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January 29, 2002 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-29

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Fellow coaches love
selection of Mason
MASON
Continued from Page 9
director position is one that was met with a very posi-
tive reaction from the other Michigan State coaches in
attendance at Mason's press conference.

"The fact that we've hired someone that really knows
the coaches and the university and the lay of the land of
the administration is really key," said Michigan State
football coach Bobby Williams. "Now (Mason) can
step into that role and really take this program to the
next level."
Said Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo:
"Ron and I have been friends for 18 years, and I am
happy for him if it is really what he wants, and it seems
like it is.
The stepping down of Mason will also end the fierce
rivalry that has blossomed between himself and Michi-
gan coach Red Berenson.
In the 18 years that Berenson's Michigan career has
overlapped with Mason's Michigan State career, the
Spartans have a 39-29-6 advantage in the series.
"I was surprised - we're not done yet, but after this
year it'll be different," Berenson said. "I think he'll be
a good administrator and a good athletic director and
he could be a real force for (college hockey) in the big
picture."
With the legendary Mason leaving at the end of the
year, this team will be his last shot to capture his sec-
ond national title. He won his lone NCAA Champi-
onship in 1986.
"I think that it's just an extra motivator," said Michi-
gan State senior forward Adam Hall about the pressure
of being Mason's last team. "Seeing how much hard
work he's put into this team over the last four years and
knowing that that's been there the entire 23 seasons, I
think that is just all that much more motivating for the
team"

Defense provides offensive spark

By Seth Klempner.
Daily Sports Writer
With many of Michigan's forwards
struggling to find
their offense this
past weekend, it HOCKEY
was the Michigan Notebook
defensemen which
stepped up to pro-
vide the punch. The blueliners netted
four of Michigan's five goals and all
of its even-strength goals.
The goals came in all shapes and
varieties.
Eric Werner's shorthanded goal
came when the wily defenseman
pinched in to grab a loose puck and
fired it past Bowling Green goaltender
Tyler Master. While the freshman has
11 assists on the season, that was just
his second goal.
"We need that because we are not
getting a lot of offensive production
from our forwards right now," coach
Red Berenson said.
Up to this point in the season, the
Michigan defense has scored 14

goals, accounting for 15 percent of
the Wolverines' total offensive pro-
duction. Making last weekend's offen-
sive flare-up even more unusual is
that up-ice rushes instead of screened
shots from the point produced the
goals.
Even sophomore Mike Komisarek,
who is considered to have one of the
stronger slapshots on the team, took
the puck from his blue line to the
Bowling Green circle untouched
where he knocked in his own rebound
to score his first goal since the end of
November.
"We are not preaching offense to
our defense, but our defense is getting
more opportunities now just because
of the way the game is played," Beren-
son said. "There is so much pressure
on the. forwards down low, and when
they get the puck back to the defense,
their shots can be dangerous."
Michigan is not the only CCHA
team that has been receiving offense
from its defense. Michigan State uses
a system that has relied heavily on its
blueliners for scoring this year. The

Spartans have received 25 goals fro
their defense this year, accounting fi
27 percent of their total offensive pr
duction.
DROPPING THE PUCK: One o
most overlooked but important aspec
of the game is the faceoff. While t
team rarely participates in facec
drills, Berenson, a former center, re
ognizes the importance of winning t
opening draw.
Faceoffs are about "intensity, se
ond efforts and guys helping," Bere
son said. "If the centermen (tie ea
other) up and the puck is loose, ti
first player to the puck (wins)
draw. So if the puck is available,
about which tean is hungrier, whi
team is more ready for the faceoff."
Michigan struggled to win faceof
on Friday night, as the Spartans to(
37 of 70 drops. But the Wolverin
rebounded Saturday night and won
more faceoffs than the Falcons.
Junior John Shouneyia led Mich
gan in faceoff wins with 25 this wee
end. He leads Michigan wie
261-191 faceoff record.

AP PHOTO
Michigan State hockey coach Ron Mason will still be in East
Lansing next year, but he will not be coaching hockey.

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