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February 18, 2002 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-18

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 18, 2002

Slap shouts
"(Josh Blackburn) had a bad game. He needs
to come up huge in games like this, and he
- Michigan State freshman Mike Lalonde on the
performance of Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn.

Michigan S1
Michigan State 3

Key play

Saturday, 4:49 into the first
Michigan goalie Josh Blackburn allowed a
dump-in by Michigan State's Joe Goodenow to
trickle into the goal, giving the Spartans a 2-1
lead. The soft goal came just one minute after the
Wolverines had tied the game at one.


The Michigan Daily hockey writers'
picks for Michigan's three stars of the
Charlie Henderson
The freshman scored Michigan's only
goal of the game. Helminen won a face-
off and sent it back to Henderson, who
fired it off Ryan Miller and into the goal.
Eric Werner
Although he did not show up on the
scoresheet, Werner played solid
defense throu hout the game and deliv-
ered a few solid checks.
John Shouneyia
The junior was able to get a few out-
standing scoring chances, but was
unable to convert.
This week:
Friday vs. Ohio State
Yost Ice Arena, 7:35 p.m.
Saturday vs. Ohio State
Yost Ice Arena, 7:35 p.m.
Mar. 1 vs. Western Michigan
Yost Ice Arena, 7:35 p.m.
Mar. 2 at Western Michigan
Lawson Ice Arena, 7:35 p.m.
This will be the first meeting of the sea-
son between the Buckeyes and the
Wolverines. Ohio State ended a seven-
game winless skid with a sweep over
Ferris State this weekend and are cur-
rently in sixth place in the CCHA. Michi-
gan split a home-and-home with Western
Michigan in October, winning at Yost.
The Broncos are in seventh place, one
point back of Ohio State.
No.1 Denver (26-5.1) def. Wisconsin 5-2,
def. Wisconsin 3-2
No. 2 St. Cloud (26-5.2) def. Alaska-Anchor-
age 7-4, def. Alaska-Anchorage 4-0
No. 3 New Hampshire (20-6-3) lost to North-
eastern 5-4, def. Northeastern 6-2
No. 4 Minnesota (22-7-4) lost to Colorado
College 6-5, def. colorado College 7-3
No. 5 Michigan State (21-6-5) def. Michigan
No. 6 Colorado College (20-9-3) def. Minneso-
ta 6-5, lost to Minnesota 7-3
No. 7 Cornell (18-6-1) lost to Dartmouth 1-0,
def. Vermont 5-2
No. 8 Boston University (20-7-2) def. Mass-
Lowell 5-1, def. Mass-Lowell 5-3
No. 9 Michigan (18-9-5) Ilost to Michigan
State 3-1
No. 10 Maine (17-9-6) def. Providence 1-0,
tied Providence 3-3
Michigan State 3, Michigan 1

Six games, no cigar
Feb. 17, 2001- Michigan State 4, Michigan 2 - Adam Hall had two
goals and Brian Maloneyadded a goal and two assists as The Spartans
Jed = sdefeated Michigan at Joe Louis Arena.
Mar. 1, 2001- Michigan State 3, Michigan 1- In
DANNY their last game of the regular season, the Wolverines
Day tallied just one goal, from Mike Cammalleri, and fell to
the Spartans at Munn Ice Arena. With the loss, Michi-
gan ended the season tied for second in the CCHA
with Miami and got the third seed in the conference
Ty Mar. 17, 2001- Michigan State 2, Michigan 0 - Michigan
State goalie Ryan Miller stood tall, denying all 19 of Michigan's
shots, and the Spartans took advantage of two first period goals to
capture the CCHA championship at Joe Louis Arena.
Oct. 6, 2001- Michigan State 3, Michigan 3 - The Cold War game at
Spartan Stadium seemed to belong to the young Michigan squad, who
responded to the unfamiliar setting by taking a lead late into the third period, but
'Jim Slater scored with 47 seconds left to tie the game.
Jan. 19, 2002 - Michigan State 1, Michigan 1- Despite outshooting the Spartans 43-
21 at Yost Ice Arena, Michigan could not pull out a victory against the Spartans. Forward
Dwight Helminen beat Miller late in the third to salvage a tie for the Wolverines.
Saturday night - Michigan State 3, Michigan 1- Michigan's inability to capitalize on its
chances came back to haunt the Wolverines again. That problem combined with two bad goals
proved too much for the Wolverines to overcome as Michigan State took the rubber game of the
regular season series between the two rivals at Joe Louis Arena.
cers troubles with State go
deeper than Just 'ounces

