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March 18, 2005 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-18

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Friday
March 18, 2005
sports.rmichigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

SPORTS

9

Icers out to stop
underdog Alaska

N FOOTBAL
Blue has plenty to
practice this sping

By Ryan Sosin
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - Alaska-Fairbanks has
begun to make a habit out of doing the
unthinkable. Last week, it put Bowling
Green's season to rest by taking the open-
ing round series on the road. Yesterday,
the Nanooks solved Northern Michigan
goalie Tuomas Tarkki, scoring five goals
on the CCHA Player of the
Year. The 6-3 victory for
the sixth-ranked team - Ti IV
the sixth goal was scored
on an empty net - has
paved the way to the next
item on its list, a matchup T s
with top-ranked Michigan X p:
in tonight's semifinal. Saturday I
The win was Alaska-
Fairbanks' first ever in
Super 6 play in just its
second appearance in tournament
history.
"When these guys put their mind
to something we haven't done before,
they get it done," Nanooks coach Tavis
MacMillan said. "Now we've never
won two games in the Super 6."
The Wolverines and Nanooks face
off tonight, but Michigan will see a
completely different team than the
one it swept in a two-game series
in January. When Alaska-Fairbanks
came up from Bowling Green to face
Michigan in Ann Arbor during the
regular season, it was riding a six-
game winless streak. Following the
victory yesterday, Alaska is 9-4-3 in
its last 16 games and undefeated in
five- contests.
"They are a team that you are going
to have to show up and play and skate,"

:<_
:>i
IC

Michigan assistant coach Billy Powers
said. "If you don't skate against Alas-
ka, you'll be in trouble.
What Powers saw in tonight's oppo-
nent was a team that was rolling. The five
goals against Tarkki were the most he
has allowed all season against conference
opponents.
"I think we'll have our hands full in
terms of containing the puck against their
top-two lines and (Ryan)
"""""""" McLeod," Powers said. "I
.EKEND really think, offensively,
they are as gifted as we are.
A >."<' That's how highly I think of
them."
IAMA 4-5 Perhaps most indicative
ts Net of the roll that Alaska-Fair-
aals - 4:O banks is on comes from the
s<35 names of last night's scor-
ers. Junior Kelly Czuy, the
team's third-leading scor-
er, was held without a point against the
Wildcats, while second-ranked scorer
Curtis Fraser had just an assist.
The Nanooks power play - which
accounted for all four of Alaska-
Fairbanks' goals at Yost in January
- scored three goals against North-
ern Michigan. Powers attributed much
of this success to the traffic created
in front of the net. Even though he
believes that blocking shots before the
Nanooks can get close to the net could
be a difference maker, Powers said it
comes down to walking the fine line of
keeping the front of the net clear while
staying out of the penalty box.
"It's up to our defense to be smart
on how they are moving people (in
front of the net) and not taking pen-
alties," Powers said. "It's not easy. If
someone gets good position on your

With the first of 15 spring practices set
for tomorrow, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
says he is eager to get to work.
"It's really a new team, and that's always
an exciting time," Carr said. "You've got to
find replacements for the guys who left and
do the things it takes to put another team
together."
The Wolverines return 15 starters from
last year's team, a squad that finished 9-
3, shared the Big Ten championship with
Iowa and lost the Rose Bowl to Texas on
the game's final play.
Many consider Michigan a preseason
top-five team, but Carr readily admitted
that there is plenty to work on between now
and the spring game on April 16.
The most critical issue is the defense's
play against the spread offense and mobile
quarterbacks, the emergence of which Carr
called "the biggest change in college foot-
ball since the wishbone." After a solid start
to the season, the Wolverines allowed 33
points per game in the season's final four
games.
Although Carr didn't specifically say
what he had learned from his evaluation
of last season's finish, he said that both the
scheming and the performance of individu-
al players - open-field tackling in particu-
lar - will be worked on.
"You have to tackle better, and that's a
challenge," Carr said. "With everything
spread out, players are asked to make tack-
les in the open field. It's a much different
game than 20 years ago."
In the next month, Michigan will also
spend time finding replacements for receiv-
er Braylon Edwards, cornerback Marlin

