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February 20, 1998 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-20

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 20, 1998 - 11

RAJU
Continud from Page 9
No doubt.
Do you think they're upset that
Michigan is in first place in the CCHA
-, agein - even though the
Wolverines have 10 freshmen and no
more Brendan Morrison, Jason
Botterill or John Madden?
Absolutely.
Well, this weekend is put up or shut
up. For the Wolverines, it's another
Chance to prove they belong - that
they deserve the respect for their posi-
tion in the conference and their No. S
national ranking.
For Michigan State, it's a chance to
vault into first place, and, more impor-
tantly, to repay Michigan for years of
beating up on the league and the nation.
Mason thinks the Wolverines are in
the driver's seat, and rightfully so.
If Michigan manages to pull off the
improbable and sweep Michigan State
this weekend, then the Wolverines will
likely make it to the final four in
Boston come April 2.
Even if the Wolverines split this
weekend, they still have a strong
chance to make it to the final four.
And here is the reason: after the
Wolverines are finished with the
Spartans, only Ferris State, Lake
Superior, Bowling Green and Notre
Dame remain in the regular .season.
Michigan has already beaten each, so
the biggest challenge then will be to
maintain interest against the lower-
division teams.
The Wolverines are looking to earn a
first-round bye in the NCAA Regionals
at Yost Ice Arena, which they would
probably get by winning the CCHA. If
they manage to win the first or second
seed, they will have to win only a single
game - at Yost - to head to Boston.
Does that sound like an unfair
advantage for Michigan? Well, it
should.
The Wolverines will deserve that
advantage if they "upset" Michigan
State and run away with the conference
title. They will deserve more than just
that advantage - they will deserve
respect and, maybe (gasp), a run at a
national title.
Continued from Page 9
The most intriguing matchup of the
game is between the two centers -
Minnesota's Iverson and Michigan's
.Pollyanna Johns.
$Both players lead their teams in
scoring and rebounding, and both play
physical low-post games.
But the more difficult game for the
Wolverines will likely be Sunday's
matchup against the Buckeyes.
Victories over Minnesota and Ohio
State would assure the Wolverines a
first-round bye in the Big Ten
Tournament, but it could mean more.
"If we win these two games, our
NCAA chances are better," Guevara
xsid. "It would solidify ourselves in

Backup Malicke to start in net.

By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Editor
Although there hasn't been any furniture on the ice at
Yost lee Arena during this week's practices, it wouldn't be
much of a stretch to say the Wolverines have been playing
musical chairs.
Going into tonight's game against Michigan State, the
Wolverines' lineup has a different look than in recent
weeks.
The biggest change is the loss of starter Marty Turco in
net. The senior won't play in tonight's game, after coach
Red Berenson suspended him for missing classes. Backup
Gregg Malicke, who is is taking Turco's place, has never
started a game for the Wolverines, but Michigan captain
Matt Herr said the Wolverines aren't worried.
"We have full confidence in Gregg," Herr said. "He's
performed well under pressure before. This job should be
easier because he gets to start.
"He would be the No. 1 goalie on lots of teams in this
league. He comes up with big saves, and the team should
play no different. If anything, it will inspire us to play
well for him," Herr said.
Michigan State goaltender Sean Berens is looking for-
ward to facing Turco in tomorrow's game, but he said the
Spartans will have their hands full with Malicke tonight.
"I like playing against Marty," Berens said. "We have

an equal respect for each other. We're not going to be able
to have the same battle without Marty in the net.
"But Gregg Malieke is a good goaltender. too. It's not
like the Wolverines are going in there w ith a third-string
walk-on." : :b
The changes for Michigan this weekend don't endfil
the net. Michigan coach Red Berenson has aso
rearranged some of the lines.
The Wolverines' first line, which used to feature Ibr-
ward Greg Crozier along with forward Bill Muckalt and
center Bobby Hayes, has a new look for the games against
the Spartans.
Justin Clark will replace Crozier at left wing, while
Crozier moves to Michigan's third line. Clark said he was
moved to the first line mainly for defensive reasons,
"Coach Berenson wanted to make sure our line wasn't
scored on," Clark said. "Michigan State's got some small,
sturdy defensemen. I should be able to knock them down
and keep them in the corner.'
The first line has been Michigan's top scoring line, but
Clark said the change shouldn't damage its chemistry
before tonight's crucial CCHA matchup.
"We've only had three days of skating with each other,"
Clark said after yesterday's practice. "But Billy and
Bobby have played with each other for a while. It takes a
while to read them, but today I felt like we really clicked."

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
If Bill Muckalt and the Michigan hockey team hold on and win at least one game
against Michigan State this weekend, they'll hold a slim lead in the CCHA.

HOCKEY
Continued from Page 9
icing the puck and you're frustrated."
Despite Herr's call for patience, the
potential for frustration still abounds -
both for players and coaches.
The trap employed by the Spartans
has disturbed some hockey purists as
well, including Michigan coach Red
Berenson. Time and again, Berenson has
questioned the use of the tactic.
But Michigan State coach Ron Mason
points out that his goal is to win games
with the resources he has, not to uphold
the standards of the game. Mason noted,
however, the surprisingly potent offense
his defensive-minded team possesses.
"It's not like we don't have leading
scorers, or ... shots on goal," Mason
said. "I checked a couple of weeks ago,
and we had more shots on net per game
than any other team."
Mason has preached his defensive
style for the past few years and his disci-
ples have listened closely. Backed by
third place in the Big Ten. But you
never know with the NCAA."
In the Wolverines' Dec. 28 loss of
70-66 to the Buckeyes at Crisler Arena,
Ohio State forwards Larecha Jones and
Marrita Porter had field days, scoring
25 and 24 points, respectively.
Jones, the Big Ten's third-leading
scorer with 19.2 points per game, is a
threat from inside and outside.
Along with a strong post game,
Jones also leads the team in 3-point
shooting, hitting more than 32 percent.
The Buckeyes have had trouble
holding onto the ball - they average
21.7 turnovers per game. But they've
made up for it by forcing even more
turnovers. Ohio State's opponents have
turned the ball over 22.7 times per
game.

Schedule

Adl timsET

Feb. 20 Feb.21 Feb, 2
at Michigan Michia n FERRIS
State State STATE
7 p.m. atJoe Louis 7 p.m
7 p.m.
Fox Sports Fox Sports
Feb. 28 Mar. 6 Mar, 7
LAKE at Bowling at Notre
SUPERIOR Green Dame
7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m,
goaltender Chad Alban, the Spartans
have perfected the scheme this season
and sport the lowest goals-against aver-
age in the nation at 1.64.
Michigan State center Sean Berens,
an offensive mainstay, doesn't hide the
fact that defense is the key to the
Spartans' success.
"We don't have the offensive stars -
we have a lot of guys that know their
jobs, play their role, and play defense,"
Berens said. "Michigan's got some
offensive talent on their team, but for
them to be able to beat what we play is
going to be the question."
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