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October 14, 1996 - Image 21

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-14

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16B The Michigan Daily - F ff '96-- Monday, October.o41996

_CCUa

'0

Monday, Ocoer 14, 1996 - F

~.~FIrI

TEAM I

PREVIEW

~REV

Falcons hope NCAA comes calling this April

ichigan

On

the

1C

Bowling Gen
The third time is a charm, or so they say. And
Bowling Green may try to hold someone accountable
for that statement.
The Falcons have been knocking on the doorstep of
the NCAA tournament the past two years, but both
times they were edged out for the final spot.
Returning eight seniors and four of their top six scor-
ers, the Flacons have the talent to take the next step.
"That's the goal we tried to set when we arrived - to
get Bowling Green back in the top of the CCHA and to
get back in the national picture," Bowling Green coach
Buddy Powers said. "We've been close, but not close
enough."
The Falcons lost seven letter-winners from last year's
team, which finished fifth in the CCHA and had an
overall record of 26-14-1. On the positive side, though,

they bring in nine talented freshmen - their first big
recruiting class of Powers' three-year tenure.
"We'll be looking for those guys to fill some pretty
big holes that were left in our club," Powers said. "I
think that the sooner we can get these guys acclimated
to playing for Bowling Green, it will have a lot to do
with how our team improves down the line."
Bowling Green's offense will be led by three seniors:
center Curtis Fry, left wing Brett Punchard and right
wing Mike Johnson, who tallied 53, 52 and 31 points
last year.
Powers is looking for Johnson to have a breakthrough
season.
"Mike is the guy I think might be the best player in
college hockey," Powers said. "But nobody really cares
or knows about him except us at Bowling Green."
Defensively, the Falcons will count on seniors Matt
Eldred and Todd Kelman to replace the departed duo of

Chad Ackerman and Quinn Fair, who combined for 52
points last year.
Senior Kelly Perrault, however, is the most offensive-
minded defenseman on the team. His 46 points last sea-
son more than doubled Eldred and Kelman's combined
17 points.
Bowling Green's biggest question mark will be
between the pipes. Senior Bob Petrie is still recuperat-
ing from a severe groin pull which left him on the bench
for 23 games last year. Sophomore Mike Savard was
18-10-1 filling in for Petrie and may need to carry the
load again.
"If Petrie and Savard can raise their level of play,
we're going to be a team that will challenge in the top
of the league," Powers said. "If there's one thing that can
affect a team more than anything, it's to have erratic
play (in goal)."
-Andy Knudsen

Defensive unit led by Sloan and Turco

Inexperience between pipes worries Buckeyes' coach

Ohio State
Ohio State has a problem.
The Buckeyes enter the season with-
out a goalie. The problem is not a play-
er lost to injury or even limited experi-
ence between the pipes.
The three goalies on the Ohio State
roster, Tom Connery, Ray Aho and
Lanny Jardine, are all freshmen and
have yet to play in a college hockey
game.
For at least one of the three, the
opportunity will come very soon. The
Buckeyes opened the season Oct. 12 at
Bowling Green, in what was a noncon-
ference game.

After four years of quality goaltend-
ing, Ohio State will have to overcome
the loss of its two senior netminders
from last season. Both Tom Askey and
Kurt Brown were lost to graduation
after giving Ohio State consistency in
the net last season.
While the play of the goalies may be
the team's biggest concern, goal-scor-
ing should not be a problem.
Ohio State returns more than
two-thirds of its goal-producers
from last season. The offense is
sparked by the second-leading
scorer from the last campaign,
right wing Pierre Dufour.
The return of his 30 points, including

five power-play goals, gives the
Buckeyes a clutch scoring threat to com-
plement three-time captain Steve Brent.
Brent, last season's team leader in
games played, will be counted on to
fill the void of the 10 seniors lost to
graduation.
The senior's consistency is one of
his greatest assets. He played in all 34
games last season and is approaching
100 for his career.
The defense is led by oft-injured
junior Derek Beuselinck. A wrist prob-
lem limited him to 16 games last sea-
son, and in the off-season, he suffered
a knee injury.
But Beuselinck played 35 games

during his freshman season, and the
Buckeyes are counting on him as a
vital blueliner.
Sophomore Dan Harrison, a
member of the all-CCHA rookie
team, will join Beuselinck on the
defense. His 19 points were third
on the team last season.
Trevor Putrah, a Colorado College
transfer, will join four freshmen on the
Ohio State defense. The five newcom-
ers will be vital to the untested defense.
Last season, Ohio State proved to be
one of Michigan's greatest nemeses.
Two of the three games ended in ties
- moral victories for the Buckeyes
and frustrating contests for Michigan.

