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January 16, 2001 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-16

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - January 16, 2001

Shouts from the point

"We can't make excuses anymore. We've got
to start winning all of these hockey games left
in front of us.
- Senior Bob Gassoff after Saturday night's
6-2 win over Ohio State.

Ohio State 3

Michigan 6
Ohio State 2

Key play
Saturday, 10:59 of third period
- Just minutes after Ohio State scored to
trim Michigan's lead to 4-2, Scott Matzka
charged down the left wing, put the puck
between OSU defenseman Pete Broccolis
legs and beat goalie Mike Betz five-hole.

The Michigan Daily hockey writers'
picks for Michigan's three stars of the
Jillson scored a goal in Saturday's win
and was a solid blueline presence in
both games.
Continuing his stellar play, Blackburn
gave up only four goals in two games
and made several key saves to keep
Michigan comfortably ahead on
The senior captain had a goal and two
assists in Saturday's 6-2 triumph.

Jan. 17 standings
Team Record
1. Michigan State 18-1-4
2. Boston College 15-5-1
3. North Dakota 15-5-4
4. St. Cloud 17-4-1
5. New Hampshire 15-4-5
6. Colorado Coll. 16-5-1
7. Western Mich. 16-4-3
8. Minnesota 15-6-2
9. Michigan 16-6-3
10. Providence 13-5-3


Ohio State line
gets offensive,
burned by 'M'
By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - Ohio State's third-line grinders
Miguel Lafleche, Chris Olsgard and Nick Ganga were
out to halt Michigan's potent top attackers this past
They did their job on Friday HOCKEY
night, but on Saturday, they lost
their prior identity and forgot Notebook
that they were just a third line.
Michigan's Geoff Koch, Mike Cammalleri and Andy
Hilbert made them pay, combining for nine points and
showing what a first line is all about.
The trio of Wolverine stars have been on a scoring tear
of late, holding point-streaks of eight, nine and 10 games
respectively going into this past weekend against the
So the Ohio State game plan was simple - aggres-
sively attack Michigan's stars with physical play and get
them off their game.
Instead of starting his top scoring line against
Michigan's best group, Ohio State coach John Markell
matched up his checking line of Lafleche, Ganga and
Olsgard to do the dirty work.
According to the rules of hockey, Ohic State had the
luxury as the home team to make the final line change,
which enabled Markell to implement his defensive
And, on Friday, the grind line sure did. It bottled up
Michigan's highest source of firepower by responsibly
backchecking, winning the battles in the corners, hitting
the Wolverines after the whistle and playing an overall
solid defensive game.
"Why shouldn't they go after (Cammalleri and
Hilbert)," Koch said of his linemates. "They're some of
our best players so we have to expect that to happen."
Michigan's top line ended up at a minus-2 for the
game. Hilbert's assist on Michigan's lone goal of its 3-1
loss remained the only point registered by the trio.
But Saturday night brought out a change in personal-
ity for Lafleche, Olsgard and Ganga that doomed them.
Maybe overconfidence or greed took over. Perhaps
the checking line's two points in Friday's game made
their mouths water for more on Saturday - they seemed
to jump at every opportunity for a scoring chance.
Meanwhile, their collective offensive mindset led them
to lose touch with their responsibility of shutting down

Continued from Page 18
unit," Ohio State coach John Marke
Goals by Miguel Lafleche and Doug
Andress staked the Buckeyes out to a 2-
0 lead heading into the third. With the
way the game was going, it didn't seem
like Michigan had any chance at sending
Ohio State to its sixth-straight loss.
But a Mike Komisarek tally at the
5:31 mark of the third put the Wolverines
back in it, with an Ohio State empty net
goal sealing the 3-1 victory.
"We had a good third period, we reab
ly did." Berenson said after MichigaW
outshot Ohio State 15-5 in the final stan-
za. "It was a close game, but as a coach
you look back and say 'we had one good
period out of three and that's not good
Fortunately for Berenson and the
Wolverines, the full package arrived at
Value City Arena on Saturday night.
The Wolverines put the problems
the previous night behind them, the mo
notable of which was the notoriously
poor ice surface at the arena which hosts
both hockey and Ohio State basketball.
"The ice is really bad here," sopho-
more right wing Andy Hilbert said. "A
couple of times I was skating down the
ice and I just fell just because the ice is
so soft. But you can't make excuses like
that - they have to play on it, too."
ally Hilbert got the Wolverines on the
board early, and after second period tied
Is. 1-1, Michigan charged forward, leavino
h, Ohio State in its dust.
ert Trying to overcome their less-than-
stellar season to date, many of
ce Michigan's expected leaders showed up
io to play. Seniors Josh Langfeld, Jeff
id Jillson, Geoff Koch and Scott Matzka
nd each scored. Koch also posted a plus-
al minus of plus-3 on the evening, while
re Jillson led the Wolverines with a plus-4.
The weekend was dominated with
an chippy style of play that made it seem as
ci- though a brawl could be assured for late
ly on Saturday. But the teams shook hands
e- as the game ended and skated off, leav-
he ing the emotion of the series hanging
io over the players' heads until next time.
in "It's been brewing for the four years
y- since I've been here, so I don't know if
he anything really happened today that we
r- weren't ready to expect,"senior defense-
man Bob Gassoff said.

