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November 30, 2001 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-30

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 30, 2001


Icers, Dawgs have bone to pick


By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Writer

When the buzzer sounded on
Michigan's 5-4 loss at Ferris State last
season, the Wolverines and Bulldogs
cleared their respective benches and
duked it out like prize-fighters.
Michigan goaltender Kevin O'Mal-
ley - who replaced starter Josh
Blackburn after he gave up five goals
in the first two periods - rushed to
center ice and met opposing goal-
tender Vince Owen for some one-on-
"Everybody grabbed a man, and I
just went right toward Owen," O'Mal-
ley said. "Things went pretty well
right at the beginning, but then their
guy jumped in and threw me off him.
That's emotion and you have to do
what you have to do."
"We had to protect our teammates,
and things got kind of ugly," Michi-
gan captain Jed Ortmeyer explained.
The best revenge for the Bulldogs'

stunning upset of then-No. 3 Michi-
gan would be for Michigan to steal a
victory in Ewigleben Ice Arena this
time around.
"The best way to get back at some-
body is to beat them on the score-
board," sophomore forward Joe Kautz
said. "Hopefully we'll get four points
(in the standings), and that's the best
way of kicking somebody in the ass."
But leaving this weekend's home-
and-home series with two victories
will be easier said than done for the
13th-ranked Wolverines (4-3-1
CCHA, 6-5-1 overall), who are cur-
rently nestled in the middle of the
CCHA - one point behind Ferris
State (5-5-1, 7-5-1).
A major factor in tonight's
matchup will be Michigan's reaction
to one of the rowdiest crowds in the
conference. "The Dawg Pound," Fer-
ris State's student section, will hold
nothing back when the Wolverines
visit Big Rapids.
"It's an intense place, a smaller

barn, but it gets loud," Kautz said.
"They love their team, so everybody
gets into it. It's even louder than (Yost
Arena), which is amazing to think
about. It's nuts there."
Said O'Malley: "At Ferris State
right now it's 'Michigan week.' If we
aren't ready to play in a game like
(tonight's), then we're in the wrong
The Bulldogs are currently in third
place in the CCHA, and were
extremely impressive in last week-
end's 7-2 victory at Nebraska-Omaha.
Coach Bob Daniels' team has sur-
prised opponents with its offensive
firepower, provided by the top two
scorers in the conference - senior
Rob Collins (20 points) and junior
Chris Kunitz (16 points).
"Ferris is a scary team," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. "You look
at who they've played and what
they've done, and they're scary."
Ferris State has turned over a new
leaf during the past year. The Bull-
dogs have become an open, fast-skat-
ing team, as opposed to their physical
style of past seasons, and that is what
has been tough to handle for their
opponents thus far.
"They used to be a grinding team,
but now they can skate" Berenson said.
"They're an honest, two-way team that
can play with anybody now. If they're
having their best game they're going to
beat anyone in this league."
The Wolverines plan to use their
depth to thwart the Bulldogs' explo-
siveness, and are counting on some
players who have been quiet this sea-
son to step it up.
Michigan's next four games will be
crucial to its hopes for an at-large
NCAA Tournament bid and its stand-
ing in the conference. After facing the
Bulldogs this weekend, the Wolver-
ines travel to Miami for a two-game
series next weekend. With winter
break on the horizon, Michigan
knows the time to make a move is

Who: Michigan (4-3-1 CCHA, 6.5-2 overall)
vs. Ferris State (5-5-1, 7-5-1)
When: 7:35 p.m. tonight, 7:35 p.m. tomorrow
latest: The 13th-ranked Wolverines have
played well on the road in conference thus
far, posting a 3-1-2 record.

(abridged version)

1. Michigan State
2. Northern Michigan
3. Nebraska-Omaha
4. Ohio State
5. Ferris State
6. Western Michigan
7. Michigan
8. Miami





The Michigan hockey team will have to play together to take two from Ferris State.

