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qv' hockey blows late lead, settles for tie with Ohio State
David Den Herder
ly Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - Josh Blackburn and the Michigan hockey
team were 70 seconds away from a big road victory Saturday
Tut the Wolverines opportunity melted away like the watery
ice at Value City Arena late in the third period. The puck -
hich had seemed so large to
ckburn all night - dribbledd MkchIgan 1
ss the goal line at 18:50, OhIo State 1
resulting in a 1-1 split decision -
with Ohio State, while keeping Michigan two points behind
Michigan State in the CCHA standings.
"We feel like we should have won and could have won -
an'didn't win," Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "But it
was a great game, a great crowd, and I think it was a great event
for the CCHA."
Yhile the event may have been great, the rink conditions at
Oiio State's new arena were anything but - making puck ban-
an absurd proposition for either team.
The ice conditions were terrible, there's no question,"
Berenson said. "And I don't want to criticize anyone - I know
their coach understands that - and it'll take some fine tuning
to get their act together in terms of the ice."
Blue stomp Iowa for road victory
ley ,6a Subramaan
Daily Sports Writer
EVANSTON A week ago, victory seemed like a distant
memory. But just a short time later, that sweet sensation has
rturned to the Michigan women's basketball team.
After yesterday's 64-54 victory over Northwestern,
Michigan coach Sue Guevara said adversity builds character.
*anyone would know, it would be Guevara. So far this sea-
son, her Wolverines have experienced the high of a nine-game
winning streak and the frustration of a five-game losing streak.
Instead of accepting defeat, in the last six days the
Wolverines have nearly climbed all the way out of the deep pit
they had dug for themselves doing the previous two weeks.
One week ago, Michigan was in last place in the Big Ten.
After Friday night's 86-67 victory over Iowa, it had rocketed
out of the cellar and into fifth place in the conference.
During the three-game winning streak, the character of the
team has finally shone through displaying a squad that has
fJlyelled and began playing-
The most glaring example of Norhwestern 64
that is the recent distribution of- --- -
offense. No longer is junior guard Stacey Thomas forced to
carry the weight of the team on her shoulders alone. Instead,
players such as freshmen Ruth Kipping and Alayne Ingram, as
well as sophomore Anne Thorius, have put up impressive fig-
ures on the scoreboard.
"1 have a team of warriors," Guevara said. "We've had gutty
performances from several people and had contributions from
I nch the last three games."
he contributions of her teammates have allowed Thomas to
play her game. In doing so, Thomas has once again become the
dominating player she was at the start of the season.
Yesterday's game was another record-setting performance
for Thomas, who led all scorers with 15 points and nabbed 10
rbounds. She recorded a career high four blocks and with her
six steals surpassed Diane Dietz for second on the Michigan
career steals list with 233 in three years. She trails only Lori
Gnatkowski, who leads all Wolverines with 266.
But last night's performance in Evanston could not be called
"The Stacey Thomas Show" It was perhaps one of the most
plete .performances the Wolverines have had all season
wi four players scoring in double figures.
The most telling statistic was Michigan's 68-percent field-
goal shooting percentage in the first half and 50.9-percent
shooting for the game.
See WILDCATS, Page 6B
Value City Arena had been used earlier in the day for an
Ohio State basketball game, and officials were having logisti-
cal problems keeping the ice frozen.
The poor conditions though did not deter referee Roger Graff
from calling several penalties in the first or second periods.
Twenty players - 10 Wolverines and 10 Buckeyes -- were
banished to the bok in the first two stanzas.
"We didn't come here to take penalties. We came to play
more of a penalty-free game," Berenson said. "But we ended
up taking way too many penalties. Part of it is the refereeing
and part of it is just the emotion in the game, the position the
other team puts you in and the pressure in the game"
Ohio State coach John Markell agreed that the early periods
had more than a healthy dose of penalty minutes.
"It was rough sledding in the first period," he said. "I think
we were nervous because of the (large) crowd, and it con-
tributed to the early penalties."
All that being said, Michigan's only goal came with both
teams at full strength. Early into the second period, Michigan
forward Geoff Koch was breaking toward the far side and fed
a cutting Mike Comrie for the go-ahead goal.
"Koch was out front, and two guys went to Josh Langfeld so
I just tapped it in through the five-hole. Good things happen
when you put it on net," Comrie said.
But that would be the extent to which any good things hap-
pened on net for the Wolverines. Despite several good chances,
Michigan couldn't convert, and was forced to protect a one-goal
lead when the clock began to wind down on the third period.
And just as it began to seem things would end up in
Michigan's favor, Ohio State's Hugo Boisvert found a wide-
open Ryan Jestadt to tie the game.
Overtime offered Michigan several good chances, but nei-
ther team could convert.
"(Scott) Matzka had a couple chances, I had a deflection, we
knew we were always in the game," Comrie said of the extra
stanza. "Just like the NHL, it would be a better game if there
was better ice. But that's all right, it's hockey."
Blackburn saved 25 of 26 shots on the night and held the
Buckeyes scoreless in overtime.
