The Michigan daily - SPORTSMonday - March 17, 1997 - 5B
y Dan Stillman
>ail Sports Writer
DETROIT - Despite being voted the CCHA
ament's Most Valuable Player by the
n ia, Michigan captain Brendan Morrison was
iot a cut-and-dry choice.
While Morrison netted two goals and three
ssists on the weekend, including the champi-
nship game-winner over Michigan State, the
uy who may have done more for his team over
he,:weekend was Michigan State goaltender
The junior goaltender from Kalamazoo made
rilliant saves in a losing effort against the
Sverines in Saturday night's game. Alban also
Miami (Ohio) scoreless in the third and
vertiine periods in the Spartans' come-from-
ehind, 4-3 victory in Friday's second semifinal.
Alban turned into a brick wall after giving up
wo goals in the first 3:20 of the championship
The first Michigan score came on a saveable
rist shot off the stick of right wing Warren
uhning. The second - not-so-saveable - was
chip shot by Morrison on a breakaway. Right
va Dale Rominski scored an empty-netter in
closing seconds for the Wolverines' third
Throughout the remainder of the game, Alban
M' passes f
[son s play
shut down the Wolverines - rejecting Michigan
shots with outstretched pads and spearing others
with his glove. Alban stopped 19 of 21 shots in
the game, several on golden Michigan scoring
In the second period, Alban helped kill a
Michigan power play by repeatedly clearing the
puck the length of the ice.
Then, in the third period, Alban stopped a shot
by Luhning, and then somehow snagged
Luhning's close-in rebound shot out of mid-air.
Alban even assisted on the Spartans' only
goal of the game with a lead pass to center Mike
York on the power play.
Saturday wasn't the first time the Wolverines
have had trouble with Alban this season. On
Feb. 8, also at Joe Louis Arena, Alban baffled
the Michigan offense, stopping 22 of 23 shots in
a 2-1 Michigan State victory.
"He's sort of had our number," Morrison said.
"He's a good little goalie. He comes out and
challenges. He reacts quickly, he's very talent-
Of course, without the potent Michigan
offense, Alban wouldn't have had the opportuni-
ty to make as many saves as he did.
"It's fun to play against a team like
(Michigan)," Alban said. "You get your chances.
They're gonna get a lot of good opportunities.
Michigan State goaltender Chad Alban was up to the task on this shot, as he was for most of the week-
end. He was named to the all-toumament team despite giving up two goals in the final.
The Michigan Da 1-ockey writers'
picks for Michigan's three stars of
Third Star: Sean Peach, D
The freshman bluelner looked like a
veteran this weekend as he con-
tributed to a strong team defensive
effort in which the Wolverines
allowed just three goals in two
games. Saturday, with Michigan pro-
tecting a one-goal lead, Peach dove
to the ice to thwart a third-period
breakaway by Michigpn State's Tony
Second Star: Jason Botterill, LW
The senior was named to the all-o
nament team after he tallied four
points (one goal, three assists). And
the most amazing stat of the week-
end: just one measly two-minute
penalty for Botts.
First Star: Brendan Morrison, C
Another weekend, another award for
Brendan Hobey .. er, Morrison: he
was named tourney MVP after scor-
ing two goals and adding three
assists over the weekend. No sur-
prises here, however, as Morrison
gave all the credit to his teammates.
The 1997 CCHA all-tournament team:
G Chad Alban Michigan State
D Chris Bogas Michigan State
D Mike Weaver Michigan State
F Brendan Morrison Michigan
F Jason Botterill Michigan
F Mike Watt Michigan State
F Brendan Morrison Michigan
The 1997 Hobey Baker Memorial
So it's your chance to shine."
Michigan goaltender Marty Turco also had a
good weekend. But Turco wasn't forced to step
up the way Alban did.
Turco, who gave up three goals in two games,
saw 29 shots on the weekend, far less than the 52
"When (Alban's) down there making saves, I
can't do nothing on my end if I'm not seeing a
lot of shots," Turco said. "I try to stay focused
and ready, stop the ones that I can and maybe
stop the ones that I can't."
Should Alban continue his hot streak, the
Spartans just might be a factor in the NCAA
tournament, where it never hurts to have a hot
irst real test, but rough road awaits
By Andy Knudsen
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - By now, winning the CCHA playoff
title should feel as commonplace as waking up and
going to class for the Michigan hockey team.
The Wolverines have won the postseason trophy
three of the past four seasons and two years in a row
after Saturday's 3-1 victory over Michigan State.
But the singing of "The Victors!" in the locker-
room sounded as enthusiastic as ever as it was heard
through closed doors and over Michigan State coach
Ron Mason's abbreviated
"This is still a very
important tournament in
our minds:' Berenson said.
Besides etching their
names in another confer-
ence trophy and evening the -
score with a pesky
Michigan State team,
Saturday's victory was r
important for other reasons.
