The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 12, 2001 - 7B
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By Rohit Bhavet .
Daily Sports Writer
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MADISON - It was supposed to be a game that
ended in the soft light of the Wisconsin afternoon, with
the No.1 seed Indiana Hoosiers comfortably beating
the No. 5 seed Michigan. Yet as the skies turned dark
over McClimon Field Friday, and the floodlights took
hold in the third overtime, the heavily favored Hoosiers
began to wonder why they could not put away the
The underdog Wolverines were smelling an upset
and playing fearlessly, while the thick tension of the
scoreless tie was beginning to suffocate Indiana. Fear
of an upset seemed to paralyze Indiana, until Hermann
Award candidate Pat Noonan took advantage of a feed
from Vijay Dias and blasted the game-winning goal
from the right wing, finally ending the triple-overtime
In the two previous meetings against Indiana (7-0
Big Ten, 12-3-1 overall) , Michigan was blown out 6-0
and 3-0. Michigan (4-4, 9-7-1) had to face Indiana
playmakers like Pat Noonan (2.17 goals per game) and
goalkeeper Colin Rodgers (.40 goals allowed average).
Michigan's best playmaker, Knox Cameron, could only
play limited minutes Friday because of a hip injury.
While these factors pointed to a lopsided loss,
Michigan coach Steve Burns knew he had a speed
advantage at the forward position, aggressive man-
marking defenders, and a fearless goalkeeper in Joe
Zawacki. He also knew that as heavy favorites, Indiana
would tighten up if the game was not blown open early.
While Burns normally employs an aggressive three-
forward alignment, he decided to suffocate the
Hoosiers defensively and drop an extra man back. To
account for Noonan, Burns assigned relentless man-
marker James Baez-Silva.
"If we could take Indiana out of its rhythm and play
with our line of confrontation about the top of the cir-
cle that we were going to take away a lot of opportuni-
ties for the counter attack," Burns explained.
Early on, the Hoosiers were anxious to press for-
ward and jump on the Wolverines with a flurry of
goals. But excellent execution of the defensive game
plan kept the Hoosiers from scoring. Michigan's sound
positioning prevented Indiana's forwards from getting
clean looks on goal.
Finally, late in the second half, Burns decided to go
for the win, inserting Cameron into the game to engi-
neer some late-game scoring heroics. In the next 42
minutes, including three overtimes, Indiana and Michi-
gan went toe-to-tne with scoring chances.
With speedy forwards Robert and Mychal Turpin
threatening the Indiana defense, the Hoosiers
became wary of a dangerous breakaway. Michigan
nearly ended the game on Mychal Turpin's near-
miss of a half-volley over the crossbar. At this
point, a game-ending Michigan goal was a real pos-
Yet Indiana stayed patient and allowed its stars to
make adjustments. Noonan's game-winning strike
came as a result of an adjustment by the Indiana for-
wards to spread wider on attacks on goal, preventing
help from Michigan defenders on the flank. The
space Noonan created by widening on his last run
gave him all the time he needed to uncork the clinch-
passion for e
runs i the family
By Steve Jackson
Daily Sports Writer
Harvey Smyl knows that the Michigan hockey team found
something special when it recruited forward Jeff Tambellini
for next season.
"I think he's destined for the NHL," said Smyl, who coaches
Tambellini on the Chilliwack Chiefs of the British Columbian
Hockey League. "He could be a Hobey Baker-caliber player at
the next level."
Those are strong words about any 17-year-old.
But Smyl is no stranger to Division I or NHL talent. A for-
mer player at Michigan State, Smyl coached some of Canada's
best - including Jason Krog, who won the 1999 Hobey Baker
award at New Hampshire, and Shawn Horcoff, who is in his
second season with the Edmonton Oilers after a stellar career
at Michigan State.
This year's Chiefs are as strong as any Smyl has seen. Five
of his top six forwards have already signed with top-notch pro-
grams like Boston University, Denver and Nebraska-Omaha.
But Tambellini still stands out in Smyl's mind.
"He skates very well, he handles the puck, he has a good
knowledge of the game and he uses his teammates extremely
well," Smyl said. "He has dominated at every level - and
usually he's been playing at a level above his age."
Last season, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward tallied 21
goals and 30 assists in 54 games. So far this year, he has
already scored 12 goals and notched 22 assists through 21
games, helping the Chiefs to a 15-4-2 record (tops in the
Coastal Conference of the British Columbian Hockey
But the praise for Tambellini doesn't stop with Smyl.
The Director of Player Personnel for the Vancouver
Canucks calls Tambellini "a very determined, mature young
Junior Robert Turpin (15) and the Michigan men's soccer team gave No. 1 Indiana all it could handle this weekend.
