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December 13, 1999 - Image 18

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-12-13

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - December 13, 1999

Puck talk
'If we'd lost these games, we would
have shot ourselves in the foot It was
a huge weekend for us."
- Junior forward Mark Kosick on
Michigan's sweep of the Mavericks.

Michigan 6
Nebraska-Omaha 2

f3,3 Michigan 6
YV Nebraska-Omaha 1

Key Play
Saturday, 2:53 into the first period.
Junior /Jh Lan gf/dicks ola finhigan
scoring tr en-l hi hla. rnt a poi'wc -rp'l
slt past Nehraska-Omnrahla goalie
Rodney eLeod. Lan, fhld would score
again four minutes later

M' looks for GLI victories to ring in Millennium

The Michigan Daily hockey writers'
picks for Michigan's three stars of
the weekend.

- MIKE COMRIE -
CENTER
Comrie proved his mettle as a stel-
lar playmaker against the
Mavericks setting up five of
Michigan's goals.
- ANDY HIL.BERT -
CENTER
The freshman forward had the
most prolific offensive weekend of
his career, notching three goals
and an assist
- THE THIRD LINE-
The line composed of juniors Scott
Matzka, Josh Langfeld and Marik
Kosick made a statement this week-
end accounting for four 'M' goals.
Ol *n
Michi an will play in the
Great Lakes' Invitational
over the holiday break and
look to extend its current
three game winning streak
at the Joe Louis Arena.
Dec. 29th, vs. Lake Superior State,
4:05 p.m.
Dec. 30th, vs. Michigan State/Michigan
Tech, 4:05/7:35p.m.

,
f.
. , .

l
4 ,

By Chris Grandstaff
Daily Sports Writer
It's nothing special - a shiny bowl mounted over an
engraved dedication to its newly crowned champion. It
doesn't represent a national or conference title. It doesn't
even carry much history - having only been presented
since 1993. But the Michigan hockey team wants the John
A. McInnes Trophy - awarded annually to the winner of
the Great Lakes Invitational held at Joe Louis Arena in
Detroit.
It's been two years since the Michigan hockey team has
laid claim to the hardware. In that time, Michigan State has
hoisted the trophy, defeating the Wolverines in the champi-
onship game two years in a row, 5-3 and 3-1 respectively.
Before the Spartans' current streak, though, the
Wolverines had taken nine straight GLI championships and
had been the only team to carry the McInnes Trophy off the
ice.
Michigan, which in the 34-year history of the event has
claimed a tournament-record I 1 titles, will now look to
close out the millennium with yet another title when they
drop the puck against Lake Superior on Dec. 29.
The winner of that game will then face off on Dec. 30
against the Michigan State/Michigan Tech winner.
It won't be easy for the Wolverines, though. The Lakers
swept the Wolverines at Yost Ice Arena earlier this season,
and the Spartans, the likely winner of the tournament's other
game, are currently ranked fifth in the latest USCHO poll.
Compound this with the fact that the Wolverines will be
playing without three of their best players, and Michigan's
chances of taking the title seem pretty slim.
Mike Comrie, Andy Hilbert and Jeff Jillson will all miss
the team's trip to The Joe because of their commitments to
play for the U.S. and Canadian National teams, competing in
Sweden for the World Junior Championships. All three left
on Sunday to begin practicing with their respective teams.
Without their two top scorers and minus a defender on an
already thin Michigan blue line, the rest of the Wolverines
will really need to step up their play if they want to bring
home the hardware.
"It'll be a good opportunity for some players and it'll be a
ives
S-,

challenge for our team,' Michigan coach Red Brensoff
said. "The defense, the forwards and the coaching staff will
need to really pull together."
BLACKBURN BACK ON ICE: Michigan goaltender Josh
Blackburn skated for the first time on Saturday since injur-
ing his toe on Oct. 9. Blackburn will participate in the team's
optional practices all week before heading home for break.
"I think I'm a little bit ahead of the plan," Blackburn said.
"It's hard to say when I'll be back. Coming off the break, and
not having played in a long time makes it really hard to say.
I probably won't play in the GLI though. I don't think the
doctors would like that too much."
Berenson said he didn't expect Blackburn to play in tie
GLI either, but did say that he could see action as early as
the Michigan State game on Jan. 7.
Blackburn, who has been working diligently since the
injury with team trainer Rick Bancroft, is already in good
physical condition, but that's not what worries Berenson.
"Typically a player loses a lot when he's out of game sit-
uations for a while," Berenson said. "The timing, quickness,
and mental skills will take a little time to come back. He'll
be starting all over again, and the trouble -is that everyone
else will be in mid-season form."
TIME FOR A BREAK: The Michigan hockey team finished
the first half of the season with "a good taste in their
mouths," Berenson said after the Wolverines' sweep of
Nebraska-Omaha this past weekend. But the Wolverines are
ready for a break.
Berenson has scheduled optional practices all this week
before winter break and a hiatus from hockey until the team
reconvenes on Dec. 26 to begin practicing for the GLI.
"Skating is optional this week for the players that are in
town," Berenson said. "They've all got exams and will start
drifting out of town at different times. I don't really care
they skate.
"They've all had a lot of ice time and a lot of work for
three and a half months with literally only one day off a
week. I think it's good to have a break."
When the Wolverines return to action they'll have two
practices a day on both Dec. 26 and 27 before moving to Joe
Louis Arena for a final tune-up on Dec. 28.

