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March 25, 1996 - Image 15

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-25

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday -Monday, March 25, 1996 - 5B
Legg's stick tricks pay
offin quartei win

By Alan Goldenbach
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - It was the last thing he did
before leaving the ice. It was the last thing anyone
inside Munn Ice Arena could expect.
Including Mike Legg.
Legg, the Michigan right wing, practices it every-
day but with few intentions ofever using it. Accord-
ing to several of his teammates, he just likes to have
fun with the puck and try to do neat things with his
stickhandling.
But what Legg pulled offyesterday in the Wolver-
ines' 4-3 victory over Minnesota crossed the line
between just fooling around with the puck and doing
something that would leave Wayne Gretzky doing a
double-take.
Legg practices this trick where he lays the puck on
the side of his stick and whips it toward the goal,
similar to the motion used by a lacrosse player when
taking a shot on goal.
He practices it everyday, including yesterday,
before the game.
Legg learned the trick from Billy Armstrong, a
former Western Michigan player, who now plays for
the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey
League. Legg practiced with Armstrong over the
summer and picked up the trick. Practicing it even-
tually became habitual.
"I tried it everyday in practice a couple ofhundred
times," Legg said. "But I had never seen it in a
game."
The last thing Legg did before leaving the ice
during the pre-game skate, was practice his little
trick --simply doing what he always does. By now,
it may have become more of a superstition than
actual preparation for a game situation.
But midway through the second period yesterday,
Legg finally got a chance to show off what he had
been doing in practice all season long.
He took a feed from John Madden behind the
Gopher net and waited a moment. Suddenly, all
the time he spent fooling around after practice
came back to him. He was going to attempt the
move.
At lightning-quick speed, Legg was able to posi-

tion the puck at just the right spot on his stick and in
one fluid motion, flung the puck past Minnesota
goaltender Steve DeBus. Despite the fact that Legg
pulled off the move as perfectly as he could, DeBus
was probably more shocked at the mere idea of the
move rather than its effectiveness.
"I have to be alone behind the net," Legg said about
the best way to pull of the move. "If somebody's on
me, there's no way I can do it. But I figured I'd give
it a shot.
"It's something I try out and testand see if I still got
it."
Legg figured right. Not only for his teammates, but
for the 6,000-plus fans at Munn Arena who were all
trying to sneak a peak at one of the press box
televisions for a replay. Jaw-
dropping shock doesn't begin
to explain the reaction of the
"Munn-sters" to Legg's goal.
At the postgame press con-
ference, the media was imme-
diately dubbing Legg the next
lacrosse superstar.
"I've never played lacrosse
before,"Legg said when asked
ifhe had thought abouta career
in the sport.
Legg Legg's teammate Bill
Muckalt took it upon himself
to put his two cents in.
"I have (played lacrosse)," Muckalt said, "and I
still can't do that."
Where would Legg and the Wolverines have been
without his goal?
Besides the tremendous ability involved, it was a
big goal for Michigan. It tied the game at two and,
more importantly, Minnesota never led again.
"When Legger came back and scored that goal for:
us, that put yoursense ofhumor to the test," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. "But in the midst of the
game, that was a huge goal for us.
"Mike's one of the last guys to leave the ice at
practice everyday. Whatever he's doing, it's work-
ing."
Oh my, is it working.

Michigan defenseman Mark Sakala blocked this Dave Larson offering, but Marty Turco had to deal with most of the rest, spurring the Wolverines
o a°4-3 victory over Minnesota in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament yesterday in East Lansing.

