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September 07, 2004 - Image 63

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-07

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SPORTS

The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2004 - 7E

Despite season ending with overtime
loss, cynicism nowhere to be found

MANCHESTER, N.H. -
Following yesterday's
NCAA Northeast
Regional final loss, I
felt weird. Michigan had just
dropped a 3-2 overtime
heartbreaker that would
bring even Darth Vader to
tears (especially since the
voice of the Dark One is that
of James Earl Jones, a
Michigan alumnus), and I
felt like I was missing some-
thing. It wasn't any of my
valued possessions. After
tapping both of my front
pants pockets, I was assured

GENNARO
FILICE
Nuthin' But a
'G' Thang
MARCH 29, 2004

that my keys, voice recorder and phone were present. And
my keeled-over walk indicated that my overly-stuffed,
"Costanza" wallet wasn't left behind. After I performed a
~head count that would make any first grade teacher proud, I
knew that the absence couldn't be credited to a stray Michi-
gan Daily employee.
No, it wasn't anything of this sort. I was missing a feel-
ing, something that had overwhelmed me after every other
loss this season: cynicism.
Covering a team as talented as Michigan, it is difficult to
just accept a loss. And after each of the Wolverines' 13 prior
defeats, my postgame thoughts were extremely negative.
Man, we got outhustled ... This team's consistency is
laughable ... Coming out that flat, do the players even
care? ... Is Montoya really worth all the hype? ...
These viewpoints and contemplations owned me every
time Michigan came up on the short end of the stick. I
guess I just believed that Michigan had never faced a team
that was truly superior - thus, it shouldn't have lost.
But that all changed yesterday.
Boston College was the better team.
Following Michigan's semifinal win over New Hamp-
shire on Saturday, Red Berenson commented on the daunt-
ing task the Wolverines had ahead of them.
"We know Boston College is a great team," Berenson
said. "They're a deeper team than we are. They're quicker,
and they probably have more skill."
I thought that Berenson was just pulling a Lou Holtz -
you know; over-hyping an upcoming opponent for motiva-
tional purposes. But Red wasn't kidding. And yesterday,
the Eagles lived up to his billing.
They were dominant. They outshot the Wolverines 45-
17. When I received the shot chart after the second period
- Boston College's most assertive - Michigan's zone was
so much more cluttered, I thought that Michigan's shot-
charters had run out of ink. But, somehow, the Wolverines
stayed in the game and continued to do so until Boston
College's Ben Eaves finally broke the tie and notched the
game-winner 70 minutes and eight seconds after the puck
had initially dropped.
The players in maize and blue were scrappy; they were
opportunistic and they battled hard. Basically, this youthful
squad embodied the style of play that its senior captain,
Andy Burnes, had displayed all season.
In his four years at Michigan, Burnes has never been a
player that lights up the stat sheet. Entering last night, he
had accumulated a career total of just 22 points - three
goals and 19 assists. The defenseman was never a player

that everyone talked about when conversation of the Michi-
gan Icers arose. But over his four years at Michigan, the
Battle Creek native was consistently excellent in Michi-
gan's zone. As one of my friends describes him, "He's five-
foot-nothing, 100-and-nothing pounds and he's not too fast.
But damn, he's effective on the defensive end."
Burnes is the team's lone senior, and he's served as team
dad all season long. And last night, he was thrust into the
spotlight in what seemed to have the makings of a fairy tale
ending. Twelve minutes into the game, Burnes found Mike
Brown on the breakaway, and Brown found the back of the
net, giving the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. The assist was
Burnes's third point of the season. Then, with three minutes
left in the second period, Burnes received the puck atop
Boston College's left faceoff circle and took advantage of
out-of-position Eagles' goalie Matti Kaltiaimen, ripping a
slapshot into the back of the net. Netting his first goal since
Jan. 31, 2003, Burnes had given Michigan an improbable
2-1 lead. Instantly, the minority Michigan crowd had a new
way to express the word, 'what:' Burnes?!?
Burnesxthe Hero? It was a title he'd never received at
Michigan, but one that he'd earned through four years of
roleplaying.
But, sports are strange and unpredictable. And, in a
regional title that's decided in overtime, only one team gets
to enjoy the happy, Disney ending.
At the end of the night, Burnes's heroics were erased, his
career was over and the seemingly never-ending hockey sea-
son - college sports's version of "The Lord of the Rings
Trilogy: Director's Cut" - was finished in Ann Arbor.
"Just to have your career end like that, in such abrupt
fashion is ... you know, that's the way it goes. It's sports,"
Burnes said with puffy eyes. "Taking off my jersey for the
last time was tough.
"You're sitting there in the locker room, shedding tears,
and the guys come up to you and give you a hug and tell
you they love you and that it has been fun, and that's when
it hits you (that your career is over). You've shared so many
things throughout the year with that group of guys - the
ups and the downs and things away from the rink. We're a
family - we experience everything together. When some-
body's hurting on the team, it affects all of us. Just to not be
a part of that on a daily basis, like it has been the past four
years - it's going to take some time to adjust to."
But Burnes also acknowledges that, until Boston Col-
lege's third tally, the game was memorable, especially the
high-stress overtime period that should have come with a
warning label for those susceptible to heart trouble.
"That's what it's all about," Burnes said of the extra peri-
od. "There's so much emotion out there. It's fun.
"That's why you love sports - that's why you love hock-
ey. I'll look back at (yesterday) with fond memories, as
unfortunate as the outcome is."
And that's exactly how Burnes and the rest of the Wolver-
ines should feel. They fought hard and almost stole a ticket
to the Frozen Four that they had no business having.
Call me soft for not tearing apart a team that fired 28
less shots than its opponent. Call me a sellout for writing
positive words about a season-ending loss. Call me cliche
for romanticizing a senior captain's last harrah. But don't
call me a cynic, 'cause last night Michigan put out an effort
that gave me no reason to be one.
- Gennaro Filice can be reached at gfilice@umich.edu.

