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October 20, 2004 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-20

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The Michigan Daily - SportsWednesday - October 20, 2004 - 3B

LINE OF THE WEEK
Eric Werner
Defenseman
Saturday vs. St. Lawerence
1 Goal, 2 Assists, +1 +/- rating

NOTABLE QUOTABLE

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

"I've seen a lot of goals scored
the last three games, and very
few of them are real good goals."
- Michigan coach Red Berenson

Josh Ciocco
(New Hampshire)
Ciocco scored two goals in New
Hampshire's 4-4 tie including one
that put the Wildcat's up 4-3 with
13 minutes left.

Jason Ryznar
(Michigan)
Ryznar was a man on a mission last
weekend. Along with two goals and two
assists, Ryznar threw his weight around
and earned a plus-two rating.

Ryznar keeps promise

By Jake Rosenwasser
Daily Sports Writer
No one likes a liar - and Jason
Ryznar is not about to find out what
his coach Red Berenson thinks of
one.
"Ryznar is one of the players, at
the end of last year, that promised
me he would come back a different
player," Berenson said. "And so far,
he's kept that promise. He's really
working hard; he's playing physical,
strong, two-way hockey. And that's
what should happen --seniors
should be stepping up."
The senior forward notched two
goals and two assists - includ-
ing a penalty shot goal - in this
weekend's action against No. 8 New
Hampshire and St. Lawrence.
Against New Hampshire on Fri-
day night, Ryznar broke a 1-1 tie late
in the first period. Just nine seconds
after New Hampshire had scored the
equalizer, sophomore David Rohlfs
skated with the puck across the red
line and hit a streaking Ryznar with
a pass down the left side. From the
top of the circle, with the defense
skating back, Ryznar fired a wrist
shot far side above the glove of New

Hampshire goalie Jeff Pietrasiak.
"Rohlfs made a great play,"
Ryznar said. "I was coming up the
side, and I saw the defenseman there,
and I tried to use him as a screen. I
just tried to get a shot on net, and it
went in."
But he wasn't done. With the Wol-
verines trailing 2-1 in the begin-
ning of the third period, Ryznar
found the puck behind the New
Hampshire net. He wrapped around
with a defender all over him, draw-
ing the attention of the other Wild-
cats defensemen and Pietrasiak.
From the side, he spotted fellow
senior Eric Nystrom and slid the
puck across the mouth of the goal.
Nystrom blasted the tying goal into
the open net.
"I was expecting the pass," Nys-
trom said. "(Ryznar is) one of the
stronger kids in college hockey, if
not the strongest, and he's one of
the best corner players. We've been
working on a play where he just
turns and fires it at the net. I knew
he was going to do it."
Ryznar and Nystrom played togeth-
er on the Wolverines' first line in both
games and did not disappoint. The
senior duo was given the unenviable

task of slowing New Hampshire's
most explosive players.
"I think Nystrom did a pretty good
job (in his first game) at center,"
Berenson said. "He played against
their top line just about every shift.
I felt we had to put our best foot for-
ward defensively with Nystrom and
Ryznar."
Along with another senior,
Michael Woodford Jr., the Wolver-
ine trio held New Hampshire's lead-
ing scorers to just one goal.
The experience of the first line
could potentially help the entire
Michigan squad heading into
CCHA play.
"I think we have the type of line
that can set the tempo for the game,"
Nystrom said. "We're a good fore-
checking line, and that's something
that kind of gets the team going by
putting the other team on its heels.
If we get a good forecheck, the next
line builds off that. I think that's
something our line can bring to the
table night in and night out."
Ryznar added a goal and an assist
against St. Lawrence on Saturday
night. He scored a penalty shot goal
and assisted on Nystrom's empty-
net goal.

ALEXANDER DZIADOSZ/Daily
Senior forward Jason Ryznar has followed through on his promise to come back a better player. He has five points in four games.

RYAN WEINER/Daily
Junior Al Montoya was magnificent at times, but allowed two soft goals Saturday.

WILDCATS
Continued from page 1B
third frame, eight seconds after Montoya
was pegged with a slashing penalty, Saints
defenseman Kyle Rank fired a shot from
the point that ping-ponged off two St. Law-
rence defenders before landing in the net.
But Michigan defenseman Eric Wer-
ner put the game away for the Wolver-
ines when the senior slipped the puck
between Mike McKenna's legs. The
goal was Werner's third point of the day,
a stark contrast from his abysmal game
the night before.
"Certainly, we expect a better game
from Eric Werner than we saw last night,"
Berenson said after Saturday night's game.
"I told him that in no uncertain terms,
(that) he's a senior and he should be one of
the best defenseman in this league."
Werner struggled mightily in Friday's
4-4 tie with No. 7 New Hampshire.
Despite having a plus/minus rating of just
minus-one, Werner led Michigan's turn-
over-laden defensive effort.
"We started playing the puck more than
the man and we started giving up the puck
more," Berenson said.
Michigan came out flying in the first
period when junior Jeff Tambellini
shelved a pass from sophomore David
Rohlfs just 1:40 in.
Sophomore Jason Dest and senior
Michael Woodford helped Michigan estab-
lish a physical style of play, as the Wolver-
ines controlled the pace of the game.
New Hampshire managed to tie it up
in the last three minutes of the first period
on the power play. Wildcats forward Sean
Collins scored when he threw an errant
pass from the corner that found a small
hole between Montoya and the post.
The tie was short-lived, as Ryznar took
the lead right back just nine seconds later.
"I thought we had a pretty good first
period, we kept them on their heels,"
Berenson said. "After that, they took it
to us pretty good. I feel fortunate that we
got back in this game."
In the second period, a flat Michigan
team couldn't expand its lead against
a focused New Hampshire squad. The

Wolverines began struggling to clear the
zone, a problem that plagued them in their
first loss of the year against Northeastern.
Three minutes into the second, a puck got
caught in Werner's skates in the Michigan
zone, New Hampshire sophomore Josh
Ciocco took it and put a shot that snuck
between Montoya's pads and slowly trick-
led past the helpless goalie.
"(Michigan) can blow you out of here,"
New Hampshire coach Richard Umile
said. "After (Michigan's) second goal, our
guys stayed with it and found a way to
score a goal and come right back."
In the third period, the Wildcats domi-
nated play with the help of frequent Michi-
gan turnovers. Luckily for the Wolverines,
Montoya was solid in the third, keeping
New Hampshire at bay.
"We can't be happy playing 40-min-
utes of hockey," senior captain Eric
Nystrom said. "We can't have lulls like
we did in the second period because
that's when they came and took the
game back from us."
Despite the strong third, Berenson wasn't
quick to hand out the praises to his junior
goalie. Montoya looked shaky the first two
periods, especially in a pair of incidents
that nearly became disasters when he went
to play a puck away from his crease.
"It's tough to talk about a goalie who
gave up a couple soft goals," Berenson
said Friday.
As regulation came to a close, Michi-
gan felt lucky to have survived but also
was determined to put up a goal in over-
time for the win.
"The onus was on us," Berenson said.
"They might feel good about a tie, but
we're trying to win the game."
As the puck dropped on the overtime
frame, the Michigan team from the first
period returned. The pace picked up
for the Wolverines as they outshot New
Hampshire 4-1. But, as he had through-
out the game, New Hampshire goalie Jeff
Pietrasaik stood on his head and kept the
game knotted at four.
"We had some good chances and he
made some big saves," Berenson said.
"When there are loose pucks around the
net you have to find a way to get them in."

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