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October 14, 1996 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-14

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- The Michigan Daily aceoff 96 -Monday, Octo 14, 1996

TEAM PREVIEW

S

Monday, October 14, 1996 {- Fa'eofi

ichigan

On

the

ce

Ivy League
comes to town

With stars returning, offense remains. loaded

By James Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
Brendan Morrison said he took a long
break from hockey over the summer.
He deserved it.
Michigan's senior captain, whose
overtime poke-in goal gave the
Wolverines their eighth national cham-
pionship last March, did his share of cel-
ebrating after the victory.
But what is also cause for celebration
for Michigan fans is the fact that along
with Morrison, many of last year's
offensive stars have returned for the
1996-97 season.
The Wolverines count five senior for-
wards on their roster. And even though
last year's top assist man, Kevin Hilton,
graduated, the Wolverines still have
most of their offensive firepower from
last season's national championship
team.
Morrison, last season's top point-
scorer (72), who was second in assists
(44), decided to return to Michigan
instead of signing with the New Jersey
Devils, the same kind of decision was
made by his left wing, Jason Botterill.
Botterill, who led the Wolverines with
32 goals and had four hat tricks, also
chose to come back to Michigan for his
senior instead of leaving for the Dallas
Stars. The Devils and the Stars own
Morrison's and Botterill's rights, respec-
tively.
The senior left wing not only led
Michigan in goals, but he also led in
power-play goals (14), game-winning

goals (5) and penalty minutes (143).
And while leading the team inpenalty
minutes is not something to brag about,
it's the presence that the 6-foot-4, 209-
pound forward carries onto the ice.
The Morrison-Botterill duo is like
fire and ice. Morrison wows the crowds
with nifty passing and incredible goals,
while Botterill cleans up anything
Morrison misses and remains a force in
front of the opponent's net. But what is
so special about the pair is that they feed
off each other and make each other bet-
ter.
Right wing Bill Muckalt knows what
it's like to play with these two, and he is
thankful to be able to play with the
dynamic duo.
"Brendan is just very team oriented,"
Muckalt said. "Even though he gets a lot
of upcrafts, and deservedly so, he's real-
ly down-to-earth and not high on him-
self and is always team first. I know
what to do and he knows where I'm at,
so it's a great combination.
"Jason is a great player and always
has his head up. I kind of know what he
is going to do, and I read off him."
But it's Muckalt that opponents need
to be cautious of. With all the attention
Morrison and Botterill get on the ice,
Muckalt says his job is easy. All he has
to do is pick a spot and shoot when the
puck comes to him. And Muckalt is not
too shabby, himself.
The junior forward came on toward
the end-of the season with clutch goals
in the playoffs, including a two-goal,

one-assist performance in the NCAA
quarterfinals.
According to Berenson, Muckalt (28-
30-58) has a lot of potential to become
somebody special.
"I think Muckalt can be a dominant
college scorer in Division I hockey,"
Berenson said. "I think he'll be a more
mature, consistent player this year."
With a line that combined for 88
goals, 99 assists and 187 points, there's
no weakness that opponents will be able
to exploit.
"When I dish off the puck to
(Botterill), he's a guy I can bring the
puck up with, along with Muckalt,"
Morrison said. "Botterill's a threat,
Muckalt's asthreat on the other side; and
I'm a threat in the middle. It's very
tough for teams to key on one guy.,
What's extraordinary about the
Wolverines, though, is the fact that the
offense goes way beyond the Morrison
line. One of the best combinations in the
conference is the potential line of
seniors John Madden and Warren
Luhning and sophomore Greg Crozier
- right currently Berenson's second
line.
Madden (27-30-57) can play all
three positions but right now is at cen-
ter. He had an eight-game point streak in
the middle of last season and led the
Wolverines in shorthanded goals.
Luhning (20-32-52) fills the left
side of the ice. His 12 power-play goals
were second on the team, and he was
third in assists.