"Blackburn gave us a chance to win the game, and that's all
you can ask of your goalie," Berenson said. "If that's one of the
factors in winning on the road, Blackburn had a solid game."
While Ohio State went 0-for-8 on the power play, Michigan
missed all nine of its opportunities with the man advantage.
"On the power play, I thought we were strong at the start
of the game when the ice was good, and we seemed to dete-
riorate with the ice as the game went on," Berenson said.
"And you can't blame the ice, but it may have been a factor."
The Michigan hockey team surrendered a goal with 1:10 to
go, earning a 1-1 tie with Ohio State in Columbus.
Road loss boils
down to Blue's
By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Editor
WEST LAFAYETTE - The script has been around
almost as long as Gene Keady has been at Purdue - only
the set changes. The Michigan basketball team travels to
another Big Ten school, falls behind by double digits early,
makes a valiant comeback at the end of the game, but falls
just short of actually winning it.
Saturday, the set was Mackey Arena. Michigan fell
behind Purdue 20-6 in the first
six minutes, was behind by as Purdue 81
much as 19 early in the second 72 Michtn 7
half, battled back to within five
with just more than four minutes left in the game, then let
it slip away, losing 81-71.
The loss dropped Michigan to 1-6 in opponents build-
ings and 2-10 away from Crisler Arena.
"They got off to a big start and we were never able to
recover," Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe said. "At some
point, our basketball team has to make plays with the
game on the line."
But Michigan (3-4 Big Ten, 9-11 overall) didn't make
plays with the game on the line. In fact, it did just the
opposite - a handful of turnovers and fouls towards the
end of the game, including two costly errors by freshman
forward Chris Young, just may have cost the Wolverines a
shot at a valuable road win.
"We stopped ourselves," Ellerbe said. "We didn't fight
through down screens, we travelled. In fundamental situa-
tions, we didn't come through"
With 7:46 to play in the game and Michigan trailing by
seven, forward Brandan Smith stole a Jaraan Cornell pass
and broke down the floor. As he went for an easy layup,
Purdue's Carson Cunningham dragged Smith to the floor.
Cunningham was called for an intentional foul. Smith hit
both his free throws to cut the lead to five, and it looked as
though momentum was swinging Michigan's way.
But on the ensuing inbounds pass, Young was called for
a questionable pushing-off foul. Instead of getting a
chance to cut the lead to three, Purdue hit a free throw on
the other end to push it up to six.
From that point on, Michigan committed five more
turnovers, resulting in seven Purdue points.
"We exert a lot of energy getting back into the game,"
Michigan guard Louis Bullock said. "It's tough getting
See BOILERS, Page 58
Not even Brandon Smith's career high of 15 points could help resurrect the Wolverines from a 19-point deficit to Purdue.
Michigan came within five points, but the Boilermakers closed out the victory at Mackey Arena.
ST LAFAYETTE - For a guy
who just torched Michigan for 24
points in his first start of the sea-
son, Purdue guard Carson Cunningham
wasn't really all that
In fact, he was
Sure, he had just
led the Boilermakers
to a 81-71 victory
over the Wolverines
... but he could have PRANAY
cared less. REDDY
"This is a game we Reddy
should win," Reddy
Cunningham Or Not
snapped. "We should
have won more convincingly."
Cunningham wasn't being arrogant, he
was just mad. He was mad that Purdue had
dropped its two previous Big Ten games
against Ohio State and Indiana. He was
Michigan back into the game aft
an 18-point lead with I1 minutes
"I was pissed off because we t
were better than we are," Cunnin
Some pretty harsh words forji
game conference losing streak, r
not in Boilermaker country, whe
breathe and sleep Purdue basket
could argue that the skid was blo
proportion, but then again, isn't t
college athletics is all about?
Since when is emotion not the
theme for any college sport? Thi
pros, where your job is on the lin
lege - particularly men's colleg
- pride is paramount.
Cunningham was "pissed off,'
every right to be; Purdue was stu
and so was his game.
Well, if you'll look closely, th
Wolverines are in a similar situat
They've lost two conference gan
exempi fies Purdu
er holding did in wins over Wisconsin, Indiana and
s left. Ohio State.
hought we And the problem goes beyond the fact the
igham Wolverines haven't been at home for the
past two games. The key here is Michigan's
ust a two- sense of urgency - or the lack thereof.
ight? Well, While Michigan was simply looking for a
re fans eat, win on the road, the Boilermakers needed
ball. You much more.
wn out of The Michigan game was going to be a
that what defining point in Purdue's season - the
point where the Boilermakers either suf-
overriding fered their first three-game conference los-
s isn't the ing streak since 1985, or got back on track
ae. In col- for a run at the Big Ten title.
e basketball From Cunningham's demeanor and
Purdue coach Gene Keady's comments fol-
and he had lowing the game you got the sense that
ck in a rut, there was still trouble in paradise (um, West
Lafayette) - even after notching a hard-
e, earned conference victory.
ion. But you couldn't help but think it was a
nes in a row refreshing change. Here stood one of the
Mic~hian'st Ruth Kooing has emerged lately he~lng the
Purdue coach Gene Keady didn't do much
smiling Saturday, even though his team