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October 15, 1998 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-15

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WB - The Michigan Daily-Faceoff '98 - Thursday, O er 15, 1998

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Thursdactaber 15, 1998 - Faceoff 4

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A second NCAA title in three years has Michigan atop the
and watching the competition in the

CCHA media poll

journey

to

emember

Rear

El

e

I

rro

Experienced
challenge for

Ohio

Sta

conferei

2

CCHA Rank - Media Poll
Eeitiip-

Above: It was quite a season for Marty Turco, who passed Steve Shields as the NCAA's
all-time winningest goaltender en route to his second national title in three years.
Left: Michigan and Boston College were near-equals, battling back and forth into over-
time before a winner was decided.
The Michigan hockey team did the unexpected last season. A seemingly anonymous col-
lection of names and faces - grouped with a couple scorers and the all-time victories
leader in net - snuck their way into the NCAA playoffs, and after knocking off
Princeton, the Wolverines surprised North Dakota and New Hampshire en route to the
championship game. Michigan's last act was its grandest: A 3-2 overtime victory over
Boston College, stunning a pro-Eagles crowd at the FleetCenter in Boston.

Look out Wolverines, a new power
lurks in the CCHA.
Coming from nowhere to finish
third last season, Ohio State finds
itself as the team to beat in the'
CCHA.
The Buckeyes have an advantage
that almost every other CCHA team
doesn't - experience.
"It's going to be an interesting sea-
son for us," coach John Markell said.
"For the first time we are returning a
mature hockey club, with mature
players who understand the sys-
tems."
Markell has the most returning
players of any team including six of
the team's top seven scorers, four of
the six defensemen and both goalies.
"I think we have the leadership
and the scoring ability up front to
play with most teams in this league,"
Markell said.
Possible Hobey Baker candidate,
All America Hugo Boisvert, returns
to Markell's all-Quebec line along
with Eric Meloche who scored a
team-high 26 goals last season.
Boisvert is so vital to the
Buckeyes championship hopes,

because he plays an all-around game,
both offensively and then on penalty
kills and power plays.
If that wasn't good enough for the
Buckeyes, they still have Jean-
Francois Dufour, a player that
Markell hopes to have a breakout
season, and Chris Richards, second
on the team in points with 52 last
season.
In the net, the Buckeye's have
tremendous depth and ability.
Jeff Maund finished last season
second in save percentage (.922) and
backup Ray Aho had an even better
goals-against average (2.31 GAA).
"Maund is one of the better goal-
tenders in this league," Markell said.
"It looks like he's on a mission."
Even with the loss of four seniors,
all of whom played in at least 37
games, Markell will still have one of
the highest touted recruiting classes
in the country.
If Ohio State has a problem that
can knock them off the road to a
CCHA title, it's their scheduling
problem.
The Buckeyes play 14 out of 20 of
their first games on the road due to
the finsihing date delay of their new
home.
The Buckeyes' brand new stadium,
the $105 million Jerome

L
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Scho
Mich
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ally
franc
ketb

I .- -

PHOTOS BY MARGARET MYERS AND WARREN ZINN

P
C
J4

Hi
Ja
N
0
Sc

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
challenge for the CCHA

A mature returning cast is the reason Ohio State shouldi
title this season.

_

York, Spartans still a
major threat in

CCHA Rank - Media Poll
340
The end result was not right It could-
n't have been. As Michigan skated
around the Fleet Center last April with
the NCAA championship trophy, all
Michigan State could do is watch and
wonder.
If any CCHA team was going to be
hoisting the championship trophy, it was
going to be the Spartans. Michigan
State cruised to the conference title last
year, beating the Wolverines four times.
Michigan State saw its hope of cham-
pionship glory snuffed out by Ohio
State in the NCAA regionals at Yost Ice
Arena, while their bitter rivals were cel-
ebrating their second national title in
three years.
The Spartans' window of opportunity

seems to have closed. Michigan State
lost two of the nation's best players in
goalie Chad Alban and forward Sean
Berens, along with captain Tyler
Harlton.
"Our team will defintely have a new
look this year," Michigan State coach
Ron Mason said. Alban"was a third
defenseman for us, a player who could
handle the puck so well."
Filling Alban's skates is sophomore
Joey Blackburn, who played in nine
games last year. Blackburn will have
plenty of experienced defenders in front
of him.
The Spartans only gave up 1.73
goals-per-game last season, and every-
one but Harlton returns on defense.
"We do have junior and senior
defensemen returning that all have
played on a regular basis, and that
See STATE, Page 12B

Above: The best team photo of all was a picture of jubilation for the 1997-98 Wolverines.

Right: In a pose you thought you'd never see, Red Berenson exults after his second title in three years. Graduated.
defenseman Chris Fox takes It all in.
PHOTOS BY MARGARET MYERS AND WARREN ZINN

I.
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