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January 22, 1997 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-22

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12- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 22, 1997

Mormson headlines weekend excitement

By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Writer
Clutch did it again.
The man who always manages to put himself
in the right place at the right time highlighted
an eventful weekend in Michigan hockey on
Friday night in Kalamazoo.
Brendan Morrison, Mr. Clutch himself, gave
the Michigan hockey team a point it did not
deserve when he scored off a rebound to tie
Western Michigan, 5-5.
Western goaltender Matt Barnes, who played
o brilliant game despite giving up the five
goals, sat slumped down against the boards in
sullen shock following the end of regulation.
Just 5 1/2 minutes earlier, the Broncos and
their fans thought they were on the verge of
,hocking the top-ranked Wolverines - who
had played a rather uninspired game-after
Western center Mike Melas beat Morrison on a
tceoff in the Michigan zone, quickly spun
hound and slapped a shot past Marty Turco.
Bill Muckalt, Matt Herr, Bubba Berenzweig,
Chris frescoln and Morrison, having barely
t4dged since the faceoff, stood in disbelief.
But their disbelief soon turned into Western
Michigan's, after Clutch came through.
.It. was more late-game heroics from
Morrison, who scored the overtime-winner
against Minnesota earlier this season, not to
mention last season's national championship
pvertjme clincher.
But Morrison was not nearly finished for the
yeekend, nor were the rest of the Wolverines.
Obviously unsatisfied by their performance
4he previous night, the Wolverines came out
like gangbusters in Saturday night's rematch in
Ann Arbor.
What ensued was one of the longest and
nost eyentful periods at Yost this season.
Michigan scored three times in the first 2:26
of the game to start the frenzy. Even more
neredible, Morrison had already recorded his

fourth career hat trick by the 9:55 mark.
The third in the early outburst of Michigan
goals came just 16 seconds after the second.
Barnes came out to stop John Madden on a
breakaway but lost his footing, and could not
regain it before Madden lost and then regained
control of the puck, in time to center to a trail-
ing Bobby Hayes, who made it 3-0, and further
electrified an already
excited crowd.
That's when things
really got fun.
Once play continued,
Hayes and Madden put
on a spontaneous,
crowd-pleasing display
of hustle. As Western
gained control of the
* puck behind their own
net, the tandem, rather
than retreating back on defense as is typical,
swarmed like bees from Bronco to Bronco,
finally pressuring Western into temporarily los-
ing possession. The crowd showed its approval
by making almost as much noise as it would for
any Michigan score.
But there was more excitement to come in
the period. Next came a barrage of penalties -
some warranted, some not.
Warranted were those against Melas and
Kevin Magnuson for high sticking. Not only
were their sticks high, but they were also being
swung at each other in a rather unfriendly man-
ner, after the whistle had been blown.
Under the heading of unwarranted belongs a
tremendously incorrect interference call on
Berenzweig at 9:50 of the first. The Michigan
defenseman was whistled for the penalty after
Western's Corey Waring wrapped his right arm
around Bubba's shoulder and pulled him down
from behind.
But a state of true incorrectness had already
been reached back in Kalamazoo on Friday

night when the assistant referee, who rarely
calls penalties, whistled Herr for high sticking
- a truly amazing feat considering Herr was
not on the ice at the time.
Nineteen penalties were called during
Saturday night's first period, which eventually
did end, almost an hour after it started, with
Michigan ahead, 5-2.
The excitement did not die down with the
end of the period, however. As time ran down in
the first intermission, the scoreboard operator
struggled to shut off the buzzer, which was
stuck - in the "buzz" position.
Just as soon as that problem was solved,
things got a little stranger. There was a slight
delay in the start of the second period, as the
Yost ice crew appeared to be extinguishing the
southwest corner of the ice because, well, you
know how hot ice can get.
Things settled down after that, save the typi-
cal excitement during Score-O for J.C. Penney
gift certificates during the second intermission
- the game in which contestants try to shoot a
puck through a small slot in the middle of the
goal from center ice.
Except the game is fast becoming a farce, as
fans successfully urge those running the contest
to move the puck closer for women and chil-
dren. Closer, as in point-blank range. Just wait
'til a J.C. Penney executive finds out what's
going on, then there's gonna be trouble.
But Score-O shouldn't be taken for granted.
Anyone who has seen some of the other gener-
ic -not to mention geriatric - halftime shows
around town recently know that the entertain-
ment value of Score-O is priceless in compari-
son. Halftime performers should not be moving
so slowly that they look like they're auditioning
for a remake of Cocoon.
Even Clutch can make better moves than
these people - without skates. Then again,
Clutch is pretty good at anything that requires
timing.

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MARK FRIEDMAN/D ily
Brendan Morrison's game-tying goal Friday and his first-period hat trick Saturday were only two of his
many clutch performances for the Michigan hockey team this season.

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