--------------- j

Drive makes Blue's Fraser a leader

By Naweed Sikora
Daily Sports Writer
In college hockey, talent and skill can take a player a long
way. But Michigan hockey players will tell you that it takes
hard work and determination to get beyond that level.
These are the words by which Michigan junior defense-
man Brad Fraser lives. Through hard work and consistent
play, Fraser has earned a spot on the ice that was not origi-
nally his.
"I was hoping for this opportunity, and fortunately I have
been able to make the best of it so far," Fraser said.
Fraser was inserted into the lineup for the Northern Michi-
gan series and has retained his spot, playing in eight games
thus far. This season, Michigan's coaches have been blessed
with more defenseman than they know what to do with. But
what they have in depth, they've lacked in consistency.
The defense looked impenetrable when the Wolverines
swept Alaska-Fairbanks, allowing just one goal in the two
games. But it looked sloppy against No. 1 Minnesota when
the team allowed three goals in the first seven minutes.
Because of this up and down play, the Wolverines have
struggled to find defensive pairings to play on a regular
basis. But Brad Fraser's solid play has made the situation
slightly easier for the coaches.
"Brad Fraser has been a pleasant surprise," said assistant
coach Mel Pearson. We weren't counting on him to play as
well as he has, but he has outplayed a couple of the kids who
we thought were going to be solid.
"The thing with Brad is that he's got to give you his hard-
est effort every night; he doesn't have much room for error."
Of course, Fraser knows this as well as anybody. Since he

joined the team, he has always had to put forth his best effort
in order to play. Fraser, who is from West Bloomfield, joined
the team as a freshman walk-on.
"My coach called (Michigan assistant coach) Billy (Pow-
ers) and Mel (Pearson) and asked if there was a possibility of
a tryout," Fraser said. "As school got closer, one Michigan
defenseman became ineligible and another left to go to Nia-
gara, so a spot just kind of opened up for me. I was in the
right place in the right time."
Fraser played in 19 games as a freshman, and recorded his
first career point on Oct. 6 of that year - an assist against
Notre Dame. The most valuable part of his freshman season,
he says, was what he learned from the experienced players.
"I learned a lot freshman year. It was a great year to watch
and learn from (Jeff) Jillson, (Dave) Huntzicker and (Jay)
Vancik. I got a better sense of how to play defense."
When Huntzicker, a senior, went down with an injury
early the next season, it was a golden opportunity for Fraser
to step in. Unfortunately, injuries to both his knees kept him
out of all but 13 games that season.
"It was kind of a downer," Fraser said. "I was hoping to
step in and show what I had, but it wasn't the time for me."
Entering this season, Fraser was once again in a position
where he had to regain his spot in the everyday lineup. But
he has done just that, and doesn't intend to go anywhere.
Although he may not be the most talented defensive player
on the team, Fraser, along with the rest of the Michigan
hockey players, knows that talent can only take you so far.
"If you work hard and prove to coaches that you can do
the job, they're going to give you a chance. They don't care
who it is or if they're on scholarship or not, that's what they

Michigan and Ferris State had a memorable rumble last year in Big Rapids.

Continued from Page 9
"I've got to guard against Jason
(Williams, of Duke, in next Saturday's
game) and Bell, and I've just got to
come out and play hard," Queen said.
"I've played against tough guards all
my life. They ain't nothing. You've just
got to work hard, just like every game."
Gotfredson is equally confident in
his ability, but Amaker is aware of his
starting point guard's "limitiations."
"I think his ability to guard a quick-
er scoring point guard is going to be
something that will concern us,"
Amaker said. "And you're talking
about one of the best in the country in
Troy Bell."
But Bell is not Boston College's only

weapon. Kenny Walls and Ryan Sidney
are both scoring machines, averaging
18.8 and 20.0 points per game, respec-
tively. Amaker is familiar with his for-
mer Big East opponent. His Seton Hall
team played Boston College in the
semifinals of last year's Big East Tour-
nament and fell, 75-48.
The Wolverines know they need to
improve, but it will be difficult to do so
against a team with as much ability as
Boston College.
"We've done some good things,"
Amaker said. "We may not have the
bottom line results of things to back
that up ... but we've made a lot of
The opportunity for Michigan to
make its longest and most impressive
stride comes tomorrow.

