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March 26, 1996 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-26

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11

- 1996 NCAA HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS --

Fresh faces bolt
to een ci
CHAMPIONSHIP
Cincinnati
Newcomers Vermont and Colorado College join
veterans, Boston U., Michigan in NCAA semis

By John Leroi
Daily Sports Editor
Don Lucia and his Colorado Col-
lege squad are already in Cincinnati.
The Tigers flight from Detroit Metro
Airport headed back to Colorado
Springs, Colo. was cancelled due to
inclement weather.
Trying to find 30 seats on another
flight would have been difficult so
Tiger Athletic Director Max Taylor
decided to head to the NCAA semifi-
nals right away.
And who can blame them? Colo-
tado College hasn't been to the final
four since the Tigers won it all in
957 and they are happy to be back.
"It's been a heck of a season and we
are extremely happy to be here," the
third-year coaTh said from his hotel
room in nearby Oxford.
"There are some great teams here
and I'm sure this is going to be an
exciting week."
The NCAA final four is a foreign
experience to both Colorado College
and its opponent, Vermont, which is
nakingits first-ever semifinal appear-
ance.
Michigan, however, and its oppo-
nent Thursday at 8 p.m., Boston Uni-
versity, aren't strangers to the latter
rounds of the NCAA tournament.
The Wolverines are one of the last
four teams alive for the fourth time in
five years while the Terriers are en-
joying their third straight final four
showing.
"It's almost like David and
Goliath," Lucia said. "Boston and
Michigan are perennial powers -
they've been there before. For us and
Vermont, everything's pretty new."
Michigan has the task of knocking
off last year's Goliath, the defending
national champions. This season, the
Terriers are stocked with talent again.

Forwards Jay Pandolfo, Chris Drury
and Mike Grier, Who combined for over
90 goals, give Boston University coach
Jack Parker enough fire power to start
his own Fourth of July spectacular. The
Terriers lead the nation in scoring of-
fense at 6.05 goals per game.
1996 NCAA hockey
championships
Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati
Semifinal game No. 1: Vermont vs.
Colorado College, 2 p.m., Thursday.
Semifinal game N6. 2: Michigan vs.
Boston University, 8 p.m., Thursday.
Final: Saturday, 1 p.m.
TV: Both semifinal games will be
telecast on ESPN2. The
final will be carried
by ESPN. They
Michigan Union
Program Board is
sponsoring a
semifinal party,
Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Michigan
Union Tap Room, where the game
will be shown on a big-screen TV.
Chris O'Sullivan recently moved
from his front-line position back to
defense to solidify Boston's play on
the blueline and give them more scor-
ing from the point.
Sophomore netminder Tom Noble
is second in the NCAA in winning
percentage, trailing only Colorado
College's Judd Lambert.
"We have some extremely skilled play-
ers," said Parker, who coached Michigan
left wing Matt Herr at the National Junior
Championships in December.
"They are the ones who can lead us

to a title. We're happy with who we
got on the ice."
In all, there will be six Hobey Baker
Award candidates skating on Thurs-
day - Michigan's Brendan Morrison,
Drury and Hockey East Player of the
Year Pandolfo, Eric Perrin and Mar-
tin St. Louis from Vermont and Colo-
rado College's Peter Geronazzo.
While the field is studded with
gems, Michigan coach Red Berenson
is more concerned about his own team.
The Wolverines have left the NCAA
tournament earlier than expected each
of the past three years - and all in
overtime.
Last season, as a No. I seed, Michi-
gan lost to Maine in triple-overtime in
the semifinals. The year before, Lake
Superior stopped the Wolverines injust
one extra period in the quarterfinals. In
1993, Maine dealt Michigan a similar
semifinal departure.
So before the Wolverines start
thinking about a national title, they
just want to get past Boston, Thurs-
day.
"We feel fortunate to get to the
final four," Berenson said. "But I think
we're deserving. Now it's just going
to get tougher."
Even though Vermont, Michigan
and Colorado College boast the top
three defensive teams in the country,
there's sure to be plenty of offense on
hand - especially in Thursday's
Michigan-BU game.
The Terriers and Wolverines are
the only two teams in the country to
average more than 5 1/2 goals per
game.
"I think you'll see a little more
offense in the semifinals," Berenson
said. "There tends to be more scoring
and the guys on the offensive end tend
to pick it up a little bit more in these
types of games."

Laxers win two of three at Big Tens

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