C
C-Ya. Sorry to burst the bubbles of
the Wolverine's faithful, but Michigan
fans actually stole thatcheer from
Cornell fans the last time the two teams
met.
In the first round of the 1991 NCAA
playoffs, Michigan, making its first
playoff appearance in 14 years, took
two of three from the Big Red. The
series became known for turning the
Michigan program in the right direc-
tion.
Look for Cornell to be a national
contender again this season. Second-
year coach Mike Schafer led the Big
Red to an ECAC tournament champi-
onship last season and an appearance in
the NCAA regionals against Lake
Superior. Cornell was nationally ranked
in six categories last season, including
No. 1 in penalty killing percentage
(.865) and No.. 5 in power-play percent-
age (.255). With experienced players
returning at all the key positions, the
prospects for this season are just as
good as, if not better than, last season.
The cornerstone of the Red defense
is junior goaltender Jason Elliott. An
eighth-round draft pick of the Detroit
Red Wings in 1994, Elliott ranked
9.1 . i 1

among the best in the country last sea-
son. He finished second in the nation
with a .923 save percentage,twhile his
goals-against average of 2.35 ranked
fifth.
In front of Elliott will be a solid
defense led by three seniors. Steve
Wilson leddthe squad with 26 assists
last season. Chad Wilson is sure to see
plenty of playing time, as he has played
in 94 of the team's 97 games in the past
three seasons. Jason Kendall will also
be a major factor on defense at 6-foot-
3, 220 pounds. Junior defender Jason
Dailey should provide some offensive
punch as well after tallying five goals
and seven assists last season.
Cornell's offensive prospects look
good, despite the loss of last season's
points-and-goals scored leader Brad_
Chartrand (24-19--43) to graduation.
Senior left wing and captain Matt
Cooney is the top returning scorer after
totaling 13 goals and 21 assists last sea-
son. The 1993 Colorado Avalanche
ninth-round draft choice, Vinnie Auger,
leads a second line after missing 11
games last season because of injury.
The ECAC and Ivy League Rookie of
the Year, Kyle Knopp (11-22-33),
should see a lot of ice-time in his
sophomore season.
After steadily rising from the cellars
of the ECAC and Ivy League in the late
'80s all the way to second and first,
respectively, in 1995, the Bears fell
back to a seventh-place ECAC finish
last season.
Should the Bears find a way to gen-
erate just a little more offense this sea-
son, they might fare much better in the
win-loss column, as their eight ties last
season tied an NCAA Division I record.
Senior Mike Flynn is the clear-cut, top
center after last season's nine-goal and
13-assist campaign.
Determining successful wing combi-
nations to go with Flynn on the first
line will be the task of coach Bob
See IVYS, Page 22B

Two years ago, the Wolverines destroyed Michigan Tech, 13-0. This season, an improve
M lee
1Cer's to tangle w1thET

Michigan will defend its ninth-consecutive Great Lakes
Invitational championship starting with a semifinal game
against Michigan Tech. CCHA members Michigan State and
Lake Superior will also take part in the 32nd year of the pres-
tigious tournament.

Things have cha
Wolverines handed th
two seasons ago. Con
championship game,
ent at many positions,
the conference.
Senior Luciano C

SARA STILLMAN/Daily
Right wing Bill Muckalt constantly has his eye on the opponent's net. He punched
home 28 goals last season to aid the Michigan cause.

And just like Botterill on the first line,
Luhning mixes his scoring talents with a
rough-and-tough style. He went in the
penalty box 45 times last season, which
was tops on the team, and he was second

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to Botterill in penalty minutes with 123.
On the opposite side of the ice of the
6-foot-1, 206-pound winger is Mike
See OFFENSE, Page 8B
Senior center
John Madden is
just one of many
strong forwards
on Michigan.
Last season,
Madden was
fourth in goals
(27), and tied
for third in
assists (50).

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