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April 04, 2001 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-04-04

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Daily forum
Is something about Michigan's hockey team bothering you?
,,ie you disappointed by your favorite team's coverage
t plain bored?
Stop yelling from the sidelines. Speak your mind at
michigandaily.com/forum. We'll see you there.
michigandaily.com/sports

P0i

WEDNESDAY
APRIL 4, 2001

9

Aolong way
Recreate '98: Seniors
leave Yost on a mission

to

the

top

Season'

s adversity

overcome by Sioux

Ryan C. Moloney'
Daily Sports Writer
They stepped off the ice, one by one,
each at his own pace.
Bill Trainor opened the door and
walked briskly through it, down the tun-
nel with nary a look back.
L.J. Scarpace walked away with a
*n. Josh Langfeld wore a pained
expression, having left it all on the Yost
ice after one last post-practice drill.
And then there were two. Dave
Huntzicker leaned on the bench boards
like a sheriff- occasionally glancing at
fellow senior defenseman Bob Gassoff,
who was strolling around the ice, every
so often throwing a look upwards at the
maize and blue bannered-heavens.
A few minutes later, with the zamboni
eeping turtle-like along the south-end
and Gassoff the lone skater on the
carved-up frozen pond, the spirited
defenseman decided it was time.
The senior tapped the ice off his stick,
lifted his head, closed the door and on
behalf of the Michigan hockey team's
senior class called it a legacy.
"I can't imagine it means as much to
me as anybody else," Gassoff said. "I'm
ry appreciative, very fortunate to have
,en a part of this university and this
program. This has been some of the
greatest four years of my life and it's sad
to know that this is the last practice."
As Gassoff pointed out, "it's been a
season of lasts" for the seniors. The last
game at Yost Arena, the last CCHA
Championship game, the last practice at
Yost it's a dramatic time for every
senior class.
But with this year's unlikely Frozen
Our berth, there's a sense of destiny

shrouding this team. Can the seniors ful-
fill the enormous promise of their
unlikely freshman title run? Could it be
the magic of '98 all over again?
"There are a lot of similarities," cap-
tain Geoff Koch said. At the same time,
"chemistry-wise, this is a closer group of
guys than in '98 - this team is more
universal. It's just one big class, one big
team that stands out."
Like the '98 Wolverines, this year's
team did not take the high road to col-
lege hockey's most hallowed weekend.
The team struggled all season - losses
against league featherweights, Alaska-
Fairbanks, Ferris State and Lake
Superior, compounded Michigan's
problems against Michigan State. The
Spartans put the Wolverines in a sleeper-
hold in four out of their five meetings
this season.
If you panicked at Michigan's show-
ings, you were not alone. But consider
this: In going 0-for-4 against Michigan
State in '98, the Wolverines were
outscored 18-7. Much like this year's
33-4-4 Spartans, the '98 Michigan State
team sashayed into the NCAA
Tournament having lost just six games
all season.
Add to that a loss and tie against Ferris
State and a loss to Ohio State in the
CCHA Tournament and the song sounds
familiar.
"This team is probably not as herald-
ed as the '98 team because of the losses,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
"But the '98 team wasn't as highly her-
alded as the (Frozen Four semifinalist)
'97 team. We lost three good players
from the '97 team and who gave '98 a
chance?
"When Mike Comrie left (this year), a

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor
In August, North Dakota coach Dean
Blais said that this season would be a
"rebuilding year."
The Fighting Sioux are the defending
national champions, but after losing
three key forwards along with their top
defenseman to the professional ranks,
Blais questioned the amount of firepow-
er he had left in his arsenal.
Little did he know that his team would
win its fourth WCHA title in five sea-
sons and would have the chance to be
college hockey's, first repeat national
champions since 1972.
Nor could he fathom what kind of
adversity both he and his team would
encounter along the way.
Perhaps a product of the preseason
hype, North Dakota won two of its first
seven games. Losses to lowly Michigan
Tech and MSU-Mankato resulted.
"We gave up a couple easy losses, and
it almost came down to that," North
Dakota senior defenseman Trevor
Hammer said. "We knew we had to
change things around."
And The Fighting Sioux did turn it
around, winning 10 of their next 12
games going into Christmas.
Hobey Baker Award finalist Jeff
Panzer took the team.on his shoulders
and the potent first line single-handidly
made the difference in many games.
The 5-foot-10 Panzer has accounted
for over 45 percent of the Fighting