Blue finds silver ining in final loss
By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Writer
MADISON - Years from now, when
Michigan has moved from its current
status as an infant on the NCAA varsity
scene to a program consistently chal-
lenging the best teams in the nation,
men's soccer coach Steve Burns may
look back at this year's Big Ten Tourna-
ment as the weekend that the Wolver-
ines turned the corner towards success.
After upsetting Wisconsin last Thurs-
day, 1-0, No. 5-seed Michigan - in just
its second varsity year -- came back on
Friday afternoon and pushed top-seeded
Indiana into triple overtime before los-
ing a 1-0 heartbreaker:
The Hoosiers entered the Big Ten
Tournament as favorites after going
undefeated (6-0) during regular season
Growing up quickly
The Michigan men's soccer team has
had two recruiting classes since mov-
ing to varsity status. This year's suc-
cess was led by those young players.
Knox Cameron, freshman: Team
leader with 5 goals, 3 game-winners
Joe Zawacki, sophomore: Top
goalie on team, 7 wins, 59 saves
Kevin Taylor, sophomore: Team's
leading defender, 3 goals
But it took Indiana until the 123rd
minute to pull out a victory against the
"This is the moment I've been wait-
ing for," said Burns after the loss.
"We've put a strong team together and
met a lot of our goals as a team. We
woke up some Division I programs, I
think, with this game."
After having to play without three
starters against Wisconsin, Michigan
received a big boost for the game
against Indiana with the returns of goal-
keeper Joe Zawacki, defender James
Baez-Silva and sweeper Kevin Taylor.
Baez-Silva and Zawacki both were
out of action because of red cards,
while Taylor missed the game for aca-
Zawacki made seven saves in the
game, most of them brilliant, as he
stymied Indiana's attack with his
aggressive, attacking play. The decision
to start Zawacki did not come easy for
Burns as backup goalkeeper Brian Liu
had recorded shutouts in his last two
starts - including the first-round win
"It was a tough decision - we had
our second string goalkeeper who did a
great job against Wisconsin and made it
look real easy," Burns said. "But I think
it boils down to Joe bringing an element
of confidence and commands the play-
ers in front of him well."
Despite not playing in Michigan's
previous two games, Zawacki did not
miss a beat.
"I was pretty happy with the way I
executed all of my plays - obviously I
wish I could replay the last shot of the
game," Zawacki said. "I felt I owed it to
the guys and to myself.
"They got through Wisconsin and I
was going to do whatever it took to
keep us going - I felt I played really
Michigan nearly won the game in the
second overtime. Taylor played a long
ball ahead to Mychal Turpin, and the
Wolverines' forward tapped the bound-
ing ball over the head of Indiana goal-
keeper Colin Rogers - but also just
inches over the top of the crossbar.
Forward Pat Noonan finally moved
Indiana into the championship round
after 122:10 of play. Being defended
one-on-one by Baez-Silva, Noonan
made a quick move to his right to find
an opening and fired a shot into the low
left corner of the net past the diving
The goal brought an end to what was
likely the best game in Michigan's brief
varsity soccer history. Even with the
loss, the Wolverines gave the rest of the
Big Ten reason to be concerned about
them for a long time to come.
"What they've done in two years is
tremendous," Indiana coach Jerry Yea-
gley said of Michigan's performance.
"To get their team to the level where
they can compete with any team - for
a two-year program, that's quite a
man with a very
high skill level. And
because of that, I
think he will be suc-
Of course that
assessment must be
taken with a grain of
salt, as the Director
of Player Personnel
for the Vancouver
Canucks is Steve
worked in Vancou-
ver to help sign for-
such as Bill Muckalt
and Brendan Morri-
Home: Moody Port,
British Columbia Tambellini
Stats: GP G A Pts. PIM
2000-01 54 21 30 51 13
2001-02 18 12 22 34 11
Hobbies: 9 handicap golfer
No goalie? No problem for Berenson
SA D s
By Steve Jackson
Daily Sports Writer
The recent success of Michigan
hockey has been built on the strength
of three standout goaltenders: Steve
Shields, Marty Turco and Josh Black-
One of the strengths of this year's
squad is its veteran tandem between
But when Blackburn and Kevin
O'Malley graduate this spring, the
Wolverines will need to depend on an
unknown freshman at the most
nimportant position in the game in
The early signing period for hock-
ey is fast approaching (Nov. 14-21),
and it is not clear if the Wolverines
have found a capable replacement.
"It's a bit of a dilemma, but that
has been the story of the Michigan
hockey program for the last 12
years," Michigan coach Red Beren-
son said. "We've had pretty much one
starting goalie play all four years."
