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October 20, 1997 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-20

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - October 20, 1997 - 7B

Power play improves as games progress

By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Writer
Chemistry on the power play isn't
something that watching a couple of
episodes of Mr. Wizard will take care of.
No matter how many times it's prac-
ticed, sometimes the only thing that can
get a power play unit to click is real-
game experience.
Michigan found that out the hard way
in Friday night's loss to Colgate, when the
Wolverines failed to capitalize on each of
their seven power play opportunities.
Being successful on the power play
was also a key to Saturday night's game
against the Red Raiders - this time to
Michigan's advantage.
The Wolverines had plenty of chances
to get their chemistry right Saturday, and
this time they made good, scoring on
four of II attempts - including their
first two goals of the game.
Freshman defenseman Mike Van Ryn

set up Michigan's first goal with a pass
to freshman forward Josh Langfeld.
"With power plays, the goals come
with chemistry," Van Ryn said. "The
chemistry was there tonight"
Lucky bounces are important in any
game, but the Michigan's problems with
the power play in the first game - and
the turnaround it had in the second -
weren't entirely random.
In Friday's third period, Michigan was
definitely getting some bad bounces.
The Wolverines had some good chances,
but the puck just wouldn't go in.
The first two periods, however, were
another story entirely. The Wolverines
had problems keeping the puck in the
Raiders' zone, and when they did gain
possession in Colgate's zone, the
Raiders' defense forced them to keep the
puck on the perimeter.
Saturday night, the Wolverines were
much sharper than in Friday's outing.

"The power plays got better as the
game went on," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "We started moving the
puck and shooting it with a little more
Berenson also emphasized the diffi-
culties new players have in developing
good chemistry in power play situations.
"When you look at our power play,
we've got three freshmen on our first
unit with (Mark) Kosick and Langfeld
and Van Ryn," Berenson said. "And
they're replacing some pretty experi-
enced players. ... so it's natural that
they're not going to click right away, but
we saw some good things."
Kosick, Van Ryn and Langfeld
stepped up their games during
Michigan's power play opportunities,
recording eight points on the power play.
But some problems persisted.
The Wolverines were prone to penal-
ties of their own while Colgate was play-

ing shorthanded - nullifying
Michigan's power play.
Berenson said that although some of
Michigan's penalties during the power
play were due to a lack of discipline,
many were called by anxious referees.
"On a power play, that's when a refer-
ee will often even it up," Berenson said.
"Like it's funny. every time we ran into
their team, they were very tough on their
skates, except when we were on the
power play. That gives the referee an
opportunity to even it up, and he did. But
we took too many penalties when we
were on the power play this weekend."
Michigan forward Bill Muckalt said
Michigan's power play is beginning to
click, and with improved play from the
freshmen, it will only get better.
"They're all making good contribu-
tions," Muckalt said. "We've just got to
realize that we can't stay content with
where we're at right now."

Michigan forward Justin Clark had a lot more to celebrate Saturday, when the
Wolverines beat Colgate, 64. Michigan lost to the Red Raiders on Friday, 2-1.

If solace can be taken from a
loss, Colgate purged icers' past

By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Writer
Enough talk about the "Magnificent
Nine"=-the nine Michigan seniors who
graduated last year. Enough about all
their accomplishments and domination.
They're gone. The final vestige of
that team has now been swept away. So
enough, already.
After being shocked by Colgate on
riday, 2-1, an admittedly under-pre-
ared Michigan team experienced an
unusual feeling - losing at home.
"We're not used to something like
this" Michigan goaltender Marty Turco
For the previous 36 games at Yost Ice
Arena, the Wolverines did not lose.
Period. They rarely even came close to
being defeated.
The last time Michigan scored only
*one goal in a home loss was during the
final days of the Reagan Administration
- Ja: 7, 1989, in a 7-1 loss to Lake
So finally the Wolverines purged
themselves of one of the last remaining
legacies of the previous team. And for
the Wolverines, it should be good rid-
dance. Not that the Wolverines were try-
ing to lose. But Friday's loss may have
positive side effects.

Now the Wolverines can start fresh
and not worry about the looming shad-
ow of nine Michigan greats. Sure, the
players say the streak wasn't on their
minds. And it probably wasn't. Why
dwell on the past?


they're tired of
hearing about
the accomplish-
ments of the pre-
vious squad.
Perhaps the
pressure to sus-
tai that aura of
invincibility is
somewhat gone
now, and the
Wolverines can

larities to his class, but he was quick to
point out that this team probably doesn't
want to be compared to the previous
The scenario is familiar to Botterill,
since it was the same when he and his
eight compadres arrived in town back in
1993. There were inevitable compar-
isons between Botterill's class and this
year's freshmen.
Unquestionably, the comparisons will
remain for this team. The current
Wolverines will never make anyone for-
get the old team that captured the
national title in 1996.
But this team can make the compar-
isons stop by accomplishing something
positive on their own. Something other
than breaking the winning streak.
It's still early - the Wolverines
haven't even played a CCHA team yet.
After Friday's loss, Sean Ritchlin
proclaimed that Saturday will be the
beginning of a new streak. That atti-
tude is what the Wolverines will need
to have.
And with the old streak gone, the
Wolverines won't have to stand on the
shoulders of giants. They have to begin
their own legacy, from scratch.

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This is the most important time of your life. Right now you're not
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which offers:
* challenging & diverse experiences
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Our ideal candidate is ambitious, perceptive and intellectually
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Who are we?

get on with building a new image.
If you've witnessed a Michigan hock-
ey game this season, you know that vic-
tory is no longer assured. So don't make
dinner reservations too early. Maybe
that's the new image.
But the "old" image was still hanging
around. Jason Botterill - one of the
biggest cogs in the well-oiled Michigan
machine the past four seasons - was in
attendance at Yost, returning to see a
game for the first time since graduation.
He noticed that there are some simi-

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