-14 The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 28, 2000
Games showcase two of college hockey's premier rinks
By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - 11,274. 9,767.
These were the reported attendances at
\Wisconsin's Kohl Center and at Minnesota's
Mariucci Arena, respectively, for Michigan's
two games of the College Hockey Showcase.
Now, consider these numbers: 1,975. 2,450.
These were the attendance figures for
Michigan games at Bowling Green and Ferris
Granted, the Ferris State crowd, led by the
raucous "Dawg Pound" was one of the loudest
But, there were still only one-fifth as many
people in Big Rapids - where the game was
sold out - as there were in Madison, and the
Kohl Center was only about two-thirds full due
to the Thanksgiving holiday.
In 14 games, the Michigan hockey team has
run the gamut of road venues.
The Wolverines have played in pro-style,
state-of-the-art facilities like the Kohl Center
that cost tens of millions to build and boast
every imaginable amenity.
But, at the same time, they have played in
bandboxes like BGSU Ice Arena, where the ceil-
ing is so low that it is possible to stand on the
top row of the bleachers and touch it.
"It's a little more hostile in an arena like
Ferris State's," assistant captain Scott Matzka
said after Saturday's game against Minnesota.
"But, I would hate to see it in here if you're
down a couple goals or if they get a shorthand-
ed goal or something like that."
As Matzka points out, the environment is
more intimate - and, perhaps, more hostile -
in a small arena like Ferris State's Ewigleben Ice
In Big Rapids, the fans are almost literally on
top of the ice, making a crowd of 2,500 sound
more like 10,000.
But, it is hard to resist the allure of a glam-
orous arena such as Mariucci Arena or the Kohl
Center. The opportunity to play or watch college
hockey in a pro-style environment is difficult
for any player of fan to pass up.
"It's great," Michigan goalie Josh Blackburn
said. "I don't know if it's kind of an NHL feel-
ing, but the games were played in two beautiful
arenas, and it's a lot of fun to play in."
In particular, Minnesota's Mariucci Arena
drew raves from the Wolverines.
Constructed in 1993, Mariucci Arena has all
of the creature comforts one would associate
with a modern sports arena. With a capacity of
10,000, it has the feel of a professional building.
At the same time, the home of the Golden
Gophers manages to preserve some of the old-
school charm and intimidation that opponents
feel when playing in smaller, older venues like
Yost Ice Arena or Ewigleben Arena. As a result,
the reviews for Mariucci Arena were nothing but
"I think this is one of the most amazing rinks
I've ever played in," defenseman Andy Burnes
said. "It's definitely a little different feel than at
Bowling Green, where the fans are right on top
"This is probably the greatest facility in col-
lege hockey," forward Josh Langfeld added.
"The guys on our team are just loving the ice,
and it's a great environment to play in."
All of this begs the question, Which type of
arena is tougher for a visiting team?
The best answer came courtesy of Matzka.
"I think as far as the fans go, they don't play
a huge role in the game if you're winning," he
Last season, running back Anthony
Thomas considered leaving the
Wolverines for the NFL.
This season, Thomas was crowned
the winner of the Bo Schembechler
award as Most Valuable Player.
The co-captain needs only 106
yards in the Citrus Bowl to pass the
record held by Jamie Morris, 4,393
yards. Thomas has already set
Michigan records for career-rushing
touchdowns and 100-yard rushing
Other award winners were senior
tackles Jeff Backus, Maurice Williams
and co-captain Steve Hutchinson. The
three all received the Hugh H. Rader
Jr. Memorial Award as the team's top
Senior Andy Sechler earned the
Arthur D. Robinson Scholarship
Award for the leading student athlete
and sophomore Victor Hobson was
named Michigan's top linebacker.
Rounding out the award winners
were center David Brandt and safety
DeWayne Patmon. The seniors were
co-winners of the Robert P. Ufer
Bequest. This award is given to the
seniors who show the most enthusi-
asm and love for their school.
Five inked by baseball
in early signing period
The Michigan baseball team
announced yesterday that it had signed
five recruits in the early signing peri-
od - the largest early signing class
for Michigan coach Geoff Zahn in his
five years at Michigan.
The five signings are outfielder
Chris Burhans from Alpharetta, Ga.,
pitcher/infielder Matt Collins of
Bloomfield Village, Mich., left-hand-
ed pitcher Paul Hammond from
Mason, Ohio, catcher Jeff Kunkel
from Oak Forest, Ill., and Nick
Rudden from Engelwood, Colo.
Burhan led Marist High School in
homeruns and RBI the last two years
with 24 dingers and 86 RBI.
Hammond has a 20-1 career record
for Mason High School with a 0.91
ERA. He also holds the school record
for strikeouts with 246.
- Staff eports
signs with swimmers
The Michigan men's swimming and
diving team received a letter of intent
from Brendan Neligan of Hempstead,
N.Y., as its only commitment in the
early signing period.
Negligan finished in 10th place in
the 1500 meter freestyle at the 2000
U.S. Olympic Trials.
He won the 800 freestyle at the U.S.
Swimming National Championships in
1998 and was a 2000 prep Academic
- Staff reports
With no games left to play, it appears'
that Miami's only hope of playing in
the Orange Bowl is an Oklahoma loss
to Kansas State on Saturday. Here's
how the poll stacks up.
Nov. 27 standings
2. Florida State
3. Miami (Fla.)
5. Virginia Tech
6. Oregon State
11. Notre Dame
13. Georgia Tech
14. Texas Christian
No. 10 FLORIDA 100, Fla. Atlantic 42
No. 7 TENNESSEE 98, Austin Peay 65
No. 8 SETON HALL 104, St. Peters 85
No. 2 KANSAS 92, Middle Tennesse 66
No. 12 Wake Forest at Michigan
No. 9 Illinois at No. 1 Duke
Brown at No. 16 Connecticut
Centenary at No. 25 Arkansas
Cardinal Strit ch at No. 18 Utah
Colgate at No. 20 Syracuse
Northwestern at Clemson
Georgia Tech at Iowa
CAROLINA 31, Green Bay 14
Chicago 6, DETROIT 5 (OT)
MONTREAL 3, Atlanta 2
NY ISLANDERS 7, Tampa Bay 4
Pittsburgh at Boston
Los Angeles at NY Rangers
Buffalo at Ottawa
Calgary at Nashville