The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 8, 2002 - 3B
Blue's stars sh
By Chris Buk.
Daily Sports Writer
After the Michigan hockey team's final game of the
year, a 3-2 loss to Minnesota in the NCAA semifinals
on Thursday, the Wolverines stood on the ice and
watched as the Golden Gophers celebrated.
Next year's prospective Michigan team has the type
of talent that it takes to reach the NCAA Champi-
onship game - but a lot of next year's success will
depend on two decisions that
could occur in the near future for HOCKEY
With an astoundingly success- Commentary
ful season behind the Wolverines,
forward Mike Cammalleri and defenseman Mike
Komisarek are now faced with a decision that has
faced several players in the last few years - whether
or not to make the jump to the NHL. The rights to
Cammalleri, a junior, are owned by the Los Angeles
Kings, while Komisarek, a sophomore, is slated to
become a member of the Montreal Canadians.
In the past two years, the Wolverines have had to
deal with the early departures of All-American
defenseman Jeff Jillson and forwards Mike Comrie and
Andy Hilbert, both Hobey Baker Award finalists.
Cammalleri and Komisarek need not look past
Hilbert's story when making a decision on their futures.
A sophomore on last year's Michigan team, Hilbert left
for the Boston Bruins because he was "penciled into
the Boston lineup."
A year later, as Michigan coach Red Berenson puts
it, "the bad thing about pencils is that they have
B to f-u
BLACKBURN to p
Continued from Page 1B "I d
It would take an Eric Werner mistake, a Hause
deflected slapshot on the powerplay and a positi
Jeff Taffe breakaway for Minnesota to what I
crack Blackburn, and even then he stood just tr
his ground. Hau
"Every year, we say the same thing. on 29
'(Blackburn) gave us a chance to win, Michi
period," Michigan assistant coach Billy play o
Powers said. "And even though we lost, in ALL
the NCAAs, he was as good as (former and s
Michigan goalie Marty) Turco had ever name
been. You can't ask for anything more team.
from him." The
Blackburn finished the playoffs by his c
allowing just eight goals in his three Hilbe
games for a 2.66 goals against average Amer
and an .887 save percentage. While these the lo
are not extraordinary numbers, they came Ameri
against three of the top offensive teams in Ko
the nation. But unlike Turco, Blackburn the fii
never received the offensive support nec- line b
essary to win the coveted prize of an winne
NCAA championship. Michi
Across the ice, Hauser put on an equal- 30), a
ly brilliant performance as he continued with a
ould learn from
Hilbert has played in just six games this season,
scoring one goal.
Hopefully, the lesson learned from Hilbert's ill-
advised decision is lingering in the minds of this year's
Komisarek is simply a freak of nature. At 6-foot-4,
242 pounds, he is one of the biggest defensemen in
college hockey. But he's also proven himself to be
quick, agile and more than capable of leading an offen-
sive rush. There are plenty of reasons that the Canadi-
ans spent the seventh overall pick in 2001 on
He finished the year with 30 points (11-19-30),
tops for Michigan defenseman, along with a plus-23
rating. With the departure of senior Jay Vancik,
Komisarek would be the unquestioned leader of the
He single-handedly led the Wolverines to a 3-2 win
over Bowling.Green on Jan. 26, posting an assist to go
along with two goals - including the game-winner on
a length-of-the-ice rush. He also posted two goals
against Western Michigan on Oct. 20 and against Wis-
consin on Nov. 24.
But, like Jillson after his sophomore year, Komis-
arek could still use another season to fine-tune his
defensive skills. He has had bad games this year - like
that against Western Michigan on Oct. 19, when
Komisarek publicly admitted that he had played poorly.
The best and nearly the most disastrous example of
his learning process came in Michigan's NCAA first-
round game against St. Cloud. Clinging to a 3-2 lead,
Komisarek was looking for a line change and flung the
puck right onto the stick of the Huskies' Mark Harti-
gan. Hartigan then walked in alone on Josh Blackburn,
but, luckily for the Wolverines, the puck rolled off his
stick. The next night, Komisarek made another mental
miscue, getting called for an inexplicable "throwing the
puck" penalty, which led to a Denver goal.
