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February 15, 1999 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

LEI W-"
low
PORTS

icers can'tafford
to assume victones
over lesser foes
LAMAZOO - The Western Michigan hockey
beam isn't exactly the most intimidating unit in the
CHA. The Broncos have just four conference victo-
riestiiis season, good for 10th place in the 11-team league.
Wetern Michigan's goaltender, Matt Barnes, stands only
56fbbt-4. Even their mascot, Buster Bronco, has a difficult
time ating on the Lawson Arena ice.
Basically, this game was counted as a victory for the
Micigan hockey team. The defending national champions
against a school known for Puckboy, a middle-school kid
who~trows pucks into the crowd while wearing a puck cos-
tume?:The game should be an easy two points.
prnestly, Michigan could have assumed that they could
c this game as a victory in October. As the defending
national champion and CCHA preseason favorite, the
Wolverines couldn't have been blamed for placing this
game in the victory column before the season even started.
A &3 whipping of the Broncos on Jan. 16 further demon-
strated the talent gap between the two teams.
Raly, what could Western do to stop the powerful
Wolverines? Unleash the intimidating Buster Bronco on
Red Berenson? That wouldn't be a good idea for old
Buster.
So why even play the game? With a
' atch like this, it would have been
be erf Western Michigan had can-,
celled:the game and saved the;
Wolveines some gas money.
But the CCHA has a funny little
rule. If a game appears on the sched-
ule, it has to be played. So the
Wolverines planned to drive two T.J.
hours, gain two points, and head back BERKA
two more hours with smiles on their Teeing
fa and food in their stomachs. Off
ese plans seemed pretty solid in
October. But Michigan didn't plan on
having a six-game winless streak.
Western Michigan took the assumptions of every
Michigan fan and threw them out the window Saturday
ight by tying the Wolverines, 2-2.
While getting a point against Michigan might call for a
:ampus-wide party at former coach Bill Wilkinson's house
BYOB, of course - it was actually a letdown for the
Broncos.
Western Michigan could have easily beaten Michigan for
h 7sttime in four seasons. In fact, the Broncos came
it in 7. 1 seconds of pulling off a shocking victory.
A tie against Western Michigan is not good for the
olverines. It's about as unnatural as Pamela Anderson
ee's chest. Due to this freak phenomenon, there are only
o possible ways to explain the events of Feb. 13
I. Western Michigan's a good team: The Broncos have
nly lost one out of their last four games since Jim Culhane
ook over for Wilkinson on an interim basis. But, the
roncos have only won five out of 29 games this season. In
o countries, that sucks. So that can't be the reason.
ichigan's got some problems: As much as the play-
rs deny it, the Wolverines aren't playing too well right
ow. Michigan is having difficulty coming out of the gates
trong.
The Wolverines have trailed after the first period in the
ast four games. They have an extremely hardtime burying
heir offensive chances and deflecting the intensity that
>pposing defenders bring to the table when playing the
lefending national champions.
The Wolverines, whether they admit it or not, assumed a
ictory over Western Michigan this weekend. They also
sse that they will host a CCHA first-round playoff
er and qualify for regionals in Madison. Michigan's in
ird place right now, but they are only five points removed
rom sixth.
These assumptions can still be fulfilled, but if the
olverines don't get their act together, all the assuming
vill have been for naught.
- TJ. Berka can be reached via email at
berkat@umich.edu.

Turning point?

Kosick's goal
earns Michigan
last-second tie
By David Den Herder
Daily Sports Writer
KALAMAZOO - Questions about the will and desire of
the Michigan hockey team might well have been answered
Saturday night at Lawson Ice Arena.
It was with 7.1 seconds left in the game - the Western
Michigan fans already celebrating victory - that forward
Mark Kosick made the save.
He didn't save a goal - he scored one. But with that goal,
Kosick saved a tie with the Broncos, 2-2, and he may have
saved more than just the game.
"We've been going through some tough times these last
four or five games," Kosick said. "This was another tough
game, but I think we can take something out of the tie."
Specifically, the Wolverines can take a point in the CCHA
standings - giving themselves a little breathing room over
fourth-place Notre Dame. But Michigan coach Red Berenson
said, the buzzer-beating goal proves something more.
"This team is not about to give up," Berenson said. "Our
team has -shown that grit anl that character that it takes to
stay in these games."
And that's something Michigan fans may be happy to hear
after watching their team extend its winless streak to six
games - a first in 10 seasons for the Wolverines.
"The last four games we've played from behind - we
never had the lead in any of these games, Berenson said.
"But we've gotten back in the game - tonight we were
down, 2-0, and we got back in the game, and I like that about
our team. Hopefully that will help us somewhere down the
road."
And the road is where Michigan appears to need the most
help of late. The Wolverines have not won away from Yost Ice
Arena since the first round of the Great Lakes Invitational
against Michigan Tech on Dec. 26.
As for early-game deficits, Saturday's game was certainly
no exception for Michigan. The Broncos came hard out of
the gates, creating two scoring chances early, that were
staved off only by the sharp play of goaltender Josh
Blackburn.
See BRONCOS, Page 4B

SARA SCHENCK/Daily
Dale Rominski and the Michigan hockey team were 7.1 seconds away from losing their fourth straight game. But the
Wolverines came back to tie Western Michigan 2-2.

