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October 13, 1997 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-13

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AdhL
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Broncos possess top defense

WARREN ZINN/Daily
Western Michigan has more than Just a newly renovated hockey arena to cause
excitement this season. Western Michigan coach Bill Wilkinson says the Broncos
have a team that can compete with anyone in the nation.
Bowling Green is land

CCHA Rank - Coaches Poll
5
Excitement abounds in Kalamazoo
these days - and the hockey team is
just part of the reason. With more than
$3 million in renovations, Western
Michigan's Lawson Arena is the talk of
the town.
But the arena shouldn't be the only
thing in Kalamazoo that is going to
attract attention this year.
"From the blue line back, we may be
as strong as any team in the league or
country," Western Michigan coach Bill
Wilkinson said. "We feel we have seven
defensemen in our program right now
that can play with anybody."
Leading the pack will be junior Joe
Corvo and sophomore Daryl Andrews,
both on the top line. Andrews was the
CCHA's rookie of the year.
"They play great as a combo, feeding
off each other," Wilkinson said. "You're
looking at two possible All-Americans."
Defenseman and assistant captain
of opportur
and their starting goaltender.
"We're going to be featuring eight
freshmen and six sophomores regularly
in the lineup this year," Bowling Green
coach Buddy Powers said. "We're
telling our guys that Bowling Green is
going to be the land of opportunity for
young guys.
"Who our top guys are going to be,
right now we don't really know."
Powers said that filling spots on spe-
cial teams will be one of the team's
highest priorities before CCHA play
begins.
"Guys who were role players last year
and the incoming freshmen all can see a
light right in front of them," Powers said.
"If they can perform well in practice and
get things done, they can get a chance to
log an awful lot of ice time this year."
Although Bowling Green was expect-
ing the graduation of honorable mention

Steve Duke has been a steady scorer for
the Broncos in the past and will be
looked to again for leadership on both
ends of the ice.
Captain Jeff Rucinski will be the
anchor of the defense. Rucinski has
started 84 consecutive games and is a
stalwart around the defensive net.
And being protected by the Western
Michigan defense will be goalie Matt
Barnes, who recorded the third-most
saves in the CCHA last season with
828.
While Western Michigan. may be
able to stay close in a number of its
games, the overriding question is
whether the Broncos have enough
offense to get into the playoffs.
"I think we'll play well defensively in
our own end," Wilkinson said. "Our
question mark will probably be scor-
ing."
Junior Mike Melas is Western
Michigan's most powerful offensive
weapon. Melas led the Broncos with 44
points last season.
- Pranay Reddy

A

4onday, October 13, 1997 -mig
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ity' for young players

6 CCHA Rank - Coaches Poll
Bowling Green - the promised land,
the land of milk and honey, the land that
dreams are made of...
Bowling Green, Ohio?
Bowling Green may not naturally be
associated with paradise, but for the

young players on the Bowling Green
hockey team, it could very well be a
land of opportunity.
Like many of the teams in the CCHA
this year, the Falcons lost key players to
graduation and junior hockey leagues,
leaving a lot of holes in their lineup.
Bowling Green saw the exodus of 10
lettermen after the 1996-97 season -
including the Falcons' top four scorers

All-CCHA forwards Mike Johnson (30-
32-62) and Curtis Fry (21-40-61), the
Falcons' offense was jolted by the loss
of Peter Ratchuk (9-12-21), who left
school after one year to play in the
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Filling the holes left in the offense
will probably be junior right wing Dan
Price and sophomore forward Adam
Edinger. Price is the top returning scor-
er for the Falcons, having finished sec-
ond on the team with 17 goals in 34
games last year.
Edinger, a member of the CCHA All-
Rookie team, tallied 11 goals and 18
assists last season.
Four freshmen - Chris Bonvie,
Curtis Valentine, Dennis Williams and
Ryan Murphy - will compete with the
small core of veterans for playing time.
But the biggest question mark for
Bowling Green remains at defense and

in the goal.
Four freshmen blueliners show
promise - and a lot of size - for the
Falcons. Doug Schueller, an eighth-
round draft pick of the Florida Panthers,
leads an incoming group that averages
almost 205 pounds, with no player
standing shorter than 6-foot tall.
And Bowling Green will need all the
new help it can get on defense.
Sophomore B.J. Adams (2-6-8) and
senior Adam Lamarre (1-3-4) are the
only major contributing defensemen
returning from last year.
Junior Mike Savard will be the
Falcons' top option at goaltender. Savard
earned a team-best 3.49 goals-against
average last year but played in only I i
games, racking up a mediocre 4-5-1
record. His 86.7 save percentage doesn't
bode well for Bowling Green.
-Chris Farah

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