No. North Dakota (12-3-1) de.Denver,
7-3; lost to Denver, 7-2.
No.2 WisconsIn (14-4-0) def. Alaska.
Andiorage,5-2; lost to Alaska-Anchorage, 4-1.
No. 3 New Hampshire (14-2-1) def. St.
Lawrence, 3-1; def. Qarkson, 6-0.
No. 4 Maine (11-2-2) defeated Boston
Universit 4-2; de". Quinnipiar 7-4.
No. S Michigan State (12-5-0) def. Alabama-
Huntsville, 5-0 on Saturday.
No. 6 ensselear (11-3-0) did not play.
No. 7 Boston University (11-4-2) lost to Maine,
4-2.
No.8 Michgan (14-5-0)def. Nebraska-Omaha,
6-2 on Friday; 6-1 on Saturday.
No. 9 Northern Michigan (13-4-1) did not
play.
No. 10 Colgate (10--0) def. Ferris State, 4-1,
lost to Ferris State, 3-2.

SARA SCHENCK/Day
After sweeping Nebraska-Omaha, Michigan will enjoy a fairly long winter break before
returning on Dec. 26th to prepare for the Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena.
Offensive resurgence dr
'M' to victory over Gina

Michigan C, Neb.-Otaha 2
Neb.-Omaha 1 0 1 -2
Michigan. 2 2 2 -6
First period - 1. UNO, Fohr (Bencurik, Chalmers),
3:06; 1. UM, Kosick (Langfed, Jillson), 5:31 (pp);
2. UM, Hilbert (Koch, Comrie), 9:26. Penalties -
UNO, Edwards (interference), 4:21; UNO, Pugliese
(holding), 19:17.
Second period - 3. UM, Peach (Hilbert, Comrie),
10:13 (sh); 4. UM, Hlbert (Comre, Koch), 19:50.
Penalties - tNO, Chalmers (obstruction-hooking),
3:58; UM, Vancik (obsruction-hooking), 9:05; UM,
Huntzicker (holding), 15:08.
Third period- 5. UM, Koch (Comre, Jillson), 8:23;
6, GUM. Cammatleri(unassisted). 9:14; 2. UNO.
Brisson (Glover), 18:58. Penalties - UM, Gassoft
(interference), 11:56; UNO, Zanon (obstruction-
hooking), 12:14; UM, Comrie (crosschecking),
19:50.
Shots on goal -- UNO, 7-114- 22; UM, 11-11-9 -
31.
Power Plays - UNO, 0 of 4; UM, 1 of 4
Saves - UNO, Sidoruk 9-9-7- 25; UM, Scarpace 6-
'11-3 - 20.
Referee - Brent Rutherford.
Linesmen - John Pearson, Brian Hill.
At: Yost Ice Arena. Attendance: 6,347

By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
As cliched as it may sound - "they're baaacck."
After attempting to poke its head out of the deep
crevasse it had fallen into, the Michigan offense
finally emerged from its self-induced hibernation
en route to scoring 12 goals in two games.
This past weekend's series with Nebraska-Omaha
featured stellar offensive performances from tradi-
tionally heralded Wolverines who had been suffer-
ing from the team's slump.
Defenseman Jeff Jillson and centers Mike
Comrie and Mark Kosick had five points each with
wingers Josh Langfeld and Andy Hilbert contribut-
ing four apiece.
For Kosick, Saturday's game was a milestone vic-
tory. The two goals and two assists he recorded give
him 100 career points.
With the weekend's output, the Wolverines got
back to the way they had been doing business. In the
early season, Michigan had outscored its opponents
55-24 through the first 10 games.
Then, beginning with the Lake Superior State
contests in early November, the Wolverines ran into
several goalies that provided more potholes for the
Michigan offense than US-23 after a long winter.
Comrie, who now has 32 points on the season,
has returned to a familiar place - the top of the
NCAA scorers' leaderboard, where his point total
places him just ahead of his closest follower,
Michigan State's Shawn Horcoff.
Over the weekend, Comrie didn't score a single
goal. Yet, he was the most dominant player on the
ice, creating opportunities for his linemates that the
Mavericks couldn't counter.