"We were in awe," Muckalt said of
the score. "We see it all the time in
practice, but it takes guts to do it in a
game."
Legg's goal is more common to
lacrosse than to hockey. In fact, it is
practically never seen in hockey. Legg
received the puck behind the net from
John Madden and skated around for
position in front of the crease. He
kept the puck on the side of his stick
and whipped it up, over and past
DeBus, looking more like a lacrosse
player than a hockey forward.
"I have to be alone behind net (to do
it)," Legg said. "I tried to use. gravity
and flipped the puck on my stick."
The third period proved to be a see-
saw fight, with the two squads exchang-
ing goals until Muckalt's game-win-
ner.
All in all, every Wolverines goal,
except for the final one, was scored
on the power play.
"We got beaten in the special teams
today, and we didn't need that," Woog
said. "It was not going to be in our
advantage (to play a special teams
game)."
The NCAA semifinals will be tele-
vised Thursday on ESPN2. In the first
matchup, the No. I seed from the West
bracket, Colorado College, faces No. 2
seed Vermont from the East at 2 p.m.
Michigan, the second seed from the
West bracket, faces off against the

No. 1 seed from the East, Boston
University, at 8 p.m. in the second
game.
Tickets for the semifinals and the
final will go on sale today at 8 a.m.
Tickets are $72 for all three games
and will be on sale at the Michigan
Ticket Office until noon tomorrow.
To order, call 764-0247.
Tickets can also be ordered through
Riverfront Coliseum at (800) 232-
9900 or (513) 721-1000.
Minnesota 2 0 1-3
Michigan 1 1 2-4
First period - 1, MINN, Checco 8 (Trebil), 3:38 (sh);
2, UM, Muckalt 25 (Morrison, Halko), 8:32 (pp); 3,
MINN, Moser 10, 11:56 (pp). Penalties - Madden,
UM (roughing), 2:34; Wasley, MINN (roughing), 2:34;
W. Smith, MINN (holding), 2:34; Botterill, UM
(hooking), 6:04; Berg, MINN (hooking), 8:24; Legg,
UM (slashing), 8:59; Sloan, UM (high-sticking), 10:41;
Hendrickson, MINN (cross-checking), 13:21; Arnold,
UM (tripping),.17:01.
Second period - 4, UM, Legg 14 (Madden), 7:06
(pp). Penalties - Botterill, UM (high-sticking),:08;
Crowley, MINN (roughing), 5:25; Schock, UM
(holding), 18:28.
Third Period - 5, UM, Luhning 20 (Morrison,
Muckalt), 7:33 (pp); 6, MINN Hankinson 16 (Larson,
Zwakman), 14:59; 7, UM, Muckalt 26 (Morrison),
17:59. Penalties - Trebil, MINN (high-sticking), 7:10.
Power plays - MINN, 1 of 6; UM; 3 of 5.
Shots on goal - MINN, 13-7-2-22; UM, 3-8-9-20.
Goalie saves - DeBus, MINN 2-7-7-16; Turco, UM
11-7-1-19.
Referees - Mike Noeth, Alex Dell.
Linesman - Jack Dunn.
At: Munn Ice Arena. A: 6,043

Minnesota left
wing Jason
Godbout won this
battle with
Michigan's Matt -
Herr, but his
Golden Gophers
lost the war.
Minnesota is
going home
withou an
appearance in the
NCAA semifinals
for the first time
In three years
after a 4-3 loss to
the Wolverines
yesterday in East
Lansing.
WALKER VAN DYKE/Daily
COTSONIKA
Continued from Page 11
7-3 sometimes, but ifthose three goals'
were given up in the third period, the
night was a disappointment.
That discipline has paid off at'
crunch time.
Michigan won its last two games',
because of it.
Against Lake Superior in the CCHA -
title game, a late goal that tied the'
score didn't derail the Wolverines.
They won despite the setback, 4-3.
Last night, the Gophers tied it at-'
three with a little more than five min--,
utes remaining. Michigan survived
4-3.
The memories shouldn't allow this
poise. When the momentum shift
against Michigan near the end of the'
game, history should shake the confi-
dence from the Wolverines. This
might have happened in past years,{
but it didn't last night. Michigan is-
prepared mentally.
But are the ghosts gone?
"Coach told us that we can't get too
high when we score, and we can't get-
too low when they do," Halko said.
"We have to stay focused. We can't
get rattled. We've got another thing"
to accomplish." -
One more goal.
- Nicholas J. Cotsonika can bd
reached over e-mail at
cotsonik@umich.edu:

Vermont, Colorado College earn berths in semis;'M'to face Boston U.

1996 NCAA hockey
tournament

I - .

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