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November 29, 1999 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-29

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 29, 1999

Puck talk
I,
"When we saw the (gold) jerseys
come out it gave us a Ntle bit more
jump off the bat-i
- Defenseman Jay Vancik about wear-
ing the seldom-used gold jerseys.

,5!7Minnesota 6
jji Michigan 1

Michigan
Wisconsin

4

Key Play
Saturday, 7:26 into the third period.
Michigans Mark Mink tallies the go-
ahead goal taking a pass from Scott
Aiatzka on a break-awav to score. The
goal gave Michigan its first lead in two
weeks.

1

Scarpace means success for 'M'
Novice netminder takes over, leads Blue out of three-game losing streak@"

picks for

Michigan's three stars of
the weekend.

- L.J. SCARPACE -
GOALIE
The junior goalie recorded his first
win at Michigan on Saturday in
the Wolverines' 41 win over No. 3
Wisconsin.
- JAY VANCIK -
DEFENSEMAN
The sophomore defenseman
scored Michigan's first goal
Saturday, tying the game, at 1-1.
- MARK MINK -
RIGHT WING
Mink scored the go-ahead goal
against Wisconsin to give Michigan
its first lead in two weeks.

By Stephanie Offen
Daily Sports Writer
Before leaving the ice after Saturday's
4-1 victory over No. 3 Wisconsin, cap-
tain Sean Peach picked up the puck and
handed it to goalie L.J. Scarpace.
The puck expressed Peach's and the
team's sentiments toward Scarpace, who
led the team to the end of its longest
home losing streak since 1988.
After a year of not even practicing
with the team, Scarpace entered this sea-
son as Michigan's third-string goalie,
behind sophomores Josh Blackburn and
Kevin O'Malley.
But the starting job remained open
after Blackburn suffered an injury to his
foot earlier this season.
Blackburn is on track with his rehabil-
itation and is expected to return in
January. But until then, the two goalies
know that the starting job is at stake with
every puck that goes past them, and
every puck they stop.
O'Malley was pulled immediately
after letting in three goals off four shots
in the first period of Friday's loss to
Minnesota. And after a solid two-plus

periods of play by Scarpace, the decision
was made to start him the next night.
"O'Malley is a better goalie than he
has shown," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "In the meantime the job
is open. The ironic thing is Scarpace has-
n't played a game in two years, for him
to step in these situations is impressive."
Scarpace transferred two seasons ago
from Western Michigan, where he only
played three games as a freshman. Since
Blackburn's injury he has seen some
playing time, but has until recently
served as backup to O'Malley.
After Michigan was shut out last
weekend and lost 6-1 to Minnesota, the
coaches decided a change in goal could
jumpstart a sluggish Michigan squad.
"The more that L.J. plays, the better he
is going to get," Michigan goalie coach
Stan Matwijiw said. "He got better as the
game went on. The past four games have
just shown that goalie tending makes a
big difference."
Scarpace made 15 saves on Saturday,
as the Michigan offense fired 25 shots
the other way. Saturday's combination of
strong offense, tough defense and solid

goaltending was what had been missing
during the home losing streak.
Even though he may have lost his
starting job for the night, O'Malley is
one of the first players off the bench to
congratulate Scarpace on his tremen-
dous play and victory.
And for now, Blackburn just watches
the other two from his spot in the press
box. Even though he said he feels a little
guilt with every Michigan loss, he lends
his support in whatever way he can.
"After the game I tell them good job
and if they want help, I'll help them,"
Blackburn said. "I try to be as supportive
as I can. I tell them what I see that they
can work on."
Until January, the fight for the one
spot in net will continue. But for the time
being, Scarpace can take his congratula-
tions and game-winning memorabilia
back into his starting position in net.
"I'm going to play the hot goalie, I
always have and I always will," Berenson
said. "Scarpace finished the game well
and I anticipate starting him next week. I
don't see changing that until there's a
reason"

KIMITSU VOGAC HI/Daily
Junior LJ. Scarpace stopped 15 shots in the first win of his Michigan career.
Scarpace was chosen to start after Michigan suffered a 6-1 loss to Minnesota.

Michigan will look to extend its win-
tying streak against the Falcons.