Comrie and Cammalleri
watch from the seats
Roemensky's season-long troubles continue on defense

By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - As the Michigan hockey team
was struggling to put the puck past Michigan
State goalie Ryan Miller in a 3-1 loss on Sat-
urday, the Wolverines probably had to fight the
temptation to look up into the Joe Louis Arena
stands at two players that no doubt could have
Junior forward Mike Cammalleri - still
recovering from mono - was sitting next to
former Michigan standout
Mike Comrie during the HOCKEY
showdown. The 21-year old
Comrie, who left Michigan Notebook
after his sophomore season
to play for the Edmonton Oilers, was in
Detroit while the NHL takes a two-week break
for the Olympics.
In his second and final season as a Wolver-
ine in 1999-2000, Comrie led the team with 59
points, 25 more than the next highest scorer on
the team. But Comrie's mere presence wasn't
enough to get the Wolverines over the hump
against a Michigan State team that now holds
a 1-0-2 record against Michigan this year.
"It's tough any time you lose to Michigan
State when you're a Wolverine," Comrie said
"But it was a good game, exciting for the fans.
It was just unfortunate they didn't get the
As much as Cammalleri - who hopes to
return to play as early as next weekend against
Ohio State - might have enjoyed his ex-team-
mate Comrie's company for a night, he didn't
enjoy missing his second game against Michi-
gan State in just over a month.
"Watching is real hard, especially now that I
feel better. You really want to be out there,"
Cammalleri said. "It's a nervous feeling when
you watch. When you're playing there's more
of an excitement."
Comrie, who would be a senior at Michigan
this year had he stayed in school, understood
what Cammalleri was feeling.
"(Cammalleri) wanted to get out there, as

did I," Comrie said. "We could both be playing
in this game."
CONSTANT STRUGGLE: Michigan defenseman
Mike Roemensky continued to fight with his
season-long inconsistency on Saturday night.
The junior defenseman was on the ice for
Michigan State's first goal 1:36 into the first
period, and then was beaten by freshman Mike
Lalonde to allow the Spartans' third goal.
Lalonde took a pass from Kevin Estrada and
broke down the left sideof the Michigan zone
in a one-on-one situation with Roemensky.
Lalonde fought off Roemensky's light
checking attempt and managed to play the
puck through the defenseman. The .Michigan
State forward then snapped a shot past Michi-
gan goalie Josh Blackburn to give the Spartans
an insurmountable 3-1 lead.
"He got beat one-on-one, and that's one of
the rules for defenseman. You can't get beat
one-on-one," said Michigan coach Red Beren-
son of the play that led to the Spartans' third
goal. "It's as simple as that. It's not like you're
playing Steve Yzerman - these are good
players but they're players of our caliber, and
you shouldn't get beat one-on-one."
MASON RESPECT: Michigan State coach Ron
Mason was honored with a plaque from Beren-
son before the game, and a video tribute in the
second period. Mason, the winningest coach in
college hockey history, will step down at the
end of the year to become the school's athletic
Quality, not quantity
Ever since the Wolverines defeated the Spar-
tans 4-3 in overtime last year on Jan. 27,
they have not been able win in six tries (0-4-
2). But Michigan did have the majority of
the scoring chances in these games, they
just couldn't convert them into goals.

By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Writer

Michigan State

100 -1
2 01 -3

Rst period - 1. MSU, Goodenow 9 (Ules), 1:36; 2. UM, Her
derson 4 (Helminen), 3:50; 3. MSU, Gocdencw 10 (Jackson,
Lles),4:49. Penfles- UM,0Ortmeyer(hlding),:20;MSU,
Slater (high sticking), :20; MSU, Goldie (high sticking), 19:10;
UM, Werner (hit after whistle), 20:00.
Second peiod=-No sccrnrg. Penltes- UM Vaicik (hold-
irig), 5-04 MSU, Falardeau (holding), 15:46; MSU, Faladeau
(hit after whistle), 20:00; UM, Komisarek (hit after whistle),
third pediod- 4. MSU, Lalonde 7(Estrada, Goldie),10:19.
Peneites- UM, Henderson (high sticking), 18:45.
Shots on a-UM, 9-11-8-28; MSU,83-1-21.
Power Plays-UM,0of 2; MSU,0of3.
Saves-UM, Blackburn-18-21; MSU, Miller-27-28.
Referee - Steve Piotrowski
U ~esmen -John LaDuke, Kevin Lagseth
At Joe Louis Arena, Detroit Attendance: 20,058.
The Pairwise Rankings are based on
the ranking system used by the
NCAA selection committee to deter-
mine which 12 teams will partici-
pate in the NCAA Tournament.

