.
-John Leroi can be reached over4
mail atjrlero@umich.edu.

I

.

i

CHAMPIONS
Continued from Page IB
i_ Grahame, who was named to the

" Michigan's a strong team with a lot
of firepower ,.. It was a lot like a
IL. Wim -a f wmDw#bm ma dn# dnn

"There were too many turnovdrs in
the neutral zone, and that resulted in
too many odd-man rushes," Jackson
said. "You can't do that in these
games, and you can't do that against

Friday's game
Michigan St. 1 1 0-2
Michigan 4 1 1--6
First period - 1, UM. Hilton 10 (Luhning, Herr), 5:10; 2,
MSU, Keyes 14 (Ferranti), 9:27; 3, UM, Botterill 31
(Morrison, Sakala), 11:31;:4, UM, Madden 25 (Hayes).

Satur ' ga m
Michigan 3 0 1-4
Lake Superior 1 1 1-3
First period-1, UM, Luhning 19 (Madden, Morrison).
10:43 (pp): 2. LSSU Alvey 13 (unassisted), 11:40; 3,
UM Madden 27 (unassisted). 17:14 (sh); 4, UM

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