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March 11, 1999 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-11

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16A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 11, 1999
Senior breaks image of 'typical college hockey player'

Continued from Page 12A
Berenson will attest to that.
"I can see him not fitting the mold of
a 'typical college hockey player,'" said
Berenson of his protege. "He's a well-
rounded kid - a free thinker." Berenson
remembers four seasons past, when the
maize-and-blue offered Rominski a
scholarship for hockey after one year in
"He's a Michigan type kid - a good
student and an honest player," Berenson
said. "But he wanted to do more than just
play hockey."
An understandable desire for a man
with so many interests. And, perhaps not
surprisingly, by the end of his sophomore
year the pressures of the round were tak-
ing a toll.
The daily grind of class after class,

the regimen of hockey every night, the
pressure of academic direction, the sup-
pression of other personal interests, the
disappointment of a 1997 playoff loss,
"Everything was so scheduled,"
Rominski recalls. "I had no control - it
was taking me for a ride."
So Rominski did the only thing he
could do. "I took a bicycle tour for 21
days, by myself, in Nova Scotia," he
After spring term, the Michigan kid
packed his bike in a box, and rode the
train 30 hours northeast to the Canadian
wilderness. The Canadian accent he had
picked up at post-game press conferences
wouldn't be needed. Rominski was out
soul searching, and he was doing it alone.
"I had my tent and sleeping bag, and
I would ride 70-100 miles a day. And
after that, you just sit," said Rominski.
"It's such a simple life, and completely

free of all those other influences. I could
just think about what I wanted to do."
As evidenced by two more varsity let-
ters, another championship ring and the
'A' sewn onto his sweater, Rominski
made a significant decision somewhere
along that Nova Scotian road.
"When I came back, I was so fired up
to play hockey - and I realized how
much I appreciate everything here,"
Rominski said, adding how he had gained
a newfound respect for the devotion of
the University's academic faculty. "it was
kind of a strange epiphany I had when I
was out there. That was important"
Opting to don the winged helmet for
two more years, Rominski kept hockey in
his life. On they way to his second
national title with the Wolverines,
Rominski scored 10 goals and had 14
assists for 24 points his junior season. It
seemed his life - from student to athlete

Dale Rominski
takes five for a
close up at the
Michigan Theater
on East Liberty.
"We can't cut
everybody out of
the same mold,"
said Michigan
hockey coach
Red Berenson.

to artist - was back in focus.
And before returning for a final year
in Ann Arbor, his teammates granted him
one more title: assistant captain.
"Everybody in our senior class is a
leader," Rominski said. "And to pick cer-
tain leaders out of those guys is certainly
an honor."
Discussing his leadership role is not
easy for the modest Rominski, but he will
say it's easier to handle at Michigan,
thanks to the deep Blue tradition.
"It's easier to know how to be a
leader, because we've had (Brendan)
Morrison in the past, and those guys had
(Steve) Shields and (Brian) Wiseman in
the past -- it keeps getting passed down."
Fair enough, but that was in the past.
Rominski's time is now, and he has car-
ried his title well. Through 36 games, The
Director has tallied 12 goals and eight
assists on the way to Michigan's 12th-
straight 20-win season. Tomorrow night
he will begin his fourth and final playoff
campaign with a block 'M' across his
A free agent at season's end, profes-
sional scouts will no doubt be interested
in analyzing Rominski's play, looking
toward the future. But the senior seems
more concerned with what he's leaving
"For me it was 'I want to be likes
(Jason) Botterill and I want to be like
(Warren) Luhning. Those were my role
models," says the assistant captain.
"I want my teammates to say, 'Thats
the way Rominski did it -- I want to play
like Rominski, I want to be like
Rominski.' Above all, that's what I want"
There was nothing typical about the
way Rominski did it. It was something
very unique, yet something inspired by
tradition. Perhaps, as future Wolverines
look on, Rominski's career is best equat*
ed to a fine European film.
Here it is.
Think about it.
feel is .
air at Yost
By David Den Herder
I)aily Sports Writer
There is a buzz around Yost Ice
Arena this week - and it's not the over-
head light fixtures.
It's playoff time in Ann Arbor, in
College Hockeytown, and even looking
at the players after practice is enough
figure it out.
Every Wolverine, with a half-weel
of uncut facial hair, ("it's a play-off
thing," said Krikor Arman), seems to be
hopping off the ice with a little extra
"I'm pretty pumped up this week,"
said Michigan goaltender Jos
Blackburn, who will likely see his first
playoff start as a Wolverine tomorro4
night. "I'm having a lot of fun out here,
but at the same time, I'm working."
Assistant captain Bobby Hayes, who
will begin his fourth playoff run at
Michigan, can feel it, too.
"If you want it, it's out there," said
Hayes of the upcoming 'second season.'
"You have to play 37 games to win a
league championship, but you only need
four wins to get a CCHA playoff cham-
pionship - either one will get you into
the NCAAs."
ADD AND EXPAND: Next season, it
will take more than just four wins for a
CCHA Tournament title. With the addi
tion of Nebraska-Omaha to the confer-
ence at the beginning of next, the CCH A
Tournament will expand to include 10

"They're expanding the on campus"
playoff sites, Berenson said. "With
another team coming in next year, (the
expansion) will expose playoff hockey
to another campus, and that's not alt

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