By Fred Unk
Daly Sports Writer
It was Michigan's first game of the year. The
Wolverines were playing at Minnesota -
Michigan freshman Josh Langfeld's home state.
He knew all the Minnesota players. He knew the
Minnesota coach. He had friends and family at
4e also had a breakaway shot during the
me. He blew it. Michigan went on to win, 3-2,
t Langfeld was still kicking himself about the
missed opportunity after the game.
The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - December 1, 1997 - 5B
Effort and emotion
fuel Wolverines in
Months later, on Friday,
Michigan played Minnesota
again, this time at Yost Ice
Arena. Langfeld had anoth-
er breakaway shot. He
missed that one, too. Again,
Michigan won, 4-3. Again,
Langfeld was kicking him-
Michigan defenseman Sean Peach and the Wolverines out-fought Wisconsin yesterday. The sixth-
ranked Badgers, known for their physical play, were beaten at their own game by Michigan.
"I don't know what it is,"
Langfeld said after Friday's
game. "It's been about six games since I scored.
I'Wbeen trying harder and harder but it's just not
Ih his first seven games, Langfeld scored five
goab. Since scoring a power play goal Nov. I
against Alaska-Fairbanks, Langfeld has had trou-
ble putting the puck in the net. Entering this
weekend, Langfeld had gone six games without
OBut yesterday, against Wisconsin, Langfeld
ia another chance. This time he scored, banking
in-ashot from behind the net off of Wisconsin
goaltender Mike Valley.
Langfeld wasn't kicking himself after the
Wisconsin game. He had finally capitalized on a
scoring opportunity - and without his goal,
Michigan wouldn't have won. Langfeld's goal
was the last scored by either team, as the
Wolverines went on to beat the Badgers, 2-1.
"I just shot it off of his leg and it went in,"
*ingfeld said. "It wasn't very pretty, but it went
By Pranay Reddy
Daily Sports Writer
Describing what the 'little things' are in
sports isn't easy. Coaches and players alike
talk about them endlessly, but the question
remains - why are they so important?
In hockey, little things such as crisp skating,
bounces of the puck and timely hits make the
difference in close games - maybe more so
than in any other sport.
And this season more than ever, they have
been playing a vital role for the Michigan
hockey team. Michigan
hockey coach Red
Berenson has called his
team's style of play
and he couldn't be morej
Fifteen games into this
season, the Wolverines
are 6-2 in one-goal
games. Not bad for a
team that played in only
five such games in last year's 43-game slate.
For last year's team, little things were an
afterthought. With stars such as Brendan
Morrison, Mike Legg and Jason Botterill suit-
ing up every night, mental lapses and even sub-
par efforts were offset by sheer talent.
But the same cannot be said this year. This
bunch of Wolverines has its lion's share of tal-
ent. It's just that their talent is raw and needs
Therefore, effort and emotion have to carry
this team until solid execution becomes rou-
tine, rather than a distant goal.
"We're working hard, but we're not execut-
ing as well," Berenson said. "We're a pretty
good team, but we're not a real good team."
With the pressure of a loss present every
night, Michigan has responded well this season
to the parody involved in its games - relying
heavily on the play of assistant captains Bill
Muckalt and Marty Turco, as well as center
In fact, Michigan's success as a team has
been so dependent on the three that it prompt-
ed Wisconsin coach Jeff Sauer to comment on
the depth of the Wolverines
"They've only got three players, and that's
about it," Sauer said. "They've got Muckalt,
that center Hayes and their goaltender - they
play all the time."
While it may be true that Michigan has only
three stars, to say that the Wolverines have
nothing else is dead wrong. And though
Michigan's supporting cast may not capture the
headlines, it is their effort that has put the
Wolverines over the top the past few weeks.
Their effort has provided the little things.
Little things such as forward Dale Rominski
taking a slapshot in the knee and deflecting it
away from the Michigan net, while falling to
the ice in pain.
Little things such as freshmen defensemen
Dave Huntzicker and Mike Van Ryn clearing
the puck from their zone on a penalty kill.