It was Michigan's fourth playoff game, but the first
one with a true playoff atmosphere.
For the first time in the postseason, Michigan was
tested in a tight, hard-fought contest for 60 minutes.
And the Wolverines passed the test.
Before the Spartans knew it, Michigan was up 2-0
after scoring on two of its first three shots.
But Michigan State was able to clog things up for
the rest of the game, killing off their last six penalties
and staying within striking range.
"It was a good game for our team to play in
because every shift was important and we're trying to
hold a one-goal lead," Michigan coach Red Berenson
Michigan also had to play with a shortened bench
for most of the championship game after Greg
Crozier received a game misconduct for checking
from behind at 16:50 of the first period.
But everyone stepped up - or maybe stepped
back - and played strong defense.
The Spartans were held to just 15 shots Saturday
night. Friday, they erased a three-goal deficit in the
third period to beat Miami (Ohio) in overtime. But
Saturday, the Spartans only got two shots on goal in
the critical third period.
"That's a tribute to our defense," Michigan goalie
Marty Turco said. "I didn't see a large number of
shots, I didn't have to make numerous saves to keep
us in it."
Brendan Morrison added that Michigan's defense-
men are "not too noticeable because of the style we
play - they're not too offensive. But those guys did
a great job containing Michigan State - they've got
some pretty nifty forwards. And we really didn't give
them too many quality chances."
Michigan State had a great chance to tie it when
Tony Tuzzolino seemed to have a breakaway down
the left side 7 1/2 minutes into the third.
But freshman defenseman Sean Peach caught up
to him, dove from behind and was able to poke the
puck away with his stick without tripping Tuzzolino
and drawing a penalty.
"I think it was lucky to get the puck" Peach said.
"I was basically just trying to trip him up. I just
reached around and got the puck"
Luck or not, he thwarted the Spartans' last quality
chance to tie the game.
"I haven't seen Peach skate that fast," Berenson
said. "Here's a freshman who has continued to get
better all season long and is playing a big role on our
"He made maybe the play of the game - the
defensive play of the game, to get back and make a
clean play. It doesn't show up in the statistics but
coaches and goalies appreciate that."
The Wolverines passed Saturday's test, but a much
bigger test looms Sunday when they will meet the
winner of Minnesota and Michigan State in Grand
Rapids in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Although they would never say as much, these
have to be the last two teams the Wolverines wanted
to see in their quarterfinal contest.
The Gophers owe Michigan for last year's quarter-
final game, which the Wolverines won largely due to
Mike Legg's ESPY-winning goal.
And the Spartans are the one team that has consis-
tently played Michigan close this year.
In the five years since the first round of the NCAA
tournament became single-elimination, Michigan's
first game has always been decided by one goal - so
remember to take your heart medication.
The Wolverines got a strong playoff victory under
their belts Saturday, and will need a similar team-
wide defensive effort Sunday to get them back to the
Award finalists, in
F Jason Blake
D Mike Crowley
F Chris Drury
F Mike Harder
F John Madden
F Brendan Morris
F Randy Robitaille
F Martin St. Louis
F Brian Swanson
F Todd White
Agan's Mike Legg looks for the puck against Bowling Green in Friday's semifinal.
Joe Louis: Michigan's home away from home
By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - Although his traditional post-game
cup of coffee was replaced by a fruit drink after
igan's championship-game victory, the joe was
er-present for Michigan coach Red Berenson and his
team this season.
The nine games Michigan played at Joe Louis Arena
were more than any previous season,
and the results clearly showed the
Wolverines' affinity for the building.
In the neutral-site . games,
Michigan compiled a record of 8-1,
with the sole defeat coming on Feb.
8, at the hands of Saturday's victim
- Michigan State. Michigan, vic-
twin all three of the tournaments
held at the downtown arena,
emerged with a clean sweep of all possible hardware.
Beginning with two victories at the College Hockey
Showcase in November, Michigan continued its tourna-
ment dominance a month later, recording a ninth-
straight Great Lakes Invitational title.
This weekend's sweep laid claim to Michigan's sec-
ond consecutive CCHA playoff championship.
WELL-DECORATED: As awards go, Michigan goal-
tender Marty Turco has won his share.
e junior netminder was honored Thursday as the
goaltender on the CCHA first team, and this weekend
he lived up to the title, allowing only three goals in two
games. But he was only the second-best goaltender on
the ice as Michigan State goaltender Chad Alban was
selected to the CCHA all-tournament team ahead of
The lack of recognition hardly fazed the Michigan
"That doesn't bother me one bit," Turco said. "When
you win the (championship) trophy, you can go into the
lockerroom hooping and hollering. Getting the victory
is most important.
"They can get all their individual awards (because)
I'll take the team award any day."
Morrison and linemate Jason Botterill didn't need to
worry about being slighted for their performances.
Both forwards were named to the all-tournament team,
with Morrison taking home the Most Valuable Player
award for his two-goal, three-assist weekend.
