IV - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 6, 1998
For Michigan's 10 freshmen, this end-of-the-season pose was a new one. But for the upperclassmen, it was old hat - after two national championships in three years, the outgoing seniors surpassed last year's group as Michigan's winningest class.
As always, goalie Turco
comes up big in big games
By Fred Unk
Daily Sports Writer
BOSTON -- Ten minutes into over-
time, Marty Reasoner broke in alone on
Michigan goaltender Marty Turco. With
the national championship on the line,
Turco surprised Boston College's lead-
ing scorer and poke-checked the puck
Along with the poke-check on
Reasoner, Turco made 28 saves on the
night and was named the most outstand-
ing player of the championship.
Turco's performance against the
Eagles was nothing unexpected for the
Wolverines. During his four seasons at
Michigan, Turco has recorded 127 career
victories, 16 more than the previous
record holder, Steve Shields.
"Marty hasn't had to be a star player
very often," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "But this season was his
biggest test. Has he passed the test? No
question. He kept us in games at the start
of the season."
In the beginning of the season, Turco,
along with forward Bill Muckalt, kept
the Wolverines in the game on most
nights and helped the young Wolverines
to a second-place finish in the CCHA.
And as good as Turco was at the
beginning of the year, he saved his best
for the NCAA Tournament. After
recording his record second NCAA
shutout in a 4-0 victory over New
Hampshire, Turco faced the biggest
challenge of his career against Boston
But despite his credentials, Turco
started out shakily against the Eagles.
Late in the first period, Boston College
forward Kevin Caulfield fired a shot
from the top of the right faceoff circle
that eluded Turco and found the far side
of the net.
"The first goal sucked, and he knows
that," Michigan defenseman Bubba
Berenzweig joked. "I was a little pissed
at him, and I told him that no more of
those should go in."
But after giving up the first goal,
Turco surrendered a rebound goal to
Eagles' forward Mike Lephart in the
In the third period and in overtime, it
was Turco's time to shine.
Along with stopping Reasoner on the
breakaway, Turco stopped all nine of the
Eagles' shots in the third period and all
three of Boston College's shots in over-
On two occasions during overtime,
however, Turco let shots get by him. But
fortunately for the Wolverines, one
careened off the crossbar and the other
one hit the post.
"That was pretty scary," Berenzweig
said. "Especially the first one, the one
off the crossbar."
But despite the fear felt by his tean
mates, Turco remained calm and concen-
trated on doing his job.
"I'm not going to sit there and ponder
about it when the puck hits the crossbar,"
Turco said. "The puck's still in the zone
and I've still got hockey to play. My
career isn't over at that point."
Marty Turco's importance to the team
goes beyond his play in the net. In the
lockerroom after the third period, Turco
was joking around and his confideni
gave the team confidence.
"The amazing thing about Marty
Turco is that he's always cool," backup
goaltender Gregg Malicke said. "No
matter what happens, he's so calm and in
control. When we were going into over-
time, I was biting my nails - I was so
nervous - and I looked over at Marty
and he was joking around."
"I just think he's a great college
goalie,' Berenson said. "He gives a coac
confidence. Coming into this ga
tonight I said, 'I don't think ourteam is as
good as Boston College, but we've got
the goalie we want in this game.'
"But if it comes down to goaltending,
as it usually does in a close game, I'll
take Marty Turco."
Marty Turco for
four years, but
College for the
By the numbers, Kosick proves he's worthy of wearing No. 9
Daily Sports Editor
BOSTON - Numbers mean a lot in sports. Scores?
Couldn't have them without numbers. Game clocks? Need
numbers to keep time, too. Stats? Couldn't have those without
But for all the important roles numbers play in sports, jersey
numbers stand out as meaning something even more - some-
thing a little more special or intangible. Players often try to
carry the same numbers with them throughout their athletic
careers. Their numbers become a part of them, something they
identify with - something they write down each time they
sign their names for an autograph.
In the Michigan hockey tradition, out of all the numbers play-
ers have ever worn, the number nine is a little bit different. The
number nine has a history of greatness among the Wolverines.