By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Editor

Jackson, offensive lineman David Baas
and safety Ernest Shazor, all of whom were
All-Americans last season.
Filling the void left by the four won't be
up to specific players, Carr said. To replace
Edwards, who carried the Wolverines'
offense for stretches last season, Carr hopes
projected starters Jason Avant and Steve
Breaston will have their best seasons yet.
Carr is also looking forward to seeing
how quarterback Chad Henne and running
back Mike Hart progress during their first
spring in Ann Arbor. Henne will receive
the vast majority of snaps in the next month.
Matt Gutierrez, who had shoulder surgery
last fall, will not participate in contact drills
and Clayton Richard is currently playing
on Michigan's baseball team.
The hope for Hart - the Big Ten's
leading rusher last fall - is that he will
not have to be the workhorse he was last
season. Carr said he is looking forward to
seeing freshman Max Martin and Kevin
Grady, who will be a freshman in the fall
but is already enrolled in classes, during the
next month's practice sessions.
Aside from individual improvement, a
priority for many Wolverines this spring
will be simply to get healthy. Carr said he
couldn't remember having so many play-
ers either out or limited by injury, and, as
a result, there will be less contact drills
and tackling. Among those dealing with
injuries are defensive linemen Jeremy Van
Alstyne and Tim Jamison, as well as offen-
sive linemen Jake Long and Leo Henige.
Because so many players are banged up,
Carr had a message for fans contemplating
making the trip to Michigan Stadium for
the spring game on April 16th: "If you're
looking for tackling, come back on Sep-
tember 3."

TONY DING/Daily
Nanook defenseman Cramer Hickey (12) squares-off with Michigan's Tim Cook, T.J.
Hensick and Kevin Porter. The two teams meet tonighin the CCHA Super 6 semi-finals.

goalie, you're better off almost leav-
ing them there. Because if you start
to get involved, there are two guys
screening (the goalie). It's a bit of a
science and an art."
INJURY UPDATE: Michigan will be
without senior David Moss for at least
tonight's game against the Nanooks
as he nurses a calf injury. Michigan
will move sophomore David Rohlfs
back from the point to his native
position on the wing and bring soph-
omore Tim Cook back into the line-
up to fill the vacant spot. Sophomore
Mike Brown will play tonight after
he took yesterday's practice off to

attend to family business.
CRASHED cup: Should the Wolver-
ines claim the CCHA title, they're
not sure what they will be carrying
during its parade around the ice. The
Mason Cup, awarded to the tourna-
ment champion, was dropped during
last night's CCHA award banquet.
According to witnesses, the silver
cup at the top of the trophy survived
the fall while the base shattered onto
the Fox Theatre floor.
"I heard (the trophy) go thump,"
one witness said. "I turned around
and just saw pieces of it all over the
floor."

Top grapplers
escape upsets
By Mark Giannotto
Daily Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS - There is a belief in college wrestling that any-
thing can happen once the NCAA Championships start. On the
first day of this year's tournament, that theory held true.
In the first and second rounds of the championships, numerous
top seeds went down to previously unranked opponents. Luckily
for No. 6 Michigan, all of their ranked wrestlers prevailed, and
the team finished the first day in sixth place overall.
Freshman Josh Churella almost succumbed to the upset bug
in his second-round match. He narrowly defeated unranked Don
Fisch of Rider University 10-8 in double overtime.
Churella, the No. 3 seed in the 141-pound weight class, opened
the match aggressively, recording two takedowns in the opening
minutes, but gave up a takedown and a reversal to Fisch later.
After the match, Churella conceded that he had been suffering
from a chest cold and that the cold had affected his stamina dur-
ing the match. Churella used nearly all of his injury time during
the match due to his weakened condition.
In overtime, Churella looked like he got his second wind.
Although he was unable to get a takedown during the one-min-
ute sudden death period, he was the aggressor throughout. He
nearly got several takedowns but failed to finish any of them.
The match then went to double overtime, where Churella used
his momentum from the first overtime and turned Fisch to his
back for two near fall points and captured the victory. The win
moved him to the quarterfinal round this morning.
"It wasn't the prettiest win, but you just have to win," Churella
said. "I want to come back strong for the quarterfinals, and hope-
fully make All-American."
Junior heavyweight Greg Wagner was also nearly beaten
earlier than expected in his second-round match. Against
Northwestern's Dustin Fox, who he defeated 14-1 at the Big Ten
Championships two weeks ago, Wagner could not finish any of
his takedowns. The match moved to overtime in a 1-1 tie. Fortu-
nately for Wagner and the Wolverines, he was able to take down
Fox with a quick double leg maneuver.

E WOMEN'S SWIMMING
Tankers wade through day one

By Sara Uvingston
Daily Sports Writer

TONY DING/Daily
Josh Churella won his first match at the NCAA Championships.
"(Fox) made some adjustments from the last time I faced
him," Wagner said. "You have to take it match by match here
because anyone can beat you."
Churella and Wagner will be joined in the quarterfinal round
by freshman Eric Tannenbaum and co-captains Ryan Churella
and Ryan Bertin. All three made easy work of their opponents.
"It helps a ton to get through the first day of the tournament
easily," Bertin said. "You get a lot of the nervousness out of your
system and get used to the environment here."
In addition to the wrestlers who qualified by advancing to the
quarterfinals, the Wolverines also have sophomores Nick Roy
and Mark Moos in the consolation bracket. Sophomore Joshua
Weitzel was the only wrestler eliminated on the first day.
"I thought, overall, we had a great day," Michigan coach Joe
McFarland said. "We've got seven of our eight guys still in the
tournament. Our goal is to try and get in the top five, and we
want some guys wrestling for national championships. If our
guys keep wrestling the way they did today, we've got a good
shot at accomplishing our goals."
The NCAA Championships continue throughout the weekend
with the championship bouts scheduled for Saturday night.