Shields started as a true freshman.
Turco took over in his first year after
Shields graduated. Blackburn was
thrown into the fire as freshman
starter as well.
"We've been fortunate," Berenson
said. "Our goalies have survived it
early on and carried the torch
Blackburn had a very impressive
freshman campaign. After opening
his career with a 2-0 shutout against
Lake Superior, he posted a 25-10-6
record with a goals against average of
just 2.28 - the fourth best in the
nation that year.
"It's an amazing opportunity - to
play right away at a program like
Michigan," Blackburn said.
But there is no guarantee that that
opportunity will be an easy process.
For example, Turco gave up seven
goals in his first Blue-White
T Pts GF GA
1 13 33 14
1 11 30 16
1 9 26 23
0 8 17 9
1 7 16 18
1 7 18 16
1 7 23 20
2 6 20 20
1 5 1920
1 5 26 31
0. 4 16 20
0 2 10 37
T GF GA
1 33 14
1 36 17
1 39 39
0 33 24
1 28 20
1 26 22
2 29 35
3 29 36
1 29 22
2 38 41
0 39 28
0 14 41
Unlike most parents, Tambellini didn't need to introduce
himself to his son's prospective coaches.
"I had talked with (Michigan head coach) Red (Berenson)
penty of times, but this was different," the elder Tambellini
said. "This time it wasn't just business. I wanted what is best
And the whole family couldn't be more pleased with his
decision to come to Ann Arbor.
"The process has been outstanding for us," Steve said. "We
were very impressed with (assistant coach Billy) Powers and
Red. Michigan speaks for itself - proven record of develop-
ing players, great people, very clean - terrific program.".
Tambellini's choice to come to Michigan was easy, as he
relishes the opportunity to develop under a living hockey leg-
end like Berenson.
"He has so much history and knowledge - I felt like I was
learning something every time he spoke," said the Moody
Port, B.C. native.
Although Tambellini has committed himself intensely to
hockey, he still maintained a 4.0 GPA in his classes. And while
he found the education that Michigan offers compelling, his
primary reason for choosing the Wolverines was simple: "It's
his best chance to play for a national title," his father said.
Tambellini may be the only forward that Michigan brings in
on scholarship next year, and he recognizes that the strong
freshman class ahead of him could lead to many winning
years in the Maize and Blue.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON - AND GRANDSON: In August, Jeff
helped Team Canada win the Six Nations Under-18 Cup in the
Jeff is the third member of the family to don the maple leaf
on the international stage. His grandfather, Addy, became the
first Tambellini champion when Canada upset the heavily
favored Soviet Union in the 1961 World Amateur Hockey
Championships in Geneva.
Steve Tambellini competed in the 1988 Olympics in Calgary.
Steve played 10 seasons in the NHL, winning a Stanley Cup
in 1980 with the New Islanders and Bobby Nystrom. Nys-
trom's son, Eric, is a freshman forward for the Wolverines.
Steve is currently working as the personnel director for Team
Canada's run at the gold in this winter's Olympics in Salt Lake
Jeff has a tremendous appreciation for the Tambejlini hock-
ey legacy. He chose his grandfather's No. 15 jersey for his stint
on the national team, but insists he .was never forced into
"I've always been around the game,' Jeff said. "There was
never anyone pushing me into hockey. I love the game, and
that's what keeps me going."
NOTRE DAME 5, Ferris State 2
OHIO STATE 9, Wayne State 0
MICHIGAN STATE 6, Massachusetts-Amherst 1
BOWLING GREEN 9, Miami 4
Nebraska-Omaha 4, WESTERN MICHIGAN 1
Northern Michigan 5, LAKE SUPERIOR 0
WESTERN MICHIGAN 2, Nebraska-Omaha 0
NORTHERN MICHIGAN 9, Lake Superior 1
Ferris State 3, NOTRE DAME 3 (OT)
OHIO STATE 3, Wayne State 2
Miami 5, BOWLING GREEN 2
Michigan will be in need of two new goalies next year when senior goaltenders
Josh Blackburn and backup Kevin O'Malley graduate.
Roth, the starting goalie for the U.S.
Under-18 Development team, in an
exhibition game this fall.
But Roth, who scored a perfect 800
on the math portion of his SAT, was
speaking with a Harvard scout after
"I'm not really looking at Michi-
gan right now," Roth said. "It's a
good school and a good program, but
I haven't made any choices."
But Berenson remains confident
that he will have a strong freshmen in
the net next season.
"If I were a top-notch goalie, I'd be
knocking the door down trying to get
into Michigan," Berenson said. "I'm
sure we'll find someone good."
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