10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 18, 1998
Defense takes the offensive against opponents,
By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Writer
The objective of a hockey defenseman is
normally to halt the other team's offense.
But so far this season, the Michigan
defense has lit up the red light more than usual.
Nine of 31 goals so far - almost a third of
the team's scoring - have flown from the
sticks of the Michigan defenders.
"I can't remember a time for awhile when
we've had so many defensive goals,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "It's good
when our defense scores, because it gives our
forwards a little more room to work. And
when they are pressing our forwards, it's good
that the defense can capitalize."
The defense has elevated the team, thanks
to the surging performances by sophomore
Dave Huntzicker and freshman Jeff Jillson.
Their combined 10 points and strong
defensive play have resulted in the two highest
plus/minus totals on the team.
"We try to take care of our end before we
worry about scoring;" Jillson said. "When the
opportunity is there, we take it."
It also hasn't hurt that senior Bubba
Berenzweig and sophomore Mike Van Ryn
have continued their strong scoring ability
from last season with a combined 15 points.
"We're getting a lot of points but we're giv-
ing opponents too many shots," Berenzweig
said. "Opponents aren't getting too many
quality chances, but they're getting a lot of
shots, and we still need to work on those
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLACKIE: 'Blackie,' or
goalie Josh Blackburn, celebrated his 20th
birthday on Friday night. But there was little
time to celebrate.
"We won a game, and we had a long bus
ride," Blackburn said.
Still, the goaltender gave himself a present
by stifling Alaska-Fairbanks and then making
some key saves in a 2-2 tie against Notre
Dame. He also received some other presents.
"My mom got me some cake," Blackburn
said. "I also got a present from Kevin
As for this weekend, Blackburn is a little
worried about the Michigan fans having prob-
lems with their traditionally derogatory cheers.
Generally at Yost Ice Arena, the fans yell
the last name of the opposing goalie and
include him in chants that call him a sieve and
several other nice words.
But on Friday, when Michigan tackles rival
Michigan State, the fans must conjure up
something different. Michigan State's starting
goaltender also has the name 'Blackburn,' but
it's Joe, instead of Josh. What's a fan to do?
They can't say 'Blackburn.' They can't
even say 'J. Blackburn,' because both goal-
tenders' first names begin with 1.
"I just hope they will be yelling at him and
not me, Blackburn said.
"I'm sure they'll come up with some-
thing," Berenzweig said. 0
SCHEDULING CHANGE: Next season, the
Wolverines won't see as much Spartan.
When Nebraska-Omaha enters the league
next season, Michigan will contend with three
opponents - tentatively Ohio State, Bowling
Green and Miami (Ohio) - three times, while
it will only play the other eight opponents
twice. Usually, Michigan faces each CCHA
opponent three times.
Defenseman Sean Peach, also nicknamed 'The Fruit,'
returned to action this past weekend. Peach has fully recov-
ered from a recurring lace-bite injury to his foot.
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Women's cross country preparing for NCAAs *
Team (Nat'I Ranking) Pts.
1. Wisconsin (5) 39
2. Michigan (6) 53
3. Bowling Green (25) 133
4. Notre Dame 137
5. Ohio 151
6. Michigan State 187
7.. Eastern Michigan 239
8. Butler 260
9. Marquette 275
10. Kent State 332
Continued from Page 9
which will determine the season's
overall success, in spite of all the
early season accolades.
"It's been a wonderful season until
these last few meets," junior
Elizabeth Kampfe said, adding that
her final impression of the season
will "depend on how strong we are
"We've been preparing since May
for this," captain Michelle Slater
said. "We don't want to let it all go to
The Wolverines are now in the
full-taper part of their training
schedule, with only one hard work-
out left before the final race.
In addition to some much-needed
mental and physical rest, the team is
focusing on maintaining the overall
quality of its daily routine.
Michigan is concentrating on
"some things you have got to do
away from the track," Slater said.
"We're making sure we are sleeping
and eating right."
Of course, much of the attention
and interest of the team this week
has revolved around Katie
McGregor. The senior has won all
but one race this year and is a bona-
fide contender for the individual
Coach Mike McGuire said
McGregor will face some stiff com-
petition at the championships.
"The favorite is Amy Skieresz
from Arizona," McGuire said. "It
seems pretty certain that she will
take it out (from the starting line)
"Katie has been near the front in
this meet before and she has the
experience. We'll have her ready to
Additionally, McGuire thinks the
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After setting a course record at last weekend's regional, Katie McGregor (426)
will lead the Michigan women's cross country team in Monday's NCAA
Championships, hosted by the University of Kansas.
team is capable of a top-four finish,
citing Villanova as the only clear-cut
"We just need everybody to have a
good race and share the responsibili-
ty," McGuire said.
Contributing to the team's recent
slide is the inconsistency of the
lower half of Michigan's lineup -
runners four through seven.
Because of the increase in field
size this season, McGuire views the
improvement of those runners as
essential in order to counter oppos-
ing runners who may break up the
"At this level, you've got to bring
your 'A' game," McGuire said. "Last
year we got out really well and three
(runners) faded. We've got to shore
Along with McGregor, Kampfe
and Slater will contend for a finish
worthy of All-America honors.
Kampfe was an All-American last
year and Slater claimed the title
In a non-statistical sense, the team
has already achieved success regard-
less of the event's outcome on
Monday. According to Slater, the
season has already been a success.
"It's been a lot of fun together,"
Slater said. "We've grown together."
DAILY FOR THE
SPECIAL 'WAR OF
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November 18 & 19
For one day only, the sitting fee for Senior Portraits is half off!
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