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January 23, 2003 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-23

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 23, 2003

SIKORA
Continued from Page 5A
12 games that have kept the streak
alive. They have had gutsy perform-
ances night after night, and surprises
around every corner. Much of this can
be attributed to the talented freshman
class. Amaker will be the first to admit
that the Wolverines are a different
team without Horton or Lester Abram
on the floor.
But the bottom line is that Robinson
and Blanchard are the core of this team.
They have been in that position for
three years, and they are expected to be
the go-to-guys in any situation. Last
night, they seized those roles and took
over the game from beginning to end.
And that's what having experience
is all about.

BIG TENnSTANDINGS
Conference Overall
Team W L W L
Michigan 5 0 12 6
Indiana 4 1 14 3
Iowa 3 1 11 4
Purdue 3 1 11 4
Illinois 3 2 13 3
Wisconsin 3 2 13 4
Michigan State 2 3 10 7
Minnesota 1 3 9 6
Ohio State 1 4 8 8
Northwestern 0 4 8 7
Penn State 0 4 5 10
Saturday's games
No. 15 Illinois AT PENN STATE
No. 16 Indiana AT PURDUE
Ohio State AT IOWA
Northwestern AT MINNESOTA
Sunday's game
Michigan State AT MICHIGAN

Numbers do lie: Big weekend ahead for 'M'

By Dan Rosen
Daily Sports Writer
At first glance, Michigan hockey fans
might think a two-game series with
Lake Superior State is nothing to worry
too much about.
So far this season, the
Lakers have found a per-
manent spot at the bot- TAFFY A]
tom of the CCHA
pecking order, managing Who: Michig
just one win in 16 confer- OCHA
vs.k Lake Sup
ence games. The Wolver- (1-13-1 4-1
ines nearly blanked Lake When: 7:05p
Superior in a two-game Latest: Defer
series in mid-November Werner will j
at Yost Ice Arena, posting the U.P. onlyi
4-1 and 3-0 wins en route declares him
to the sweep. Over the
past two-and-a-half seasons, the Lak-

BE
igar
B-1
iper
15-4
p.m
nse
oin
if t
eli

ers are just 2-7 against the Wolver-
i n e s
But final scores and records don't tell
the whole story. There are a number
of factors that make tonight's battle in
Sault Ste. Marie and Saturday's game
at Joe Louis Arena more dangerous
for Michigan than the
stats might indicate.
L ARENA First of all, the
November meetings were
n (9-4-1 closer than the final goal
oeratte counts show.
4) "It's a team that has
n. played us tough lately,"
man Eric Michigan captain Jed Ort-
the team in meyer said of Lake Superi-
:he Big Ten or. "The first two games
igible today. we played them this year
were real tight, with not
much separating the two teams. So we

know they're going to come in and work
hard."
Secondly, the Lakers are better than
they were in November.
Lake Superior came into the first
series with Michigan boasting just two
wins in 10 games. Against the Wolver-
ines, the Lakers' power-play was an
atrocious 0-for-11 in the two games.
But in their last six contests, the Lak-
ers have lost just twice. That run
includes a 7-1 assault of Michigan State
on Jan. 3 in the Upper Peninsula. Their
offense has picked up and they have tal-
lied a power-play goal in six of their last
eight games.
"I can't tell you that they've won a lot
(more) games, but they're playing a lot
better," Michigan coach Red Berenson
said of the Lakers' recent play. "They're
scoring more goals, their power play has

