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December 13, 2000 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-12-13

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



raveling 'M' hits
tide at right time

The M inily W d Decmber13, 2000- 17

By Arun Copal
1)Z\; , iw

l

y Ryan C. Moloney
oily Sports Writer
Willie Nelson has nothing on these
uys.
The Michigan hockey team spent nine
f its first 19 games on the road this sea-
tn, exceeding last year's midway total of
yen games.
Take into consideration the switch
om hosting the College Hockey
howcase last year to flying to Wisconsin
td Minnesota over Thanksgiving break
is year, couple it with a tough drive to
ay Northern Michigan the very next
eekend, and the Wolverines have
tught a little case of white line fever.
he semester break is a welcome
prieve.
"Because of the road games, it defi-
tely feels like the half-way point,"
sistant coach Billy Powers said. "The
ip to Alaska, the trip to Northern and
e trip over Thanksgiving makes it feel
ke longer than half the year. The tim-
g's right and we need the break."
After a disappointing stretch in mid-
ovember, during which Michigan lost
ree-out-of-five games, the team has
newed itself on both sides of the ice to
ay unbeaten in its last six games.
"We're coming together," coach Red
erenson said. "In the big picture, we are
ne of the top six or seven teams" in the
runtry. "Our goal is to be playing our
st hockey in the second half down the
retch."
When asked about his primary areas
f concern going into the second half of
e season, Berenson listed "defensive
vareness" and "offensive balance" as
ital towards success in the postseason
- what he proverbially calls "climbing
e mountain."
The Michigan defense has responded
lightily to the losses of Dave Huntzicker
nd Brad Fraser to MCL injuries last
tonth. The team expects freshman Andy
umns, who broke a rib against Northern
lichigan, to return close to 100 percent
>r the Great Lakes Invitational. Fraser
tight return by then as well. The prog-
osis on Huntzicker remains uncertain,
nd the prospect of redshirting the senior
as been tossed around as of late.
The Wolverines have thrived with the
:eent offensive production of lines two
trough four. All four offensive lines
cored in both wins over St. Lawrence
tis past weekend. The fourth line, in
pite of sparing use by Berenson in the
:ollege Hockey Showcase and against
lorthern, has shown signs of the duality

Semester grades
Throughout the first half, the
Wolverines (7-3-1 CCHA, 13-3-3
overall) have had their ups and
downs. Here's a look at the good
and the bad through 19 games.
Straight A's:
Swept College Hockey Showcase
for first time since 1997 with two
wins over nationally-ranked
Minnesota and Wisconsin.
7-1-1 on the road
11-0-0 when leading after two
periods.
S3-1-2 vs. 2000 NCAA
Tournament teams
Office hours needed:
m Lost to Alaska Fairbanks (4-6-4
CCHA) at home and Ferris State
(1-8-3) on the road
*Second most penalty minutes in
CCHA contests
many on the team emphasized and pre-
dicted early in the season. In the first nine
games, the fourth line mustered only two
points on two assists. In the following 10
games, the line averaged just over a point
a game on five goals and six assists.
Fourth line center Craig Murray. an
offensive apparition in the first nine
games, has come alive in the last 10,
scoring six points.
The offensive contingency plan con-
tinues to consist of one Andy Hilbert and
one Mike Cammalleri, two centers who
are putting on more red lights than
Roxanne. Linemates after the Alaska-
Fairbanks series - Hilbert has played
right wing on the line - the two contin-
ue to work off each other in Gretzky-
Kurri fashion. In the last eight games,
Hilbert and Cammalleri have combined
for I1 goals. Of the 62 total points
between them, 24 are courtesy of mutual
setting-up on goals.
Highly-anticipated bouts against
offensive juggernaut Western Michigan
and the defensively suffocating Michigan
State loom ahead in the second half .The
Wolverines will attempt to steadily
progress in their capacity as a team that
won't necessarily match the Broncos and
Spartans in their areas of expertise, but
can beat then, with its all-around capa-
bilities. A strong CCHA showing in the
second half could easily catapult
Michigan into the hot streak that's char-
acteristic of far-advancing teams in the
NCAA Tournament.
"You don't get there it one step,
Berenson said. "Does this team have a
chance? Yes, this team has a chance."

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Joining the WL rine ad h Egls
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The Wolverines . < tel te a e o n ichia eh
MIChigam State and Roston ClGei. Thi
1AN.1oN sEI, , y third-place gallic and tile is
lichigan's Mark Mink has to balance himself, along with three exams today. egamie sill be telCd th next day.
This year s edition of the GL< has s,,- -
TEMt was determined to not let that happen on cial significance I'r i inss1
its home ice. ciss, which has yet t)o11sI I 11r
Continued from Page 14 "its tough for uxvs it finals this week. holiday ei ent. TO ilk mace1 s wos1
The Under-18 team got its bearings just all he work we have Komisarek the smie team hIas de Ilted c he
iortly thereafter, notching a goal on the said. "But you still have to go out there, Wolverines each of the past three sea-
aame power play. Ryan Murphy beat prepare and play hard or you'll embar- sons.
vichigan netminder LJ. Scarpace at the rass yourself, like State did." "I really want to win this tournament,"
5:52 mark. It was the first shot that One shining moment: While many senior Mark Kosick said. "We1ve had
scarpace saw after taking over for Josh Wolverines didn't want to play, there three years, and wc've gottee to the final
Blackburn. was one person who relished every each year and we've iest to Ste eery
Blackburn left the game to attend a minute. year. That's the worslt te'm to lo "c
tudy session for a final exam toda. Senior walk-oit Robbie Kohen saw in order or the %vries c i caim
Like Blackburn, many other Wolverines his first significant gane action this sea- the tournamienttitletl-e wi '. h iiave ltolet
ad a lot more on their minds than hock- son, playing both on detense and at the past a pair of worthy iop1nts.
:y, which made this a difficult game to wing. Atrhouh ichite Tech has st'ug-
;et up for. Although he's enjoyed practicing with Bled in receit years. rie I ItI-r'oes aIIlIys
"It kind of sucked to have played this the team the past two years, Kohen's
;ame with everything going oni" said future plans are far more ambitious than
Langfeld, whose two goals were his first r erreer in htcke.
allies in 11 games. "It's kind of point- "I'm goiig to go to Iedical school
less with guys on five or six hours of next year, unless the Red Witgscivc me
sleep, with a lot of other things on their a call," Kohen said. laughing.
minds.
With many Wolverines lacking sleep
and concentration, this was a perfect
apportunity for the Under-18 team to
pull an upset, much like it did at The finest footwear irom
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