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September 25, 1996 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-25

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cr eb#Oard AMERICAN LEAGUE
NATONALEArUTexas 7, OAKLAND 3
NATiONAL LEAGUE BOSTON 13, Baltimore 6
1St. ouis 7, PIT T SBURGH~ 1CLEVELAND 7, Minnesota 3
CINCINNATI 6, Chicago 3 Toronto 4. DETROIT 1
Montreal at PHILADELPHIA, inc. Milwaukee at NEW YORK, ppd.
FLORIDA 12, Atlanta 1 CHICAGO 3, Kansas City 2
New York 4, HOUSTON 1 Seattle at CALIFORNIA, inc.
San Francisco at LOS ANGELES, inc. HOME TEAMS IN CAPS
Colorado at SAN DIEGO, inc.

Wednesday
September 25, 1996

9

Wolverines earn top
spot in early polls
Coaches say Michigan is team to beat in
CCHA, but others will be competitive

By Andy Knudsen
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - It may not seem as if it was that
long ago. Michigan center Brendan Morrison
poked an overtime rebound into the right side of
the net, ending the 1995-96 hockey season and
bringing a national championship home for the
Wolverines.
Well, it was almost six months ago; the cele-
brations are long over and a new season is on
the horizon.
Michigan will open the 1996-97 season where
it left off last year - on top. As expected, the
Wolverines were voted to the top spot of both
the coaches and media pre-season CCHA polls,
which were released at the conference's annual
media luncheon yesterday at Joe Louis Arena.
"I would agree that we should be one of the
best teams in this league," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said.
Bowling Green coach Buddy Powers said he
is glad to have the defending national champi-
ons in the conference.
"They have to be the team that we all shoot
for," Powers said. "They've set a standard (for
the other teams)."
Last year, Michigan and Lake Superior State
tied for the regular-season CCHA championship
with 46 points, one point ahead of both
Michigan State and Western Michigan.
But the coaches did not waste much of their
breath talking about polls. Instead, the main
themes of the day were the strength of the

"It doesn't matter
who you play in this -
league on a given night
$- it's a tough game
- Ron Mason
Michigan State hockey coach
CCHA and college hockey in general.
"This league, I feel, has the best coaching of
any hockey league in the country," Michigan
State coach Ron Mason said. "It doesn't matter
who you play in this league on any given night
- it's a tough game."
But Mason still isn't satisfied with the con-
ference's reputation.
"I would like to challenge all the coaches in
this league to make sure we do well outside the
league as well," Mason said. "If we could all do
it every game outside of the league during the
regular season, maybe Bowling Green last year
would have been in the NCAA tournament."
Bowling Green finished fifth in the CCHA
last season and was in line to receive a tourna-
ment bid until big upsets in the eastern confer-
See CCHA, Page 10

JOE WESTRATE/Daily
Michigan skaters, like Warren Luhning, have their eyes on repeating as national champions. The Wolverines, who were picked to finish first in the
conference in two preseason polls, know that this season they will be the team everyone wants to beat.

Around the Horn
Buckeyes silence Panthers, but
jn A may put up more ofafig/t

Stickers pleased with 3-2 record

Columbus has got to be a happy
place to be these days.
Ohio State is 2-0, and coach
John Cooper apparently has an offen-
sive juggernaut on his hands.
"We had another convincing victo-
ry (Saturday)," Cooper said yester-
day.
y Convincing, of course, in the same
*ay that it sprinkled during the third
quarter of last Saturday's Michigan-
Boston College game.
The Buckeyes pounded Pitt, 72-0.
Cooper didn't run up the score, how-
ever, he hopped in his car and drove
it up.
-Cooper said the Ohio State coach-
ing staff awarded behemoth tackle
Orlando Pace with Offensive
Lineman of the Game honors for his
Vve "pancakes" against the Panthers.
Of course it's easy to flatten a
creampuff, which is what Ohio
State's first two opponents, Rice and
Pitt, have been.
The Buckeyes have outscored
those two teams by a combined 142-
7.'
How bad were the Panthers on
Saturday? Ohio State scored a touch-
own on a punt return - and only
d eight players on the field.
Now I don't have anything against
convincing wins against lesser oppo-
nents. In fact, it is probably better to
throttle them than to almost lose as
Michigan did on Saturday.
And if Cooper wants to schedule
Big Al's Truck Driving School and
Academy, he can. It's his team, but
does it really help the Buckeyes?
Cooper doesn't know much more
rout his team now than he did three
weeks ago before the season began.
The Buckeyes don't know if they've
inproved, because how do you judge
aperformance against a team that
would barely beat some Division II
schools?

