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February 12, 2001 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-12

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 5, 2001

Shouts from the point
"First place is a longshot now ... we've
shot ourselves in the foot in that race."
Michigan coach Red Berenson discussing his team's
chances of winning the CCHA regular season
championship after Saturday night's 2-0 loss to Northern
Michigan at Yost Arena.

FRIDAY'S GAME
Northern Michigan 1
Michigan 3

SATURDAY'S GAME
Northern Michigan 2
}:.Michigan 0

Key play

Saturday, 4:22 left in second
Geoff Koch picked up the puck at the NMU blue-
line and skated in alone on NMU goalie Craig
Kowalski. Koch went backhand, top shelf but
Kowalski stacked his pads and stoned Koch,
thwarting Michigan's best scoring chance.

_.

THE DAILY'S STARS
The Michigan Daily hockey writers'
picks for Michigan's three stars of the
weekend.
JOSH BLACKBURN
GOALTENDER
Blackburn made 26 saves in Friday's 3-
1 win over Northern Michigan and had
17 stops in Saturday's 2-0 loss.
ANDY HuLBERT
RIGHT WING
Hilbert continued his torrid scoring
pace by tallying the game-winning goal
in Friday's game.
LOHN SHOUNEYIA
ENTER
The oft-overlooked sophomore had two
assists in Friday's game and again
demonstrated that he is one of
Michigan's most skilled playmakers.
'M' SCHEDULE
This week:
Friday vs. Notre Dame, Saturday vs.
Michigan State
Friday: at Yost ice Arena, 7:35 p.m.
Saturday: at Joe Louis Arena (Detroit),
7:35 p.m.
Michigan takes on CCHA cellar-
dweller Notre Dame on Friday before
another highly-anticipated showdown
with No.1 Mchigan State in Detroit
on Saturday.
HoW THEY FARED
No. 1 Michigan State (22434) def.
Alaska-Fairbanks 4-1, def. Alaska-
Fairbanks 3-0
No. 2 Boston College (20-6-1) lost to
Providence 5-3
No. 3 North Dakota (20-5-5) tied
Wisconsin 3-3, tied Wisconsin 4-4.
No. 4 Colorado College (20-6-) lost to
Denver 3-2.
No. 5 Mich gan (20.74) def. Northern
Michigan 3-, lost to Northern Michigan 2-0.
No. 6 Minnesota (20-7-2) def. MSUJ-
Mankato 4-1, def. MSU-Mankato 3-1.
No. 7 St. Cloud (20-7-1) def. Alaska-
Anchorage 2-0, def. Alaska-Anchorage
4-1.
No. 8 Providence (15-7-4) def. Boston
College 5-3, lost to New Hampshire 3-1.
No. 9 New Hampshire (164-6) def.
Northeastern 5-2, def. Providence 3-1.
No. 10 Cornell (1144) lost to Princeton
4-1, lost to Yale 1-0 (OT).
FRIDAY'S GAME
Michgm 3, Nrthem Mchk iam .

Powerplay to blame in four losses

By Ryan c. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
Excluding empty-net goals, in four of
six CCHA losses this season the
Wolverines have gone down to defeat
by a goal. In those games, one set of
numbers stands out - 1-for-24.
No, that's not a Shaquille O'Neal free
throw stat.
It's the Wolverines' conversions ver-
sus attempts on
the power play in HOCKEY
those four con- Notebook
ference one-goal
losses.
One for 24.
"Certainly, our special teams have to
play better," coach Red Berenson said
after Northern Michigan (aided by an
empty-netter) beat Michigan 2-0
Saturday night.
Had the Wolverines converted on two
or even one of the 23 failed power-play
attempts, they would likely find them-
selves only three or four points back of
the Michigan State.
Now five points back of the CCHA-
leading Spartans, the thought dogging
the Michigan hockey team revolves
around not what could be, but what
might have been.
Explanations for a poor performance
by the Wolverines against a lesser team
are seldom easy, but this latest loss

