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November 29, 1999 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-29

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

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Gold standard high enough motivation for 'M' hockey

By Geoff Gagnon
Daily Sports Writer
On Friday afternoon, as the com-
modity exchange closed in New York,
gold was worth a little less than $300
an ounce.
On Saturday night, as a bruised
Michigan hockey team out willed
Wisconsin to snap a devastating
three-game skid, gold seemed to be
worth something more.
After a painful 6-1 drubbing that
came at the hands of Minnesota on
Friday, and on the heels of two losses
to Lake Superior State a week ago,
Michigan found its character tested
and its resolve questioned as it took the
ice Saturday. With their backs against
the wall, the Wolverines, clad in their
gold sweaters, fashioned a 4-1 thriller
to close the 1999 College Hockey
Showcase as fans stood cheering after
the teams filed off the ice.
Led improbably by a soft-spoken

backup goalie, Michigan found its
leader and a golden performance in
junior netminder LiJ. Scarpace.
Shouldering the weight of his team's
predicament, the rarely-tested Scarpace
who started the year as the third-
stringer, sparked his team with the
calmness of a veteran as the Wolverines
moved to 11-4 on the season.
In a game Michigan coach Red
Berenson said his Wolverines had to
win, Michigan rallied from a 1-0
deficit in the first period to avoid los-
ing its fourth straight game at home
for the first time in 11 seasons.
"It was a must win game,"
Berenson said. "When was the last
time we lost three games at home, let
alone four?"
"I don't know if that was our best
game of the year, but it was close to it
considering the opponent and all
other things considered. We needed a
game like that."

A defensive battle ensued early as
both teams held the each other in
check until Wisconsin's Dany Heatley
found the Michigan net at 18:13 in the
first period.
Screened from the play, Scarpace
could only react as the shot from the
point slipped past him and the
Badgers went on top, 1-0.
More of the same defensive intensi-
ty held the game in a perpetual stale-
mate until late in the second period
when Michigan led an offensive out-
burst that culminated in the score of
Jay Vancik at 19:37 of that period.
Vancik's strike from the left circle just
before the close of the period seemed
to bring new life to a Michigan
offense that's stumbled to find it way
in games past. And as a thankful
Michigan hockey team enveloped the
in embrace, an entire arena
breathed a sigh of relief.'

"That goal gave us a lot of momen-
tum," Berenson said. "We needed to
score and we had a lot of chances. To
get that goal, we felt we had the
momentum a from then on."
That momentum showed itself in
the inspired defense that Michigan
was able to play in the next two peri-
ods. Keeping Wisconsin off the board
while sparking an offensive charge,
the Wolverines used every thing they
had to thwart a Wisconsin resurgence.
"That's team defense," Berenson
said. "There was a lot for ugly play as
the game went on as we were playing
desperate hockey."
If ever a time for desperate hockey,
Berenson and his team knew it was
Saturday in the game's decisive third
period. With the score tied midway
through the final period, Scott Matzka
found fellow freshman Mark Mink
streaking to the right side boards. A
See GOLDEN, Page 4B

Sean Peach andn
the Wolverines .
*yed hard-nosed
defense in a 441
bounce-back vic-
tory over No. 3
Spikers finish in style,
wvin State Pride flag
By Richard Haddad ous in three of their last four match-
Daily Sports Writer es to end the season on a high note.
The conditions were perfect for But impressive as it was, the
Wednesday night's match. It was the Wolverines' defeat of Northwestern
Michigan volleyball team's last paled in comparison to Wednesday's
home match of the season, the achievements.
largest crowd of the year was in By virtue of the sweep at the hands
attendance, and hated Michigan of the Spartans in the team's last
*te was across the net. And with meeting, the traditional flag -
the "State Pride" banner hanging in awarded after comparing each team's
the balance, the Wolverines did not overall scores from both of the sea-
disappoint their fans. son's head-to-head matches -
Michigan demolished the favored appeared to be headed to East
Spartans (9-10 Big Ten, 19-12 over- Lansing. But on Wednesday night,
all), taking the match 15-7, 15-5, 15- the season-high 1,146 spectators
1 in their first sweep of Michigan were treated to Michigan's best
State in seven years. match of the year, and an improbable
As a follow-up, Michigan dis- victory in the "State Pride" series
posed of Northwestern (2-17, 4-25) was achieved.
the same efficient fashion to close Michigan coach Mark Rosen said
t the '99 campaign on Friday he was a little dazed just watching
night. such an amazing performance. In
Coming off of such a momentous stark contrast to the negative hi'tting
triumph, Michigan's visit to ' percentage recorded at Michigan
Evanston held the potential for a let- State in the teams' first matchup, the
down. But the Wolverines prevented Wolverines hit an unreal .404 this
the possibility from becoming a real- time.
ity. Michigan's three-game win over "We didn't play any defense, and it
the Wildcats (15-11, 15-6, 15-9) shows because (Michigan) hit above
guaranteed a winning record for the .400. They were possessed,"
0son. Michigan State coach Chuck Erbe
The marks of 7-13 in the Big Ten said. "They did all the things they
and 15-14 overall represent an needed to do: served and passed
improvement of three wins from last well, played excellent defense."
year's records in both categories. Michigan established its domi-
The Wolverines emerged victori- See PRIDE, Page 6B

