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March 25, 1996 - Image 11

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-25

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4

The Wolverines vs. the nation
Icers. wrestlers and swimmrs r nmnaet in NCAAw

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Women swimmers struggle to 3rd

y Marc Ughtdale
aily Sports Writer
Overcoming obstacles remained the
ne consistent feature of this year's
4ichigan women's swimming and div-
ig team.
After a sixth-place finish on the first
ay of NCAA competition, the Wolver-
aced the uncomfortable position of
av ng to refocus mentally.
"It's no secret that we got off to a
tally rough start," Michigan coach Jim
.ichardson said. "If we had not made
n attitude adjustment, we would have

been out of the meet after the first day."
At the end of the meet in Canham
Natatorium, the Wolverines battled back
to a third-place finish, behind Stanford
and Southern Methodist. Stanford won
its fifth consecutive tournament with
478 points, Southern Methodist came
in second with 397 points and Michi-
gan followed with 363.5 points.
The most exciting event came in the
last event of the meet, the 400-meter
freestyle relay, which exemplified the
Wolverines' perserverance.
In their second-place finish, the relay

squad consisting of Jen Eberwein,
Megan Gillam, Kim Johnson and Talor
Bendel appeared to be neck and neck
with Stanford for most of the race.
Michigan was edged out by the Cardi-
nal, but managed to beat Southern Cal's
highly-touted relay team.
"The relay got together and said,'sure
we need to beat USC,"' Bendel said.
"The goal is to swim the best relay we
could."
The inspired performances of two
sophomores, Bendel and Kerri Hale,
led the team's comeback to a top-three

finish for the second year in a row.
Hale emerged from the 1,650 freestyle
with a season-best performance
(16:12.95).
"That was amazing," Hale said. "My
team was along my side for my highest
finish in the 1,650. When I got done, I
was so excited."
Before celebrating her outstanding
performance, Hale arrived back on the
deck to race in the 200 butterfly. In her
third event, she managed to secure a
second-place finish in the consolations
See SWIMMERS, Page 7B

MARK FRIEgMAN/
Michigan's Jodi Nafta takes off during the NCAA championships this weekend.

Icers slip b
Minnesota

I

, .
* ,

into semis
By Danielle Rumore
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING -The two parties on a see-saw must
stay on either end to keep it balanced. If one party jumps
off, the other comes crashing to the ground.
Last night at Munn Ice Arena in the NCAA quarterfinals,
the Michigan and Minnesota hockey teams teetered back
and forth in a relatively balanced contest for close to 60
minutes until Michigan jumped off. And in an instant, the
Golden Gophers' season came crashing to the ground in
the 4-3 Wolverine victory.
Michigan's Brendan Morrison fed Bill Muckalt who
slid the puck past Gopher goalie Steve DeBus at 17:59 of
the third period. The Wolverines were able to hold the
Gophers off for the remainder of the period, securing the
victory. Muckalt's goal sent Minnesota packing and Michi-
gan to the NCAA semifinals.
"This was a classic college game," Minnesota coach
Doug Woog said. "This was (equivalent to) a final four
game. The closer you get to the ultimate goal, the more
intense it gets."
The Wolverines looked flat at the start of the game.
managing only three shots on goal in the first period,
season low, compared to Minnesota's 13. Excluding
yesterday's game, Michigan averaged 12.2 shots on goal
in the first stanza over its 40-game span.
Minnesota's Nick Checco started out the scoring with G
shorthanded goal at 3:38 of the first stanza. The puck slit
into the neutral zone after the Wolverines lost control of
it in the Gophers' end. Steven Halko could not stop the
puck in the neutral zone, but Checco managed to get ;
stick on it and flip it past Michigan goaltender Marty
Turco.
From that point on, the two squads exchanged goals ir
what proved to be a nail-biter until the final buzzer.
Muckalt's first of two goals tied the game at 8:32 of the
first. After a few quick passes after a faceoff, Muckalt
steadied on the left side of the crease, grabbed a feed froir
Morrison and slid it past DeBus for the power play score
The Wolverines entered the lockerroom down 2-1 at the
end of the first after Jay Moser tapped the puck across the
crease for a power play goal at 11:56. Turco made ke)
saves down the stretch, which could have easily giver.
Minnesota a two or three goal cushion at intermission.
"Marty made a save that could have put (Minnesota) up
two," Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "Minnesota
had the edge in the first, but we expected it because of the
game (they played Saturday). We came back in the secon.
and then it was anyone's game in the third."
Michigan started the second period as the more aggres-
sive team and continued the power play barrage that begar
in the first period. Mike Legg started things off, tying the
game at two with a goal that was one of the most incredibl
of the entire season.
See GOPHERS, Page 5E

WALKER VANDYKE/Daily
Minnesota goaltender Steve DeBus couldn't bat the puck or the Wolverines away in yesterday's NCAA quarterfinal game in East Lansing.
Vichigan mentally ready to win, but are the ghosts gone.?

