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November 01, 1999 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-01

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6s - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday- November 1, 1999

BULLDOGS
Continued from Page 1B
teams had scoring opportunities. There
just wasn't much scoring as the game
went on."
Though they combined for 33 shots
on goal in the game's final two periods.
neither team managed a score after the
first period.
Michigan was held scoreless at home
through the second and third periods
for the first time since last Halloween.
- Regardless, Michigan clamped down
its defensive pressure as the game went
on, holding the Bulldogs to only four
sht0 in the second period and six in the
third in a gritty battle.
The defense was strong despite miss-
ing Kevin Magnuson, who sat out with
two broken fingers suffered in practice
on Friday.
"These games are good for our team,
to have to play well in the second and
thirdi periods to squeak out a win,"
Berenson said.
Despite Michigan's relentless pres-
sure, Yale did its best to make things
exciting in the game's waning moments
as .as seldom-tested O'Malley was
forced to stop a pair of shots to pre-
ser,ye the Michigan lead.
The fact that Yale seemed to have a
goodsgame as well came as no surprise
to Berenson.
"I said all week that they'll be a bet-
ter team than people give them credit
for,"Berenson said. "I was impressed
with Yale."
A room full of players and coaches
were just as impressed with the venera-
ble head coach on his historic day.
"I'm really happy for him," Pearson
said. "He really downplays his accom-
pli4ments and he tries to deflect the
attention to his players or other coach-
But for Berenson, this time it was
something worth singing about.

Comrie dominant in early season.

By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
Spider Man made a special appear-
ance at Yost Ice Arena on Devil's Night.
The superhero was rewarded with the
chance to play Score-O.
But while Spiderman's visits are rare,
it seems like another caped crusader has
been watching over the Michigan hock-
ey team - disguising himself as starting
center Mike Comrie.
So maybe Comrie really isn't
Superman in disguise, but this year his
dominating game has been almost surre-
al. In only seven games, Comrie has
already racked up 13 points, including
eight goals on 31 shots.
Perhaps even more important is that
he has recorded a point in every game.
On Saturday against Yale, Comrie
notched an assist on Mark Kosick's
even-strength goal, Michigan's second
of the night, which put the Wolverines on
top for good.
Comrie's most dominant performance
of the season came in Michigan's sea-
son-opening series at Notre Dame. In the
two games, Comrie recorded four goals
and his first career hat trick. En route, he
scored two unassisted goals within 23
seconds of each other-while the Fighting
Irish were at full strength.
"(Comrie) is a player that will pick up
points," Michigan coach Red Berenson
said. "He's a skilled player, a very gifted,
skilled player."
Last season, as a freshman, Comrie
led the Wolverines in scoring with 44
points and was the only freshman to play
in all 42 games. The title of leading goal-

scorer, went to Josh Langfeld, who
recorded 21 on the season.
Those 44 points and 19 goals were
enough to earn Comric the CCHA
Rookie of the Year Award. If Comrie
were to continue at his pace this year, he
could pick up 40 goals and at least 68
points through the regular season.
Undoubtedly, that's all speculation. It's
a long season, anything can happen. But
one thing is certain - Comrie is making
himself known around the league.
"The other teams all point at him as a
player to stop," Berenson said. "It's more
difficult for him now in his current role
as the team's leading scorer."
The statistics tell one story - Comrie
is an offensive threat to his opponents.
But there is much more there that the
numbers can't reveal.
"You can't just measure a player by
his points," Berenson said. "Mike's a
sophomore and he's got a leading role
on this team as the No. I center. We
look to him to give us a spark offen-
sively ... he's a young player that has a
lot of responsibility."
With added responsibility comes
added pressure, especially when you're
under the constant glare of the spotlight.
But Comrie welcomes the challenge.
"As a player, I've dealt with that kind
of pressure before," Comrie said. "As a
hockey player, you learn to deal with it
and kind of enjoy it. I love being out
there, I love winning games and I love
helping the team win games.
"If you ask anyone in the dressing
room, they enjoy the pressure and
they enjoy the fans wanting you to

create opportunities."
With all his personal accolades,
Comrie attributes much of his success to
his teammates.
"I came into this season more confi-
dent," Comrie said. "I knew what to
expect this year - you have to work
hard in this league to be successful.
"Everyone I've been playing with h
been great. They've all been workin
hard and giving me the puck, and I've
been giving it back to them. Things have
been working out"
Former Michigan defenseman Bobby
Hayes, who played with both Comrie
and former Hobey Baker winner
Brendan Morrison, sees some similari-
ties between the two offensive powers.
"Comrie is one of the most skilled
offensive players I've seen at Michigan,"
Hayes said. "He ranks right up there wit
Brendan Morrison in my book. I'm no
so sure that he'll put up the same nun
bers as Brendan, but Mike has a gred
mind for the game and will do well both
here and at the next level."
The Edmonton Oilers seem to think
so too. Last June they drafted Comrie it}
the third round. Comrie is originally
from Edmonton, and his brother Paul is
on the Oilers' roster.
But for Comrie, titles and awards a
beside the point. He is simply focused o
the task at hand.
"The Hobey Baker and the draft are
things you don't think about," Comrie
said. "Youjust go out there and play your
game and try to win. You don't worry
about whether you're going to score
goals or be the MVP."

