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October 20, 1999 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-20

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SI Mi ji~m &iil

Tracking 'M' teams
The Michigan hockey team leaes for Alaska today, in
preparation for their twogame series with Alaska-
Farbanks. Puck drop for both games is 11 p.m. local
time. Read all about the games i SportsMonday.

Wednesday
October 20, 1999

11

Around the Horn eu io
SFairbanks excursion a Michigan rtual

By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
Fairbanks, Alaska. Population:
31,601. Distance from the Arctic
Circle: 70 miles. Current weather con-
ditions: "It's snowing and very white,"
Alaska-Fairbanks head coach Guy
Gadowsky said.
All right, so maybe Fairbanks isn't
your idea of an ideal college town.
Perhaps it isn't even close. But to some
people, including the Alaska-Fairbanks
hockey team, Fairbanks is the greatest
place in the world.
"Alaska has a lot of positives on its
own," Gadowsky said. "It's some of the
most beautiful country in the world.
Hockey players are many different types
of personalities and you have to look for
the type of players that you'd want to
come to Alaska."
There are those people who could
make a life in Alaska adhering to the
'live for summer, bear through the win-
ter' rule. Then there are those, like the
Michigan hockey team, who make a
yearly journey to the 'land of the mid-
night sun.'
The trip from Ann Arbor to Fairbanks
takes nearly twelve hours and makes for
some quality bonding time.
"Bonding is something that just hap-
pens on trips like these," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said. "They'll spend a lot
of time together over the next few days.
It's good, there's no parents, no distrac-
tions, no girlfriends and no school. It's a
good time for our team."
Though the flights can be entertain-
ing, the fun begins once the team gets to
Fairbanks. It has become ritual for the
team to stay at Captain Bartlett's Inn, sit-
uated right on the Yukon River. The
charm of the inn is not in the tiny rooms
where you can change channels from
bed without a remote, but lies in the
proximity of the hotel to the Carlson
Center
Usually prior to the game, the team
will hike over to the arena after going
through its pre-game routines.
Hockey, however, is only part of the
Alaska experience. The team also makes
a yearly trip to the University of Alaska

0~

Junior Scott Matzka will likely join Michigan coach Red Berenson on
Wolverines leave today for Alaska.

DAVID hA z y
his historical tour of Fairbanks this weekend. The

DANA LINNANE/Dadiy
Anthony Thomas can't be the entire ground attack if Michigan is to regain the
momentum it had leading up to the Michigan State game.
'Gn~sfih i iground
game eigion stays
stronv i home
'Y rt

museum that houses an extensive natur-
al history collection, including the
Alaska Frozen Tissue exhibit. The exhib-
it contains samples from over 23,000
animals.
Last year, Michigan center Mike
Comrie and several others couldn't make
it to the museum because they were tak-
ing exams. But Comrie said that the trip,
his first, was enjoyable anyway.
"It's a pretty fun trip" Comrie said. "It
helps you bond as a team and really pull
together. You learn a lot about each other
because you're together 24 hours a day."
Michigan captain Sean Peach who is
making his fourth trip to America's
northernmost state, has fond memories
of random davtrips and practical jokes.
"My first year we went there, I was
kind of excited," Peach said. "We were
supposed to go see the history of
Fairbanks. And (Berenson) took us to a
pipeline. We drove 50 miles out of town
and there was just a big round pipe.
"We were like, 'What do we do here "
So we just took pictures around it and
that was our day. We also go to the muse-

um, which is really tiny, but it's pretty
neat. It talks about their culture, but
there's not a lot to do up there"
Another expedition that the coaches
have planned involve a day trip up to a
musk ox farm. The players had mixed
reactions to the unusual oxen.
Regardless, through all the snowball
fights and pranks, the focus is still hock-
ey. Though the Nanooks finished last
season ranked at the bottom of the
CCHA, this year they are off to a better
start, having split series with Ohio State
and Alaska-Anchorage to start the sea-
son. Now, they are eagerly awaiting the
Wolverines.
"It's a great opportunity for us to play
arguably the best team in the country
right now." Gadowsky said. "It's a good
measuring stick. Our win over Ohio
State gave us some momentum, but you
never know how good you are until you
play Michigan."
This weekend, the Wolverines will
once again be shorthanded defensively
without junior Bob Gassoff, who will
remain in Ann Arbor due to the concus-