BCS 'playoffs' kick off
with big-time rivalries

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer

What are you looking for
in a Graduate School?
Chances are we have it!
Penn GSE offers Doctoral (Ph.D. & Ed.D.) and Master's degrees in:
Education, Culture and Society Teaching, Learning and Curriculum
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Due to rescheduling that took place
after the events of Sept. 11, college
football fans will have more than
their share of big games this Satur-
Each of the nation's top five teams
will be battling for a shot at the
national championship game. As long
as the leaders of the BCS have their
way, this is as close to a playoff as we
are going to get.
No. 5 TENNESSEE (9-1) AT No. 2
FLORIDA (9-1) 4:30 P.M. CBS: A
game normally played at the end of
September, this yearly battle of the
SEC East elite has now become a
one-game playoff for a spot in next
week's SEC Championship. Florida
controls its own Rose Bowl destiny
and Tennessee will need little just a
little outside help.
Heisman Trophy Candidate Rex
Grossman and the Gators have histor-
ically been trouble for the Volunteers.
While no sophomore has ever won
the award, Grossman -who has
thrown for more than 300 yards in
each game this season - may be the
However, Florida will be without
its top running back, Robert Gillespie,
who sprained his knee against Florida
State last week. When a separate
injury kept Graham out of the Auburn
game, Gators posted negative-36
yards and suffered their only loss.
Tennessee will benefit from the
services of star receiver Donte Stall-
worth, who would have missed this
game with a broken wrist if not for
the rescheduling.
With the national championship on
the line, this duel should be a classic.

But the Gators are just too good to be
beaten in the Swamp.
Florida 41, Tennessee 34
No. 3 TEXAS (10-1) vs. No. 9
COLORADO (9-2) 8 P.M. ABC: A
week ago it seemed like we would be
treated to a rematch of the Nebraska-
Oklahoma clash in the Big 12 Title
Game, but a pair of stunning upsets
in Boulder and Norman have set a
title game that no one expected. Iron-
ically, Texas had all but rapped up a
BCS at-large berth but now could
lose a spot if they come up short
against the Buffaloes. But a Texas
victory and a loss by either Florida or
Miami would most likely send the
Longhorns to Pasadena.
Texas blew out Colorado 41-7 in
Austin when the teams played on
October 20, but this is a different
Colorado team. The Buffalos stunned
the "Black Shirt" Nebraska defense
last week, running for eight touch-
downs. Colorado will look to repeat
the same feat behind its three-man
running game, which features Bobby
Purify, Chris Brown and Cortlen
The Longhorns are led by quarter-
back Chris Simms, who has had an
impressive but inconsistent season.
With future NFL star Roy Williams
to throw the ball to, Simms has post-
ed 22 touchdowns against just eight
interceptions, while directing Texas
to more than 39 points per game.
While Texas has more talent, Col-
orado's momentum will lead them to
another upset at a BCS berth.
Colorado 31, Texas 17
No. 1 MIAMI (10-0) vs. No. 14
After Nebraska's loss last Friday,

Casey Clausen may look confused, but he knows his role - to lead his Volunteers
past Florida this weekend and clinch a berth in the SEC Championship game.

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Miami sits all alone atop the BCS
standings. Despite the madness of the
major bowl picture, the Hurricanes'
mission is simple - beat the Hokies
in Blacksburg and they are headed to
the Rose Bowl.
The Hurricanes have not beaten
Virginia Tech on the road since 1993.
But if there was ever a Miami team to
stop that streak, this is it. Except for a
close victory at Boston College,
Miami has destroyed all comers this
season. The Hurricanes demolished
Syracuse (59-0) and Washington (65-
7) over the past two weeks.
While Virginia Tech clearly missed
Michael Vick this season, the Hokies'
defense and special teams have
earned them a spot in the Gator
The Hurricanes are clearly the best
team in the country and just too pow-
erful for the Hokies, and they will
show it tomorrow afternoon.
Miami 49, Virginia Tech 14
No. 4 OREGON (9-1) vS. OREGON
STATE (5-5) 4:30 P.M.: In the 105th

edition of the "Civil War," the records
of these two teams can be thrown out
the window. Oregon has already
rapped up a BCS berth, but a win and
a lot of help could put them in the
national championship picture. Ore-
gon State started out the season as
Sports Illustrated's pick to win it all
but an opening loss to Fresno State
started the team on a downward spi-
ral from which it could never recover.
Oregon is led by quarterback Joey
Harrington, whose Heisman cam-
paign has been as physically large as
But he has backed up the hype,
leading his team to come-from-
behind victories on numerous occa-
sions - most recently against
UCLA, in which his touchdown pass
with 10 minutes remaining put the
game away.
While the Beavers would love to
upset the Ducks to finish their season
above .500, Oregon will pull this one
out, keeping its faint Rose Bowl
dreams alive.
Oregon 21, Oregon State 17


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