DETROIT - Some things just can't be
For example, the fact that the Michigan hock-
ey team has not beaten Michigan State in the
teams' last six meetings is simply baffling. The
Wolverines are 0-4-2 dating back to February
of last season, and it looks like they'll need a
miracle of cosmic proportions to end that streak
this season.
For some reason, when the maize and blue
face off against the green and white, Michigan
may "outplay, outshoot and
outhustle" the Spartans, but HOCKEY
it can't seem to outscore
them. Commentary
Prior to Saturday night's
3-1 Michigan State win at Joe Louis Arena, the
teams had tied their two previous meetings this
season - 3-3 in the "Cold War" at Spartan Sta-
dium on Oct. 6 and 1-1 at Yost Ice Arena just
one month ago.
But each of those ties felt like another Michi-
gan State victory - another failure by Michi-
gan to score that elusive game-winning goal.
In the 3-3 stalemate, Michigan carried a 3-2
lead into the final minute of regulation, only to
allow the tying goal to Michigan State fresh-
man Jim Slater with 47 seconds remaining. Just
seconds before Slater scored, Michigan captain
Jed Ortmeyer had a chance to clear the puck
from the zone, but was unable to do so. In any
other game against any other team, Ortmeyer
clears that puck, and his team seizes the victo-
At Yost, Michigan clearly dominated the
action, doubling the Spartans' shots 43-21. But
while constantly pressuring Michigan State
goalie Ryan Miller, Michigan needed a perfect
shot from freshman Dwight Helminen just to
score one time.
In the waning moments of the second period
of that game, with the Spartans up 1-0, fresh-
man Eric Werner found himself a few feet away
from the goal with Miller out of position, but
the defenseman misfired on an open net. Wern-
er's miss was just one more unexplainable
occurrence to add to the ongoing list from the
past six games.
After Saturday's defeat, in which Michigan
outshot Michigan State 28-21, it was time to
start brainstorming about the Wolverines' woes
against legendary coach Ron Mason and his
The first hypothesis that came to mind was
that Mason's conservative, trapping, mistake-
free style of hockey was getting the best of
Michigan coach Red Berenson's open, high-fly-
ing style. In the three games this season, it
seemed as if the Spartans confidently sat back
and waited for the Wolverines to make mis-
takes, and then capitalized on the errors that
would inevitably come.
Saturday's game supported that theory com-
pletely, Is Michigan goalie Josh Blackburn
allowed two goals that shouldn't have found the
net, including a tally on what was intended to
be a dump into the zone by Michigan State for-
ward Joe Goodenow. The Spartans' third goal
came on a lackluster defensive effort by Michi-
gan defenseman Mike Roemensky who -
instead of knocking Michigan State forward
Mike Lalonde to the ice - couldn't decide
whether to play the man or the puck and
allowed him to send the puck past Blackburn.
The Spartans' philosophy was easy to figure
out: Show up, play conservatively, and let
Michigan shoot itself in the foot.
But Michigan State made mistakes - plenty
of them. In fact, it made enough mistakes to
make Mason admit that his team didn't play
much defense Saturday. Michigan had several