serves further indication that the power-
play inconsistency is one explanation.
Michigan went 1-for-12 on the power
play for the weekend, including 0-for-5
in Saturday's shutout.
With five games remaining, includ-
ing two head-to-head matches with
Michigan State, Michigan wouldn't
have fumbled away its destiny with
Saturday's loss if its power play had
played up to its potential in those four
close conference losses.
The Wildcats, seventh in penalty
killing in the CCHA, have played well
in recent weeks according to coach
Rick Comley - but against Michigan,
the penalty killing unit looked like
something out of a SWAT team instruc-
tional video.
Northern pressured the puck and
challenged Michigan to take the shot.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines looked as if
they were puckhandling on cobblestone
- before they could get control of a
rather lively puck, the Wildcats would
fire it back down the ice.
"They didn't get a whole lot of scor-
ing chances," Comley said. "They like
to move it and thread it backdoor (to the
side of the net). "We kind of took those
lanes away from them and they didn't
want to shoot it too much."
Michigan leads the CCHA in the
power play with a 21.3 percent clip and
the team still scores two-thirds of its

goals in even-strength situations.
But the numbers also tell a different
tale.
When the Wolverines win, they con-
vert their extra-man opportunities one
out of every four times. In defeat,
Michigan averages a goal in one of ten
power-play opportunities.
"There's no reason to worry," center
Mike Cammalleri said. "The coaching
staff will put something together that
will work for the future, and I know
we'll be working on it for next week."
KoSICK PASSES BERENSON: Senior
center Mark Kosick passed a hockey
legend on Michigan's all-time scoring
list Friday night - his coach.
Kosick notched his 138th point with
a goal, surpassing Berenson who played
three seasons for Michigan (1960-62).
Kosick has 55 goals to go with 83
assists - good for 40th on the
Michigan all-time scoring list.
ORTMEYER SURGERY: Speculation
on whether Jed Ortmeyer will undergo
season-ending surgery ended Friday
night when the team announced that the
sophomore forward will go under the
knife Thursday to repair the torn anteri-
or cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Ortmeyer suffered the injury 2 1/2
weeks ago against Notre Dame.
Ortmeyer weighed the effects of
playing on the injured knee before the
decision to end his season was made.

f

16

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
Andy Hilbert and the Michigan powerplay could only tally one goal in 14 attempts.

Michigan haunted by
Saturday night blues

0

Northern Mich. 1 0 0
Miehigpm 2 10

1
3

Fist pedod- 1. UM, Mink 8 (Shouneyia, Lanfed), 5:01;
2. NMU, Theuer 7 (Cockbwn Mattersdorfer); 7:03; 3. UM,
Hilbert 21 (Camaeri), 15A1
Peumlies -NMU, carrigan (checking from behind), 8:56;
NMU, Hunter (obstnio ohirg),19:32
Secwd peod -4. UM, Kosick 11(ShounMy%, Mink), 7:36
(p)
┬░Pesmb- NMU, Jackson(crosschecko, 7:20; UM,
Cammallei (interference), 10:15; UM, Roemensky (hol
ig,13:11
11*dtlpeiod - No swng
Penuiles- NMU, bench minor (too many men on ice),
3'04; NMU, connolly (crosscheckirg), 4:W2; UM, Langfeld
(holdirg), 5:18; NMU, Theuer(triping),12:05; NMU, Owens
(obtrtntrq*%), 12:41; UM, Muray(holdg), 1530
Shoes on goal-UM 137.11.31;NMU 87".12-27.
Pwer Plays - UM 1of 7; NMU 0 of 4
Penalies: UM, 4/8; NMU, 7/14.
Sam - UM, Backbun 27 shots-26 saves; NMU,
Rgusett 31 ss- 28 saes
Rteee - Mak Wilirmns
Umesn-Brent Gawik, Kevin Langseth
At Yost ice Arena. Attenne:6,361.
SATURDAY'S GAME
NortheM Mchgan 2, NrChIgan 0