sion he suffered last Saturday against
Massachusetts-Lowell. Junior Dave
Huntzicker, who separated his shoulder
in that same contest, will play.
Though the team left early this morn-
ing, Peach had a few words of advice for
his younger teammates.
"You don't want to fall asleep on the
airplane," Peach said. "That's a word to
the wise. But I have to be mature on this
trip. I'll probably be the one falling
asleep and getting shaving cream on my
head."
Freshman Mike Cammalleri has heard
all the rumors, but he's still looking for-
ward to the trip.
"I expect it to be fun," Cammalleri
said. "It's the same thing you go through
on road trips in juniors. I do expect to
wake up with toothpaste on an eyebrow
or shaving cream in my hair, one of the
two
"You keep an eye peeled. You go with
it, roll with it and have fun with it
because you can't do anything about it.
You take memories and just get guys
back when it's your turn."

ick Saban has talked before
about the Church of What's
Happening Now - in refer-
ence to keeping
his Spartans' Rick
focus on the
upcoming game. Freeman
But in the Big
Ten, there's long
been a religion
that centered
round the run-
ring game.
OK, so what's
happening now? FREEMAN O
Last week's THE PRESS
shootout in West
Lafayette was

nQt a Big Ten game. At least, not
one that would be recognized by the
dual prophets of field-position, run-
it-up-the-gut-till-they-barf football
- Woody and Bo.
The Boilermakers and Spartans
combined for 743 total passing
yards. On the ground, they totaled
103. Totaled, as in both teams. Even
Michigan's rushing game (motto:
ive think we can, we think we can)
usually does better than that. And
that's one team. This was two.
The Big Ten's ground attacks are
pot the only ones to be afflicted this
year. More and more teams are
*tuffing the box, and daring teams
to beat them through the air. This,
of course, has not affected the
Mountain West Conference, where
tll of its teams still play catch until
i a.m. But in other legitimate con--
ferences (and the Pac-10) rushing
games are fizzling.
Nowhere, of course, is it more
obvious than in the Midwest. Big
Ten teams are starting to dig this
vhole forward pass thing. Rushing
ards per game are going down.
Coaches are decrying it as though
speaking of a nation that has lost its
morals and virtue.
They talk of the impending cold-
weather days like Diag preachers
foretelling a Judgment Day in the
pot-too-distant future. They say
they'll need a running game. They
say things like "we'll get a rushing
ame or we'll die trying."
7 That last pledge was from
Michigan's coach, Lloyd Carr.
Nowhere else is a simple handoff so
revered. Carr is ready to martyr

himself and his team for a good
ground game.
Face it. For teams, the running
game is a bit like religion. It's good
for you, and it will get you through
tough times. But -- and people who
consider themselves religious say
this in a very quiet voice - it's a
little boring sometimes.
So now, while times are good and
the sun shines, Big Ten teams have
found the box stuffed with too
many men. The dutiful good works
of draws, traps, dives-- and even a
pitchout or two - have been for-
saken for the oohs, aahs, and easy
scores of the air.
:j ow, Tom Brady and Drew
Henson shouldn't be burned at the
stake for their perceived heresy (no
one would be able to decide which
one to burn first, anyway). Passing
isn't the evil that Woody and Bo
made it out to be.
But maybe Carr is right to offer
up his team's success for the good
of ground games in general. He has
to be willing to lull the fans to
sleep in these next three games to
establish the kind of ground-pound-
ing attack that can save Michigan
when cold winds swirl in
November.
In trying to establish a running
game that doesn't also go exclusive-
ly by the name of Anthony Thomas,
Carr has to be willing to risk scores
of 20-8, 27-17, or 17-6 against
teams like Illinois, Indiana and
Northwestern to get BJ. Askew,
Charles Drake or Walter Cross their
carries. Other Big Ten coaches will
do the same.
Carr's plan: to make hay while
the sun shines - to practice a life
of virtue now, so he doesn't have to
be the prodigal son, returning to the
ground game only when the chill of
November in Pennsylvania threat-
ens.
Yes, it's boring. Yes, it's not as
fun as Brees to Daniels, Brady to
Terrell or even Casey to Fields. But
in the Midwest, in the anything-
goes Big Ten, it just might be salva-
tion when someone needs it most.
- Rick Freeman has all sorts of
weak excuses for why he wasn't in
church on Sunday - but his ground
game isn 't one of them. E-mail him
at rickfr@ee iumich. edi.