Ohio State coach John Markell is
looking toward the future. The plan for
a brand-new, $84 million hockey facil-
ity, scheduled to open in 1998, pre-
sents a new opportunity for Ohio State
to bolster its program.
"Our (present) rink has a smaller
capacity, so the chance to play in
. something like the new arena is a great
opportunity," Markell said.
No matter where the Buckeyes play
this season, their fortunes reside in the
net.
- Mark Snyder

By James Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
It is fitting that the defense of
Michigan's national championship and
its quest for a repeat could hinge on the
play of the newly-arranged defense.
The offensive unit is proven with its
dazzling stars returning, but the defen-
sive unit lost a landmark behind the
blue line last year.
Steven Halko, the heart and soul of
the Wolverines, graduated last year.
Now, the defensive unit must play a
game of you-step-up-here-and-I'll-step-
up-there.
This season, four senior blueliners
lead the unit. Blake Sloan, Harold
Schock, Peter Bourke and Chris
Frescoln are returning for their final
year at Michigan.
With the loss of Halko, it's Sloan's
turn to take up the slack and fill the
leadership role. Named as the assistant
captain by his teammates, Sloan (6-
24-30) is ready to take on that role.
"With Halko gone this year, I know it
is my turn to step up and become the
leader of the defense," Sloan said. "My
main concern is to help the young guys
on our team. If I can do that, then I
know I am doing my job."
Last year, the Wolverines were doing

their job. Michigan allowed 2.16 goals
per game, the nation's lowest.
Michigan's 86.2 penalty-killing per-
centage ranked third in the country.
With the offense very strong, the
defense should have no problems feed-
ing the puck to the forwards up the ice.
With the likes of Brendan Morrison,
Jason Botterill, John Madden and Mike
Legg, the blueliners may not handle the
puck in their zone for a while.
But when they do, Michigan coach
Red Berenson knows that they must not
let up. Too many times last year, the
defense was porous in letting in bad
goals, according to Berenson. The
Wolverines have to stay focused on
matching up with the top forwards in
the league and in the country.
"I think we can play more consistent-
ly defensively," Berenson said. "There
were times when we let down last year.
I think our penalty killing will have to
be strong. We are a team that seems to
attract penalties."
Schock (5-20-25) will provide the
Wolverines with experience. The senior
defenseman had a team-leading plus-
minus ratio of plus-37.
But Schock won't be the only one
Berenson will look to in the Michigan

zone. He will be rotating defensemen in
and out of games to see which pairings
fit. After all, there is no Halko this year.
"You can't replace Halko," Berenson
said. "This is an opportunity for the
Blake Sloans and the Harold Schocks to
step up and play a huge role on our
defense. It is also an opportunity for
players like Frescoln, Bubba
Berenzweig and Chris Fox and the
younger defensemen to step up and
play a stronger supporting role, because
they won't have a Schock or a Sloan to
be the supporters.
"I think it's bit of a chain reaction."
The chain will include Berenzweig
and Fox, who didn't play much last sea-
son but impressed Berenson.
Berenzweig, who is one of the
biggest defensemen on the squad at 6-
foot-2, 195 pounds, realizes that it will
take a little bit of time before things
start to click.
"I think our defense right now is a lit-
tle weak," Berenzweig said. "But I
think we could have a strong defense if
we keep on working hard and get to
know each other a little better."
The people the Wolverines' defense-
men will have to get to know the most
See DEFENSE, Page 10B

Assistant captain Blake Sloan attempts

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