..r g r SWgP
M ian 93, Western Michigan 78
'M' 3-0 takes
care of usiness
By Chris Duprey
Daily Sports Editor
Before addressing the grander issues facing the
Michigan basketball team, one small point has to be
Can the Wolverines beat the teams they're supposed to
Too many times, Michigan has tripped over the
midgets on their schedule (did someone say Bradley?).
Such unpredictability has always been a knock on the
That's why Saturday's 93-78 victory over visiting
Western Michigan (0-3) was such a relief for coach
Brian Ellerbe. While paying the Broncos the proper
respect for having beaten them each of the past two sea-
sons, the reality was that the Wolverines had the oppor-
tunity to remain undefeated, playing at home against a
team that most have picked to finish in the back of the
MAC pack.
Michigan (3-0) didn't blow it. Maybe it's because
these five freshmen are still at the point in their careers
where they respect everyone, and take nothing for grant-
ed. Maybe the revenge factor served as motivation for
the upperclassmen. Whatever the reason, the lack of a
3 iMaize Rage and the laid-back mood of the holiday week-
end didn't lull the Wolverines to sleep.
"I was worried about that (lack of Maize Rage),
because we do have a young team, and they feed off
that," Ellerbe said. "Jamal looked around, and he thought he
$ TSee BRONCOS, Page 5B

It's BCS or bust

1 Vl

kely headed to Orange

it's probably a little too soon to book
your flight, but you might as well
get a Miami hotel.
Last Wednesday, five Big Ten
teams received bowl invitations:
Michigan State (Citrus), Purdue
(Outback), Penn State (Alamo),
nnesota (Sun) and Illinois (Micron
). Throw in
Wisconsin's Rose Josh
Bowl invite, and Kleinbaum
all of the Big Ten's
slots are filled.
Which means
one of two things:
Either Michigan is
guaranteed a Bowl
Series at-large
gth, or the ApocALYPS
Wolverines will be Now
playing in the
Motor City Bowl. The second isn't
going to happen.
Which leaves the Wolverines in
either the Orange or Fiesta bowls. And
you can put your money on Miami's
Orange Bowl. You just need a Ph.D to
understand why.
Before Friday's games, Virginia
Wh and Nebraska were battling for
the right to play Florida State in the
Sugar Bowl for the national title.
Virginia Tech held a slim lead in the
BCS standings, but if the Hokies
struggled against Boston College
and the Cornhuskers blew out
Colorado and Texas in their last two

despite a loss.
If Nebraska passed Virginia Tech in
the BCS, the Hokies would likely wind
up in the Orange Bowl, pushing
Michigan to the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe,
But the Hokies didn't struggle
against Boston College. And Nebraska
did struggle, against Colorado. Which
leaves the Sugar Bowl Hokie-dory on
Jan. 4.
Keep in mind that the BCS is only
used to determine the Sugar Bowl par-
ticipants. For the other BCS bowls -
the Rose, Orange and Fiesta - the
decision of who plays where is entirely
based on financial considerations (i.e.
filling the stadium and getting high
TV ratings).
For geographic reasons, the SEC
champion - the winner of this
Saturday's Florida-Alabama game -
is the logical choice to play in the
Orange Bowl. The same can be said
for Tennessee and the Big XII champi-
on - either Texas or Nebraska - in
the Fiesta Bowl.
Although Michigan isn't an East
Coast school, it has a good enough
national reputation to draw in Miami.
Plus, there are plenty of Michigan
alums in the area.
If you followed that, MIT is look-
ing for a new mathematics professor.
It all boils down to this: When the
BCS announces its pairings in six
days, expect to hear Michigan playing
Florida in the Orange Bowl. And if

Michigan's Chris Young goes up strong en route to a slam dunk over Western Michigan's Jesse Jason
Slauter. The Wolverines didn't let Western Michigan slip by with a third straight series win, dispatch-
Ing the Broncos 93-78 on Saturday at Crisler Arena. Alvin.
Michigan 71, Holy Cross 55
Gue.vara 'cross' w ith
sloppy 'M' viCtor

By Michael Kern
Daily Sports Writer
After solid road victories last
weekend against Colorado and
Colorado State, the Michigan
women's basketball team flew home
on a Rocky Mountain high heading
into games with Cincinnati and Holy
Cross at Crisler Arena.
But two lackluster offensive per-
formances - a 67-59 win against
the Bearcats Wednesday and a 71-55
win over the Crusaders on Saturday
- didn't just leave the Wolverines
crawling away with a pair of ugly
victories and a 4-0 record. It also
gave future opponents a glimpse of
how to slow down Michigan's run-
ning game.
"It's really pretty simple,"
Michigan coach Sue Guevara said. "I
think that every opponent left on our
schedule should play us in a zone.
"If you look at our point produc-

active in the game and scoring, but
against the zone, we have had trouble
getting the ball into the post."
Forward Ruth Kipping and center
Alison Miller, Michigan's primary
threats in the paint, 'combined for
just 10 shots in the two games.
"Part of that is because we were
not being patient against the zone,"
Guevara said. "Our post players have
got to make sure that they are cutting
into gaps, and once they do, the peo-
ple on the perimeter have to be
patient and let them hit the gaps."
Guevara expects Providence (1-3)
to also play a zone against the
Wolverines tomorrow when it visits
After Providence, the Wolverines
head to Houston for the Gene
Hackerman Rice Invitational. All
four made the WNIT last season.
"We have a lot of work. to do
before we go down to Texas,"


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