Excited for the hockey team's trip to the Frozen Four?
ched for the start of baseball season?
Wappointed with your favorite team's coveragce
Stop yelling from the sidelines. Speak your mind at
michigandawy.com/forum. We'll see you there.
MARCH 27, 2001 11
yan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
As the Michigan hockey team
stumbled to the finish line in the last
month of the regular season, the extra
fat of a meaty theory was sliced away
with every marginal performance -
when the Wolverines turn it on, they
c beat anybody.
nd when they fail to flip the
switch, anybody can beat them.
The question in Grand Rapids was
simple: Will Michigan decide to con-
duct the electrical current of emotion
that's necessary to win back-to-back
games against top competition?
With nothing less than redemption
for a second half of struggles on the
line, the Wolverines said "yes."
Michigan did the dirty work, the
1 de things. the work in the trenches.
\ atever you want to call it, the
Wolverines' commitment tb emotion's
intangibles have brought them to the
doorstep of college hockey's grandest
estate - the Frozen Four.
Michigan attacked St. Cloud on the
boards, on both sides of the puck,
with a fervor unmatched in any other
game this season. The departure from
its customary wide-open approach
v*brought about partly by necessity,
and partly by a responsibility to
"The ice was very bad in this game
and I don't know if it was because of
the previous game, but we had to use
the boards a lot more than we normal-
ly do," coach Red Berenson said. "We
had to throw the puck around the
boards, whereas on better ice we
an Andel stfted by
'Big Brother' NC
Josh Langfeid and his teammates weren't afraid to mix it up down low in te West Regebal this past weekeid.
star, 3ought into tho board work.
While nary a St. Cloud player ven-
tured into Michigan's corners without
absorbing pun ishment, the
Wolverines' thbird goal came as a
result of taking the abuse.
Andy Hilbert and Geoff Koch dug
the puck along the boards, while tak-
ing hits and pins by St. Cloud's
defense, before Koch ,_d it in front
for Mike Cammalle i' top-shelf drive
and a two-goal lead.
"They were supposed to be the
physical team and we came in to out-
man them nd win al1 the little bat-
tles," Joe Kautz said. "When it comes
down to this, all the lite things count
because these teams are so good.
"Every little thing you can do, even
And that ties in wilth the
Wolverines' defensiye c mnitment.
Michigan's defensive zone on the
penalty kill looked like backyard slip-
and-slide, as just about every St.
Cloud point shot was met instantly
with a shot-blocking refute from
Hilbert, Mike Roemensky, Mike
Kornisarek and the rcs of ile
Wolverines' penalty kill unit,
"Our team played d sperate
defense and that's what you need in
these games," BEcrenson said. We
realized 'Hey, this is the last game of
the year unless we all play our best
defensive game,' and that's how we
"They prepared that way and they
put it on the ice. Evcrybody was on
Michigan past St. Cloud, but ironicl-
h', it was the heroic, tumn-the-amp-to-
1 save Josh Blackburn made in tie
early-going of the second period tl*t
saved the day.
Blackburn slid across the crease en
pis stickside to thwart a 2-on,-1
chance with his pads. The salve
evoked memories of Marty Turco's
acrobatics against North Dakota in
Michigan's 1998 regional final win.
Blackburn, like his team, was jut a
little bit better than usual when the
needed to be.
The Wolverines are a good teagn,
and would be remembered as such no
matter what the outcome on Sunday
A berth in the Frozen Four, howev-
er, proves what was in qestion for so
With a seating capacity of
just under 11,000, Grand
Rapids' Van Andel Arena
knows its place in the feeding line
of athletics facilities.
Van Andel could never host an
event the magnitude of the men's
basketball Big Ten Tournament or a
men's basketball NCAA
Tournament regional: So it acutely
targets the opportunities that fit its
limited scale, and then pursues them
in admirably determined fashion.
Van Andel served as home for the
women's basketball Big Ten
Tournament this past March, and
this past weekend was the site of
hockey's NCAA West
Hosting an NCAA
hockey regional isI
about the best Van #'
Andel can do for itself, the N
and that pride showed unable
this past Saturday and Ire Wh
Sunday. Unlike other takinj
collegiate hockey too se
venues where the tour-
nament is another run-
of-the-mill event - such as the
Centrum Centre in Worcester,.
Mass., which two years ago hosted a
flower show on the same weekend
as the East Regional - it was evi-
dent through the enthusiasm of the
staff that running an NCAA region-
al was something Van Andel had
been looking forward to.
It was unfortunate that the
NCAA's strict control over all
aspects of its tournaments kept Van
Andel from providing its usual qual-
ity of hospitality.
Long known as a control-freak
organization, the NCAA is unable to
realize when it is taking itself too
Adjustments are made at every
tournament site to ensure compli-
ance with the Bible of guidelines
laid out by the Narcissistic
Committee with All-Knowing
As an example, for this past
weekend's regional, Van Andel staff
was required to cover up beer adver-
tisements around the arena (legiti-
mate), suspend all concession sales
of alcohol (also legitimate, much to
the dismay of Wisconsin fans who
thought they were at Camp Randall
Stadium), and remove all advertise-
meras from the side and end boards
of the rink itself (understandable).
