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February 12, 1999 - Image 12

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-12

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Scroboard. ~
MEN'S NCAA San Jose State at
BASKETBALL (25) NEW MEXICO, inc.
(1) Duke 100,
VIRGINIA 54 WOMEN'S NCAA
(5) Michigan State 61, BASKETBALL
ILLINOIS 44 (7) DUKE 86,
(9) UCLA at Wake Forest 48
(6) STANFORD, Inc. (14) North Carolina 78,
San Jose State at MARYLAND 63
(14) UTAH, inc.

(25) ALABAMA 72,
(17) Auburn 57
(19) CLEM SON 69,
Georgia Tech 41
ARKANSAS 86,
(20) Louisiana St. 61

Uge£ftifux m tg

Tracking 'M' teams
Check out the Michigan wrestling team this weekend
at Cliff Keen Arena. The ninth-ranked grapplers will
take on Purdue on Sunday at 2 p.m.

*I

Friday
February 12, 1999

12

WHISTLING WHILE HE WORKS
BY CHRIS DUPREY U DAILY SPORTS EDTOR
e's telling you the truth when he says he can't
hear what the crowd's saying. The noise justF
washes over him all at once - and there's no
way to tell what the guy in the fourth row is saying
about his eyesight or his so-called bias against one
team.,
It's game time. And for CCHA referee Steve
Piotrowski, that means it's time to focus and block out
the distractions. There's an important conference
matchup on hand, where players from both sides care
little about Piotrowski's issues with his job or his fam-
ily - they just want the calls to go in their favor.
That's fine with Piotrowski, who does some of the
toughest parts of his job before the puck drops. When '
he steps on that freshly-cleaned ice for the first time,
his offseason conditioning, his continued study of the
rulebook and his videotape self-analysis are all assets
in his back pocket.
He's prepared himself to work, and now he can deal
with on-ice issues. And there are quite a few of those.
Although Piotrowski, 40, is one of the conference's
top officials, well-respected all around the league,
he's far from immune to the arguments with players
and coaches that are commonplace in hockey.}
"Each coach is unique, and I respect them for the i
intensity they bring to this game," Piotrowski said.
"They all get worked up as we get worked up, but
when the game is over, they just leave it between the
boards and life goes on."u
Animosity between players and referees is frequent
also, which makes Piotrowski's decision to referee
even more unusual. His first love was playing hockey,
not officiating it, and as a youngster his skill levelr
advanced enough to win a roster spot at Ferris State
from 1977-79.
But when his eligibility expired, Piotrowski had a
choice to make. Jumping to the professional ranks
was a possibility, but also a longshot. So he traded in
his jersey for a black-and-white striped shirt.
"After college, I didn't feel the direction of my play
would take me to another level," Piotrowski said. "I
said, 'Well, I can't play anymore. I don't want to
coach. The next best thing is to officiate.'
"At that time, there was a push from the NCAA and
from the league to try and get (former) college play-'
ers involved, so that's how I got started."
Piotrowski certainly had the experience necessary NATHAN RUFFER/Daily
for the job. It was at the young age of 13 when he first CCHA referee Steve Plotrowski makes a call in this past Friday's contest between Michigan and lake
grabbed a whistle, officiating mite and peewee games Superior. The 40-year old, who has called hockey games from peewee level to the World Junior
See PIOTROWSKI, Page 13 Championships, remains as one of the conference's top officials.

Western recovers
from coach's firing

By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Writer
It hasn't been a dream season for
Western Michigan, which hosts the
Michigan hockey team on Saturday.
September started off on the wrong
foot, as the Broncos dealt with NCAA
violations, a reprimand on coach Bill
Wilkinson and the suspensions of two
players - Steven Rymsha and Mark
Wilkinson.
The chaos distracted the Broncos into
one of the worst campaigns in school
history, strumming up only three wins
overall in the first four months of the
season.
And due to the diver-
sions, Western Michigan ATU
Athletic Director Kathy ~.~.~~..~~~
Beauregard fired Who: M
Wilkinson, the 34th win- 6-3 CCHA
ningest coach in NCAA overall) vs
hockey history, ending his Michigan{
15-year reign on Feb. 2. 16-6)
The announcement came Where:
with only nine games rena, KA
remaining in the regular Aren,
season and the Broncos When:
guaranteed of their third TV/Rad
straight losing season. Sports Det
The pink slip came as a 27; WTKA
shock to now interim
coach Jim Culhane, who
played under Wilkinson for four years
and was his assistant for seven.
"We were surprised on this end too,"
interim coach Jim Culhane said. "I've
known Jim and his family for more than
15 years. The relationship was great and
there continues to be one, but I've had to
set aside those emotions and do what's
best for this team and these kids"
The Broncos, who won only two
CCHA games before this past weekend,
stormed back with a vengeance with
their new chief, doubling their victories
thanks to a strong power-play perfor-
mance and solid goaltending from Matt
Barnes.

