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February 22, 1999 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-22

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 22, 1999

Puck talk
"I think our team will be fine, but
I've been saying that for
four weeks now.
- Michigan captain Bubba Berenzweig,
on the state of his team after it extended
its winless streak to eight games

3sM Michigan 5

24 Michigan

1
3

Key play
12.8 seconds remaining in the
second period of Friday's game
- AMichigan winger Geoff Koch earns a
major penalty for cross-checking, and the
Broncos score twice on the ensuing power
play to get back in the game.

Western Michigan

5

5 Michigan State

Michigan 5, Western Michigan 5
Michigan 3 2 0 0 -5
Western Mich. 1 1 3 0 -5
First period -1. Mich, Berenzweig 6 (Trainor),
6:37; 1. WMU, Waring 7 (Gove, Crane), 6:52; 2.
Mich, Clark 3 (Van Ryn, Huntzicker), 9:51; 3. Mich,
Langfeld 15 (Comrie, Berenzweig), 13:43 (pp).
Penalties - Mich, Hayes (roughing), 3:42; WMU,
McCabe (holding), 3:42; Mich, Crozier (slashing),
10:39; WMU, Andrews (elbowing), 11:39; WMU,
Collard (roughing), 12:09; WMU, Kline (kneeing),
12:09; WMU, Jones (checking from behind), 19:24.
Second period - 4. Mich, Langfeld 16 (Van Ryn,
Berenzweig), :30 (pp); 2. WMU, Redenius 8
(Waring), 16:20 (pp); 5. Mich, Peach 2 (unassisted),
18:34 (pp). Penalties - Mich, Jillson (interference),
:56; WMU, Rymsha (slashing), 2:18; Mich, Van Ryn
(slashing), 2:18; Mich, Matzka (tripping), 5:08;
Mich, Peach (tripping), 10:58; Mich, Jillson (rough-
ing); 14:28; WMU, Lukasak (crass checking),
16:40; Mich, Rominski (cross checking), 19:47;
WMU, Rymsha (roughing), 19:47; Mich, Koch (major
cross checking), 19:47; Mich, Koch (game disquali-
fication), 19:47.
Third period - 3. WMU, Crane 1 (Gove, Mindel), :45
(pp); 4. WMU, Waring 8 (Collard, Redenius), 4:48
(pp); 5. WMU, Wilkinson 1(Kline, Rymsha), 5:26.
Penalties - Mich, bench minor served by Vancik
(too many men), 13:58; WMU, Addesa (holding the
stick), 17:22.
Overtime - no scaring. Penalties - none.
Shots on goal - Mich, 12-95&1 - 30; WMU, 9-913-3 -
34.
Power Plays - Mich 3 of 6; WMU 3 of 9.
Saves - Mich, Blackburn 8-8-103 - 29; WMU,
Barnes 9-7-&1- 25.
Referee - Michael Mondalek.
Unesmen - Larry Lulich, Kevin Langseth.
At: Lawson Ice Arena. Attendance: 3,108.
Stedysgae

lwnl need its
own hero to escape
slide, make tourney
DETROIT - It's like the classic MacGyver
episode: the show's central character, in his pur-
suit of the bad guys, finds himself trapped some-
where with time ticking down before disaster.
Michigan's NCAA playoff chances seem to be fol-
lowing the same plot line. Once a virtual guarantee to
make the tournament's 12-team field, the Wolverines
are now on the bubble - an unfamiliar perspective for
a team that last missed the NCAA postseason in 1990.
And while Michigan graduated quite a bit of goal-
scoring talent from last season's national championship
team, the Wolverines returned more
than enough to be a player in the
national championship hunt. Thisn
year's sophomore class, under the
guidance of senior captain Bubba
Berenzweig, was supposed to grow f
and take a greater leadership role.
It's possible that development is
taking place. It's possible the CHRIS
Wolverines will be all right in the DUPREY
long term.D
But for now Michigan is in trou- Dupe's
ble. Carrying a 17-9-6 record with Scoop
four regular season games left to
play, the 20-win plateau has become a challenge for a
team that was surely capable of 25.
Last season's team was happy to be at home in Ann
Arbor in March. when it won the Yost regional. It used
the friendly confines of the Old Barn to skate its way to
the Frozen Four. This year's Wolverines might not have
a choice.
The old men who decide the NCAA field will have
severe distaste for a Michigan team that surrenders
three-goal leads to bottom-of-the-barrel opponents like
Western Michigan.
They will disapprove of a team that is playing its
worst hockey of the season when it is supposed to be
playing its best - although the Wolverines' second-
periodshowing against Michigan State on Saturday
night had a shred of promise.
The players continue to point to a lack of execution
as the reason for their slide down the mountain. We're
just not burying our chances, they're fond of saying.
That explanation was acceptable for the early part of
this streak. Yet as the winless skid hits eight, maybe
there are other problems - problems behind closed
doors.
Maybe the egos that highly-recruited players are
prone to have are clashing in that Michigan lockerroom.
Maybe the losing and the tying and the lead-blowing
have caused destructive finger-pointing among the
Wolverines.
It would be easy to understand if Michigan had no
talent. But its November hot streak proved otherwise, as
the Wolverines defeated Michigan State and Notre
Dame in businesslike fashion, playing some of the best
hockey in the country at that point of the season.
The time has come for these guys to play like
Michigan, to honor the tradition that would take such a
hit if the Wolverines didn't qualify for the NCAA tour-
nament. Whatever the problem, whatever the frequent
clich6, Berenzweig and Michigan must find it, before
it's too late.
Time is running out. Where's MacGyver when you
need him?
- Chris Duprey can be reached via e-mail at
cduprey@umich.edu.