Ohio State tried to rough up Mike Cammalleri all weekend, but the Buckeyes' strategy failed on Saturday.

No. 1 Michigan State (16-1-4) def. Lake
Superior 2-0, def. Lake Superior 2-1
No. 2 Boston College (14-5-1) def.
UMass-Lowell 2-1.
No. 3 North Dakota (1444) def.
Minnesota 41, lost to Minnesota 5-1.
No. 4 Colorado College 15-1) lost to
MinnDuluth 2-1, beat MinnDuluth 6-4.
No. 5 Western Michigan (16-3-2) lost to
Notre Dame 4-1, tieNotre Dame 3-3.
No. 6 New Hampshire (14-4-4) def.
Merrimack 4-1, tied Merrimack 3-3.
No. 7 St. Cloud (15.4-1) def. Michigan
Tech 5-2, def. Michigan Tech 41.
No. 8 Michigan 155 -3) lost to Ohio
State 3-1, defOh io State 6-2.
No.S Minnesota (14.52) lost to North
Dakota 4-1, beat North Dakota 5-1.
No.10 Providence (1153) def. ona 6-2,
def. Holy Cross 2-1.
Ohio State 3, Michir2an 1
Michigan 0 0 1-3
Ohio State 0 21-3
Fst peiod - No scoring. Penties- UM, Brnes(slashi-
ing,614 OU, Cmgnr (triing),8:08; UM, Kisrek
(tipng)102OSUOisard ( ,tripprg), 13:38:OSU,
OssUd (eowig), 17:52; UM, Matza (high sticking),
Secod petod-1.O051) Laieche 4 (aga Skag), 1:42:
2. Adress 5 (Stecke, Dufour) 1056 p). Peitie-
UM, Furnes(trpng), 3:230Mi. rSkang (chaging) 7:23:
UM, Shoneyia (hooking) 8:33; UM, Gassof(Slasing),
1023;UM, Ortmeyer (hoing), 11:19; OSU,Cran 4 (holding),
Thrd peuod- 3. Komisek 3 (ilson, Hilbet), 5:31:0SU,
Steckel 10 (unassisted) 19:59emy net). Pen ties-
0U, Andress (holding), K121;O SU. Brccoi (triping), 632,
0au, Freema (goatender interference), 8:55.
Pwr ea - UM, 0of 8:0SU,1lo 7.
Saves - UM, Blckburn 7744-18; OSU, Betz 91014 -
Rem - Brian Pochmara.
Lnesmen - Bruce Vda, Kevin Langseth.
At: Value City Arena Atnane: 12,752
Michigan 6, Ohio State 2
Michigan 1 3 2 --6
Ohio State 1 0 1 -2
Fatpeibd- 1. UM, Ht 17 (och) 1034,050, Mi 4
Whitirg, Untergaer. 1132 Pibes-(SU Whin (ross
checkrg),2:11;UM,Jitson (slashirig).229:UM. Fraser(holding
te stck) 6:10: OSU, Capongnisar,12:25;OSU, capong
(holg). 18:16.
Swnldpeid- 3 UM, Laed9{bt, Carpi)4 26
(p) 4UM iAkn 6 Kch, Mra), 8: 5. Kch 7 (Hiit ),
14:44.Pmer- OSU,garogtrg) 0 1)U our
(sl di "9g) :7:50: UM, Kniek (crossdckg), 750; UM,
iiii )n (r), 9140, Gaga (hold g, 11:0.
Thad peiod-6.00, Unbtger9 (Dur. Seckel),520(pp);
7. UM.Maka7 (ammirni),10:59:UM, Oreyer 10
(ShuIeya),1445. Penalties-UM, Matka(chargirg).3:47.
UM K'nsa (lashig), 425 0OSU, Lacne rughg, 1726
UM, Mik (raghig), 1726; UM, Mn (lashig, 1726,050,
0isgad (r giirg, 1726
Sh~mga i-UM,612-7-25;SU,12413-29.
PW qars-UM.1 a5:OSU,1d5.
Sas-UM. Blakxm 1112-27; OSU, Btz95-19.
Pde-- Bin iPcrmaa
lasim - Bruce Vda MKein Lagseth.
At VaueCity Aena. Atean:13,38.
Jan. 17 standings www.uscho.com
1. Michigan State 0.6340 33
2. Boston College 0.6031 32
3. North Dakota 0.6000 31
4. Western Mich. 0.5889 30
5. New HapshireO.5965 29
6. Colorado Col. 0.5954 27
7. St. Cloud 0.5769 27
8. Michigan 0.5748 26
9. Minnesota 0.5864 25
10. Denver 0.5643 24
11. Providence 0.5612 24
12. Maine 0.5451 21
13. Quinnipiac 0.5344 21
14. Cornell 0.5267 19

