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September 12, 2001 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 12, 2001- 15


Young icers face
tough early schedule

NCAA games in doubt
for this weekend

By Naweed Sikora
Daily Sports Writer
If the Michigan hockey team
wants to return to the Frozen Four
this season, it will have to travel a
long and difficult road.
After the 2000-2001 campaign,
Michigan was forced to say good-
bye to 11 players. Junior Hobey
Baker Award finalist Andy Hilbert
and senior Jeff Jillson opted to leave
school early for the chance to play
in the National Hockey League,
while the other nine graduated. This
season, 10 brand new faces will
attempt to fill the large void, But
these freshmen will not have time
on their side. I
The Wolverines are staring down
the barrel of one of the most unique
and demanding schedules in team
history. With the majority of their
early season games being played
away from Yost Arena, including
the "Cold War" game at Michigan
State, the Wolverines will be put to
the test right off the bat. If a return
trip to the NCAA Tournament is in
the cards, the Wolverines will need
to grow quickly.
Only one week into the season,
Michigan and Michigan State will
compete in the first outdoor college
hockey game in history. The game
is set to be played at Spartan Stadi-
um on Oct. 6. The event will draw
over 70,000 spectators, the largest
crowd to ever attend a hockey game.
Also, the game opens up league play
for the Wolverines against their
biggest rival, the Spartans. Michi-

gan coach Red Berenson is hoping
to keep his team focused on the
game so it won't be distracted by all
the background noise surrounding
the monumental affair.
"It's a novel game," Berenson
said. "There is going to be a lot of
talk about the game during the week.
I think its important that we go out
and practice the day before and
hopefully we can get all the wrinkles
and distractions out of the way so
that when we step on the ice the next
day, we'll be focused to play.
"There's no question that it's not
going to be your average game. But
it's a league game against Michigan
State, and we're going to be putting
a lot of importance on playing well."
Following this battle, the Wolver-
ines will play 10 out of their next 16
games away from home. Berenson
feels that having the majority of its
away games early in the season will
be difficult for his young squad. The
Wolverines will have to play four
games in Nebraska and one at West-
ern Michigan. Both schools have
very loud arena's, and inexperience
could be trouble for Michigan at
these locations.
But, Berenson also knows that in
order to remain at the top of the
CCHA, his team will have to per-
form well on the road.
"When you look at the schedule
and the team we have here, there's
no question that it is going to be a
huge challenge," Berenson said. "In
this league, playing well on the road
is very difficult. But if you don't
play well, you are really putting

NEW YORK (AP)-- Two of tomor-
row night's college football games were
postponed and suspension of this
week's entire schedule of Division I
games was being considered following
terrorist attacks in. New York and
The Atlantic Coast Conference
announced the postponement of all ath-
letic events through tomorrow, includ-
ing Penn State at Virginia and Ohio at
North Carolina State.
The Ohio-North Carolina State game
was rescheduled for Nov. 24; a new
date has yet to be set for Penn State-
Yesterday, the commissioners from
all the I-A conferences, including the
ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-
10 and Southeastern, discussed their

options for staging this weekend's
games in a conference call hours after
the attacks.
"We're going to monitor and careful-
ly evaluate everything, and definitely
make a decision (today) on our week-
end football games," Big East commis-
sioner Mike Tranghese said, speaking
only for his own league's games.
Ohio State, for example, plays at
home Saturday against San Diego State.
Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel is con-
cerned about having a football team
travel across the country for a game.
"We sit here thinking that it puts a lot
less importance on Saturday," he said.
"You say to yourself, 'Who's going to
be getting on airplanes to go play each
other righi now?' All of that races
through your mind."

Michigan assistant captain John Shouneyia will play a large role in making sure his
inexperienced teammates are focused and ready for each game this season.

Tragic blasts turn schedules upside down

yourself behind the eight-ball. It is
important that we play at least .500
hockey on the road."
Berenson also sees the first half
of the season as an excellent oppor-
tunity for the team to get to know
each other.
"Playing on the road really brings
the team together. It is good for
team building and chemistry, partic-
ularly with a young- team. I have
always enjoyed taking the team to
Alaska during the season."
If the Wolverines are able to play
well on the road, they will have a
chance to take full advantage of the
second half of their schedule in
which 11 out of the final 18 regular
season games will be played at Yost
Ice Arena. The stretch begins on
Dec. 15 when the Wolverines play
host to Harvard. This portion of the
schedule could prove to be very
beneficial for Michigan who is

always tough to beat at home. Last
season, only three of the team's 13
losses came at Yost.
The final highlight of the sched-
ule occurs in postseason play when
Michigan hosts the NCAA West
Regional Finals right here in Ann
Arbor for the first time since 1998.
The Wolverines went on to win the
national championship in that sea-
Although the schedule will put
pressure on the players to perform at
a high level early, Berenson said
that the team should be mentally
prepared and ready to play well in
each game.
"We know with a young team we
will have to be patient, but every
game is important throughout the
season," Berenson said."If you're
trying to make the (NCAA) tourna-
ment, the first game of the season is
just as important as the last game."

The World of Sports is in chaos as it frantically re-arranges schedules to mourn yester-
day's tragedy and ensure the safety of its athletes and fans. Here is the latest news on
upcoming events.
Major League Baseball:
The 15 games on schedule for yesterday were cancelled. No decision has been made for
tonight's games.
College Football:
Thursday's games - Penn State vs. Virginia, Ohio vs. North Carolina State and Texas
Tech vs. Texas El-Paso - have been postponed along with Saturday's contest between
Ohio State and San Diego State. This morning, each of the 10 Division I conference com-
missioners will meet with their respective athletic directors. At 1 p.m., these commis-
sioners will hold a teleconference to make a decision about this weekend's games.
National Football League:
No decision about Sunday's action is expected to be made until at least Thursday.
The American Express Championship in St. Louis has been condensed to three days.
Instead of playing the first round on Thursday, 36 Boles will be played on Friday.


Welcome freshmen
The Michigan hockey team welcomes 10 freshmen to the fold this season,
and with a tough, early road schedule awaiting, their development will be cru-
cial to the Wolverines' success.
THE "CoLD WAR" (OcT. 6): Michigan opens its season in East Lansing against
the Spartans and Hobey Baker Award winner their goalie, Ryan Miller.
NEBRASKA-OMAHA MAVERICK STAMPEDE (OcT. 12-13): After Michigan State, the
Wolverines travel across the country to meet Providence, an NCAA Tourna-
ment qualifier from last season.
NEBRASKA-OMAHA (Nov. 16-17): One month later, the team finds itself in Omaha
once again. Last season, Michigan split the series against the Mavericks.
This weekend will be vital to the Wolverines' early CCHA success.
MIAMI (CCHA) (DEC. 7-8): The RedHawks surprised everyone last season by
finishing second in the CCHA regular season standings, above Michigan.
GREAT LAKES INVITATIONAL (DEC. 28-29): Detroit's Joe Louis Arena welcomes
three of the four teams from the 2001 Frozen Four including Michigan State
and North Dakota. Last season, Michigan finished in last place for the first
time in over 15 years.
MICHIGAN STATE (FEB. 16): Michigan meets MSU for the last time this season.



1 1

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