In fact, on Friday night, the Comrie-Hilbert-
Geoff Koch line accounted for three of Michigan's
six goals.
"It wasn't too hard because (Comrie) just decid-
ed to make unreal passes," said Hilbert who notched
two of the goals and will play with the U.S. Junior
National team. "All I had to do was get behind the
goalie. Comrie just played unreal tonight. He's an
unbelievable playmaker."
Though the top line fueled Friday's offensive
resurgence, on Saturday night, it was the third line,
featuring Kosick, Langfeld and Scott Matzka that
put the puck in the net.
Langfeld, who last year was second in scoring to
Comrie, has struggled this year. Before this week-
end he had only scored three goals - two in the
Wolverines' first series at Notre Dame and one at
Miami.
"fit always feels good to get on the scoreboard,"
Langfeld said, "It's been difficult (so far this season)
- when you're struggling, it's always difficult. It's
sad to say that if you just score a couple of goals,
you get asked to the press conference. It's nothing
too spectacular.
"I'm just glad that we won. That's what I'm try-
ing to focus on. Thanks to Kosick I scored a couple
of goals. We've both been getting rode a little hard,
but that's good for us. Hopefully, the puck will keep
going in."
For Kosick, the past couple of months had been
rough as well. After not producing, he was benched
for the Thanksgiving contest against Wisconsin. The
following weekend against Bowling Green, he
returned to score a power-play goal.
Finally this weekend, it seemed as though the

S

SARA SCHENCK/Daily
Scott Matzka and linemates Josh Langfeld and Mark Kosick lit up the scoreboard on Saturday night
accounting for four of Michigan's six goals.

junior has found his old scoring niche - one that
will forever place him in the Michigan record
books.
When all is said and done, the first half of the sea-
son was a chance for both coaches and players to
discover what works. This weekend, Michigan
seems to have hit the jackpot with its current line
combinations.
"Mike and I have been playing together the whole
season, and this week we found a good linemate
with Andy," Koch said. "He's a heck of a goal scor-
er. Mike was just on a different level this weekend.
He was making all the great plays.

"It's a lot of fun when everyone is working hard
and we're executing. It's a fun line to play on."
Previously, it had been Matzka instead of Hilbert
who had shared the top line with Koch and Comrie
but Kosick said that the chemistry they have found
with the new lines will propel them forward.
"We're extremely comfortable playing together,"
Kosick said. "On Friday we scored one goal, but w
could've scored four or five. I'm really happy wit'
the way our line is playing. I really like playing with
Langer and Scott.
"We're all fast and we all are thinking the same.
We don't get on each other if somebody makes a

Michigan 6, Neb.-Omaha I
Neb.-Omaha 0 0 1'.-1
Michigan 3 1 2 - 6
First period ,1. UM. Langfeld (Kosick.
Cammallen), 2:53 (pp;tUM, Langfeld (Kosick,
Jillson). 6:52 (pp), tUM, H-ilbert (Comrie, Gassoff),
9:55. Pen aes.-. UM, Comsie (high-stiekng), 0:32:
ONO, Pugliese (cross-checking), 1:.59; UNO,
Scribner roughing), 5:44; UiM. Koch (roughing),
7:39; UM, Matzka (cross-checking). 11:24; UNO,
Bencunk (hooking), 19:37.
Second period -- 4. ~ UM, Jilson (Cammalleri) 3:53.
Penalties -IN, Murray (obstruction-hooking),
4:17; UM, Langfeld (hooking, 7:00; UNO, Reynolds
(roughing after whistle), 7:29; tUM, Gassoff (rough-
ing after whistle), 7:29.
Third perod --5 UM, Kosick (Matzka, Langfeld),
0:54; 6. UM, Kosick (Cammalleri; Jillson), 10:38; 1.
UNO, Cassin (Cupp, Zanon), 14:17 (pp), Penalties
- UNO, Glover (slashing), 1:52" UNO, Pugliese
(roughing after whistle), 6:53 UM, Jilson (roughing
after whistle), 6:53: UM, Mink (slashing), 8:08
UJNO, Carr (obstruction-hookingl,<8:37: UNO,
Scribner (cross-checking), 9:33; UM, Vancik (rough-
ing), 9:33; UM, Comre (elbowing), 12:17; UM,
Comrae (fighting), 12:17; UiM, Comrie (game dJq).
12:17; tiMMagnuson (roughing), 12:17; UM,
Magnuson (roughing), 12:17: UM, Magnuson (10-
minute misconduct), 12:17: UNO, Brisson (rough-
ing), 12:17; ONO, Brisso9n (roughing), 12:17:
UNO, Brisson (10-minute misconduct), "2:17; UNO,
Chalmers (fighting), 12:17; ONO, Chalmers (game
0q), 12:17; UiM, Huntzicker (hooing), 19:48.
Shoson goal-UNO8-5-6-19; IM 12-9-11-
32.
Power Plays - UNO.1of 8;UM 2 of7.
Saves - UM, Scarpace 58-2 - 15; UW, Melanson
5&9 -22.
Referee - Steve Potrowski.
Linesmen - John Lauke, John Person.
At: Yost ice Arena. Attendance: 6,298