Or little things such as freshman forward
Mark Kosick tallying four assists in the
College Hockey Showcase.
So despite the lack of numbers, Michigan as
a whole has been playing effectively - well
enough to pull out a series of close games.
And according to its players, the tight games
now will pay dividends towards the end of the
season, when the team expects to begin click-
"It's good for the team -- it shows a lot of
character on our part," Turco said.
Freshman forward Josh Langfeld echoed his
teammate's statement, and added his take on
the future of the Wolverines.
"These games are close, and hopefully it will
help us down the stretch," he said.
So until the stretch run comes around for
Michigan, at least it knows it can count on one
thing - the little things.
in. Maybe that's what I needed tojump start me."
NOT SO SPECIAL: In close, tight-checking
games, special teams play can often make the
difference between winning and losing. This
weekend, it was no different.
Of the 10 goals scored yesterday and Friday,
nine were scored on special teams.
In Friday night's contest, Minnesota scored all
three of its goals on the power play, while the
Wolverines had two power-play tallies and a
short-handed goal. In yesterday's game, all three
goals came on the power play.
Despite winning both games, the Wolverines
were not happy with their performance on spe-
"For the most part, our power play was not a
strong, consistent force in terms of puck control
or generating good chances," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said. "And our penalty killing
was fair. Again, I don't think we're at the top of
our game in terms of our penalty killing or our
MORE OF THE SAME: For the Wolverines this
weekend's two victories in the College Hockey
Showcase extended their winning streak in
Showcase games to four.
"It was a great weekend for us," Michigan
goaltender Marty Turco said. "One of our season
goals was to sweep the Showcase. We were real-
ly pumped up for this weekend and we came out
strong and played some of our best hockey of the
Meanwhile, the Badgers endured their ninth
straight loss in the Showcase. Wisconsin's only
victory in the series came four years ago against
the Wolverines in the series' inaugural game.
HERR UPDATE: Michigan captain Matt Herr,
who has not played since injuring his groin in the
season opener against Minnesota, will begin
skating with the team in practice this week and
could be back for Friday's game against Lake
Superior State, according to Berenson.
Continued from Page 1B
After Wisconsin's T.R. Moreau was
given a five-minute major for cross-
checking, Michigan's Josh Langfeld
scored his sixth goal of the season on a
shot from just behind the net. Mark
KoIck and Mike VanRyn - two more
chigan freshmen - were credited
With the assists.
"The goal tonight helped," Langfeld
said. "Geez, it's been about since Alaska
sine I scored ... I was pretty happy
Wisconsin has a reputation as a phys-
icalAteam, but the Wolverines were able
to'match the Badgers' physical style of
play and came out primed to knock them
from their high ranking in the polls.
"Coach Berenson said, 'Don't worry
about it, you guys can go out there, and
you can be more physical than them.
We're in our own building, don't let them
run us out of our own building,"'
Berenzweig said. "That's what we went
out there to do, and we took it to them,
instead of them taking it to us"
Friday night, Michigan didn't come
out quite as strong. Minnesota opened up
the scoring at 16:39 in the first period
with a goal from Wyatt Smith during a
Minnesota power play. Each of the
Gophers' three goals on the night came
with a man advantage.
Muckalt had his own success on the
power play, however, beating Minnesota
goaltender Steve DeBus top-shelf 15
seconds later during a Michigan power
After a Minnesota goal late in the first
put the Gophers up, 2-1, Muckalt made
himself heard again. At 2:41 in the sec-
ond, Muckalt snuck a backhander by
DeBus to tie up the score.
Michigan's Greg Crozier gave the
Wolverines the lead in the opening of the
third period, after his shot from behind
the net deflected off a Gopher and trick-
led in over DeBus's shoulder. Kosick
racked up an assist on the power-play
goal, giving the center four assists on the
weekend - the most impressive offen-
sive performance from a Michigan
freshman in the Showcase.
A shorthanded goal by Michigan's
Bobby Hayes at 10:44 in the fourth was
enough to put the game out of reach.
After Hayes blocked a Minnesota shot
from the point, he skated ahead of two
Gophers, beating them to the goal and
beating DeBus with a pretty deke.