Michigan coach Red Berenson wore it when he earned All-
American honors twice for the Wolverines back in the 1960s.
Brendan Morrison wore it when he won the Hobey Baker
Award last year as a Michigan senior.
This year, it's been up to freshman Mark Kosick to represent
the outstanding tradition of the number nine in Michigan hock-
ey. And, as his two-goal performance in Saturday night's
NCAA championship game proved, Kosick has held up his end
of the bargain quite well. And, like the number nines of the past,
Kosick was classy in his success, speaking of his teammates
"Unreal," said Kosick after the game. "There are so many
emotions. The seniors on this team - they're such role mod-
els; they've been to four final fours. I can't say enough about
our seniors, and I'm so happy for them and the whole group."
Berenson didn't want the number nine when he began his
career as a Wolverine, but a little incentive from a Detroit Red
Wings great quickly changed his mind.
"When I got to Michigan, I always wore number seven, and
they said, 'Oh no, you've got to wear number nine,"' Berenson
said. "I said, 'Why?''Well, because of Gordie Howe.' So I wore
number nine, and it became a pretty important number." Now
that the number nine is established as a mark of Michigan leg-
ends, Berenson said that Kosick is on his way to having a stel-
lar career as a bearer of the special jersey.
"We gave (number nine) to Brendan Morrison, and now we
passed it on to Mark Kosick," Berenson said. "He's a young kid
with big shoes to fill. Not that we haven't put pressure on him,
but you like to see a kid grow and develop, and I hope he does
well with that number. I'm sure he will - he has already."
Kosick, unlike many of Michigan's other freshmen, came to
the program straight out of high school. The Victoria, British
Columbia, native has much of the same experience as the other
rookies - his senior year, he played on a Canadian junior team
- but Kosick is small at 5-foot-lI and a generous listing of 187
pounds, and he looks like he could easily still be in high school.
But if any of the teams Michigan faced in the final four did-
n't take Kosick seriously because of his youthful appearance,
they quickly regretted the mistake. Kosick was named to the
all-Tournament team after an impressive showing in Boston.
The center scored two tying goals for Michigan against Boston
College. The two goals came on rebounds and were the
Wolverines' only goals during regulation.
Kosick's tournament performance should've come as no sur-
prise. Kosick finished the season second in scoring for the
Wolverines with 46 points on 14 goals and 32 assists. Despite
the impressive stats, Kosick's mature level of play does come
as a surprise, sometimes - at least to Berenson.
"I wasn't relaxed before the game," Berenson said. "And we
were talking, 'How many of our kids don't want to be here?'
And we went through our lineup, and it was hard to find a kid
that we really felt we weren't sure about.
"One of the kids we talked about was Kosick. Because he's
so young, and you see him here - he looks like our stick boy
- yet he gets on the ice and plays like a pro."
But Michigan forward Krikor Arman, an important part of
the team despite not playing in the final game, was far from
shocked by Kosick's performance. In fact, Arman foresaw the
freshman's monumental role in the championship game.
"I predicted this," Arman shouted after the victory. "I said
he'd have the biggest game of his career."
Kosick may be young, but his play has improved to the point
where he skates like a veteran. Michigan's Bobby 'Maize'
Hayes said Kosick has proven himself all year long, and
Saturday's performance was just one example of what Kosick
has meant to the team.
He's a "young kid, (and he) came a long way for us this year
- he's been incredible for us" Hayes said. "I'm so proud of
that kid. He came up big for us, and that's exactly what 4
With all the pressure heaped on him, Kosick could easily
have failed to distinguish himself and the number nine. Instead,
the freshman tried to look past all the comparisons and play his
own style of game - a style that scored two goals for
Michigan in the most important game of the year.
"It'll always be a great honor to wear the number nine at such
a great school such as the University of Michigan," Kosick
said. "Such great players like coach Berenson and Brendan
Morrison wore the number. I came in here at the beginning of
the season. I just wanted to go out there and play my game, an
hopefully play my best and help the team out.
"I didn't want to try to match or be Brendan Morrison or
coach Berenson, I just wanted to go out and play my own
_ _,' *_________________________________