point-blank scoring opportunities in the second
period, and had even more against this vaunted
Michigan State defense at Yost in the 1-1 tie.
In the third period on Saturday, Michigan
freshman Jason Ryznar received a pass in the
crease, but couldn't get anything on his shot,
which allowed Miller to recover and make the
save. If Ryznar had hit the puck any harder, the
score would have been tied 2-2.
Do teams that don't make mistakes screw up
chances like that?
Michigan State defender John-Michael Liles
said that he felt like Michigan outshooting his
team didn't mean much because his team didn't
allow many grade-A scoring chances.
If that's the Michigan State grading scale, it
better readjust the curve, because Michigan had
at least five grade-As in the second period and a
few more in the third.
All season long, in its losses, Michigan has
cited the infamous "bounces" as the major rea-
son for each loss - "We just didn't get the
bounces tonight" can be heard throughout post-
game interviews.
And Michigan is right. It didn't get the
bounces Saturday. In fact, just about every
bounce imaginable went against in Michigan
State's favor.
But this excuse should not be accepted - not
after six straight games against the Spartans in
which the Wolverines didn't get those pesky
Michigan's troubles against Michigan State
right now are deeper than bounces. They're all
mental. Instead of playing the puck and scoop-
ing it into his glove with ease, Blackburn sat
back on his heels and was played by the puck.
Instead of making a routine play and hitting
Lalonde or knocking the puck away with his
stick, Roemensky decided to practice his waltz
with the freshman.
Those things don't happen against Alaska-
Fairbanks and Nebraska-Omaha, the third and
fourth-place teams in the CCHA. They happen
against Michigan State, and the reason for this
can be found in one place - the mind of each
Maybe Michigan puts too much pressure on
itself to score against the Spartans, so when the
opportunity comes, it freezes up. Maybe the
Wolverines are so worried about losing to their
rivals that they forget to use their natural
With a potential matchup against the Spar-
tans in the CCHA tournament looming, Michi-
gan needs to dig deep and figure this problem
Or, it can continue to go back to its old
excuse and pray to the bounce gods for mercy.
Ji4 gy }4

Scoring Pct.


Michigan State

1. Denver
2. New Hampshire
3. St. Cloud
4. Minnesota
5. Boston University
6. Colorado College
7. Michigan State
8. Maine
9. Cornell
10. Michigan
11. Alaska-Fairbanks

2 1-7-2


Josh Blackburn made 18 saves in Saturday's loss, but it was the saves that he wasn't able make that
came back to haunt the Wolverines as they dug themselves a hole too deep to overcome.

12. Northern Michigan 20-10-2
13. Western Michigan 17-11-4
14. Mass-Lowell 17-10-3
15. Northeastern 17-12-3

After beating the Wolverines Satur-
day 3-1, the Spartans will head to
Oxford to take on Miami for a two-
game series.
On Nov. 16-17 in East Lansing,
Michigan State dominated Miami,
sweeping the RedHawks 3-0 and 2-0.
The fight for third place in the con-
ference is on, and this weekend, North-
ern Michigan and Ohio State made the
biggest jumps in the standings.
The Wildcats recovered from a
sweep last weekend by Western Michi-
gan, taking their frustration out on
Miami.. D.,..,,,,.nn '7 1 F rcr ad 1-

Continued from Page 18
Goodenow in the slot, who skated in and beat
Blackburn for the 1-0 lead.
But Michigan retaliated promptly, as fresh-
man Dwight Helminen won a faceoff in the
Spartans' zone and passed it to Charlie Hender-
son for a shot. Henderson's shot caromed off
Michigan State goalie Ryan Miller and flew
high into the air. The puck came down in the
crease and bounced into the goal at 3:50.
But just 59 seconds later, Goodenow's dump-
in put Michigan behind for good.
"It just took a weird bounce," Blackburn
said. "I don't know if I took my eyes off of it,
but I don't think that will happen too many
Said Miller: "That bounce was unfortunate. I
think there was a rut in the ice or something.
I'll give him the benefit of the- doubt on that
But it was the same story for the Wolverines.
A failure to convert on its chances cost them
yet another game against Michigan State.
Junior John Shouneyia had two scoring.
chances right in front of the Spartans' goal, but

missed the net on both occasions. Forward J.J.
Swistak and freshman Jason Ryznar had a two-
on-none breakaway, but Swistak was unable to
even get a shot off as Miller corralled the puck.
In the third, Ryznar found himself alone on the
doorstep staring into an open net, but let off a
weak shot that Miller was able to slide over and
stop it.
"You can't win a game scoring only one
goal," Michigan freshman Eric Nystrom said.
"It's not Miller - he'll save the easy ones. We
had a lot of chances, but we just didn't put
them in."
Michigan dominated the second period and
most of the third until the Spartans' third goal
halfway through the third period.
Michigan State's Mike Lalonde skated into
the Wolverines zone with the puck, went right
around defenseman Mike Roemensky (who fin-
ished minus-2 for the night), and sneaked one
by Blackburn.
With the way things were going for Michi-
gan, a two-goal lead seemed insurmountable.
"We don't play 80-some games that we can
just set this aside," Berenson said. "It was a
game that we came here to win, but we didn't


Michigan's offensive struggles played right Into
Michigan State's hands In the Spartans 3-1 win.





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