ou could see it in his eyes. A
defeated Josh Langfeld walked
into the press conference after
Michigan's disappointing 2-0 loss to
Northern Michigan. Once again the
Wolverines couldn't match the intensity
of a lesser opponent - even when the
game meant so much.
The somber
right winger -
who has played
his heart out the
past few weeksV
- put his head x
down and ran
his hands>
through his hair f
and then softly
spoke. JOE
"We can't be SMITH
doing this any- The one
more," he said, and only
"because it's
going to haunt
us.
It already has.
For the fourth time this season,
Michigan won on Friday night against an
inferior conference opponent only to fall
short with either a loss or tie on
Saturday. The Wolverines coast into the
arena that second night and just expect
things to go their way - and they hardly
ever do.
Now, the combination of Michigan's
loss to Northern and a Michigan State
sweep over Alaska-Fairbanks has pushed
the Wolverines five points behind the
league-leading Spartans with five games
to play.
To paraphrase coach Red Berenson,
the Wolverines have "shot themselves in
the foot" as far as winning the CCHA
title is concerned. Here's the situation.
The Spartans have only lost three
times in 31 games this year.
For Michigan to win the CCHA title,
Michigan State has to lose three of its
last five.
This includes Michigan beating the

Spartans in their two remaining head-
to-head matchups - with one being
the season finale at Munn Ice Arena
- while hoping that Michigan State
slips up in another game the rest of the
way.
Oh yeah, Michigan can't lose another
game the rest of the way, either.
But the Wolverines have no one to
blame but themselves for the predica-
ment they're in.
"We still get two chances with 0
Michigan State, assistant captain Dave
Huntzicker said. "We'll hope for the
best, and if we don't get it - oh well-
we're going to the playoffs with a second
seed, or whatever. And we'll do our very
best to finish as high as we can in our
league"
Lowering expectations? This isn't too
common for a Michigan captain.
Considering how late it is in the sea
son, with every game holding so much
importance, other teams outplaying the
Wolverines in their own building should
be unacceptable. Senior Mark Kosick
said words that shouldn't be necessary:
"We just didn't show up."
"It takes 20 guys," Langfeld said.
"Some guys aren't doing what's neces-
sary to come to the rink and play with an
edge.
"You got to look yourself in the mirror
and say 'Hey, what am I doing wrong?"
This team may be the most talented
team this year's seniors have been a part
of at Michigan, including the 1998
national title team.
But when guys "aren't on the same
page" - to use Langfeld's words - and
aren't coming together this late in the
year, what can be done?
It's the same old story for the
Wolverines, and this reccurring theme
has to change quickly.
Or being 'haunted' will be the least of
their worries.
Joe Smith can be reached at
josephms@umich.edu

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
Michigan's Mike Roemensky holds a board meeting with Northern Michigan's Ambrose Tappe on Saturday night. Roemensky
and the defense played well on Saturday, but to no avail in the 2-0 loss.
Another must-wi game, another loss

Northem Mich. 1 0 1
Michigan 0 0 0

2
0

Rest pedod- 1. NMU, cockbrn18(Theuer,
Mattersdorfer), 7:51
Penaldes-UM, Roemensky(ra ghing),11:19; NMU,
Saru k (charging), 15:10; NMU,Yong (rughing),15:10;
NMU, Yoang (roghin), 15:10; UM, JilAwn (crosscheck-~
1*~, 15:10; UM, Jilson (crossdheckirg), 15:10 UM,
Swistak (rorghirig),15:10; UM, Swstak (roughing),1510.
Second peiod-NoSoorg
Penlies- NMU, Comoly (crosscheckirg), 211; UM,
Komisrek (roughed~, 4:47; NMU, Conally (rogJ*g),
4:47; NMU, Rip(roghing),9:34; NMU, Rip(roughing),
9:34; UM, Souneyia (crosschecking),9:34; NMU,
lackson (kneeg), 12:42; NMU, saru (triir , 15:17;
UM, angfeld (chagn),19:17.
7" dpedod-3. NMU,Mattersdorfer 7 (Theuer,Cooly),
19:59.
Paulies- NMU, Micheit~t (obstructienfiokkrO, 2:38;
UM, Kosick (obstructioNhookirg), 4:11.
Shosongoal-UM,5-11-9-25; NMU 74$19.
PowerPlays -UM 0 of5; NMU 0 of4 -
Penies UM, 9/18; NMU, 10/20.
Saves - UM, Blackbun 19 &17 saves; NMU,
Kowalski 25 shots-25 saes
Reb ee- Mark Wikins
U"e"nen - Brent Gawlik, Kevin tangseth
At Yost ice Arena Attendmce:6,378
PAIRWISE RANKINGS

