The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 22, 1998 - 15A
1BY MARK 1RANCIESCUTTl - IDAJILY SPORTS WRITER
had never happened in the 19-year United
tates Hockey League's history. A young
goalie took his oversized goal stick and sent the
puck zooming across the ice.
He shoots, he scores! Wait a second, that was
the goalie who just scored?
lie became the first to score a goal that day, but
lately he's been hidden in the shadows.
While freshman goaltender Josh Blackburn has
received much of the limelight, many people
don't know that there's another new set of pads in
the Michigan net.
hose pads belong to Kevin O'Malley.
he 'other' freshman goalie has sat quietly the
past few weeks, out of the hoopla.
With Blackburn receiving the nod from
Michigan coach Red Berenson early in the sea-
son, O'Malley hasn't been in the spotlight.
Even though Blackburn was recruited to
become Michigan's No. I goaltender and even
though O'Malley might have been No. I else-
where, he doesn't feel he gave up anything in
Y didn't give up anything," O'Malley said. "If
re coming to Michigan, there's always a ton
of options so it doesn't even matter"
And he isn't far behind. O'Malley will compete
for playing time and could easily step into the
starting position in a moment's notice.
"From O'Malley's perspective, he's got to be
ready to play every night," Berenson said.
"Blackburn could start and he could be out in one
The Wolverines haven't had worries about an
injury to their goalie, because for almost a
decade, they have had a worthy backup.
First, the Wolverines counted on Steve Shields
and Chris Gordon. Then it was Marty Turco and
Gregg Malicke. Now, Michigan has a double
whammy with the duo of Blackburn and
The 20-year old Grosse Pointe native has kept
a positive attitude about his role.
"I know I'll get a fair chance here, and I know
I'll be a part of this team," O'Malley said.
"Whatever my role is, I am going to remain posi-
It's a positive attitude that No. 2 goalie Malicke
had last season.
"Gregg Malicke was so important to this team
last year and no one understood it except the guys
on the team," O'Malley said. "he was so positive,
I mean he was so mad that he didn't play.
"But who knows, Marty could have twisted his
knee in the first game and Gregg could have been
the man all year."
Regarding playing time, O'Malley feels no
pressure to compare himself to Blackburn.
"He's the one who has the pressure," said the
backup. "Everyone on the ice is good enough, it's
just the guys who can put it together under pres-
Besides being the future of Michigan hockey,
the two freshman goalies also share an address.
The two goalies share a luxurious deluxe dou-
ble room in West Quad, which O'Malley says has
one room for the beds and another for hangin' out.
"We've got everything: Two rooms, lofts, car-
peting and every kind of appliance," O'Malley
said. "We get along great."
The two goalies are plenty different, however.
Just look at their choice of pads.
O'Malley has white pads that camouflage his
legs on the ice, while Blackburn has blue pads
which form a yellow 'M'.
O'Malley is the morning person, while
Blackburn, true to his name, likes the nightlife.
O'Malley also admits that he is the clean freak
of the two.
"I'm always cleaning the room," O'Malley
said. "I always like having everything clean. I
can't even read my notes if they're messy."
Having two freshman goalies could have
turned into a messy situation, because the last
thing most hockey coaches want is a controversy.
But thanks to guidance by his predecessors and
his positive outlook on the situation, O'Malley
says that the situation is far from a problem.
"Marty (Turco) talked to us a lot," O'Malley
said. "Turco and Malicke were best friends from
the beginning because right away they made it a
point that before they even stepped on the ice
together it's not me against you."
O'Malley said that he and Blackburn have a
comparable relationship and says that not talking
about hockey has helped the two leave the
Michigan goaltender's pressures on the ice.
"Outside the rink we don't talk about hockey
much, if there's ever a problem we can, but we
like to talk about other things," O'Malley said.
"We're busy with hockey from one o'clock
everyday till 6:30."
O'Malley's daily routine is much different now
than it was during juniors.
In juniors "my routine was every morning we
would skate from 8:30 to 10," O'Malley said.
"Then, Tyler Arnisson, one of the top recruits in
the nation, he'd play in goal and I'd play forward
and we'd screw around until two in the after-
After a short team meeting later in the day,
O'Malley was free to do whatever he pleased for
the rest of the night, and the whole routine would
start again the next day.
But now O'Malley spends his time with books
and homework, and often doesn't get home until
9:30 at night.
A little change from what he's used to, but
O'Malley finds his fun in his friends.
He and Blackburn spend most of their free
time with the four other freshmen.
The six are always together.
"We eat every meal together, we got to all the
football games,' O'Malley said. "It's always us
six, no one stays behind."
Still, O'Malley wants to have a different side,
separate from hockey. He said he's trying to meet
as many people as possible, and often doesn't tell
them about his 'hockey life'.
"No one needs to know that I'm a hockey play-
er," he said.
In his debut performance, a 2- loss to Niagara, Kevin O'Malley stopped 15 of 17 shots and kept
Michigan in the game, blocking several Niagara scoring chances. Meanwhile, the shadows of leg-
endary predecessors Steve Shields and Marty Turco loom over the freshman netminder. In addition,
O'Malley has to compete for Ice time with fellow freshman goal keeper, Josh Blackburn.
Overshadowed by predecessors
Kevin O'Malley not only has to battle Josh Blackburn for playing
time, but when he does get a chance to play he'll be expected to
perform as well as his predecessors of the past eight years -
Steve Shields and Marty Turco. Here are all the goalies' stats,
including O'Malley and Blackburn this season.
* holds NCAA Record for wins
Wolverines trapped down
The Michigan hockey team fell from No. 2 to No. 6 in the latest U.S.
college hockey online poll. But the biggest surprise was Ohio State.
The Buckeyes faltered to No. 9 after a poor 1-3 start,
USCHO (October 19, 1998)
Rank am Roord Pt L at
1 Boston College (24) 2-0-0 292 1
2 North Dakota (6) 0-0-0 269 3
3 Maine 2-0.0 188 8
4 Colorado College 04--0 180 6
5 Michigan State 141 136 5
6 Michigan 2-1-0 123 2
7 Clarkson 0.0-0 120 7
8 Notre Dame 5-0-0 107 -
9 New Hampshire 1-0-0 51 -
9 Ohio State 1-3-0 51 4
Others receiving votes: Northern Michigan 35, Boston University 24,
Wisconsin 16, Minnesota 13, Princeton 12, Rensselaer 12, St. Cloud
7, Niagara 6, Ferris State 4, St. Lawrence 2, Yale 2