"Teams usually respond to new
coaches," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "Not because there's a
better coach. The new players responded
to show the new coach that they aren't
as bad as the old coach was fired for"
Western Michigan had struggled in
all areas previously this season where it
remained in the CCHA cellar in almost
every category including the standings.
But this past weekend, the Broncos
showed that they have a good shot at the
eighth playoff spot.
"Last weekend we competed hard for
60 minutes against both teams,"
Culhane said. "That's
what I told my players
R DAY they needed to do the day
.~ I met with them."
higan 14- Berenson believes that

I~
id

A 17-8-4
. Westem
(4-13-6, 5-
Lawson
amazoo
7 p.m.
io: Fox
roit, Ch.
1080 AM

his team could take a les-
son from the Broncos.
Many of Michigan's latest
losses in its present five-
game winless streak
included a small time peri-
od of the contest when the
Wolverines struggled
immensely.
"We need to play better
for the entire 60 minutes,"
Berenson said. "We now
see that we can't have a

bad period or even a bad minute"
Western Michigan, on the other hand,
might not be able to sustain a full con-
test due to a sharp disadvantage this
weekend. The Broncos have to battle
Ferris State on Friday, while Michigan
practices and rests at home.
The Wolverines struggled with the
same scheduling troubles last weekend,
when they played two games, while
Saturday night's opponent Ohio State..
took Friday off.
The problem "has been brought up
before, and yes, it's somewhat of a con-
cern." Culhane said. "Obviously, I have
inherited it."

U I.

Critical weekend for women's hoops

The University of Michigan
School of Music

n', I

Friday, February 12
Chamber Choir, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band

By Stephanie Offen
Daily Sports Writer
This Valentine's Day weekend will
be filled with anything but love for

weekend, making the contests vital
to Michigan's tournament hopes.
Illinois (8-4, 14-8), ranked third
in the conference, will travel to

H. Robert Reynolds and Theodore Morrison, conductors
Richard Beene, bassoon (in the Bassett work)
" Basssett: Wood and Reed Transformed (world premiere)
" music by Mendelssohn, Tichelli, Piston, Grainger, Mennin
" Hindemith: Apparebit Repentina Dies
Hill Auditorium, 8p.m.
Sunday, February 14
Annual UMGALAS Progressive Concert
A variety concert followed by a reception.
Blanche Anderson Moore Hall, E. V. Moore Bldg., 3 p.m
Tuesday, February 16
University Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Kiesler, conductor
" Sibelius Symphony No. 2
" Debussy: two orchestral nocturnes
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Events are free, no tickets required and are wheelchair
accessible unless otherwise specified. The E.V. Moore Bldg. is
located at 1100 Baits Drive, North Campus. For more information
phone (734) 764-0594 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(This is not a music hotline)

the Michigan women's
basketball team. Instead,
it will be a weekend
composed of confer-
ence rivals looking to
exact revenge and fight-
ing for a possible
NCAA Tournament
berth.
Now that March is
right around the corner,
it's crunch time for the
Wolverines (6-6 Big
Ten, 14-8 overall) who
sit on the bubble of a
possible entry into the
"Big Dance."
The Wolverines, cur-
rently fifth in the con-
ference, rest in between
the two teams they will

TONIGHT
.. ............................... ,....... .
Who:
Michigan vs. Illinois
Where:
Crisler Arena
When: 7:30 p.m,
The Latest: Come
see the Michigan
women's basketball
team in one of their*
last home games of
the season. Tickets
are free for students.

Crisler Arena tomor-
row vying for its sec-
ond victory over the
Wolverines this sea-
son.
The Fighting Illini
come off a huge win
over Ohio State, mov-
ing them into a tie
with the Buckeyes for
the third spot in the
conference.
Earlier in the sea-
son, the Illini defeated
the Wolverines, 75-
65, in overtime,
which started
Michigan on a down-
ward spiral in the
form of a five-game

Sunday, the Wolverines will travel
to East Lansing to take on the sixth-
place Spartans, who currently own
only one more conference loss than
Michigan. The Spartans would love
to steal Michigan's fifth-place spot.
This season's earlier game against
the Spartans, played out exactly the
opposite of the one against Illinois.
The Wolverines pulled out a huge
overtime win that ended their five-
game losing streak.
But Sunday's game will have a lot
more will be on the line then just a
turnaround in the season. In order to
have a chance at the NCAA
Tournament, the Wolverines will
need to remain in their current place
in the conference.
Last season, the women's NCAA
selection committee took only four
teams from the Big Ten, but with the
Wolverines' impressive non-confer-
ence record, they might squeak by.
The only sure way to keep

Michigan's hopes alive, though, is
for the Wolverines to win the rest of
their games. Victories over the two
conference rivals could also lead to
a first-round bye in the conference
tournament, where the Wolverine
also need to have an impressive
showing.
Michigan has had a tendency to
show many sides of itself this sea-
son, and they can only hope that the
Wolverines of last weekend show up_
again.
"They go up and down," Michigan
coach Sue Guevara said. "Right now
I just want them to be consistant.
The Wolverines shot close to 50
percent against both Minnesota an
Purdue last weekend, which le
them to a huge win over the Golden
Gophers, and an almost upset of the
No. 2 Boilermakers.
"We were just able to take careso
the basketball, sophomore Anne
Thorius said after last Sunday's,
game against Purdue.
If the Wolverines remain consis-
tent, their goal of a second-straight
NCAA appearance could be jus

face this

losing streak.

UV
II A l i l

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