Michigan's top line.
- "I think we've tried to add a little offense instead of
playing a defensive role and let the other lines assume
the offensive roles," Markell said. "I think they (third
line) learned a little something."
What lesson did they learn? Never let up on Koch,
Cammalleri and Hilbert, who each had three points on
Saturday night - Koch's first three-point game of the
season. Three of the goals came off of hustle plays by
Koch, Cammalleri and Hilbert, as they won the battles
that their opponents won the night before.
And it's no coincidence that Michigan also won the
game, with Lafleche, Olsgard and Ganga shaking their
heads in frustration at their combined minus-9 perfor-
mance - and their painful delusion of grandeur.
FAMILIAR FACES: As Ohio State freshman center
Dave Steckel glided past Michigan defenseman Mike
Komisarek on his way to a great scoring chance for the
Buckeyes, a reunion of former teammates and old
friends ensued.
Both Steckel and fellow freshman standout R.J.
Umberger were teammates of Michigan's Komisarek

and Hilbert during the World Junior Championship
While representing Team USA to a fifth-place finis
the quartet got to know each other better when Hilbe
and Steckel roomed together.
"It was fun to spend time with each other, but on
you put on the Michigan jersey and they put on the Oh
State there's no friends out there on the ice," sa
Komisarek, who was also teammates with Steckel ai
Umberger for the United States Under-18 Nation
Development Program based in Ann Arbor. "You'
going to war out there."
ICE CHiPs: Before Friday nights game, the Canadi
national anthem was played to honor those who partic
pated in the World Junior Championships, specifical
for Cammalleri who had to watch an electronically-cr
ated flag on the scoreboard since there was none in t1
rafters of Value City Arena ... In the aftermath of Oh
State senior captain Andre Signoretti's dismissal fro
the team due to academic eligibility, the Buckeyes pla
by-play man Herb Howenstine mentioned in ti
Saturday night broadcast that everyone seems to ove
look the "fine team GPA of 2.85."

Criticized senior class buries chances

By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Writer

COLUMBUS -"Senior leadership."
It's a phrase that's bandied about frequently in discussions of colle-
giate athletics. Regardless of the sport, people always talk about how
important it is for a team's seniors to set a good example for their
younger teammates.
The term is used so much that it is becoming a cliche. But, like
many other cliches, it proves true, time and again. The Michigan hock-
ey team is a perfect example.
The Wolverines put together a seven-game unbeaten streak heading
into the Christmas break. The tear elevated Michigan to No. 4 in the
national rankings - more importantly, it looked as though the
Wolverines were showing the form that earned them a No. 2 presea-
son ranking.
Then, disaster struck - Michigan was bludgeoned in two GLI
games, losing 7-3 to Michigan Tech and 8-5 to Boston College. In fair-
ness, the Wolverines were missing several players due to injuries and
the World Junior Championships.
But, the seniors performed dismally as a class in the two losses, and
the defeats were so thorough that they left the Wolverines shell-
Last weekend brought some relief, as Michigan swept Lake
Superior. But, the celebration was temporary - Ohio State snapped a
five-game losing streak by beating Michigan, 3-1, on Friday at Value
City Arena. Once again, the Wolverines were left scratching their

