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April 01, 2004 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-01

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 1, 2004 -11

T he
Michigan; :
Daily Hockeyf
Writers'
Season
Rewind
Gennaro Filice Sharad Mattu Michael Nisson
Michigan MVP Dw got .}lelmlnen Helmni er Helminen
Freshman of the Year T.J. Hensick Hensick Hensick

Brian SchiCK
Brandon Kaleniecki
Hensick

iggest surprise Kaleniecki eason Dest Kaleniecki Matt Hunwick
Best defenseman Andy Burnes Brandon Rogers Burnes Burnes
Bggest hitter Jason Ryzn r Mike Brwn Brown Eric Nystrom
Watch him next year Tim Cook Milan Gajic Dest Cook
Best rad trip Manchester, NH. (aren buffat) N .ne Big ap ds Fairbanks, Alaska
Worst road trip Manchester (28 hours on the road) Manchester Manchester Columbus
FIavorit Redism "That's heart- "i Iaft te l If Gajic had "Hey boys"
attack hoey y tht- only .."
Most Entertaining Game Jan. 24 (7-0 win March 28 (3-2 overtime Feb. 14 (8-5 win Feb. 20 (7-3 win
over Western Mich.) lost to Boston College) over Miami) over Bowling Green)
Biggest Letcown Swet at Bei ng sent t Failing to win tte Losing once to Omaha
Notre Dame New Hampshire )CH A Tournament in the playoffs
Best Chant "Dirty Hobbit" "Porno mustache!" "It's your mom ... " "See ya ..."
., .. . . :U: .. ,. . ,..
NatonalExitlin Pyr Withou obI' hesnios ot? D th yu b
t..a . i 0? Witotadub tsu o h eirsWynt Dnthl yu rah

IS NEXT YEA
YES: With 11 seniors,
'M' will be desperate
Sharad Mattu e
Every year is supposed to be the year. That's just how it is
with Michigan hockey. So to fail to make the Frozen Four -
something that had been taken for granted - is disastrous.
But just because the Wolverines fell short of expectations
doesn't mean there's nothing to take away from the season.
Michigan was inconsistent all season long and pretty
much took a month off after reclaiming first place from
Miami on Feb. 14. Yet it still finished 27-14-2 and lost in the
regional final. So it's not like they have far to go.
And, if the players think about it, they'll realize that if they
had played hard each and every game (which even they admit
they failed to do), the season would have ended far differently.
The CCHA did send five teams to the tournament, but
they finished a combined 1-5. And Michigan was easily the
best team in the conference, but could only eke out the regu-
lar-season title and failed to win the Mason Cup.
Michigan could've been the first seed in Grand 8iP. 2n
Rapids, but just didn't seem to care enough.
But next year, this won't be an issue - Michigan C
will win the National Championship. Assuming
nobody leaves early, 11 Wolverines will be seniors, with nine
playing regularly. Look at this year's captain, Andy Burnes. In
his last season in the maize and blue, effort was never an issue.
And in Michigan's final game of the year, Burnes played ter-
rific and even scored a goal. Incidentely, the hero of the game
was Boston College's senior captain Ben Eaves, who scored
the game-winning goal despite horrible leg cramps.
The point is, there's no need to worry about seniors, and
next year they'll have nine seniors on the ice compared to
this year's one. Because the senior class this season was so
small, a lot of pressure was put on the juniors. They now
realize what it takes to carry a team.
With just one regular expected to leave, the team should
be ready from the get-go. There's a capable replacement for
Burnes in freshman Tim Cook. And if any underclassmen
leave, recruits Chad Kolarik and Kevin Porter, whom Michi-
gan coaches have compared to T.J. Hensick and Jed Ortmey-
er, respectively, will be ready to step in.
What can't this team do? They have a great goaltender in
Al Montoya and a deep group of forwards and defensemen.
This is a team that has no weaknesses, is coming back
nearly entirely intact and will be even hungrier than in past
years. And that hunger will make all the difference.

R

ou

THE

YEAR?