SPARTANS
Continued from Page 1B
Joe Blackburn to sprawl to the ice,
and was about to flip in tae game-
tying goal. But Mike Weaver dove to
the ice and knocked the puck from
Comrie's stick, preserving the
Spartans' lead.
"The defenseman had a bit of a
jump on me and I tried to Dutskate
him," Comrie said. "The defenseman
just caught my stick. It was an
unlucky bounce -just like the whole
night."
Adam Hall had a little bit of lady
luck on his side, as he scored two o
the Spartans' three goals. The first
came off of a great feed from York on
a two-on-one to put the Spartans up
2-0 in the third period.
"It was one of our only breakdowns
and it cost us the game," Michigan
captain Bubba Berenzweig - the one
in the two-on-one - said. "Van Ryn
stepped up, they got the puck, and
York made a great play."
Berenzweig was also the victim in
Hall's second goal, as the puck went
through his legs into an empty net in
the last period of the game.
But instances like that have been
typical for the Wolverines as of late.
Friday night was a good example,
as Michigan blew a three-goal lead in
the final period to finish in a 5-5 tie
with Western Michigan.
Two of those goals were a result of
a five-minute power play stemming
from a penalty by Geoff Koch, who
was thrown out of the game and sus-
pended for the Michigan State con-
test.

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
For the most part, Mike Comrle and the Michigan offense was foiled by Michigan State on Saturday
night.

Blue gets more offense, but e uck

Michigan State 3,
Michigan 0 0
Michigan State 1 0

Michigan 1
1 -2
2 -2

First period - 1. MSU, Dolynty 13 (Goodenow,
Hutchinson), 9:34. Penalties - Mich, Matzka (trip.
ping), 1:36; Mich, Hayes (cross checking), 2:06;
MSU, Horcoff (roughing after whistle), 6:06; MSU,
Bogle (interference), 13:10; MSU, Horcoff (rouhing
after whistle), 16:37; Mich, Gassoff (roughing after
whistle), 16:37; Mich, Langfeld (interference),
18:38.
Second period -no scoring. Penalties -Mich,
Merrick (cross checking), 3:28; MSU, Horcoff (hold-
ing the stick), 9:33; Mich, Merrick (charging),
12:29; MSU, Goodenow (high sticking), 17:35;
MSU, Goodenow (roughing), 17:35; Mich, Jilson
(slashing), 17:35.
Third period --2. MSU, Hal 8 (York, Kozakowski),
12:08; 1. Mich, Matzka 3 (Jiison, Huntzicker),
17:04; 2. MSU, Hall 9 (unassisted), 19:16 (en).
Penalties -- MU, Insana (cross checking), 6:42;
Mich, Langfeld (boarding), 14:45.
Shots on;goal - Mich, 5-12-10 -27; MSU, 1149--24.
Power Plays - Mich 0 of 5; MSU 0 of 6.
Saves - Mich, Josh Blackburn 10-4-8-22; MSU,
Joe Blackburn 5-12-9 - 26.
Referee - Matt Shegos.
Unesmen - John Pearson, Larry Lulich.
At: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit. Attendance: 19,983.

By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - The Michigan hockey team's
offense worked in some weird ways this past
weekend.
On Friday night, Michigan had the offen-
sive effort, scoring early and often. The
Wolverines scored the first goal of the game
for the first time in five contests and added
four more goals before the conclusion of the
second period.
But mental breakdowns and costly penal-
ties allowed Western Michigan to tally three
goals in the first 5:26 of the third period and
send Michigan home with just one point.
Against Michigan State on Saturday, the
Wolverines controlled the tempo for much of
the game, outplaying Michigan State in the
second and third periods.
The Michigan offense that sparkled earlier
in the season showed up for a second straight
night.
But that offense only managed one goal.
Like a Blackjack dealer pulling 21 to a
solid 20, luck wasn't on the Wolverines' side
against Michigan State.
While Michigan cruised to more scoring
opportunities as the Spartans, a hockey game
is decided by goals scored, not chances.
The Spartans raked in three goals on their
fewer opportunities, while it took the
Wolverines 57 minutes to erase the zero on