"It's nice to be recognized," he said. "But I thought
our whole team played well this weekend."
While deferring to his teammates is Morrison's
nature, very few of them were represented among the
A quick glance at the all-tournament team may lead
the casual observer to question which team won the
title. For their efforts, the Spartans were recognized
with four players on the team. Joining Alban were
Michigan State defensemen Mike Weaver and Chris
Bogas, as well as forward Mike Watt.
AN INNOCENT MAN: While the CCHA does not give
out an award for sportsmanship like the NH L's Lady
Byng trophy, maybe it should. Michigan center Mike
Legg is deserving of such an honor for his clean play.
Entering this weekend's games, Legg had committed
only six penalties all season long - and none since Jan.
So it came as a great surprise when he was sent to the
penalty box for holding Michigan State forward Mike
York at 13:17 of the third period Saturday.
Fear not sportsmanship fans, for Legg maintains his
"I didn't even touch him," Legg said. "I was skating
beside him and I know York. I knew he was going to go
down and draw a penalty. I put my hands in the air and
waited for him to fall - and I still got the penalty."
LOOKING AHEAD: With another title in Michigan's
past, a larger prize now awaits the CCHA champs.
The NCAA tournament begins for Michigan next
weekend in Grand Rapids with the NCAA quarterfi-
As the top seed in the west regional, Michigan will
receive a first-round bye. Sunday's game, at 5:30 p.m.,
will pit the Wolverines against the winner of the
Michigan State-Minnesota contest, which will start at
6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Continued from Page 18
The Spartans are one of only two
teams to beat the Wolverines this season
- and they did it twice in four games.
"The only surprise in it is that we're
the only team of the bye teams that
could play a team in our own league,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
It is possible for Michigan, should it
advance, to play the same teams it did en
route to capturing the championship -
Minnesota and Boston University. Last
year, Michigan and Minnesota met in
the regionals, with the Wolverines eking
out a 4-3 victory, thanks in part to Mike
Legg's famous lacrosse-style goal.
"Those two teams sure look familiar
on our side of the bracket;" Morrison
said. "Hopefully, we'll have the same
The No. 4 seeding of Minnesota was
the biggest surprise in the announce-
ment of the 12-team draw. The Gophers
finished the season in a first-place tie
with North Dakota in the WCHA, but
lost to the Fighting Sioux in the confer-
ence tournament championship.
"Personally, I thought (Minnesota)
would get the three seed in the West,"
The WCHA sent the most teams to
the tournament with four, followed by
three each from the CCHA and ECAC,
and two from Hockey East.
Clarkson received the top seed in the
East and the other first-round byes went
Continued from Page 1B
the first period.
It only took senior Warren Luhning
2:20 to start the scoring. Jason Botterill
controlled the puck behind the Michigan
State net, and his pass to Morrison was
in turn deflected to Luhning, who man-
aged to wrist it past Michigan State
goaltender Chad Alban before being
Exactly one minute later, Bill
Muckalt's pass led Morrison into the
Spartans' zone ahtad of the defense.
Alban lunged out of the crease and actu-
ally beat Morrison to the puck - but
chipped it off Morrison's skate and back
into his own net.
Suddenly it was 2-0, and all indica-
tions pointed to a repeat of Friday's lop-
sided performance. But the Spartans set-
tied down and buckled down, and it was
a defensive battle for the rest of the game.
"Those two goals scored in the first
three minutes literally had to stand up for
the whole game;' Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "It was the kind of game
we expected, a defensive struggle?
The Spartans halved Michigan's lead
1:15 into the second period, when
Michigan State sophomore Mike York's
pass cut from zone to zone, springing
Shawn Horcoff in all alone on Michigan
goalie Marty Turco. Horcoff backhand-
ed it past Turco into the upper corner,
making the score 2-1.
Michigan. State's best chance to tie
came about eight minutes into the third
period, when Tony Tuzzolino streaked in
on Turco alone. But Michigan defense-
man Sean Peach raced back and dove
from the side, knocking away the puck
with a swipe of his stick and effectively
swatting the Spartans' chances aside at
the same time.
Michigan State never really threat-
ened again - the Spartans managed
just two shots on goal the entire third
period - and Dale Rominski wrapped
the night up for Michigan with an
empty-netter 18.1 seconds before the
final horn sounded,
On Friday night, the Wolverines oust-
ed Bowling Green from the tournament,
7-2. The Falcons' season ended with the
After a scoreless first period, Justin
Clark got the Wolverines on the board
with his third goal of the season. Greg
Crozier's shot was wide right, and the
rebound bounced straight back out to
the side of the net where a charging
Clark snuck it past Bowling Green goal-
tender Bob Petrie.
Cornell beats Clarkson in surprise ECAC playoff
From Staff Reports
began its second power play of the game. Dailey took
game into the extra session.