Sioux's offense, largely because of his
right hand men - Bryan Lundbohm and
Ryan Bayda.
Lundbohm acts as a sniper on the line
with Panzer and Bayda. Many of his 58
points have come as a result of his gritty
boardwork.
Just when North Dakota was finally
coming together at mid-season, another
tragedy tested the mettle of the Fighting
Sioux.
Blais' daughter was diagnosed with
leukemia in December, which forced
North Dakota's fearless leader to spend
the rest of the season traveling the 1300-
mile trek from Grand Forks, ND to his
home in Rochester, NY and back to
spend time with his daughter. While he
never missed a game, Blais was in-and-
out of practices sporadically.
The Fighting Sioux was no longer just
a nickname. It became a mentality.
"This year we've had to deal with a lot
of what coach Blais goes through with
his daughter," Hammer said. "I think
that made us stronger as a team to know
what we had to fight through."
Another grave battle lies ahead for
North Dakota. Its title hopes run through
Michigan State - who has held the No
1 ranking for the past 19 weeks dating
back to November.
The game may come down to the play
of Michigan State's Hobey Bakeir
Award finalist, sophomore goalteider
Ryan Miller, who broke a 70-year-old
record for shutouts in just one-and-a-half
seasons with the Spartans.

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
Michigan's senior captain Geoff Koch is angling for another NCAA title on a team
he calls similar to the championship team of '98.

lot of people thought we couldn't win.
Nobody knew Andy Hilbert was going
to be the player he was or that Mike
Cammalleri would jump up and score 28
goals."
Much like '98, the Wolverines nose-
dived into this year's tournament. In '98,
Michigan lost five of its last nine games

Pitchers treat-Hutchins to 700th

By David Roth
Daily Sports Writer

One way Michigan softb
* rol Hutchins could have
ed her 700th career winy
was to buy her team cigars.
Though the coach didn'
for Cubans, that didn'ts
pitchers from smoking
mound.
Against Oakland, Marie B
together a complete-game
for a 7-0 win in the first ga
Marissa Young gave up jus
the second slate for a 2-
complete the sweep.
But stats weren't on H
mind in the tight second ma
"In a 2-1 ballgame you j
to win it, you don't care w
ber it is," Hutchins said.
But the coach did take
reflect on her career at Mic
in six words or fewer.
*"It feels like a long
Hutchins said.
It also felt like a longt
Oakland to find an offense,
Falcons
By David Horn
Daily Sports Writer

Grizzlies can thank Barda for that.
Giving up just four hits, Barda (7-4)
could exhale after her team scored
all coach four runs in the second inning.
celebrat- "I felt really comfortable out
yesterday there," Barda said.
Barda's complete-game shutout
t splurge was her third in a row. But consis-
stop her tently solid pitching also means
on the there's a lot of support in the field.
"The defense is the biggest help to
Barda put me," Barda said. "But I'm getting
shutout better as I go along."
ame, and Although Michigan dominated the
t one hit first game, it also had an advantage
1 victory before even starting the second.
Whereas most teams use their ace in
4utchins' the first game of a twin bill, the
tch. Wolverines pitching staff is stacked.
ust want "Often teams have one strong
hat num- pitcher and in the second game of a
doubleheader it's up for grabs,"
time to Hutchins said. "Whether we start
higan - Marissa or Barda, we come back
with somebody really tough. We
time," have two No. i pitchers."
But, in the second game,
time for Michigan's offense came out as fast
and the as a turtle wearing ankle weights.
bowled over b