How does that kind of schedule
possibly help a team prepare for, oh,
say, a trip to South Bend, Ind., to
play Notre Dame?
That's where the schedule says
Ohio State has to go this weekend.
The Buckeyes have no choice. They
can't travel to Central Florida or
Akron; they have to play the Fighting
Irish.
Cooper readily admits that the true
test for his team
is in the weeks
to come. After
No. 5 Notre
Dame, the No. 4
Buckeyes face
No. 3 Penn
State, a team
RYAN that's been
WHITE pushed about as
White On hard as Ohio
Target State at this
point in the sea-
son, but, like Ohio State, is a good
team.
Chances are the Buckeyes won't
score 70 points in both of those
games combined, and the odds have
got to be pretty good they won't give
up only seven.
"We have not been tested by a
good running game in either of our
first two games," Cooper said.
Actually, they haven't seen good
running games, passing games, kick-
ing games, tackling games, or games
in general.
And they may pay for it starting
this week.
IT HAD TO HAPPEN: Even if only
by accident, Illinois had to score a
touchdown at some point this season.
And since the Fighting Illini
played Akron, a Mid-American
Conference school, last Saturday, it
was a pretty good bet it would be the
end of Illinois' 16-quarter touchdown
drought.

And Illinois delivered as only
Illinois can.
Running back Robert Holcombe
scored three times and was named
the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the
Week.
"I really felt, for the first time,
real tension when we got in the red
zone," Tepper said of Illinois' first
touchdown drive. "There was a relief
after we scored the first one, but I
don't think we loosened up until the
second one was scored."
Now that the Illini have broken
through the scoring barrier, expect
them to play simply mediocre foot-
ball the rest of the season.
NICE GUY FINISHES FIRST (FOR
NOw): You can't help but feel good
for Minnesota coach Jim Wacker.
Wacker, easily the most personable
coach in the Big Ten, was given an
ultimatum before the season began.
He had to win five games or he was
gone.
After a come-from-behind victory
over Syracuse last Saturday, the
Golden Gophers have three wins
under their belt already and an off
week this weekend.
"Probably the best thing is that I
know we're not going to lose this
weekend," Wacker joked. "There's no
way that could happen."
TOSS OUT THE TAPE: Iowa coach
Hayden Fry took some of the respon-
sibility for his team's 27-20 loss to
Tulsa last Saturday.
In the week leading up to the game,
Fry let Iowa see tapes of Tulsa's two
previous losses, and over-confidence
may have become a problem.
"They were a completely different
team against us," Fry said of the
Golden Hurricane. "I tried to warn
our coaches and players that they
were capable of beating us."
Fry apparently didn't get his point
across well enough.

By Richard Shin
Daily Sports Writer
With three wins and two losses, the
Michigan field hockey team is right
where it wants to be as it prepares for
its Big Ten opener.
At first glance, 3-2 doesn't seem
all that impressive, but win-loss
records don't always tell the whole
story.
One of Michigan's wins came
against a Boston College team that
defeated the Wolverines last season,
2-1. This season, the Wolverines
defeated the Golden Eagles, 3-2, at
Ocker Field.
The latest victory
is the most impres-
sive. Michigan bat-
tled back from a F\4
two-goal, second-
half deficit to Notebook
defeat nationally
ranked Ball State in
overtime last
Saturday.
The win might
give the Wolverines a boost this
weekend against conference foes
Ohio State and No. 19 Penn State.
"The season is very long, and the
conference is going to be tough this
season," Michigan coach Marcia
Pankratz said. "The key is not (to) get
too overly excited with a win and not
too disappointed with a loss."
FLACHs ATTACK: Ball State must
have felt like a B-2 bomber without
any bombs in enemy territory. After
taking a two-goal lead into the sec-
ond half of their match against
Michigan at Ocker Field, the
Cardinals watched helplessly as

JOSH BIGGS/Daily
Despite a seemingly mediocre 3-2 record, the Michigan field hockey team has
improved vastly since last season and is very pleased with its first five games.

Michigan junior attacker Julie Flachs
scored three unanswered goals en
route to a 3-2 overtime victory.
Flachs attacked the Ball State
defense and scored her first goal with
11 minutes left in the second half.
She continued her barrage with a late
goal to force the game into overtime.

The Cardinals could not come out of
the downward spiral as Flachs ended
the game with her third goal with
2:35 left in overtime.
The three-goal performance gave'
Flachs four goals on the season,
including two game-winning scores.
See STICKERS, Page 10

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