Blue splits" weekend series {

By Joshua Isaac Borkin
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING-This past week-
end, Michigan encountered numerous
second chances. While they converted
Friday night, they came up short Sunday
afternoon against a confident Michigan
State team.
On Friday night, they completed an
astounding comeback against Illinois,
one of the Big Ten's elite. But Sunday
afternoon, inexperience came into play
and Michigan folded under the pressure
to rival Michigan State.
The game against Michigan State was
one of the most important of the season.
The Spartans (8-7 Big Ten,14-11 over-
all) trailed the Wolverines by one game
in the conference standings.
In addition, they were looking for
redemption against Michigan, which
had beaten the Spartans in overtime

three weeks ago.
From the start, the Spartans looked
primed for the competition. The
Wolverines were able to keep it close
throughout the first half, never trailing
by more than six points.
Several factors contributed to
Michigan State's 32-27 halftime lead.
Both teams made 13 field goals, but the
Spartans shot 54 percent from the field,
while Michigan shot a dismal 38 per-
cent.
But what really separated the two
squads was the Spartans ability to hit
their threes. In the first half, Michigan
State shot four-of-seven from outside the
arc, while Michigan hardly found the
rim, shooting one for seven.
Michigan's only positive note of the
first half might have been the
Wolverines ability to take advantage of
Michigan State's poor transition defense.

The Wolverines came out flat in the
second half. Michigan State's zone
defense stifled Michigan's post players
and caused them to turn over the ball and
force bad shots. In addition, Stacey
Thomas tried to do too much and fired
several bricks.
"We came out flat tonight" Michigan
coach Sue Guevara said. "We were play-
ing not to lose tonight, and inexperience
played a big role in this loss."
Michigan fell behind nine points early
in the second half. But by midway
through the half they had closed the lead
to a single point.
Michigan again had taken advantage
of Michigan State's mistakes. In the
game the Wolverines scored 16 points
off turnovers and scored an additional 16
second-chance points.
The Wolverines kept it close until the
See SPLIT, Page 58

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
The Michigan women's basketball team defeated Illinois in a
last-second victory on Friday, but weren't able to complete
the weekend sweep, losing to Michigan State 70-56.

'M' Grapplers show no love for Boilers

By Michael Shafrir
Daily Sports Writer
There wasn't much love in the air at Cliff'
Keen Arena yesterday as the Michigan
wrestling team took down Purdue with its own
version of the Valentine's Day Massacre.
With two starters out with injuries, Michigan
had cause for concern wrestling against the
15th-ranked Boilermakers.
"I thought it was going to be a real close
match," Michigan coach Dale Bahr said.
Purdue was coming off a 23-7 victory over
Michigan State on Friday night-a team
Michigan has faced twice this year.
"They beat Michigan State worse than we
did," Bahr said. "And with (Frank) Lodeserto
and (Corey) Grant out, we were going to give
up some points.'
The Wolverines fell behind, 8-3, early in the
match before ripping off four straight wins. The
last match of that streak featured freshman
Dane Tobano - wrestling in place of
Loderserto - whose only dual meet experience
came last week against Iowa.
"He's probably our third-best wrestler at 197
nounds" Rahr said. "But we have to make sure

Bahr may have had by pinning Williams 4:41
into the match.
"I was so pumped for my debut at home,"
Tobano said. "I prepared hard and came out
with a lot of intensity."
Tobano's fist-pumping win paved the way for
Michigan's 27-11 victory.
Otto Olson continued his rampage through
the Big Ten with a dominating 20-7 major deci-
sion over Purdue's 17th-ranked James Crnich.
Olson, ranked fifth in the country, is undefeat-
ed in dual meets this season.
"Olson destroyed another top-twenty oppo-
nent," Bahr said. "He goes after people so hard,
they can't stand up by the end of the match.'
Eighth-ranked Chris Viola, sixth-ranked Joe
Warren and fifth-ranked Damion Logan,
Michigan's "Killer's Row", swept the lighter
weights, punctuated by Viola's 10-8 decision
over No. 11 Jason Silverstein.
Viola improved to 29-4 on the season, while
Warren and Logan picked up their 25th and
24th wins of the season, respectively.
There was a bit of history made at yesterday's
meet when Andy Hrovat picked up his 25th vic-
tory of the season. That tied him for 10th all-

though."
The win over Purdue gives the Wolverines
some momentum as they head into the last
weekend of dual meets before the champi-
onship season. It also gives them a good idea of
where they stand in the Big Ten.
"There's us, Illinois and Penn State compet-
ing for the third spot," Bahr said. He conceded
that it will be very tough to beat either Iowa or
Minnesota at the conference meet.
Hrovat said dual meets serve as confidence
builders. "I think we'll do very well at the end
of the season," Hrovat said. "We're building up
a lot of steam for Big Tens."
The dual-meet season, Bahr said, is almost
inconsequential for his Michigan team. "I'd sac-
rifice a win in'a dual meet to make sure that our
guys are ready for Big Tens and NCAAs," Bahr
said. "I thought we might be in trouble today
with our lineup, but our guys really pulled
through.'
Even though Michigan was wrestling with a
depleted lineup and a fatigued team, Purdue
probably wished the Wolverines had shown up
with roses and chocolates instead.
"We've had a lot of up and downs," Tobano

I

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