More forwards give Michigan its best defensive effort0

No. 9 Colgate (9-2-0) def. Merrimack. 3-0;
def. Niagra, 3-2.
No. 10 St. Lawrence (8-3-0) lost to Fernis
State, 4-t

By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
After a three-game losing streak,
Michigan coach Red Berenson had to
find a way to stop his team's downward
spiral.
Between Friday and Saturday's games,
he did.
En route, Berenson developed a previ-
ously untested combination. His formula
was composed of 13 forwards plus five
defensemen plus a new starting goalie
plus several all-freshmen lines plus a few
intangibles, including some good offici-
ating, a little bit of luck and desperation.
The dramatic overhaul resulted in the
Wolverines' first victory in two weeks, a
4-1 win over No. 3 Wisconsin (8-2
WCHA, 11-3 overall) on Saturday. That
success came on the heels of Michigan's
(7-3 CCHA, 11-4) three frustrating loss-
es to Lake Superior State (a two-game
series) and unranked Minnesota.
"It was a must-win game," Berenson
said after the Wisconsin game. "We felt
that we needed to survive and salvage
the weekend. I don't know if this was our
best game this year, but it was close to it,
considering the opponent. We needed to
have that kind of game."
The three previous losses proved that
the system Michigan had been using ear-
lier this year was no longer working.
Instead of buckling down defensively,
the team depended on its offensive
prowess early on.
But the effort against Wisconsin was
perhaps Michigan's most, defensive
game of the year. In the third period, the
Wolverines limited the Badgers to just
two shots on goal.
Interestingly in the contest, Michigan

dressed just five defensemen, only four
of whom played in the third period.
Furthermore, the Wolverines were with-
out healthy scratches Kevin Magnuson
and Bob Gassoff, who had been regulars
on the defensive front.
In other words, a gamble to produce
more offense somehow resulted in an
incredible defensive effort.
"We took short shifts and kept it sim-
ple," Michigan captain Sean Peach said
of playing with few defenders. "It was a
little tiring, but it wasn't that bad. We
came together as a team and we played
hard tonight
"We played defensively, and we'll get
our goals if we work hard. Defense wins.
We're going to have to play tight defense
and it'll show up on our scoreboard."
Sophomore forward Craig Murray,
who has been centering the fourth line
for the Wolverines for much of the sea-
son, was listed as the sixth defenseman.
Another noticeable absence in
Saturday's game was center Mark
Kosick, also a healthy scratch. Kosick is
leading the Wolverines with five power-
play goals.
"It wasn't that we were punishing any-
one' Berenson said. "It was that we felt
that there were players who weren't con-
tributing or weren't getting the message.
We decided that this was the team we
had the best chance with.
"We put a real emphasis on playing
good defense. We played our best players
more often and they played very well
throughout the game."
The changes are by no means perma-
nent. Week in and week out, Berenson
said the coaches will evaluate the team to
see who is making the most of their

opportunities.
On Saturday, in an additional strategic
defensive move, Berenson inserted L. J.
Scarpace as the starting goalie. Scarpace
and sophomore Kevin O'Malley have
been battling for the job ever since
October, when starter Josh Blackburn
was injured.
Scarpace was a key in the win, record-
ing 15 saves. But all said, it was
Michigan's team defense that saved the
day and limited the Badgers' potent
offense, which had demolished
Michigan State 5-1 the previous night.
With most of the students out of town,
the weekend's games were a chance for
local fans to see this season's
Wolverines. For those who only see the
team once a year, there would have been
several times when they may have recog-
nized nary a name because all five play-
ers were freshmen.
This year, those freshmen have jelled.
They play well together and convert on
their chances.
, "We have six freshman forwards,"
Berenson said. "Some times we have
five of them on a power play. They're
comfortable in that role - they're doing
a good job. We need the freshmen and
they've held up their part of the bargain."
Saturday's game and the previous los-
ing efforts also had different results
because of the sharp decline in penalty
calls.
On Friday, Michigan and Minnesota
spent a combined 64 minutes visiting
with the penalty-box keepers. In contrast,
Saturday, the Wolverines and the Badgers
only recorded 18-total penalty minutes.
"It was one of the best officiating
games we've seen," Berenson said.

KIMITSU YOGACHI/Daily
Andy Hilbert was one of 13 forwards on Michigan's roster in Saturday's 41 win over
Wisconsin, a game in which the Wolverines were fueled by desperation.