DAN uA INN/AN U8iV
Michigan center Mike Comrie is on his way to a stellar season. Comrie has already
notched 13 points in only seven games.

Merrick stars in return to Blue lineup

Saturday's game

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By Chris Grandstaff
Daily Sports Writer
The game-winning goal, a wrestling
match, and the number one star of the
game -- welcome back, Andrew
Merrick.
The Michigan senior left winger
stole the show Saturday night against
Yale with some inspired play all over
the ice.
Merrick, who played in 32 of 42
games for the Wolverines last season,
has seen his minutes diminish this year
because of a nagging wrist injury and
the strong early-season play of the
freshmen.
But Saturday night he proved to be
the difference in the game.
The Wolverines had just taken the
lead on a goal off a pass from Mike
Comrie to Mark Kosick, when Merrick
struck. The always raucous Yost Ice
Arena crowd - still not finished with

their ritual taunting of Yale goalie Dan
Lombard after the Kosick goal - was
brought to a feverish pitch when
Merrick flipped the puck over Lombard
and into the back of the net just 25 sec-
onds later.
At the time, the scoring flurry
appeared to be only the tip of the ice-
berg, with Michigan netting three goals
in under eight minutes.
But the Bulldogs, who were playing
in their first game of the season, settled
down and held the Wolverines scoreless
for the rest of the game, making
Merrick's goal the difference.
"When I scored, I thought we were
on our way to seven or eight more,"
Merrick said. "But that wasn't the case.
"It feels good to contribute like that
so that we could get a win."
The lack of scoring after a torrid first
period didn't mean there was a lack of
excitement. Merrick brought the crowd

to their feet again late in the second
period when he and Yale defensemen
John Gauger fell to the ice in a display
that looked more like professional
wrestling than hockey.
"It gets emotional sometimes,"
Merrick said. "I hit him because I was
frustrated. He was frustrated too and we
just kind of got into it"
After the game Merrick was involved
in another skirmish. When the two
teams lined up to shake hands, Yale's
John Chyz had other ideas in mind.
Instead of offering his hand in con-
gratulations, Chyz gave Merrick a push
which prompted some not-so-nice
words, and both players had to be sepa-
rated.
"I don't know what was going on
there," Merrick said. "I shook his hand
and he gave me a push so I asked him
what was going on. I guess he was a lit-
tle upset that they lost."

Chyz obviously realized the same
thing that everyone else in attendance
had been seeing all night - Merrick
was the key to the Michigan victory.
Merrick's efforts impressed the
Michigan coaching staff as well, and
may have gotten him a shot at becom-
ing a more consistent member of the
lineup.
"When a player doesn't play, there's
usually a reason," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "It's up to him to come
back and show why he should be in the
lineup, whether it's scoring goals, or
second effort, or playing better defen-
sively.
"That's the way I like to see a player
come back. He showed the coaches and
he showed the team that he should be
playing. The way he continues to play
will determine if he stays in the lineup,
but tonight was a really good step for
him."

wMichigan 3, Yale 2
Yale 2 0 0 -2
Michigan 3 0 0 -3
First period - 1. Yale. Deschenes 1 (Stafford,
Toomey), 1:37 (pp); 1. UM, Cammallern 2
(Shouneya. Ortmeye), 4:16 (pp): 2. UM, Kosck 5
(Comrie, Langfeld), 7:31; 3. UM, Merrick 1 (unas-
ststed), 7:56; 2. Yale. Noe 1(Rodgers. Mutter),
11:51. Penalties - UM, Matzka (obstruction-hook- ~
ing) :33; Yale, Quenville (roughing), 3:59; Yale. Chyz
(high-sticking). 5:26; Yale, Quenville (slashing),
10:27; UM, Peach (hooking), 12:56; UM. Matzka
(high-sticking). 17:24.
Secon period - No scoring. Penalties - Yale,
Shea (hooking), :43; Yale, Gauger (roughing), 4:31;
UM, Ortmeyer (roughing), 4:31; Yale, Earl (tripping),'.
11:16; UM, Merrick double-minor (roughing), 19:12;
Yale, Gauger double-minor (roughing). 19:12.
Third period - No scoring. Penalties - UM, Matzka^~
(roughing), 16:18; Yale, Chyz (roughing), 16:18:
Yale, Dart (hooking).18:30.
Shots on goal - Yale,.4-6 - 16; UM, 15-12-11-
38.
PowerPlays--Yale,1of 3,UM. 1of 6;.
Saves -Yale, Lombard 12-12-11- 35; UM,
O'M alley 4-4.6 - 14.
Referee - Brent Rotherford.
inesmen - John LaDuke, Kevin Langseth.
At; Yost Ice Arena.
Attendance: 6,379.

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