"Somehow the second game of a
doubleheader always seems a little
tougher," Young said. "We came out
a little slower than the first game so
we knew it was going to be tough."
Young gave up a run in the first
inning, and for the first time the
Grizzlies looked like they were putting
something together. But the run didn't
fluster Hutchins or her team.
"You've got to score a run to win
anyway, so in that respect it was
good" for us, Hutchins said.
Michigan rediscovered its offense
in the third inning when Melissa
Taylor reached base on a fielding
error by Oakland second baseman
Nicole Schulte. Taylor stole second,
advanced to third on a fielder's
choice, then scored on a Monica
Shock sacrifice fly to center.
In the fifth inning, Oakland hurler
Tiffany Evans had a Kelsey Kollen
walk hurt her as Melinda Moulden's
single to right let Kollen score the
winning run.
Moulden "had some great at-bats
today and got us some RBIs,"
Hutchins said.
y baseball
success.
"We have the talent that if we just
enjoyed ourselves and have fun, the
talent is going to take care of the rest,"
Fox said. "But if we go out there like
last weekend and start pressing and
start trying to make things happen and
try to force things, it's just not going
to happen."
Michigan plays again today at 3
p.m. in Ypsilanti against Eastern
Michigan.
Michigan 16, Bowling Green 4
IBowling green Michigan

before the NCAA Tournament. This
year, the Wolverines improved slightly,
winning five out of their final ten games.
"It's how your team comes together in
the stretch run," Berenson said.
And for a senior class that's not yet
ready to pack it up, that's a lesson
they've learned before.
JOBS!!!
Summer Term
Apply now
at the Law Library-
* non-Law Students
" Law Students
* S.I. Students
Minimum pay is
$8.00 per hour!
Apply outside room S-180
in the Law Library's
underground addition.
A/EOE

Last weekend, Michigan managed
t five runs against Penn State in a
three-game home series. Yesterday at
Ray L. Fisher Stadium, the
Wolverines (1-3 Big Ten,l 1-12 over-
all) scored five runs before the first
out of the first inning against Bowling
Green. The home team went on to win
16-4.
Falcons starter Brett Baumgartner
rrendered those first five runs, all
ed. Bowling Green coach Danny
Schmitz pulled Baumgartner before
he could get one Wolverine out. The
inning was highlighted by a Mike
Sokol triple that ended with him
crossing the plate after a throwing
error at third. Michigan ended the

sacrificed in on a fielder's choice by
Neil Schmitz.
In the second, Bowling Green
notched two more runs - both
unearned.
Leveque's streak would end at 20.1
innings. Bowling Green catcher Tim
Newell sent his offering from Leveque
to deep right, and chalked up his third
homerun of the year. Leveque was
pulled after four innings of work. His
ERA is now a team-best 0.42.
"It's typical Tim," Zahn said "We
got him in trouble, but he moved the
ball around and changed speeds -- he
had a pretty good day."
Bowling Green used five pitchers,
each of whom allowed Michigan runs.
First baseman Nate Wright led the
best offensive game of the season for
the Wolverines, going 4-for-5 with

Player AB R H BI
Christman cf 5 1 0 0
Schmitz If 3 0 0 1
Eliasrf 2 000
Morrison rf 3 0 0 0
Loomis ss 1 0 0 0
Elrod ss 2 11 0
Hudak If 1 010
0u$kate 3b 3 1 1 0
Heschen ph 1 0 0 0
Cilislb 3 00 0

Player AB R H 81
Tousa 2b 1 40 0
Caita esIf4 1 1 0
Koman3b 3 3 2 3
Wrighti1b 5 4 4 5
Sokol dh 3 22 2
Esperph 1 1 1 3
Fo uerfelc 1000
Ghannam cf 4 0 2 1
Rutkwkip 1 0 1 0
Rcbertsrf 1 00 0

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