"Both teams kept their heads and both
teams played hard. There were probably
opportunities to call 10 more subtle
penalties, but they didn't have to be
called.
"(Referee Steve Piotrowski) didn't
call them. He let the players play - it
was a much better game."
Other key intangibles were luck -
that appeared both as the absence of

Wisconsin's top player, Steve
Reinprecht, and a few good bounces -
and desperation.
"Desperation is a key word and it
should be in the character of our team;'
Peach said. "Always play desperate and
don't give teams anything. We learned a
lot the last three games about what it
takes to win. We showed a lot of charac-
ter tonight."

Defense dominates in comeback."

By Chris Grandstaff
Daily Sports Writer
After Friday night's loss to Minnesota, the Wolverines third
straight, Michigan coach Red Berenson told his players that if
they took care of their own end of the ice things would start to
turn around for them.
On Saturday night, the defense played outstanding, and, as
the 16-year coach predicted, the Wolverines turned things
around with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Badgers.
The Wolverines' defense suffocated a potent Wisconsin
scoring attack, which came into the game averaging 34.08
shots on goal and 4 goals per contest. Michigan, which held
the Badgers to just 14 shots on goal in the first two periods -
one less than Minnesota had in the second period alone on
Friday night - left the Badgers with little room to breathe in
the game's final stanza.
When it counted, the Wolverines' blue line shut down the
Badgers. The two teams entered the third period knotted at
one, but after ten and a half minutes Michigan had tacked on
two more scores, while the Badgers had yet to record a shot on
goal.
The Wolverines seemed to do everything right defensively in
the third - dumping the puck in the corners to set up the
offense, diving on the ice to break up a would be breakaway
opportunity, or slapping the puck out of the zone.
When it was all said and done the Badgers would leave the
skate carved Yost Ice Arena surface with only two shots in the
period.
"All year we've been a good third-period team," Michigan

captain Sean Peach said. "It really shows the character of our
team to play the way we did in the third. We know what we
have to do when it counts. That's got to be the secret to success
for this team is to be able to win the third period in a close
game, and we definitely sucked it up when we had to."
But the Wolverines started tightening their belts well before
the third period. Michigan defensemen Bob Gassoff and Kevin
Magnuson were scratched before the game, which, after the
addition of Brad Fraser, left the Wolverines with only five
defensemen for the entire game.
"We only dressed five guys on defense tonight;" Michigan
forward Mark Mink said. "They were great tonight, but when
you consider that they had a limited number of guys out there
you'd have to say they played unreal."
But the Wolverines did just fine with the limited number of
bodies. The 16 shots on goal is the lowest output for the
Badgers this season.
"We played great defensively tonight;" Peach said. "We
worked really hard and that work paid off because we got some
bounces to go our way. It's just like in any sport - defense
wins. When we play tight defense it shows up in the score-
board."
Michigan goalie L. J. Scarpace, who was making his second
start of the season, credited the defense for helping him record
his first career win.
"The defense really came out without a lot more determina-
tion tonight," Scarpace said. "They really helped me out
tonight against a good offensive team."

Jeff Jillson led a
stellar Michigan
defensive effort
limiting
Wisconsin to only
two shots in the
third period.
KIMITSU YOGACHI/Daiy

i
.

I 4

CCHA Standings

Spartans rebound in Showcase
From Staff and Wire Reports

Team
Michigan State
Northern Michigan
Michigan
Ferris State
Make Superior

w
10
7
6
6

L
2
3
6
4

CCHA
T Pts GP
o 20 12
1 17 10
0 14 10
0 12 12
0 12 10

GF GA
44 26
40 21
41 26
31 33
30 27

OVERALL
W LT
11 4 0
12 3 1
11 4 0
10 6 0
6 6 0

Rustyn Dolyny scored two power-play goals
Saturday night, snapping a nine-game slump,
as Michigan State snapped a three-game losing
streak with a 6-2 win over Minnesota in the

and broke in alone on Broncos' goalie Chris
Peck, giving Dartmouth a 4-2 lead.
Western (6-6-2) pulled within 4-3 with 5:04
left when Corey Waring scored on a slapshot
from the right point.

GOLDEN
Continued from Page 16
cross-ice pass found Mink before the
forward flipped it past Wisconsin's
Graham Melanson for the score. In a
flash of red light and a heap of gold,
Michigan had taken the lead and the
game while finding its pride.

deficit from which it would never recov-
er as Kevin O'Malley was replaced in
goal by Scarpace. Andy Hilbert added
his fifth goal of the season late in the
third to keep the Gophers from blanking
Michigan.
His efforts were too little, too late
though, as Minnesota added a goal in
the third to go along with two in the sec-

I

I I I

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