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January 06, 1999 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-06

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7B - The Michigan Daily - SportsWednesday - January 6, 1999

Michigan has holiday blues after
falling to Bucks, Michigan State

By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Writer
Maybe the holidays aren't the best time of the
year after all.
The Michigan hockey team may attest to that
after its 10-game unbeaten streak came to a
close in a 3-1 loss to Michigan State in the Great
Lakes Invitational championship. It was
Michigan's second straight loss to the Spartans
in the GLI, after Michigan had won the previous
nine tournaments.
Even the New Year blew in on the wrong note
for Michigan with a 1-0 loss to Ohio State in the
inaugural game of the Buckeyes' Value City
Arena on Jan. 2.
"We're concerned because we've been play-
ing with a short lineup," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "We were in both games, we had
enough chances, but I still don't think we played
that well. At least I didn't go away from these
two games knowing that we can't play, because
we can."
The Buckeyes' new home wasn't friendly to
either team for two periods of rough, penalty-
ridden hockey. Ohio State's Chris Richards
finally broke the scoreless tie on a power-play
goal with 6:09 remaining in the contest.
Josh Blackburn recovered nicely after giving
up three goals to the Spartans in the GLI title
game, stifling the Buckeyes with 29 saves. The
defense, in the absence of Mike Van Ryn and
Jeff Jillson, kept the Buckeyes at bay for much

of the contest. But the Michigan offense strug-
gled for the second straight game, and was out-
shot, 30-21.
Berenson pulled Blackburn with a minute
remaining, but like the power play all night, the
extra icer did nothing to spark Michigan's
offense. The Wolverines left Columbus with
nothing more to look forward to but a long and
snowy ride home.
Mother Nature had not wreaked her havoc
upon the Midwest on Dec. 27, but for the
Wolverines, a different type of cold climate
hung over them at Joe Louis Arena.
For the second straight year, Michigan State
hoisted the GLI trophy after beating the
Wolverines.
The Spartans showed desire straight out of
the lockerroom, scoring 69 seconds into the
game on Jeff Kozakowski's second goal of the
season.
"I think we have to be better prepared before
the game," freshman Mike Comrie said. "We
won (the day before) and maybe we should have
focused on (Michigan State) a little more."
Michigan State's Damon Whitten added a
power play goal 11 minutes later, and Bryan
Adams slashed deeper into the Wolverines' GLI
hopes with a shorthanded tally early in the sec-
ond.
Michigan's offense struck only once, a lone
goal from Comrie in the third period, after a bril-
liant behind-the-back pass from Mark Kosick

Shop and compare!
Ohio State's fancy-shmancy basketball
and/or ice hockey arena has proven
that the corporate naming fad has
broken into the college ranks.
The Buckeyes, though seemingly proud
of their rich athletic tradition, have
allowed the stadium to adopt the
moniker Value City Arena, after the
department-store empire of top funder
Jerome Schottenstein.
Interestingly enough, the big value
rings up over 105 .. million ... dollars.
"We haven't wanted it as much as we used
to," senior captain Bubba Berenzweig said.
"Those teams back (in 1995 and 1996), they
were above and beyond everyone else. This
team has to work a lot harder, and we're not
working hard enough."
The Wolverines were able to muster a victory
in the first game, a 4-1 thrashing of Michigan
Tech.
Sean Peach and Andrew Merrick each tallied
their first goals of the season and Josh Langfeld
and Sean Ritchlin added scores of their own to
help the Wolverines to victory.

AP PHOTO
The Spartans, led by backup goaltender Mike Gresi, hoisted the GLI trophy at Joe Louis Arena for the
second straight year.

blizzard slams CCHA region

Snowy conditions
By T.J. Berka
Daily Sports Writer
ROCHESTER HILLS - When the
Michigan hockey team goes on the
road - except if it's in Alaska - The
Mhigan Daily usually follows close
Snd.
For those of you who read the
Daily, you know that the space this
article eats up is -------------
usually reserved Hockey
for a story about a
particular aspect of Comne11z/y
the weekend's ----------------
games. Usually, the Daily hockey writ-
ers would attend a Saturday contest in
Columbus.
Jsually.
But it wasn't a usual Saturday -
and this isn't a normal Daily hockey
story.
Daily hockey stories are normally
live accounts of the game, where you
fee the action up close and get to hear
from players and coaches immediately
ofter the game.
This story has none of that.
You also normally see live colorful
trues from the hockey games to
accompany the stories.
We have no live colorful pictures
from Saturday.
It isn't that I - nor the rest of the
Daily hockey writers - meant to skip
the hockey game in Columbus on
Saturday. We had clothes packed, pen-
cils and tape recorders ready and were

hamper travel for fans, local media

set to make the 3 1/2 hour drive that
morning.
We were ready to set foot in Ohio
State's Value City Arena, a new 17,500
seat arena whose grand opening was
Saturday. After the game, we were
planning to explore the Columbus
night life.
So it's not like we were being lazy.
We really did want to go. But there
were reasons we didn't.
There were about 12 inches worth
of blowing, drifting reasons.
Yes, the blizzard of 1999 forced me
to watch the game at home on Fox
Sports Detroit. Due to the foot of snow
that fell in Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor
and everywhere else in the Great
Lakes region, I really had no choice.
Covering a game from home is an
interesting experience. It certainly
does have its perks. Instead of sitting
in a folding chair that rides into your
back every time you move, I got to sit
in a soft, comfortable couch.
Actually I lied in the soft, comfort-
able couch.
And watching the game at home
allowed me access to a refrigerator.
Instead of getting lukewarm Coca-
Cola out of a drink machine, I had
access to ice-cold beverages.
But covering a game by watching it
on television puts you at the mercy of
the station televising it. When that sta-
tion is Fox Sports Detroit, it's not pret-
tiest of situations.

Actually, Fox Sports did a decent
job - but the camera could have been
put in a better place than the top row of
Value City Arena. Watching the game
at home is hard enough without need-
ing a set of binoculars .to identify play-
ers.
But one thing that television did
have was replays. And in a game which
didn't see scoring until Chris Richards
fired a power-play slapshot past Josh
Blackburn late in the third period, the
replays kept people entertained.
Particularly entertaining was a
replay where Michigan defenseman
Bob Gassoff slugged Ohio State's Dan
Cousineau after Cousineau grabbed
his stick.
Gassoff got a five-minute major for
the penalty, but Fox Sports showed
what seemed like 10 minutes worth of
replays of the incident.
Fox Sports also commented on the
fact that many of the fans were arriv-
ing in the second period.
Normally I would criticize these
fans for coming so late, but consider-
ing the weather conditions and the fact
that I was sitting on a couch with a
cold beverage, I really shouldn't com-
ment on it.
Michigan lost its second game in a
row, but I wouldn't be the one to ask
about it.
It's not that I wouldn't be happy to
answer your questions, but I have to go
outside and dig out my car.

Michigan goalie
Josh Blackburn
rebounded from
his loss to
Michigan State
with a 29-save
performance
against the
Buckeyes.
It wasn't enough,
though, as Ohio
State won, 1-0.
AP PHOTO

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