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Niagara ambushes Blue to earn split
By Chris Duprey
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan hockey team's two games against
Niagara were decided by a matter of seconds - both on
the clock and in chances in front of the Niagara net.
Two nights of wild, exciting hockey produced a better'
result for Yost Ice Arena fans than for the Wolverines, as
chigan split with the Purple Eagles. .
A controversial call gave Niagara the game-winning
goal in a 2-1 contest Saturday.
With 10:23 remaining in the third period of a I-1 tie,
Niagara broke into the Michigan zone on a three-on-
one. After a centering pass, Michigan's Mike Van Ryn
covered the puck with his glove in the crease.
Fearing that referee Jim Sotiroff would call a penalty
shot for delay of game in the crease, Van Ryn shoveled
the puck under Michigan goaltender Kevin O'Malley's
pads. Sotiroff didn't blow the play dead, and Niagara's
*ke Isherwood poked the puck loose and shoveled it
into the vacated net.
Van Ryn vehemently argued with Sotiroff, but to no
avail, as the Purple Eagles held on for the victory.
"There wasn't much I could do" Van Ryn said.
Sotiroff "just took a little long to blow the whistle."
y Sports Writer
They ran up and down the first
fairway of the Michigan Golf
Course, pumping their knees, finish-
ing short practice sprints with wind-
breakers of purple, red, green, maize
and blue and black and gold flap-
ping in the wind.
These were the competitors from
schools such as Ohio State, Wake
Forest, James Madison, Eastern
Whigan and host Michigan. And,
t' looks on their faces were those°
of winners - runners that wanted
and expected to win."
But, then again, these were just
Once the gun sounded and the
Michigan Interregional began, it ;
quickly became obvious this race
would belong solely to the No. 7
Wolverines, who were well prepared
*defend last year's title. At the
1,000-meter mark of this 8,000-
meter race, senior All-Americas
John Mortimer and Todd Snyder
were already 1-2.
Throughout the rest of the race
over the hilly and winding course,
not many things changed for the two
Michigan runners - except the dis-
tance between them and the lead
When it was all over, Mortimer
led into the finishing circle with
no one but Snyder close to him.
Mortimer finished with a time of
24:53, 41 seconds off his own record-
setting course time, set last year.
Snyder came in behind his team-
mate, 14 seconds later, in a time of
Russ Coleman of No. 23 James
Madison finished third at 25:14.
chigan junior Steve Lawrence
:24) and Montana State's Kevin
Jacobsen (25:28) rounded out the
top five individual performances. Michigan's
As for the overall results, there lost, but it
was more good news for the
The team earned the overall title L os
with a total of 34 points. The closest
competitor was James Madison with
71. After that, only Washington AM
(106) and Ohio State (126) were tried t
thin 100 points of the Wolverines. igh s
ichigan, in addition to its first-, Yeah, ye
second- and fourth-place individual I thought itv
results, used 12th- and 15th-place in my subur
finishes from sophomore Mike high school
Wisniewski and senior Don And sure en
McLaughlin to win the team title. denied, buta
The obvious 'and audible support of my socia
of the home fans made it clear that classmatese
the team's exploits as one of the But then
nation's best haven't gone unno- I might as w
d. school that h
Friends and family were so sup- program to:
portive today," Mortimer said after as good aca
the race. "They make running here Northwesten
very enjoyable." it known tot
Mortimer made it clear that, be Wildcatsi
although he took home his third going to con
straight Interregional title, things Imagine
O'Malley got the nod in goal for the Wolverines,
making a solid debut, stopping 15 shots. While his first
career start will go down as a loss, O'Malley showed
why he was so highly sought as a recruit, showing flash-
es of brilliance in the Michigan net.
"I thought he played well," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "He handled the puck well, he made
some good saves. He looked solid in there."
While Michigan's scoring power was virtually
silenced Saturday night, it roared in Friday's contest.
The Wolverines faced one-goal deficits the entire
night, and the back-and-forth nature of the contest con-
tinued into the third period with Niagara leading, 4-3.
Michigan controlled play throughout the third period,
as Niagara went into an offensive shell. The Purple
Eagles eased off on their forechecking attack, which had
characterized the early part of the game, and seemed
content to sit back and wait for the Wolverines to come
Niagara goaltender Greg Gardner kept his team in the
lead with several key stops, including a fine glove save
on Michigan's Bubba Berenzweig.
Michigan's Bobby Hayes was pulled down at the
12:35 mark, but no penalty was called.
So Hayes got his revenge in another way, tipping in a
rebound past Gardner to knot the score at four.
The Wolverines continued to press against a stunned
Niagara defense, and found gold again when center
Mark Kosick took the puck in the middle of traffic and
fired it home to give Michigan a 5-4 advantage.
But the Purple Eagles just wouldn't go away. Barely a
minute later, Niagara's Kyle Martin deflected a Scott
McDonald slapshot over Michigan goaltender Josh
Blackburn's shoulder to tie the game at 5-5 and send it
The Wolverines had several chances in the final
minute of overtime, but it looked as if the teams would
have to settle for the tie - until Josh Langfeld slid a
rebound under Gardner's skates with 1.7 seconds left for
Langfeld's goal rescued the freshman Blackburn,
who allowed five goals on just 16 shots in a subpar out-
ing for the young netminder.
Berenson will need Blackburn to keep his confidence,
with important conference games looming ahead.
