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FEBRUARY 22, 2001
Eyes on the prize: Tankers want 32nd title
Daily Sports Writer
While herds of stressed-out under-
grads embark on spring-break trips,
Michigan men's swimming coach Jon
Urbanchek and his team will depart
fog the bitter-cold climate of
Minneapolis, site of this year's Big
;r the team's history, Michigan has
won the tournament 31 times, and this
weekend the Wolverines hope to add
one tothe total. Since taking the reins
in 1983, Urbanchek has accounted for
12 of those titles, including a streak of
10 consecutive from 1986-95.
Last year, with the championships
home-at Canham Natatorium, the
Wolverines captured first place with
81 more points than runner-up
Minnesota. Michigan dominated the
ishes by Tim
Siciliano and Jeff MINN
H opwood in the What: The Big Ten Oh
100-yard indi- When: All day today th
vidual medley Latest: Michigan is cool
and 100-yard pionship, its most recei
breaststroke. when the Wolverines ht
Olympic bronze-medalist Chris
Thompson set a pool record in the
1,650-yard freestyle as well as capture
a second victory in the 500-yard
freestyle. Thompson has won the two
events every time since his freshman
year and now looks to become the
fourth swimmer in Big Ten history
with four-straight titles in two individ-
ual events. Michigan has a history of
dominance in the championships,
owning records in 12 of the 18 swim-
ming events. But
as much as
-POus would like to
ionships bring another
ugh Saturday. Big Ten trophy
ng for its 32nd chain- home to Ann
coming last season Arbor, he admits
ted the event. that not all of
focus will be on the competition.
In order to receive a bid to the
NCAA Tournament at the end of the
year, collegiate swimmers must meet a
certain qualifying standard for each
event. Since Sep. 1 marks the first date
first date swimmers can obtain these
times in competition, Thompson's
1,500-meter freestyle performance in
the Sydney Olympics was good
enough to guarantee him a spot in the
postseason. For all other Michigan
swimmers, this weekend's competition
is when they hope to make the cut.
What makes this week so special is
that this is the only time during the
season the Wolverines will shave-
down and taper in preparation for
making these qualifying times.
Consequently, the swimmers know the
times they obtain at this tournament
will be the ones deciding whether or
not they attend the NCAA
"We only shave and taper for one
meet and that will be the conference
championships," said Urbanchek. "It's
a Michigan tradition."
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Michigan is looking to add another Big Ten Championship trophy to its case this weekehd;
Desperate Lakers could trouble 'M'
(911 f. Univ. next to Hill Aud.)
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By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
In hockey, it's been said that numbers
don't always tell the story.
Then there's Lake Superior.
The Lakers (7-17-0 CCHA, 12-20-0)
are as logical as a mathematical equa-
tion. At 10.9 percent, they are the
CCHA's worst on the pow-
erplay. At 77.6 percent, they
are second to the league cel-
lar on the penalty kill. They
average a lick under two
goals a game, the only team
in the league underneath a
Put it all together, and the
equation gives away the
answer - the Lakers bring
up the rear of the CCHA.
Not surprisingly, Lake
Superior leads the league in;
that plagues all struggling
When: 7:05 p.r
the Lakers, but
the Upper Peni
be dangerous f
a net of self-destruction.
"Whenever you play at home you
have to be physical - with Michigan it's
a double-edged sword," Lake Superior
coach Scott Borek said. "You aren't
going to handle a Mike Komisarek. We
need to work on possessing the puck, we
don't want to give them the powerplay."
Besieged by injuries this season, the
Lakers find themselves in a
fix no one could have pre-
BEL ARENA dicted at the start of the sea-
son - instead of challeng-
oveall v. ing for the CCHA crown,
7-17 12- they are fighting for the last
CCHA playoff spot, a point
M. back of Bowling Green and
have hurt Notre Dame with four
t the game in games left.
nsula could "We still have time left,"
for Michigan. senior defenseman Ryan
Knox said. "We have an
attitude that if we get to the playoffs, it's
a whole new season - this season is all
over in the playoffs."
Lake Superior has lost over 100 man-
games to injury this season and, at times,
had to resort to dressing players for prac-
tice and games who were not prepared to
return from injury.
The staggering casualty list has played
devastating havoc on the Lakers' offensive
potency. Not one player on the team ranks
among the top 30 in the league in scoring.
A scary stat for Michigan, a teamwi
a penchant for falling to lesser teams t
season. The Wolverines' notoriety :cer-
tainly doesn't stop coach Red Berenson
from throwing out the numbers when the
puck hits the ice.
"Those stats don't mean anything,' he
said. "It seems that every time we play a
team that is last place in something they
jump up and bite us. If they were 0-50 on
the powerplay right now I would feel go
about it, but they are not. They've pl
well on the powerplay in their last three
games - they are scoring again."
The Wolverines, still recovering from
a weekend in which they all but ceded
the CCHA regular-season title to
Michigan State, reflect Berenson's at#-
"They are?" defenseman Bob Gassoff
said when told of Lake Superior's dismhl
record. "Every team is a good team in
this league, look at some of the tea
we've lost to - Ferris State, Alas
Fairbanks. When we take a night off, we
are not a very successful team."
The Lakers will walk the tightrope in
their weekend series with Michigan (15-
7-3, 21-9-5). The challenge for Lake
Superior at home consists of playing
Michigan physically without falling into
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