14 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 25, 1998
Teams voice concern, name.
Michigan preseason No. I
By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - As the CCHA season
readies to begin, it seems that each team
has its own little problem to fight
These problems were the focus of the
coaches, spent a luncheon with the
press during yesterday's CCHA media
conference at Joe Louis Arena.
Each of the head coaches from the II
teams made short speeches underlining
the different challenges ahead of them.
They included poor defense, offense,
special teams or even a poor schedule.
Ohio State especially understands
that last problem. The Buckeyes play 14
out of 20 of their first games on the
Their brand new stadium, the S105
million Jerome Schottenstein Center,
won't be ready until late December
sending the Buckeyes on early road-
The stadium, which holds around
20,000 seats, contains luxury boxes and
acts as the home of both the hockey and
But, besides the scheduling issue,
coach John Markell says he coaches the
most experienced team in the confer-
"It's going to be an interesting season
for us:" Markell said. "For the first
.time we are returning a mature hockey
club, with mature players who under-
stand the systems."
Markell has the most returning play-
ers of any team, including six of.the
team's top seven scorers, four of the six
defensemen and both goalies.
On the other side, several other
coaches showed extreme concern about
keeping their teams out of the bottom of
Alaska-Fairbanks coach Dave
Laurion hopes to pull his team out of
the CCHA doghouse. The Nanooks
have fallen near last place for all three
years they've been in the league.
"We want to do better than la1th place
and I hope we'll be a surprise team this
year," Laurion said. "We're certainly
bigger and stronger."
Bowling Green coach Buddy
Powers' concern echoed Laurion's.
Upset about Bowling Green's poor 8-
27-3 record last season. Powers said he
will force everyone on his team to fight
for their positions.
"We're out to prove that that was an
aberration," Powers said. "We're going
to look for guys to compete for jobs."
Lake Superior State coach Scott
Borek was also concrened about his
team's showing last season, but from a
After having been among the domi-
nating teams in the C'CHA for years, the
team's performance fluttered last sea-
"Tradition is earned, not inhented,"
Borek said. "It was a lesson that was
difficult learning, but learned very
Borek stated that last year's poor
record was mostly due to the team scor-
ing just 2.88 goals a game - the lowest
in the school's historv.
With 22 underclassmen on the team,
Borek has a tough job ahead of him this
Other teams are dealing with the
inexperience of young players, too.
Miami (Ohio), graduated 10 seniors
from last year, forcing coach Mark
Mazzoleni to perhaps dress four fresh-
men on defense this season.
Ferris State will also have a young
defense with five out of six players
freshmen or sophomores.
Michigan also has its own youth
problems with two new freshmen goal-
tenders and a slew of new recruits.
NEW FACES: On the Western
Michigan front, acting coach Jim
Culhane represented the Broncos in
place of coach Bill Wilkinson who was
suspended early in the week by the uni-
vcrsity for alleged underage drinkin t
players at a home he owned.
All of the coaches wished the new
commissioner luck, and many talked
about the unfortunate fate of Wilkinson
and gave him support.
"Those who know Wilkie, know cer-
tainly that he has done nothing wrong:'
Northern Michigan coach Rick Comley
said "If anything has happened there, it
was out of his control"
Culhane said he would not comment
on the issue, but did say that Wilkins
is the coach of the team.
"Bill Wilkinson is still the head hock-
ev coach of Western Michigan
University," Culhane said. "The entire
staff is just viewing this whole process
that coach Wilkinson is gone on a
The CCHA has both a new commis-
sioner, Tom Anastos a former Michigan
State hockey player, and a director of
officials, Brian Hart.
MICHIGAN No. 1: One of the high-
lights of the afternoon was the
announcement of the coaches' and
media's preseason polls. Unlike last
year, in which the coaches placed
Michigan third, the Wolverines earned
the top spot in both polls.
Ohio State, the team that beat
Michigan in the CCHA tournament
trails Michigan by only a few votes in
both. Michigan State places third.
Michigan coach Red Berenson wo*
ries that the coaches and media may be
a little premature in giving Michigan
the No. I ranking.
"The question mark at Michigan will
be how much we're overrated in the
preseason," Berenson said. "I don't see
anyone really stepping up to fill those
roles of a (Bill) Muckalt and Matt Herr
who were dominating players."
The media and the CCHA coaches think that sophomore Mark Kosick and his Michigan teammates will have a lot to cheer
about this season. The Wolverines are ranked No. 1 in both the coaches' and media's preseason polls. The polls were
unveiled at the CCHA Media Conference at Joe Louis Arena yesterday.
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1. Michigan (9) 117
2. Ohio State (3) 108
3. Michigan State (1) 83
4. Northern Michigan 79
4. Notre Dame 79
6. Ferris State 64
7. Miami (Ohio) 49
8. Bowling Green 45
9. Lake Superior State 26
10. Western Michigan 24
11. Alaska-Fairbanks 15
(first place votes in parentheses)
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1. Michigan (13) 289
2. Ohic State (11) 285
3. Michigan State (3) 258
4. Northern Michigan 194
5. Notre Dame (1) 189
6. Miami (Ohio) 153
7. Lake Superior State 130
8. Ferris State 126
9. Bowling Green 94
10. Western Michigan 78
11. Alaska-Fairbanks 52
(first place votes in parentheses
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