TONY DING/Daily
FA ystrom hits the Ice during Michigan's 3-2 loss to Boston College In the championship round of the NCAA Northeast ReglonalL.
Eagles halt leers' postseason run

March 29, 2004
By Shwad Matte
Daily Staff Writer
MANCHESTER, N.H. - All season
long, when the Michigan hockey team
was playing at its best, its opponent was
irrelevant. The Wolverines would win
faceoffs, control the puck and outshoot
their opponents. That was their formula
for success
Saturday in the
first round of
the NCAA
Tournament when Michigan cruised past
host New Hampshire, 4-1.
But last night, in their 3-2 overtime
loss to Boston College in the Northeast
Regional final, the Wolverines learned
how those teams felt: Even with their
best effort, they were ultimately over-
whelmed by a more talented opponent.
Michigan held 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but
the Eagles' unyielding pressure was too
much for the Wolverines. Forward
Patrick Eaves tied the score with less
than five minutes left in the third period,
and his brother, captain Ben Eaves, bat-
ted in a rebound 10:08 into overtime to
send the Eagles (29-8-4) back home to
Boston, this year's host of the Frozen
Four. The Wolverines finished the season
26-14-2 and did not make the Frozen
Four for the first time in four years.
Michigan made it into overtime due in
large part to goaltender Al Montoya,
who saved a career-high 42 shots and
was named to the All-Tournament team,
along with defenseman Andy Burnes
and winger Brandon Kaleniecki. The

Wolverines were outshot 45-17 and lost
46 of 76 faceoffs.
"He's an unbelievable goalie," said
Patrick Eaves, who played with Montoya
on the U.S. team at the World Junior
Championships in December. "I don't
know how to describe how he plays. He's
always there anticipating. He's a terrific
goalie because of it."
Because they struggled ridding the
puck from their zone, most of the game
was spent in the Wolverines' territory.
"They forechecked us hard - real
hard," forward Eric Nystrom said. "They
were real aggressive and we weren't
moving the puck quick enough. Their
forwards were fast and crafty. That's why
they're heading where they are."
The Eagles mostly controlled the puck
but were unable to generate any quality
opportunities. The Wolverines, however,
made the most of their chances.
Mike Brown received a pass from
Burnes at the blueline and skated along
the right boards toward the net. The
freshman forward wristed a shot from
the right circle. The puck slipped past
goalie Matti Kaltianinen and trickled
into the net at 12:09 in the first period.
In the second period, the Eagles had a
pair of powerplays and evened the score
on their second opportunity, when Ben
Eaves took a puck from behind the net
and passed to Tony Voce. Montoya was
looking the wrong way, and Voce easily
batted the puck into the net.
But as the period was winding down,
Michigan retook the lead, and the goal
came from the last player the team looks
to for goals: its senior captain, Burnes,

who had just two assists and no goals all
season, until yesterday's game.
Kaltianinen left the net to get a loose
puck, and though he deflected it away, he
fell to the ice and failed to make it back.
Brown got the loose puck along the
boards and flung it towards the crease,
where Eagles' defenseman J.D. Forrest
stopped it and attempted to clear it. The
rebound came to Burnes in front of the
blueline, and he slapped the puck back
towards a virtually unguarded net for his
first and only goal of the season.
Boston College's top line struck again
with under five minutes to go in the third
period. Off a faceoff in the Wolverines'
zone, Voce sent the puck out to Peter
Harrold, who one-timed a shot from the
point. Montoya made a kick save going
to his right, but Patrick Eaves corralled
the rebound and backhanded the puck
over Montoya's right leg.
Both teams had chances in the over-
time. Michigan had five shots in the
period, which equaled the most it had in
any other period.
Ben Eaves scored the game-winner
off another rebound. Patrick Eaves fired
a shot from the boards.While Montoya
saved the first shot, Patrick's brother,
Ben, batted the rebound out of mid-air.
Though the Eagles are deep and all
four lines successfully put pressure on
Michigan, their first line did most of
their damage.
"Their best players were their best
players tonight," Berenson said. "That
was the one thing we couldn't nullify.
They scored all their goals - they cer-
tainly had most of their chances."

Hockey Band
The tradition continues...
C' Ya there!

Rehearsals will be on Thursdays
beginning at 7:30 PM

u

Men's Basketball Band
Be a part of the Amaker Era...
On the road to victory with
the Men's Basketball Band.
Rehearsals will be on Tuesdays
beginning at 7:00 PM

Auditions will be held at Revelli Hall
Sunday, September 12, 2004
through
Wednesday, September 15,2004
Audition will include scales and sight reading.

1

S69

To schedule a time for an audition

Women's Basketball Band

pleae call 764-0582.

- t

I

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