Although the Gophers managed to tally
a goal of their own just 30 seconds later,
the goal from Hayes gave Michigan the
edge over Minnesota - barely.
"I don't look at it like we beat them,"
Berenson said. "I look at it like we
played in two real good games, and we
found a way to win. But we didn't beat
Wisconsin or beat Minnesota.
"We're lucky we didn't get beat."
1chigan 4, Minnesota 3
Minnesota 2 0 1 - 3
Michigan 1 1 2-4
First period -1. Minn, Smith 1(Miskovich, Kraft),
16:39 (pp); 1. UM, Muckalt 12 (Kosick), 16:54
(pp); 2. Minn, Miskovich 1 (Anderson, Mills), 17:57
(pp); Penalties - UM, Ritchlin (hold stick), 6:40;
Minn, Trebil (holding), 8:59; Minn, Lyons (holding),
1x;18; UM, Kocn (holding), 13:18; Minn, Spehar
(tripping), 14:18; Minn, Hankinson (roughing), UM,
PWkh (slashing), 15:57; UM, Peach (roughing),
15:67; Minn, Trebil (hooking), 16:50; UM, Kosick
(cross-checking), 17:13; UM, Langfeld (holding),
Second period -2. UM, Muck aft 2 (Koch,
ttzicker), 2:41 (pp); Penalties - Minn, Miller
(holding), 3:54; Minn, Abrahamson (high sticking),
7=72; UM, Fox (holding), 10:10; UM, Hayes
(unsportsmanlike), 11:44; Minn, Abrahamson (hold-
hird period - 3. UM, Crozier 1 (Kosick, Van Ryn),
3:33 (pp); 4. UM, Hayes 1 (unassisted), 10:44
(sh); 3. Minn, Kraft 1 (Anderson, Miskovich), 11:17
(pp). Penalties - UM, Peach (cross-checking),
l:5; Minn, Bench (too many men), 2:24; UM,
Huntzicker (cross-checking), 9:25.
$ws on goal - Minn 6-16.10 - 32; UM 11-64 -
Power Plays - Minn, 3 of 8; UM, 2 of 7.
$aves - Minn, DeBus 10-5-2 - 17; UM, Turco 4-
ree - Matt Shegos.
Linesmen - John Dobrzelewski, Dave Kronenberg.
At Yost Ice Arena. A: 6,498.
Michigan 2, Wisconsin 1
Wisconsin 1 0 0 - 1
Michigan 1 1 0 -2
First period - 1. UM, Muckalt 1(Kosick), 5:43
(pp); 1. UW, Anderson 1 (Bianchi), 15:32 (pp);
Penalties - UW, Bianchi (charging), 4:36; UW,
Peterson (roughing), 5:43; UW, Granato (roughing).
5:43; UM, Berenzweig (roughing), 5:43; UM
Langfeld (roughing), 5:43; UM, Ritchlin (charging),
9:43; UW, Moreau (roughing), 11:24; UW, Peterson
(high-sticking), 13:34; UM, Kosick (high sticking),
13:34; UM, Kosick (interference), 15:41.
Second period - 2. UM, Langfeld 1 (Kosick, Van
Ryn), 3:55 (pp). Penalties - UW, Moreau (cross-
checking). 1:55; UM, Muckalt (high sticking), 8:52;
UW, Rothering (interference), 12:47; UW, Dessner
(unsportsmanlike), 16:59; UM, Fox (unsportsman-
like), 16:59; UM, Huntzicker (tripping), 19:14.
Third period - no scoring. Penalties - UW, Sabo
(roughing), 6:29; UW, Sabo (misconduct), 6:29; UW,
Brooks (high sticking),11:28.
Shots on goal- UW 10-7-9 - 26; UM 15-6-8 -
Power Plays - WU, 1 of 4; UM, 2 of 7.
Saves - UW, Valley 14-5-8 - 27; UM, Turco 9-7-9
Referee - John Kelly.
Linesmen - Tony Molina, John Pearson.
At: Yost Ice Arena. A: 6,386.
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