the scoreboard.
"When it's going your way it seems like
everything is going in. And when it's not
going your way, it's like there's a plastic wall
in front of the net," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "We hit two posts on deflec-
tions in the second period, but they weren't
going in. They hit the post and went out the
other way. That's just the way it's going now."
After an early second period rush, the
Wolverines seemed relentless in their check-
ing and were able to keep the puck in the
Michigan State zone for several long periods
of time.
"The way Michigan was forechecking us,
we couldn't do anything about the things in
our own zone," Michigan State coach Ron
Mason said. "Michigan put just an unbeliev-
able amount of pressure on our defensemen.
They kept coming and coming."
The Wolverines had more breakaways, bet-
ter control of the puck and superior power
plays compared to Michigan State.
But the Spartans never left their defensive
positions and held strong during the
Michigan onslaught. The Michigan State
defense showed why it has allowed a CCHA-
low 34 goals in 26 games by preventing
rebounds and blocking shots.
That effort helped give Michigan State
goalie Joe Blackburn little trouble in stop-
ping 21 shots in the final two periods.

"It was a really easy night for me out
there," Blackburn said. "Our defense blocked
a lot of shots for me."
As the Wolverines were denied on their
best opportunities, they had to count on a
Scott Matzka deflection of a Jeff Jillson shot
to prevent a shutout.
After the contest, Michigan center Mark
Kosick recounted the extensive amount of
scoring chances that each of his teammates
had but could find no answer how the actual
scoring escaped them.
"I could go through the whole team,'
Kosick said. "When you go though and hit
posts like we did, you can't say how you did-
n't win the game."
Michigan found better shots thanks to
some crafty passing and more teamwork than
in recent games.
"We were roiling through our lines getting
chances," Kosick said. "We're starting to put
together a system that when we play like a
team we're one of the best teams in the
nation. Tonight was a big turning point fo*
us."
And despite the improved offensive effort,
the final score didn't officially get the
Wolverines back on the road they wanted to
be on.
"The outcome was brutal,' Kosick said. It
was "luck for them, bad luck for us. We out-
played them and we lost."

Rivalry sells out joe Louis Arena

hockey teams currently competing in the
state - soon to be eight with the addi-
tion of Wayne State.
"This is hockey country here in the
state of Michigan, and I think it's evi-
denced by the crowd here tonight,"
Mason said. "And the job Joe Louis does
to really support college hockey."
That job has been extensive, especial-
ly when it comes to advertising. From
newspaper ads to billboards to banners
on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, "College
Hockey at the Joe" gets significant pub-
licity.
STREAKING APARr: Like two trains
that seemed to be at the same station in
December, Michigan and Michigan
State have been traveling in different
directions ever since.
The Wolverines' winless streak has
reached eight games - a skid Michigan
hasn't experienced since 1988, when the
team went nine straight games without a
victory.
Conversely, the Spartans have broken
a school record for consecutive unbeaten
games with 20. Interestingly, the record
this streak eclipses is also from 1988,

when the Spartans won 19 in a row.
BUBBLE DANCING: With the weekend
results, Michigan has fallen to 13th in
the Pairwise college hockey rankings.
Pairwise is the ranking method the
NCAA selection committee consults
when selecting the tournament field of
12 teams. Although the committee con-
sults other factors, Pairwise boasts to
having perfectly predicted the field in
past seasons.
But, despite seemingly being a place
off the pace, the Wolverines can take
some solace in the fact that Quinnipiac
(currently No. 8 in the rankings) will
likely be overlooked due to a weak
schedule.
TEAMING UP: Michigan captain
Bubba Berenzweig will set aside CCHA
rivalry and join forces with Michigan
State captain Mike York at season's end.
The two have been selected as co-cap-
tains of Team -USA for the North
American College Hockey
Championships - a two-game series
which will take place on April 10-11.
The remainder of the US roster will be
announced at a later date.

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
Hard-nosed Wolverines like Andrew Merrick had their hands full with a physical
Michigan State team.

Buckeyes upset, Notre Dame falls from fourth.

Alaska-Fairbanks jumped out to a fast 2-0 start, and
used an overtime goal by Daniel Carriere to defeat the
Buckeyes in Columbus on Saturday night, 3-2.
Despite being eliminated from postseason contention
%fP Mmi'sovrtm victrover

Mike Jones had two goals to lead Bowling Green,
while Adam Edinger, Dan Price and Chris Bonvie had a
goal apiece for the Falcons, who turned a 1-1 tie into a
blowout with four unanswered scores.
Bowling Green solidified its playoff standing with the

4-0 to Northern Michigan while the Broncos were idle.
All three teams in contention for the CCHA's final play-
off spot and have played an equal number of games.
Deskins was the hero on Friday night also, as the
RedHawks defeated Alaska-Fairbanks 4-3. The Nanooks

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