By Dan Williams
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan soccer team isn't trying
to sugarcoat its feelings about its loss to
Wisconsin this past Sunday, which may
have cost the Wolverines a share the Big
T1en title. It was a crushing blow to the
team psyche.
After enjoying considerable success
through the first nine games of the Big
Ten season, going 8-0-1, the Wolverines
played lethargically against a Wisconsin
team that has a losing record in the Big
Ten.
"This loss hurts so much," Kacy Beitel
said. "We realize how important the team
is to all of us when we lose, and it really
hurts."
After five weeks of grueling confer-
ence play, coach Debbie Belkin gave the
team Monday and Tuesday off, an impor-
tant chance for some physical rest and
mental healing.
Even though the defeat to the Badgers
vas just one loss in a sea of victories, it is
lefinitely an event Michigan will have to
ecover from.
The best way for the Wolverines to
regroup is to rely on their veterans, who
know what to do after a tough loss.
Players like Amber Berendowsky, have
dealt with nearly all the highs and lows
before, and they know not to dwell on
any one game.
"We just need to get refocused and go
back to playing game to game,"
Berendowsky said.
The idea of playing one game at a time
is an old sports cliche, but it is especially
applicable in this situation. The

Wolverines were caught assuming victo-
ry against Wisconsin, and they played
flat. Looking just one game into the
future is a way of preventing the same
mistake from occurring.
An easy way for any lingering pain
from the Wisconsin loss to be vanquished
would be if Penn State would simply lose
to Ohio State on Friday. Having complet-
ed their Big Ten season, Michigan and
Penn State could share the title if the
Nittany Lions fell to the Buckeyes.
"If Ohio State can pull off the victory,
you're going to see one happy Michigan
women's soccer team," Beitel said.
Unfortunately for Michigan, there isn't
a medium available for them to receive
live coverage of the game. The players
will likely head straight to the Internet
after Friday's practice, to try to locate the
of the contest.
But the possibility of Penn State
losing is not going to become the
major issue for the team the next
three days, When the team resumes
practicing today, it's likely finishing
opportunities to score will be a focal
point. Despite easily outshooting the
Badgers, Michigan fell 3-1.
Berendowsky believes that the lack of
offensive output against Wisconsin was a
result of looking past the Badgers, and
not a withstanding problem for
Michigan.
"I still think we have the best scoring
ability in the Big Ten," Berendowskv
said.
Other than that, this week will just be
about regaining confidence for a team
that's not used to losing.

"We came out and had a strong sea-
son" Berendowsky said, "We can't get
too upset about what happened."
The team asserts that other than win-
ning the Big Ten regular-season champi-
onship, winning the conference tourna-
ment and advancing deep into the NCAA
tournament are also major goals.
With that said, an excellent chance to
test Michigan's confidence and focus
presents itself in the three non-confer-
ence games remaining on the
Wolverines' regular season schedule.
Butler, Kentucky, and Alabama will
provide a challenging precursor to the
Big Ten Tournament. These three games
will test whether or not the team can
rebound from a loss, and return to their
pre-Wisconsin form.
"We now realize that nothing ever
comes easy," Beitel said. "You always
have to be mentally prepared for every
game you go into."

Sccer regroups after key loss

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