After just one day of competition in
West Lafayette, the No. 14 Michigan
women's swimming and diving team sits
with 37 team points in 10th place at the
NCAA Championships. The Wolver-
ines had eight swimmers qualify for the
championships on Thursday, reaching
either the finals or consolation race in
three of the five events.
"The races let us know that we can
swim with a lot of the big boys in certain
events," Michigan coach Jim Richardson
said. "We just have to dig deep a little
bit. And things aren't going to come as
easily here as they did at Big Tens, but I
think some of the swimmers really swam
through despite still being tired."
In the 200-yard freestyle relay -
Michigan's strongest race - the com-
bination of sophomore Kaitlyn Brady,
senior Amy McCullough, junior Abby
Seskevics and sophomore Lindsey
Smith clocked in at a time of 1:30.46 in
the preliminary race, good enough to
qualify for the finals. But, in the finals
the Wolverines were unable to shave
down their time, finishing in fifth place
with a time of 1:30.55, nearly a full
second slower than their winning time
from the Big Ten Championships of
1:29.56. Georgia won the event, beating
the Wolverines by 2.45 seconds and set-

ting a new NCAA record.
"I was kind of hoping we would go
1:29 again," Richardson said. "I think
that it speaks of how well we were a
month ago and how we were able to
come back at this meet and be the fifth
best team in the U.S. I think that this is
a great accomplishment for this group
of young women,, and they have come
a long way with this relay, and they all
deserve to be All-Americans."
While they were unable to reach the
finals, Brady and freshman Justine Muel-
ler had the opportunity to earn Michigan
always-critical team points in the consola-
tion races. Brady, who came in 14th in the
preliminary race, struggled in the conso-
lation race. She put up a time of 23.01 and
finished in seventh place (15th overall in
the event).
In the preliminary race, Mueller
placed 12th in the 200-yard individual
medley with a time of 1:59.84. Muel-
ler was able to overcome any first-time
jitters and clocked in with a time of
1:59.07, finishing first in the consola-
tion race (ninth overall in the event)
and shaving .77 seconds off of her pre-
liminary time.
"I thought she handled the pres-
sure of being a freshman and being
in a meet like this extremely well,"
Richardson said. "She swam really
well and really maintained her focus
throughout the race."

Sophomore Susan Gillian failed to
qualify for the finals of the prelimi-
nary round in the 500-yard freestyle,
coming in 48th place with a time of
4:53.66. The Wolverines' 400-yard
medley relay team clocked in at 18th
place, also failing to earn a spot in
the finals or consolation race. The
team - consisting of junior Carolina
Sierra, freshmen Valeria Silva, Brady
and McCullough - posted a time of
3:44.30 and was six seconds away
from reaching the consolation race.
While many teams in attendance had
been focusing on the NCAA Champi-
onships all season, ignoring their con-
ference tournaments and structuring
their schedule so that their swimmers
would be in top form for this event, the
focus of the Wolverines' season was
the Big Ten Championships, where the
Wolverines won several individual Big
Ten titles.
"We're just not deep enough to finish
in the top five," Richardson said. "(We
had) different agendas this year in where
we were going to peak, and we chose to
do that in Big Tens. Our focus was Big
Tens. We wanted to swim well there and
we did."
The NCAA Championships continue
tonight and tomorrow. Michigan will be
competing in 11 more events while earn-
ing points to add to its score for the team
championship.

Attention: Pre-Med/Pre-Nursing Students
Excellent opportunity to work with doctors in a camp
infirmary setting, as a Camp Health Officer.We
will pay for the short certification course.
Enjoy working in a beautiful Northern
Michigan setting.

ArARTU fE
A comic opera by Kirke Mechem
Can a desperate family prevent a pious con-man from
stealing their inheritance in this high-spiritedfarce?

Japan Student Association presents:
Maturi
Japan Cultural, Festival- 2005

HIREYOURSELF
Just starting out? Finding the right job can be tough, especially
with every student's least favorite word - experience - popping
up in nearly every want ad. With Tupperware, the best
business opportunity in America, you'll quickly be on your
way to earning a terrific income, developing leadership skills,

Directed by
Kay Walker Castaldo
Univ. Philharmonia Orchestra
conducted by Andrew George
UM School of Music
Opera Theatre
Sung in English with projected

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