Naweed Sikora can be reached at
nsikora@umich.edu

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been more productive and they're in
every game now"
Thirdly, both of these games will be
played away from Yost Ice Arena.
This season, the Wolverines have
managed just a 5-5-1 record on the road,
compared to a 10-1 mark at home.
Their last away game was a stunning
4-3 loss to Western Michigan in Kala-
mazoo on Jan. 11. It came on the heels
of Michigan's 10-3 rout over the same
Broncos the night before in Ann Arbor
- an indication of how the Wolverines
have struggled away from home.
Another reason the games might be
close is that, when the puck is dropped
tonight, it will be the Wolverines' first
game in 12 days. Michigan is coming
off a bye week.
If the Wolverines come out flat and
give up an early goal, it would only fuel
an upset-minded crowd at Taffy Abel
Arena and make things a lot more diffi-
cult for Michigan.
"You just hope that we can get
through a few minutes of being rusty,"
Berenson said of the start of Thursday's
contest. "Or maybe we can make up for
(the long break) with energy and enthu-
siasm - that's what you hope for."
The Wolverines also can't afford
to take these games for granted.
With the log jam at the top ofthe
CCHA standings, they need every
point to keep pace with the pack.
Currently, Michigan is in third
place, trailing Ferris State by six
points and Ohio State by four.
The series will also be important for
the Wolverines to show that they have
shaken off any negative effects that
might linger from the tough loss in
Kalamazoo.
"We have a lot to prove, there's no
question, whether it's to Lake Superior
or to ourselves or to the rest of the
league," Berenson said. The Lakers have
"a reason to put their best foot forward
in both of these games and we do, too.
These will be hard- fought games."
'Cats test
Blue's new
gameplan
By Josh Holman
Daily Sports Writer
It seems odd that a team would just
now start becoming comfortable with its
own identity this late in the season, but
that's what the Michigan women's bas-
ketball team is taking the time to do.
After earning their first Big Ten victo-
ry over Indiana Sunday, the Wolverines
have used this week's practice to reflect
on how they won and figure out how
they're going to do it again against
Northwestern Thursday.
"We're just really working on our exe-
cution in the half court and our defense,"
Michigan coach Sue Guevara said.
"We're focusing more on us than we are
with Northwestern or anyone else'
Michigan opened the conference
schedule 0-3, forcing Guevara to make
changes in the Wolverines' gameplan.
The most noticeable modification came
Jan. 12 against Purdue. Guevara's start-
ing lineup did not include her senior co-
captain, forward LeeAnn Bies, but it
curiously included freshman Racael
Carney, an anonymous point guard nor-
mally found at the end of the bench.
Guevara stuck with her lineup after
the 69-52 loss at Purdue, and Caney
took the floor as Michigan's starting
point guard once again in Sunday's game
against Indiana.
"We needed a vocal leader out on the
floor," Guevara said. "Rachael has
exhibited the leadership that this team

needed, and they're very comfortable
with her out there."
While Carney's stat line may not have
been packed after the game, she seemed
to secure the position that three fresh-
men have been battling for all season.
"The upperclassmen expect Lauren
(Andrews), Mie (Burlin) or myself to
run the team when we're out there at
point guard," Carney said. "At the
same time they lead other aspects of
the game"
While Carney was emerging in the
starting backcourt, Bies needed a game
or two to adjust to coming off the bench.
Just as she did with Carney, Guevara
stuck with her plan and brought her for-
ward off the bench even after a flat game
against Purdue. The strategy worked,
and Bies led the team with 19 points.
Guevara attributed Bies' success to a
number of factors. Watching the early
minutes of the game from the sidelines
has given Bies the chance to watch the
flow of the game develop before she
actually jumps in and starts throwing
elbows. She also usually subs in for
senior co-captain Raina Goodlow,
whose game has a little more finesse
and is quicker than Bies' bruising style.
The contrast gives Bies the chance to
get to work before the opposing team
has adjusted.
The new role doesn't seemto concern
Bies.

a
i

Now it's time to put on
your thin kin gcap.

It's time to start thinking about graduation and
putting yourself to good use. At Ernst & Young, we
offer a challenging, stimulating environment where
you will be given many opportunities to use your mind
and stretch and grow in your career. Start here.

FoRĀ°ruNEĀ°
IAA QrcT

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