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February 05, 2003 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-05

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Wednesday
February 5, 2003
michigandaily.com
sportsdesk@umich.edu

Ebe litrbgan &TIS

8

Montoya: Blue's bull's-eye
17-year-old goaltender feeling the heat in CCHA play

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer

Al Montoya has become more than just a shoot-
ing target, and Michigan coach Red Berenson is not
pleased.
After reviewing the game tape of this past week-
end's series against Ferris State, Berenson discov-
ered his goaltender being interfered with in two of
four goals he allowed in the Wolver-
ines' 4-3 loss on Saturday night.
"It was contact that could
have been avoided,"
Berenson said. "When
you watch the tapes,
it's really disap-
pointing to sep it
happening."
The- first
was when
Bulldogs for-
ward Jeff
L e g u e
deflected
the puck,
trickling it
Montoya's
legs. Beren-
son saw that
contact was
made before
the puck came
on net as multi-
ple Bulldogs
crashed the
crease. The second
was the fourth and
eventual game-winning
goal, as Montoya's leg was
hooked when Ferris State was-
on a three-on-one break. Berenson
displayed his displeasure in his weekly
report to the league.
"If that would have happened in the CCHA play-
offs, it would have been no goal," Berenson said.
This has not been the first time this season that
opposing teams have attempted to rattle the goal-
tender who turns 18 in eight days. Montoya came to
Michigan with a reputation of getting involved with
the emotion of the game, and this has caused
almost every Michigan opponent to attempt to get
in his head.
"Teams think that because he is young that he's
going to get rattled," goaltending coach Stan

Matwijiw said. "I think he's handled the contact
very well. We've had talks with him, and we've just
told him to keep his head and not get too rattled up
about it."
In Friday night's game, Montoya received an
unsportmanlike conduct penalty after retaliating
against Ferris State's Phil Lewandowski. It was
after a night in which the Bulldogs were going right
after Montoya, picking up two penalties in the
process.
The coaching staff has talked
with Montoya all season
about keeping his emo-
tions down, but it's dif-
ficult to do so when
so much is on the
~line.
"The crowd
gets going and
then you get
going, and the
refs making
bad calls,"
Montoya
said. "It's
just all emo-
tion. You
just have to
find a way
to shut it
down and just
go out there
and play the
game."
While the
Wolverines are
trying to do their
part, there's a con-
sensus that the
TONY DING/Daily officials are going
Al to have to enforce
Montoya the issue.
"We are hoping
that the refs are going to start to see the tendency
here, that every game this is happening," Matwijiw
said.
Berenson stressed that Montoya cannot be used
as a crutch even with a depleted defense.
"If he gets 35 shots a game, then we're going to
be in trouble," Berenson said. "If we keep it down
to 20-25, then he has a chance of keeping the goals
against down. If we keep the goals against under
three, we're going to be in every game. But if its
over three, we're going to put ourselves in a vulner-
able position."

NICOLE TERWILLIGER/Daily
Michigan junior shooting guard Stephanie Gandy goes to the rack against Penn State in front of a sparse crowd on Super Bowl Sunday.
Gandy and the Wolverines are wiping the slate clean - again - after three consecutive conference losses.
Guevara' s presCription: Wipe it clean

By Josh Holman
Daily Sports Writer

They've tried every trick in the book,
but if nothing is working on the court, it's
time for Michigan women's basketball
coach Sue Guevara to get inside her play-
ers' heads.
After starting the Big Ten season 2-6,
Guevara resorted to the age-old practice
of wiping the slate clean. She wants her
players to walk into tomorrow's game
against Iowa as if their record is 0-0.
There's just one problem: They've tried
this before - and it didn't work. After
stumbling out of the gate 0-2 in the con-
ference season, Guevara told her players
to brush it off and start fresh. A loss at
Purdue ensued, but two victories over
Indiana and Northwestern quickly fol-
lowed. That was Jan. 23. The Wolverines
have dropped three straight since.
The psychological move is an honorable
one by Guevara, who knows all too well the
importance of her players' mental states.
Now all they have to do is buy into it.-
"We want to go on a winning streak,"

junior center Jennifer Smith said. "So I
guess 0-0 is what we're thinking."
It's one thing to say it, but it's another
to actually believe it. This is a team that
has been battling the past all season.
The memory of last year's 6-10 Big Ten
record after a 10-1 start is all too fresh,
and it's eerily similar to this year's col-
lapse after a 9-2 start. Not only is Michi-
gan trying to spark something to lean on
this year, it's also trying to avoid falling
into last year's rut.
"I hope they believe me; but I'm not
the one out on the floor," Guevara said.
"We have kids that have been through this
before, and I don't think it's something
they want to repeat."
Smith is one of those players who was
there last year, but her play hasn't shown
any signs of mental distress. She's led the
team in scoring the last two games and
has scored in double figures for six
straight games.
The key to Michigan's success may rest
in the hands of those who weren't around
last year. Freshman Niki Reams has been
quietly consistent coming off a wrist

injury, but she put up a loud 15 points
against Wisconsin. Point guard Rachael
Carney seems to have won the respect of
the entire team since earning the starting
role midway through the season. These
freshmen don't know the pain of last year
and don't wrestle with the fettered memo-
ries some of the upperclassmen may have.
"This team has the motivation to turn
things around and will do everything pos-
sible to turn things around," Smith said.
"Last year, we may have just let things go'
Everything seems to be in place.
Michigan has its share of solid upper-
classmen who know the ropes and its
share of contributing freshmen who don't
know what the critics are saying.
"When you're in a streak like this, you
have a lot of people giving you advice,"
Guevara said. "There comes a time when
there are some people you just have to
clear out. As a team, we will listen to each
other and go from there."
Now the Wolverines just have to look
past all those old distractions - and
their record - and get ready for a "new"
season.

9

0

13th Asian Business Conference

& Rediscovering
February 7-8, 2003
HultineS Seho

President, Asian Institute of Management
Former Minister of Finance, The Phillipines

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