Every other part of the tourna-
ment was overlegislated. The
Zamboni machine had a blue-circle
NCAA logo sticker on the side, no
doubt an involuntary measure.
Piped-in music was only heard
once, probably because arena offi-
cials came racing over to yank the
cord on the sound guy, who must
have thought this was another Grand
Rapids Griffins game.
Most importantly to the 9,000 or
so in attendance on Sunday,. conces-
sion-area televisions were prohibit-
ed from showing the
Temple-Michigan State basketball
Originally, the game was being
shown on the medium-sized televi-
sions. But, arena officials were
alerted by the 100--
strong crowd that had
f~~k gathered around each
, A crowd manager
ZAA IS quickly stepped in to
to real- turn the television back
®n It i to the house channel,
r ItSelf which consisted of the
y" blue-circle logo on a
the game was at inter-
Big Brother was again watching
us. And we had no choice but to
I asked the man why Van Andel
couldn't leave the game on. "Sorry,"
he said. "Contractual obligation. All
TVs must be on the house channel."
"Basically what this means is that
if you left the basketball game on,
you'd never get to host another
regional, right?" I said.
"Pretty much," he responded.
When the NCAA won't let fans
watch another game that the NCAA
itself is sanctioning, then it has
reached the peak of its anality.
Needing to calm the crowd, Van
Andel staff compromised and
showed the Michigan State game on
the arena JumboTron between peri-
ods. In that moment of self-right-
eousness, Van Andel likely kissed
away any chance of hosting this
Years of watching this organiza-
tion bumble its way through daily
life have yielded me one conclu-
sion: The NCAA is so accustomed
to operating with its head between
its legs that it begins to enjoy the
view. But it knows it has the fats -
and the potential hosts - captive,
so it continues to wield the power to
control every facet of every game.
Chris Duprey can be reached at
would be passing the puck more." chipp irng the puck Doittof thy: zone is the sak m pag iing -- Michigan can bring the ex11rl
' ut everybody, from role player to huge." The team theme help xd carry "umph" to win the big ones..
Midwest baseb I feels wrath ofWter Snow
By Benjamin Singer
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan baseball team final-
,l ot a little taste of conference
' . But just a little.
A four-game series with Iowa was
shortened to a one-game showdown
due to cold weather. It wasn't even
on a Big Ten field, since the games
were moved to DeKalb, Illinois
(home of Northern Illinois of the
Mid-American Conference) to avoid
the snow of Iowa
So the transition
back to Ann Arbor to host a doubl,-
header agains l
0 a k I a n L
NG GREEN the M Iid
Vs. Bowing Green(11-4) C o n t i n e n t
into its n
gan back j
onconfer- Who: Michigan (8-8)V
schedmule When:3 p.m.
should be smooth -I
the Wolverines have
another one-game stint at a MAC
field as they take on Bowling Green
today. Michigan will then hurry
Midwestern teams can't be as lucJ:y
with Mother Nature as MiIg*n7
was in its horne- opener agaiast St.
Joseph's last Wednesday. G ino
Lollio enjoyed he surprisingly race
homecoming Michigan had tiis
"We've been playing everyw'ere
in the country, it feels like," he Laid
after the win over the P"traas.
"Everyone wanted to get back. We
were wishing for some nice wadier.
It's beautiful today."
Those aren't words Lolio culd
repeat recently. Now that the !lse
sense of security of warm weatr is
gone, the Wolverines mnight be uetter
off back in Florida if they warit to
continue their schedule.
Escaping the reign of terror that is
winter can be tough for teams i this
part of the country. Between
Michigan and its two upcomiing
opponents, a total of nine games
have been cancelled.
The Falcons finished up an 11-9
win over Eastern Michigan on
Sunday which was resimed froi a
game suspended due to darkness on
But then Bowling Green had to
give up on the scheduled game. for
Sunday as well as the fourth and
final game of the series becaus of
The Golden Grizzlies had doable-
headers with Detroit postponed on
back-to-back days because of the
sair e inclement winter.
Assuming Michigan does gt to
play its games, its concern Ies in
hitting. Although the Wlverines are
capable of offensive outbursts -
they already have wins of 10-4 and
11-1 this year - Michigan is Bitting
just .264 while Bowlijg Graen is
Against Oakland, Micligan
should not worry as much. The
Go den Grizzlies are battirt just
.213. They do not have the ptching
staff to help themselves either, with
a team ERA of 13.01.
Read Daily Sports.
You'll be glad you did.
Roger Ct.Lynd C ollegi e
Profess r of M t nmaticpand
Profess r of M hen tic sEducation
iigan is playing non-conference teams again, as the Woerines travel to pay
Bowling Green today.
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