WILDCATS
Continued from Page 1B
win Friday night's contest 3-1, the
Wolverines were generally outplayed
in both games by Northern Michigan
(9-9-6, 13-10-7), which was without
injured leading scorer we played bet-
ter than last night, but last night we
did not have a good game," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said followine
Saturday's defeat. "Last night we won
the game because we were at home
and we got the goals we needed to
get, but we did not deserve to win the
game."
As has been the case on numerous
occasions this year, Michigan got off
to a relatively slow start on Saturday
night, and Northern Michigan quickly
capitalized.
Midway through the first period,
with the puck deep in his own zone,
Kowalski sent a clearing pass high off
the boards and down the ice. The puck
took a funny bounce and went straight
to Northern Michigan center Chad
Theuer, who was standing alone at the
Michigan blue line.
Theuer quickly settled the puck and
skated in on a 2-on-1 with linemate
Bryce Cockburn, who was streaking
down the right wing. Theuer fired the
puck - underneath a sliding Andy
Burnes, who was the lone Michigan
defender back on the play - across to

Cockburn, who redirected the puck
past Michigan goaltender Josh
Blackburn to give the Wildcats a 1-0
lead at 7:51 of the first.
Getting the first goal "is always
big," Northern Michigan coach Rick
Comley said. "Our team struggles to
score, so it relaxed everybody a little
bit. They were playing catch-up, and
they were pressing."
That one Qoal oroved to be all the
Wildcats needed as their defense, led
by Kowalski, completely shut the
door on Michigan. The Wolverines
were unable to establish any offensive
rhythm at even strength, but what was
most impressive was Northern
Michigan's penalty-killing.
Not only did Michigan's vaunted
powerplay go 0-for-5, but on most of
those man advantages, the Wolverines
had difficulty even setting up in the
offensive zone. Michigan's powerplay
was often left watching helplessly as
the Wildcats' penalty-killers effort-
lessly cleared the puck.
"It was embarrassing out there on
the powerplay,"' Michigan forward
Mark Kosick said. "We couldn't get
anything going tonight, couldn't even
get it set up, and when we did we
couldn't get any shots. It was terri-
ble."
Perhaps the most disappointing
aspect of this loss for Michigan is the
impact it has on the CCHA race.

Despite their inconsistency, the
Wolverines had clawed to within three
points of league-leading Michigan
State. But this defeat, coupled with
Michigan State's sweep of Alaska-
Fairbanks, dealt the Wolverines' title
hopes a serious blow.
"First place is a longshot now,"
Berenson said. "Unless somebody
stumbles, we've shot ourselves in the
foot in that race."
Friday night's game went consider-
ably better for Michigan. The
Wolverines managed to avoid - at
least for one night - their trend of
slow starts and took an early 1-0 lead
when Mark Mink beat Northern
Michigan goalie Dan Ragusett with a
bad-angle shot at 5:01 of the first
period.
The Wildcats answered just over
two minutes later with a goal from
Theuer to tie the game at one. But,
Michigan took the lead for good at
15:41 of the first - off of a faceoff,
Hilbert gained control of the puck and
rifled a one-timer past a startled
Ragusett to give Michigan a 2-1 lead
en route to a 3-1 win.
Despite the victory, the Wolverines
couldn't be satisfied with the overall
results.
Another weekend, another ugly
chapter in a season full of them.
"We just didn't show up," Kosick
said. "It's pretty disappointing."

Feb. 12 standings
from www.uscho.com
Team RPI
1. Michigan State 0.6245
2. Boston College 0.6148

PWR
31
30
nn~f

BRENDAN O'DONNELL/Daily
Mtlo1.tnl a rk liUn.IUinl, et u #%Inaa d n .,nu na.ith.d P.n id nwualel nn Crie.,t, ,iflh*_

I

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