EAST LANSING - Michigan
doesn't like to remember, but old
ghosts are not easily forgotten.
The 4-3 overtime loss to Maine in the
992-93 semifinals.
The 5-4 overtime loss to Lake Superior
n the 1993-94 quarterfinals.
he 4-3 triple overtime loss to Maine
t season's semifinals.
Each year, the Wolverines needed only
ne more.goal -just one.
One more goal, a game-winner in
vertime, and Michigan could have
rabbed glory. But the bounces didn't go
heir way, the goals didn't come, and the
Volverines had to settle for pain instead.
They add up, these tough defeats. They
near at a team's constitution and

confidence. Hearts can only be broken so
many times. When a certain point is
reached, they can't
be healed.
But yesterday was

different.
Something about
the game hinted that
Michigan is on the
mend. The Wolver-
ines beat Minne-
sota, 4-3, in a
championship
caliber game. The
breaks went their
way, and Michigan

about past years too much," Michigan
captain Steven Halko said. "The only
thing we can control is now."
Winning in the quarterfinals is nothing
new for Michigan. The Wolverines have
done it four of the past five years. But
there is something special about Michi-
gan this year.
Michigan expects to win, wants to win,
and is enjoying the pursuit.
Last Saturday, just hours after the
Wolverines had won the CCHA playoff
championship, they celebrated. But they
didn't go out and throw a big bash. They
sat at Halko's house and watched the
game again.
The night was spent talking hockey.
That was fun enough.

"There were some parties around
town, but everyone ended up at our
place," Halko said. "We're serious
about what we're doing."
Michigan has been focused all season.
The Wolverines are mature.
"They're really learning how hard
they have to work to win these types of
games," Michigan coach Red Berenson
said. "I like their preparation, and I like
the way they've played."
They beat the teams they were
supposed to beat earlier this season,
blowing them out night after night.
They concentrated on the little things
like goals against average, special teams
and team defense. They might have won
See COTSONIKA, Page 5B

COTSONIKA
The Greek
Speaks

got the goal it needed.
"I don't think anybody's thinking

a - - m

Wrestlers claim 9th; 5 earn All-American honors

Regional Fnais

y Will McCahill
aily Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS-Michigan found
acure for what ailed it, and Howe
weet it was.
Minnesota native Brandon Howe
0 ked the Wolverine wrestling squad
ninth-place finish at this weekend's
4CAA tournament, as he and fellow
ophomore Bill Lacure surprised just
bout everybody but themselves with
reat tourney runs.
Howe, wrestling at 126 pounds, fin-
shed eighth. while Lacure olaced fourth

whose finishes earned them All-Ameri-
can honors.
In addition to Howe and Lacure,
sophomore JeffCatrabone finished sev-
enth at 158 pounds, while senior cap-
tain Jesse Rawls Jr. and sophomore
Airron Richardson placed fourth at 177
pounds and heavyweight, respectively.
The results were a marked improve-
ment over last year's NCAA result:
Michigan placed 22nd while garnering
only two All-American spots.
Michigan coach Dale Bahr said the
team's high finish goes a long way

Ten tournament, in which the Wolver-
ines finished seventh.
"This was a heck ofa performance by
our kids,' Bahr said. "We lost some
tight matches (at the Big Tens) and we
were really down after that. It looked
like (the season) wasn't going to end all
that well."
Bahr singled out the unseeded Howe
for having given the team the momen-
tum it needed going into the final rounds.
"Brandon ... was the catalyst, espe-
cially in the medal round (Friday night),"
Bahr said.

Friday, repaying the Spartan in full for
a loss late in the Big Ten tournament.
Once Howe started the ball rolling,
Bahr said, his teammates felt obligated
to keep the team on the winning track.
After defeating Bolton, Howe was
waylaid by Willie Carpenter of Brown,
and eventually lost to Northwestern's
Scott Schatzman to finish in the eighth
slot.
Lacure -who began the tournament
seeded ninth - was equally inspiring
on his path to fourth place. In Friday
afternoon's quarterfinal round, he came

-a -.. .

Massachusetts 86,
Georgetown 62

Syracuse 60,

" Kansas 57

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