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April 10, 2003 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-10

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Thursday
April 10, 2003
michigandaily.com
sportsdesk@umich.edu

SPORTS

9A

Go-
JCers look for
revenge against
Minnesota
Dy Dan Rosen
Daily Sports Writer

pher it

No more call-outs and
timeouts for this senior

There is no defending champion at the Frozen Four this sea-
son. At least not if you ask Minnesota coach Don Lucia, whose
team took home the national title
last season.
"It's a completely new team," TON GHT
said Lucia of his Golden=
Gophers. "And they have to forge Mciga n v'
their own identity." Mur
Minnesota lost seven players after Tsie: 6 p.m.
last year's storied run, including HISBCAAA,;
Hobey Baker Award winner Jordan Bulo, N.Y . E$PNZ
Leopold and the nation's top scorer-
in John Pohl. As if that wasn't
enough, the Gophers also lost a four-year starter in goal in
Adam Hauser and the nation's second-leading goal scorer in
Jeff Taffe.
With all that turnover, Lucia said he didn't expect to back at
the Frozen Four. After Minnesota started the season 5-3-3,
many people might have agreed with him.
"We had a whole host of injuries the first half of the season,"
Lucia said. "So a lot of people kept asking me how good we
were, and I kept saying, 'Well, I don't know' We just hadn't had
an opportunity to put our full team out on the ice, just to play
some games to find out where we were at"
Once the Gophers did get going, they were a force - win-
ning 16 of their last 22 games. In the WCHA Championship,
Minnesota held off Colorado College 4-2 to earn a top seed in
the NCAA Tournament.
Part of the resurgence was due to the surprising production of
freshman Thomas Vanek. The first European-born player to suit
up for Minnesota, Vanek led the team in scoring with 29-29-58
totals. The Graz, Austria native finished second among all
freshmen in the nation in scoring behind North Dakota's Zach
Parise.
"I thought he'd be a good player and have a really good year,"
Lucia said. "I don't think I anticipated that he'd score 29 goals
at this stage of the season."
"He's just an unbelievable player," said Michigan defenseman
See GOPHERS, Page 10A

JOE SMITH
The Daily Grind
J alen Rose once told me that
"you never fully appreciate what
you have until its gone," and he
wasn't kidding. After four years
writing for the Daily, I'll leave this
place with amazing memories,
friends - and hopefully a career.
And I'll start my appreciation
now by giving you my first - and
final - edition of The One and
Only Awards, filled with the good,
the bad and the ugly.
Top five interviews
1) Bo Schembechler - The leg-
endary "Michigan Man" had just
one free day during this offseason,
and he spent an hour of it with me
- discussing everything from crazy
recruiting trips to the media. And I
permanently saved the message he
left on my answering machine near-
ly two months ago.
2) Lloyd Carr - Trying to get an
extra five minutes with Carr to talk
about his personal life is about as
easy as finding bin Laden. But Carr
gave me a 45-minute interview after
the season. Believe me, there were
plenty of "tremendous" and "out-
standing" things to talk about.
3) Bill Martin - In the spring of
2001, Martin - per his usual form
- twisted my question around and
asked me who Michigan should hire
as its next basketball coach. My
first choice was WWF superstar
"The Rock." And as for my second
choice, I'm still waiting for Tommy
Amaker's "thank you" note in the
mail - along with a hefty "finder's
fee."
4) Josh Moore = Discussing
everything from Robitussin to his

buddy Shaq, this 7-footer was the
most eloquent basketball player
never to complete two years in the
Maize and Blue. Damn those pesky
final exams.
5) Jalen Rose - The former Fab
Five star tells me how much he
"loves the Daily" after he played at
the Palace. And then he takes me
down memory lane of those infa-
mous days of Michigan past. No
matter the sanctions, those games
sure did exist.
Top five times I was called out
by athletes or coaches.
1) "What an idiot."
Legendary Michigan hockey
coach Red Berenson said this about
me behind my back, just one day
after I had asked freshman phenom
Jeff Tambellini if he was the type of
player that would bolt the Wolver-
ines for the NHL early - and two
years after I went to practice every
day covering his Wolverines, devel-
oping what I thought was a unique
type of respect with the Red Baron.
2) "You're a mess."
Michigan offensive coordinator
Terry Malone jokingly (I hope)
quipped at me after watching me
frantically run back and forth in my
interview process. Little did he
know how true that statement is.
3) "I didn't understand a word
you just said."
Former Michigan left wing Josh
Langfeld confusingly stated in
response to a question that I appar-
ently mumbled during a post-game
press conference. So, I've been
known to talk faster than the speed
of light - is there anything wrong
with that?
4) "Hey, look, it's Joe Smith, the
guy who's gonna write some more
negative articles in the Daily."
Michigan wide receiver Braylon
Edwards said before blowing me off
after his Wolverines won the Out-
back Bowl this January. Guess he
didn't like my "season is a failure"
column after the Ohio State loss.
Oops.
See SMITH, Page 1A

Y

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Last year's Michigan-Minnesota contest in the Frozen Four was a rough-and-tough battle that went
down to the wire. The Wolverines try to avenge their 3-2 loss tonight against the Golden Gophers.

'M' hopes for new ending to old story

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan-Minnesota hockey
rivalry may include Jeff Tambellini
and Thomas Vanek instead of Jordan
Leopold and Mike Cammalleri, but
the two teams are back playing in
the semifinals of the Frozen Four
for the second-straight year. But
tonight's game won't be played in
front of 18,000 Minnesota fans in
St. Paul, Minn., but in Buffalo, N.Y.
in front of a neutral crowd.
Also unlike last year, it is Michi-
gan which will come in with more
experience, as the Golden Gophers
have transformed from a senior- to
an underclassmen-led squad.
As the only non-No. 1 seed in
Buffalo, the Wolverines are the
darkhorse on paper this weekend.
But this is the time of year when
Michigan excels, as the Wolverines
were also a No. 3 seed when they
won their last national title in 1998.
No matter who wins tonight
between these two Big Ten rivals, it
will be Cornell's tournament to lose
with an upstate New York crowd and
a juggernaut defense.
MICHIGAN OFFENSE VS. MINNESOTA
DEFENSE: The Gopher defense fea-
tures six strong blueliners that shut
down the vaunted Ferris State
offense in the West Regional semi-
final. The Bulldogs had just 20
shots on goal and scored just four
goals thanks to two soft ones given
up by goaltender Justin Johnson in
the first period.
The pairing of lone senior defense-
THURSDAY NIGHTS
Kilas&CoorsLight
Pitchers
9 -10 pm $1.50

man Matt DeMarchi and sophomore
Keith Ballard is playing some of its
best hockey of the season, and Paul
Martin has worked well with fresh-
man Chris Harrington.
Michigan has a clear No. 1 line
with seniors Jed Ortmeyer and John
Shouneyia playing along with

CCHA Rookie of the Year Tambelli-
ni, but it has relied on someone
coming out of the woodwork to
score when needed. Whether it be
Mark Mink, Michael Woodford or
Milan Gaijc, someone from the third
or fourth line is going to have to
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