NO: Some players
means some results
" Brian Schick "
After last season, hockey fans were disappointed that the
Wolverines lost another Frozen Four game to Minnesota. This
season, Michigan didn't even get the chance.
This season was supposed to be the year to hang another
championship banner in the Yost rafters, with the majority of
Michigan's key players returning. All it got the Wolverines was
a trip to Manchester instead of Grand Rapids.
Now that the season is over, it's only natural to pencil in
Michigan into the Frozen Four again next year, right?
Sorry, next year will be more of the same for the Michigan
hockey team. It's essentially the same team as last year, so
why should anything be different?
Inconsistency was the word of the season for the Wolver-
ines. For a team with so much talent, they should have gone
back to the Frozen Four. Trying to coast through the regular
season cost the team the chance to have a No. 1 seed
and play in Grand Rapids, and therefore avoid a team
. like Boston College until the Frozen Four. But whenev-
pni er the team needed a big win, it failed to capitalize.
Since just one player is leaving, the same corps of play-
ers will be back for next season, and the lack of motivation
will plague this team again.
The schedule won't be of much help next season, either.
This year's road record was awful - 8-11-2 away from
friendly Yost Ice Arena. Next year, the Wolverines will travel
to Minnesota and Wisconsin for the College Hockey Show-
case. In addition, they will travel to the Upper Peninsula, as
Michigan hosted both Northern Michigan and Lake Superior
State this season. The Wolverines are also slated to take on
North Dakota in the Great Lakes Invitational. The way things
went this season, Michigan could lose all those games.
Perhaps the biggest underlying problem with the team this
year was off the ice. Even after losses at various times this sea-
son, the players seemed to shrug off the game and chalk it up
to a letdown on that particular night; thinking that they could
have won if they had chosen to. The smugness factor and feel-
ing that they could win every game came back to haunt them
in the final four games of the regular season, when Michigan
went 0-3-1 and backed into the regular season title.
On paper, next year's team has the talent to make a deep
run in the NCAA Tournament. The feeling that the team
deserves to play for the championship will keep the players
from their potential.

Big Ten foes await
golfers in Indiana

By Katie Niemeyer
For the Daily

Coming back from its second
first-place finish of the year, the
Michigan women's golf team has
high hopes for the upcoming Indiana
Invitational, where it will face five
Big Ten teams. Having seen very lit-
tle of the Big Ten so far this season,
coach Kathy Teichert looks forward
to assessing the competition.
"It will give us a very good idea
about how we're stacking up and
how we might do come the Big Ten
Championships," Teichert said.
Teichert believes that rival Michi-
gan State and higher ranked teams
Kent State and Missouri will be the
Wolverines' biggest competition this
weekend, but she can't discount the
home team.
"Indiana has some strong play-
ers," Teichert said. "They have four
seniors, so they're really a senior-
laden team."
Familiarity with the golf course
also gives Indiana a huge advantage,
with each course being so different.
"They've got a lot of par fives
and a lot of longer holes," Teichert
said. "They have a couple big
greens, but there's a lot of undula-
tioiin them and they're usually
very; quick."
Just three of Michigan's players
havo seen Indiana's course, so the
team's practice round will be very
important.
"We're going to go into our prac-
tice round and formulate a game
plan and a strategy based upon what
kind of shape (the course is in) and
how we're playing in that particular
moment," Teichert said.
Teichert believes that the girls
who can hit the long ball and putt
well) will have the edge this week-
end. She hopes junior Laura Olin's
consistent, powerful shot and expe-
rience will lead her team to another
victory.
"Laura's a long ball striker,"
Teichert said. "She's been playing
very well this spring. She's played
the golf course three other times.
We're looking for her to lead us."
Teichert believes her younger
players like sophomore Amy
Schmucker, freshman Brianna Brod-
erick and freshman Ali Stinson will
also play this course well.
"Ali is very consistent when it
comes time for hitting the ball
straight," Teichert said. "She's not
particularly long and that will be
key for her. If she can get up and
down, she can score well at this
tournament."
To prepare Michigan for this tour-
nament, Teichert wants them to keep
playing. She hopes to improve con-
sistency and endurance, so they can
finish each tournament as strongly
as they begin.
"We really need to play as much
as we can right now," Teichert said.
"I feel that we haven't finished our

last four or five holes that well, and
we're looking to improve upon that."
Teichert approaches this weekend
confidently. She's proud of what
Michigan has done and is excited to
see what more the team can do.
"I just really feel great about our
team right now and the progress
that we've made throughout the
year," Teichert said. "And I'm look-
ing forward to a successful event at
Indiana."

NOTE T Am tCHAKRAooRTY
YOUR PAPA JOHN'S
CHALLENGE BRACKET HAS
BEEN DISQUALIFIED BECAUSE
ALONG WITH THE 3 FINAL
FOUR TEAMS YOU PICKED
CORRECTLY, YOU HAVE
"OSU," WHICH COULD BE
CONFUSED WITH OHIO STATE.
APRIL FOOLS.
- DAILY SPORTS: YEAH, WE'LL
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