"It's getting pretty frustrating," junior Craig Murray said after
Friday's loss. "We talked about being ready, but we came out pretty
flat. We didn't have that bite."
Michigan desperately needed to find "that bite" for Saturday's
game, and it did. The Wolverines trounced Ohio State, 6-2, but the big-
ger story was the reemergence of Michigan's senior class.
Seniors Geoff Koch (a goal and two assists), Scott Matzka (a goal
and an assist) and Josh Langfeld (a goal) all made much-needed offen-
sive contributions at a time when the Wolverines were relying heavily
on sophomores Mike Cammalleri and Andy Hilbert for scoring.
While Cammalleri and Hilbert scored their usual points, Michigan's
elder statesmen came through when the team needed it, and the result
was a crucial road victory.
"We need me and Langfeld to produce every night," Matzka said on
Saturday. "As two of the top players on the team, it's good to have us
During the aforementioned seven-game unbeaten streak, most of
the Wolverines' offense came from the dynamic duo of Hilbert and
Cammalleri. The pair ranks among the leading scorers in the NCAA,
but Michigan had been searching for a more balanced attack.
Naturally, fans began looking to the seniors to produce more. But
until Saturday's game, offensive contributions from the senior class
had been inconsistent at best. In the seniors' defense, their offensive
struggles did not totally compromise their defensive play.
"To me, it's not the goals, it's whether they're playing well,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "They've been playing hard
through this stretch. I can't measure them in terms of their goals, I have
to measure them in terms of their effort."

Josh Langfeld and his senior classmates took advantage of their
opportunities on Saturday night and led the Wolverines to a 6-2 win.0
Nevertheless, it's impossible to discount the team-wide impact
when the senior leaders generate offense, as they did in Saturday's win.
Seeing Matzka put the puck between a defenseman's legs, regain con-
trol and fire a wrist shot between Ohio State goalie Mike Betz's pads
was a welcome sight for the Wolverines as they attempt to reel in No.
I Michigan State in the CCHA race.
"Our senior class has really been working hard lately. We've been
trying to take control and lead this team by example,' senior defense-
man Bob Gassoff said. "It's nice to get something back." 9

Physical Ortmeyer steadies inconsistent Wolverines

By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - On a Michigan hockey team
that will play its guts out one night, then show up
like Eddie Belfour at a Ken Hitchcock retirement
party the next, there exists but one sure bet -
Jed Ortmeyer will come to play.
The sophomore, who has scored 18 points this
season including seven in his last eight games,
has been a buoy in an ocean of uncertainty for
the Wolverines. One of'the few players to step up
his play at the Great Lakes Invitational, he's con-
tinued to brandish an offensive sword while
asserting his trademark physical presence. There
is no return of the Jed-i - he never left in the
first place.
"Jed is a high-energy guy," Michigan associate
coach Mel Pearson said. "He adds energy to any
line he plays with and he also has enough skill so
that he can finish when he gets a chance. You'd
like to have one Jed Ortmeyer on every line."

That energy knows all times, places and situa-
tions. Ortmeyer put Ohio State away for good
Saturday, slipping a backhander past Mike Betz
stickside for the 6-2 lead with a little over six
minutes left in the third period. It was a knock-
out blow for the Buckeyes, but for Ortmeyer the
fight wasn't over.
Ohio State began to take frustration-fueled
runs at Michigan's top two scorers, Andy Hilbert
and Mike Cammalleri, and Ortmeyer took
At one point, Ortmeyer went pin-balling
through the neutral zone, checking one Buckeye,
then racing to tag another before nailing a third.
It was a symphony of bad blood between the
two teams reaching the height of a crescendo.
Ortmeyer was conducting.
"They we/e starting to take some liberties with
our guys," Ortmeyer said. "You've got to protect
your teammates, protect yourself and go out and
take the body."
In that respect, Ortmeyer has been the team's

spark plug. When he delivers a bone-crushing
check, the rest of the Wolverines - from fresh-
man to senior - take notice and follow suit.
"He goes out and works his butt off," defense-
man Bob Gassoff said. "He goes out there and
makes an open-ice hit and stuff like that goes a
long way - it really picks up a team. You put it
on the line because you know he does the same
for you."
Ortmeyer's work ethic transcends his physical
game. Against Ohio State, it wasn't just the hit-
ting or the goal but the knack - the knack for
winning the odd faceoff, or making the timely
backcheck. It's no secret, when Michigan
decides to play in the style of its second-line
winger, pucks have a way of bouncing favorably.
With the Wolverines fighting for their CCHA
and NCAA tournament future, there is no other
"We're getting into a stretch now where if we
lose one game, we're done. We've got to play
every night," Ortmeyer said.

Though he scores here, Jed Ortmeyer's contribu-
tions can't always be measured by statistics.

15. MSU-Mankato0.5264


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