"I think it's the whole team," Berenson said. "If they
get it behind (the defense) five times, I'll never blame
Michigan freshman Kevin O'Malley made his first career start in goal Saturday,
stopping 13 of 15 shots, but ended up losing a 2-1 decision to Niagara.
Wet and wild
game ends in
close 'M' win
By Jim Rose
Daily Sports Editor
EVANSTON - The only thing D'Wayne Bates couldn't
do on Saturday was make the rain stop.
Bates gave Northwestern all kinds of options - even the
option - but in the end, he ran out of tricks. And so did his
Michigan fought off Bates, his Wildcats and the nonstop
rain -though not necessarily in that order - and trudged to
a 12-6 victory in front of 47,129 at Ryan Field on Saturday. It
was the fourth straight win for the Wolverines (3-0 Big Ten, 4-
2 overall), who stayed unbeaten in
the conference. il Mlchlg 12
Rain poured from start to finish,
and by the fourth quarter, the only [ N'western 6
thing more muddled than the
offensive game plans was the chewed-up field.
"I can't remember ever being in a game with that much
mud," Michigan quarterback Tom Brady said. "The rain's
really not all that bad. But the mud - it was terrible out
Michigan scored the game's only touchdown when Tai
Streets snared a 30-yard pass from Tom Brady with 35 sec-
onds left in the first half. The Wildcats managed just two
field goals for the game, but nonetheless stayed within strik-
ing distance until the very end.
A 52-yard Jason Vinson punt pinned the Wildcats on their
own one yard line with 5:42 left in the game, and proved
instrumental in sealing the win for the Wolverines. Three
plays later, the Wildcats were punting out of their end zone.
But rather than give Michigan good field position,
Northwestern purposely snapped the ball out of the end zone.
The result was a meaningless safety - Michigan's lead went
from 10-6 to 12-6 - and a free kick from the 20 yard line.
On the kickoff, senior Brian Gowins booted the ball over the
head of Michigan's Clarence Williams. The Wolverines took
possession at their own 15.
With two timeouts, a defensive stand by the Wildcats
would have given them the ball with a chance to win in the
game's final minutes.
But Michigan, behind the running of freshman Justin
Fargas, pounded out a pair of first downs to clinch the victo-
It was a breakout game for Fargas, who carried the ball
31 times for 120 yards. Before Saturday, he had carried just
See WILDCATS, ~Page 4B
Rob Renes recovered Northwestern quarterback Gavin Hoffman's fumbled snap Saturday. This fumble was the only one the Wildcats
helped the Wolverines win the field-position battle and the game, 12-6.
cer Wildcats must resikn themselves to classroom superiority
ETON - Well, I can't lie to you. I
o get into Northwestern as a senior in
eah, I apologize. I was rash, capricious.
was the 'thing to do' since everybody
was doing it.
ough, I was
about 10or 11
nI figured, Hey,
ell go to a SHARAT
has an athletic
speak of and is RAJU
demically as Sharat
rn. And I made in the Dark
that the Wolverines were always
me out on top in whatever they do.
how I felt in 1995 when
Then imagine how I felt in 1996 when
Northwestern beat Michigan again.
Oh, the e-mailsflowed in - especially since
Northwestern students don't have much to do in
bar-less Evanston other than e-mail. Or study. Or
study how to e-mail.
Typical e-mail: Oh, how I loathe the
Wolverines. We will exalt and make merriment
once our victorious Wildcats return to that hal-
lowed ground that is Evanston!
My typical response: What does exalt mean?
Sure, Michigan is just as good academically.
But as the athletic department showed this week,
the Wolverines can't count so well - half of a 12
game season is still six games, not five. The
Wildcats showed that they are a smarter team, if
During halftime, Gary Barnett probably said:
"Okay, okay - who here knows how to run the
Five or six former high school quarterbacks
hard-to-catch All-America wide receiver candi-
D'Wayne Bates - the only one with his hand
Barnett: "Okay, D'Wayne. We've got about 15
minutes. Let's draw it up and practice the option."
Barnett knew that Michigan's Achilles' heel is
the option. His experiment didn't work, but it did
illustrate something - Northwestern's football
team might be smarter, but they're just no good.
Brains don't usually win in football.
So what goes around comes around. I don't
get any e-mails from former high school and cur-
rent Northwestern acquaintances anymore. The
bandwagon is empty. Everything is back to nor-
It is unbelievable just how bad Northwestern
athletics are in general. Most Big Ten schools are
at least, at least, good at one sport, even if they
are bad in the others.
For example, Iowa wrestling is the best
unbeatable in volleyball. Ohio State has acade-
mics. Michigan State is unrivaled in milking. And
But Northwestern is not really feared in any
sport. They are mediocre at best, and if you
glance at the conference standings in most sports,
the Wildcats reside near the bottom.
In a way, it is pretty funny, especially for me.
But in another way, that's pretty depressing. With
Evanston bordering the North Side of Chicago
and Wrigley Field -- notorious for housing a team
sitting at the bottom of the standings -- losing just
abounds around the area. Success in'sports is rare
here, happening once in like 50 years or so.
I guess Northwesterners can take solace in the
fact that they will probably help cure cancer or
solve the world's energy crisis or figure out how
to cover up point-shaving scandals better.
In Evanston, there is apparently more to life
than just sports. What a twisted town this is,