There's no doubt that Komisarek will be able to hold
his own in the NHL. But there's also little question that
another year would do him well. He's not ready to play
in the NHL every day for the same reason Jillson was-
n't after his sophomore season - he isn't as consistent
as he needs to be game in and game out.
For Komisarek, another year would give him the
chance to work out the kinks in his game that won't be
acceptable at the NHL level.
Meanwhile, Cammalleri is made out of almost
exactly the same mold as Comrie. He has the same
physique-- Cammalleri is 5-foot-8, 182 pounds, while
Comrie was 5-foot-10, 172 pounds in his final year at
Michigan. Like Comrie, his talent level is unques-
tioned. And, also like Comrie, Cammalleri could prob-
ably jump right into an NHL lineup and put up solid
numbers. You need look no further than Cammalleri's
44 points (23-21-44) in 29 games (he missed 10 due to
mono and five for World Juniors) to see his ability
But missing 15 games and falling just short of a
national title again should be enough to get a die-hard
competitor like Cammalleri back again.
Given a whole year, he could be the nation's best
player. Seeing his disgust after the team's inability to
get past the semifinal game, it's hard to believe that he
would leave without reaching his goal.
And for Cammalleri, another year at Michigan
would give him the chance to finish as the country's
best player on the country's best team.
The Tigers should be
glad they still have fans
The first in a two part farewell
series about my about my
time at Michigan and The
In my time at Michigan I've been
bombarded with two kinds of peo-
ple: jersey chasers and Jersey fak-
ers - the latter being SUV-driving
transplants who are here against
their own will trying, unsuccessful-
ly, to emulate the New York chic
and making total asses out of them-
selves and their homeland in the
process. You can watch these two
demographics refusing to interact
next time you're at
rotation is worse than this lineup.
Now there are signs that the good
vibrations coming from the club-
house is turning sour, as evident by
yesterday's Jeff Weaver and Hig-
ginson, when the Tigers were no hit
for seven innings. Weaver said
something to Higgison that led to
him pointing and yelling at him.
Chances are Weaver said something
about Detroit's lack of an offense.
And as for Detroit's promise to
get better players, well, Mark Red-
man started for the Tigers Opening
Day at Comerica Park.
While the news
Rick's. (By the
of 1120-24 Hill
St., the jerk store
just called and
they're running out
The only group
After an offseason of promis-
es - promises to compete, get
along with one another in the
clubhouse and to get better
players - the season has
opened with six straight losses
and a feeling that the Tigers
are going to renege on these
the perception of a
team in disarray are
"not nice to hear,"
let me tell you
that's not nice to
strate the Wolverines for more than
don't think it was a matter of skill,"
r said. "It comes down to being in
on to get the bounces, and that is
I did. When the puck comes at me, I
y and stop it."
user finished the game with 27 saves
shots and was able to prevent
gan from scoring on its six power-
ABOARD: Junior Mike Cammalleri
ophomore Mike Komisarek were
d to the 2001-02 All-America first
award is Cammalleri's second of
areer, as he, along with Andy
rt, was named to last year's All-
ica second team. Cammalleri was
Dwest scoring forward on the All-
ica team with just 23 goals.
misarek was the only sophomore on
rst team. He was joined on the blue-
y Minnesota's Hobey Baker Award
r, Jordan Leopold. Komisarek was
gan's fourth leading scorer (11-19-
nd he led all Michigan defensemen
that gets my goat
more than these pack rats is the
A New York Post survey was
recently taken asking who are the
best and worst managers and gener-
al managers in baseball. Detroit
Tigers manager Phil Garner and
general manager Randy Smith were
revealed as the worst manager and
amongst the worst GMs in the
Garner responded to a metro-
Detroit newspaper by saying,
"Well, that's certainly not nice to
No, Phil, it's not.
After an offseason of promises -
promises to compete, get along
with one another in the clubhouse,
and to get better players - the sea-
son has opened with six-straight
losses and a feeling amongst the
Tigers are going to renege on these
It has already been established
that Detroit can't compete, as evi-
dent not only by the six-game los-
ing streak, but also by the fact that
most of these games were not com-
petitive. The Tigers lineup has
three legitimate batters (Bobby
Higginson, Dmitiri Young and Rob
Fick, who has since-changed his
handle to "Robert" since being
brought up from single-A West
Michigan.) Believe it or not, the
It was Limatime
about four days too soon yesterday.