CCHA race heats up as Scarpace ignites Wolverines

By Geoff Gagnon
Daily Sports Writer
It's been a long time, but they still know how
to sing.
Not since sweeping Miami on the road in
early November has Michigan come up with a
two-win weekend. And not since beating
Massachusetts-Lowell in mid-October have the
Wolverines strung together two home wins in A.
single weekend - a feat that signals the team's
singing of the school's fight song.
So excuse the Wolverines if their squad was a
little rusty as it bellowed an excited version of
"The Victors" after this weekend's home sweep
of Nebraska-Omaha - after all, it's been a
while.
But while this weekend's games were a long
time coming, their importance had no trouble
making itself clear. With the first half of the

season in the books for the Wolverines,
Michigan coach Red Berenson and his squad
are right where many suspected they would be
as they look to make a run at league leader
Michigan State in the season's second half.
"This was a good weekend for us. It puts us
up there with Northern (Michigan) and
Michigan State for first place in the league.
That's huge coming down the stretch," junior
Mark Kosick said. "If we'd lost these games this
weekend, we would have pretty much shot our-
selves in the foot. It was a big weekend for us."
As Northern Michigan took the weekend off,
Michigan's wins over Nebraska-Omaha helped
catapult the Wolverines into the conference's
second position behind only Michigan State.
And while the Spartans spent the weekend
beating up on Alabama-Huntsville, Michigan's
conference wins over the Mavericks put it one

conference win away from catching Michigan
State in the battle for CCHA supremacy.
"It was a good weekend for Michigan,"
Berenson said. "It was good for our team and
for our standings and the race we're in with
Northern Michigan and Michigan State. It puts
us in a position to have a shot at having a good
second half of the year."
Spearheading the charge toward the top of
the conference rankings as it looks to the sec-
ond half of the year, junior netminder L.J.
Scarpace has been one of the key ingredients so
far for Michigan.
Sparking his team to three straight wins,
while allowing only three goals this weekend,
Scarpace has more than earned the respect of
teammates who insist they've always believed
in him - he's gained the appreciation of fans.
After Nebraska-Omaha's Ed Cassins broke

Scarpace's shutout with 5:13 left in the gamma
Saturday night, the Yost fans offered Scarpace a
warm ovation in recognition of his 18-save
night, and his teammates offered similar praise.
"He's established himself as a great goalie,"
junior Josh Langfeld said. "He has a great atti-
tude about the game, and he's shown he can
really play."
And Berenson says that Scarpace's perfor-
mance has earned him more than respect, it has
earned him the starting job after beginning the
year as the third-stringer.
"This weekend answered some questions
about our goaltending," Berenson said.
"He's playing with a lot of confidence and
making the hard save look easy, and that's a
good sign.
"He's not giving up the bad goals. For now,
he's our starting goalie."
i

Saturday features CCHA sweeps

Team
Michigan State
Michigan
Northern Michigan
Ferris State
Lke Superior
Western Michigan'

w
11
10
9,
7
7
6

L
3
4
2
7
6

T>
0;
0
1
_#

Pts
22:
20
19
14
14"

GP
14
13
12
14
12,
14

GF GA
48 17
58 34
44 27
40 40
36 31
46 45

W
13
14
13
12
-7

L
4
'S
4
8

T
0
0
0
2

EAST LANSING (AP) - Freshman Ryan
Miller faced only 10 shots and stopped them
all as Michigan State blanked Alabama-
Huntsville 5-0 on .0
Saturday night. LZ
Adam Hall scored-
twice over the first _- -

8-2) an early lead when Samuli Jalkanen and
Jay Shaw scored their first goals of the season,
the latter coming at 7:39 of the first period.
Notre Dame answered with goals by Evan
Nielsen, Simon and Ryan Dolder to lead 3-2 at
the end of the period.
Simon notched another power-play goal at

MAVERICKS
Continued from Page 1B.
had not started off a home series with a
victory in more than a month, until last
weekend.
Again, it was the third line that ingnit-
ed the Wolverines. Kosick got the first
Michigan goal of the night of a pass
from Langfeld, tying the game at one.

Comrie continued the scoring into the
second as they assisted on a short-hand-
ed goal to defenseman Sean Peach.
Then on another great pass by his
linemates, Hilbert scored again and
entered the third period looking for the
hat trick.
"It wasn't really that hard tonight
because these guys (Comrie and Geoff
Koch) made unreal passes," Hilbert said.

I

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