While fans were heckling the
Tigers for their lack of wins, quali-
ty players, or presentable short-
stops, pitcher Jose Lima called a
Detroit Police Department officer
to silence them.
The incident was started when a
fan asked Lima if he'd "make it to
20 games" this year, in reference to
his record in 2000, when he almost
lost 20 games.
Lima took offense to the heck-
ling and rolled up his sleeves and
pointed to the top of the dugout,
motioning, presumably, for a physi-
cal confrontation atop of the
dugout, much to the chagrin of
Paws, the Tigers longtime mascot.
While the security guards
checked ticket stubs, the fan
responded, "I'll be here all year,
Lima," while other fans commented
that Lima is a bigger problem for
the organization than they are.
The reality is that the Tigers are
lucky that they have fans who are
loyal enough to follow in detail
their quest for mediocrity.
Raphael Goodstein wants to thank
Dave Den Herder, Pat Schmidt and
his editorsfor extending his dead-
line. He can be reached at
. DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn kept Michigan in the game Thursday
night in the national semifinal, stoning shot after shot against Minnesota.
Freshman of the Year
Most Improved Player
Watch him next year
Best CCHA roadtrp
Worst CCHA roadtrp
Favorite phrase used
by Michigan players
Date I first gave up
on this team
I almost gave up
WANT TO COVER
TRIP TO THE FROZEN
JOIN DAiLy SPORTS.
"It was huge."
March 8 (4-3 loss
to Lake Superior)
Big Rapids (FSU)
South Bend (ND)
"We just didn't
get the bounces."
Jan. 25 (4-2 loss
to Bowling Green)
Detroit (Joe Louis)
"We just need to start
burring the puck."
"It's not your-ami, it's my-ami."
6 seconds left in
NCAA semifinal loss
No goalie? No dice
South Bend (ND)
"We have to givb it
our all every shift."
Jan. 12 (3-1 loss to
The University of Michigan
Department of Recreational Sports
INTRAMURAL SPORTS PROGRAM
National title next season? Believe it
Thursday 5/2 ONLY
5:00 PM, IMSB
$65 per team
Thurs 5/2, 5:00 PM, IMSB
Thursday 5/2 ONLY
6:30 PM, IMSB
$40 per team
Thurs 5/2,6:30 PM, IMSB
Tomes 517, Elbel Courts
Gophers end drought
with overtime victory
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Min- game has gone to overtime and the
nesota had been waiting 23 years for fifth in seven seasons.
an NCAA hockey title, so nobody It was a bitter end to an emotional
minded that the winning goal was season for the Black Bears after the
scored by someone from out of state. loss of former head coach Shawn
Grant Potulny scored on a power- Welsh to cancer.
play 16:58 into overtime, giving the
Golden Gophers a 4-3 victory over
Maine on Saturday night - their
"When I came here, the guys did-
n't even blink an eye," said Potulny,
a sophomore from Grand Forks,
N.D., who scored twice in Minneso-
ta's semifinal victory over Michigan A TEACHER IN THE
on Thursday night.
"I've got that 'M' tattooed on my
chest, and I'm a Golden Gopher for OF INTERESTING FACT
the rest of my life."
Minnesota was less than a minute STUDENTS.
from having to wait at least another
year for its elusive fourth national
title, but Matt Koalska tied it on a
sixth-attacker goal with 52.4 seconds
left in regulation after the Black Bears
took a 3-2 lead with 4:33 remaining
A look at the
underside of U of M
Thursday 5/2 ONLY
7:30 pm, IMSB
$45 per team
Thurs 5/2, 7:30 PM
Tues 5/7, Elbel Pad
Thursday 5/2 ONLY
7:30 PM, IMSB
$20 per team
Thurs 5/2, 7:30 PM, IMSB
Tues 5/7, Elbel Courts
are due today 4:30 pm Monday April 8, 2002 at the IMSB Main Office.