12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 13, 2005
Moss makes comeback in final year."
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
Talk about a comeback season.
Though he was named the Michigan hockey
team's most improved player after his stellar
sophomore season in 2002-03, senior David
Moss is the only Wolverine skater to already
surpass his point total from last season. After
a drop in production during his eight-goal,
12-assist junior campaign - which was
down from his sophomore effort of 14 goals
and 17 assists - Moss might be playing the
best hockey of his collegiate career in his
final year in Ann Arbor. The Livonia native
has scored 23 points in just 22 games after
scoring 20 in 38 contests last season.
"David Moss, right now, is playing as
well as I've seen him play," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said. "I think he's competing
harder. I think he's working harder. He's
playing with a little bit more patience with
the puck, and (he's) playing with a little
But for a player with most of the tools to
be a great hockey player - imposing size at
6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, deft puck-handling
ability, physically aggressive play and a posi-
tive attitude - Moss has received precious
little attention during this and past seasons.
"(Moss) is one of the guys who's always
been under the radar screen," senior captain
Eric Nystrom said. "Still, people don't recog-
nize him for the player that he is. I've always.
thought he was an underrated player, and he's
"People don't give him credit for the skills
that he has. He's an unbelievable playmaker.
He can finish the puck, and he's big. And he's
just a good, solid two-way player who can put
the puck in the net."
Moss has become more effective at using
his size to his advantage this season. In the
second period of last Saturday's game in
Kalamazoo, the center flattened a Western
Michigan player in the Broncos' zone. The
momentum shift after the hit led to a Michi-
gan offensive attack that culminated in Bran-
don Kaleniecki's second goal of the night.
The helper was credited to Moss, who had
also assisted on Kaleniecki's first score just
"Often a good hit will start a good play,"
Berenson said. "When Moss is playing physi-
cal and strong and playing with authority,
he's a better player."
Kaleniecki, who enjoys it when Moss
"knocks guys around," has developed impres-
sive chemistry with his larger linemate.
"It's exciting (to play with Moss)," Kalen-
iecki said. "I know where to go when he's got
the puck, because he's looking to make that
pass into the slot."
But Kaleniecki isn't the only player who
has found it easy to build a rapport with Moss
on the ice. Moss has spent considerable time
this season on lines with Milan Gajic, Jason
Ryznar, Jeff Tambellini and others.
And his play has stood out regardless of
who he's been teamed with.
"I feel comfortable that Moss can be the
glue on a line," Berenson said. "He plays
pretty well with anyone. As a coach, it's good
to have players who have played with multiple
players on the team and can be effective with
them. I think he plays as well with anybody
(on the team) as anyone."
For his part, Moss doesn't mind whom
he skates with in game situations. He cites
the players' high talent levels as the rea-
son for his indifference. As far as his own
play, Moss - who is tied for the team lead
with 16 assists and four power play goals
- credits his improvement to a new focus
and a sense of urgency in his final year at
"I think (I've been) focusing more, prepar-
ing more for every game," Moss said. "I think
(the fact that it's senior year) is always in the
back of your mind. You know this is your last
year, and it's do or die. If you don't perform
this year, we're not going to get to that game
we want to be playing at the end of the year.
Things need to get done."
Moss, who was drafted by the Calgary
Flames in 2001, is also known as a comedian
by his teammates. Nystrom - a 2002 Flames
draftee - is one Wolverine who appreciates
Moss's sense of humor.
"He's one of the funniest guys I know,"
Nystrom said. "He's somebody you always
want to be around, and you enjoy having him
in your company. He's witty. He's quick. He's
just a great kid."
But all joking aside, the confident Moss
has become one of the Wolverines' most dan-
"We're expecting more from (Moss) now
(compared to past seasons)," Berenson said.
"He is proving that he can be one of our top
MIKE H-U LSEBUS/ Daily
After a disappointing Junior season, current senior David Moss has found himself again. He's scored 23
points in just 22 games.
Blue gets break after losing eight in a row
By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Writer
"Hitting the wall" is an extremely com-
mon phrase in sports. Usually it's brought up
when an athlete - not used to
the season - begins to wear d(
signs of fatigue.
For the Michigan women's
basketball team, that time
might be now. The Wol-
verines have dropped eight
games in a row and may
need to recover physically.
With many freshmen playing
key roles, it is possible that
the road games and strenuous
the rigors of
own and show
While Michigan no doubt needs time to
mend and include new schemes in its play-
book, the Wolverines also need to heal their
psyche a bit.
"(It's a time to) get mentally focused,"
Burnett said. "To have this amount of time to
work on ourselves is really good."
Part of the work the team needs to do
includes gaining some confidence back after
losing to No. 5 Ohio State 84-56 on Tues-
day night. Michigan stuck with the Buckeyes
for the first 13 minutes of the game, but the
shooting barrage from Ohio State senior
guard Caity Matter - who had a game-high
28 points - proved to be too much for the
Wolverines to handle.
Senior forward Tabitha Pool hopes the
team will be able to bounce back after its
"We just want to get better each day," Pool
said. "The losing is probably, I don't know,
depressing everybody. It'd be OK if we get
a loss if we went out all hard, but I don't see
that. I think that's a big step. We need to just
go and put two halves together."
A TALE OF TWO HALVES: Pool struggled in
the first half, shooting just I-for-8 from the
field as Ohio State took an insurmountable
21-point lead. But the second half was a dif-
ferent story, as Pool kept firing away, and her
shots started to drop. She finished with 23
points, 16 of which came in the second half.
"I just said; 'Let's just go,' " said Pool.
"We're not going to give up. We've got to keep
going. I was just trying to penetrate to get
some open looks for the perimeter players."
Pool's shooting was not enough to keep
Michigan in the game, but her effort did not go
unnoticed by the Wolverine coaching staff.
"What I appreciate so much about Tabitha
is that in the past three games we have chal-
lenged the team in accountability, coach-
ability and effort," Burnett said. "I just
thought that Tabitha was a brilliant leader in
the second half, (and) that had nothing to do
with her offensively. But yet I think that it
results in great things."
INJURY UPDATE: With less than five minutes
to go in the game, Michigan senior forward
BreAnne McPhilamy took an elbow to the
nose in a scrum for a rebound. Her nose bled
quite a bit, but the coaching staff does not
think she will miss any time.
"I talked to the trainers, and I think that
she will be fine," Burnett said.
With freshman forward Katie Dierdorf out
indefinitely, Michigan cannot afford to lose
another Wolverine from its thin bench.
beginning to take their toll. The Wolverines
just finished three games in five days, two
of which were on the road. But now the team
has a nine-day break to rest and incorporate
some new things into its game plan.
"It's a break that we all needed, coaches
included," coach Cheryl Burnett said. "We
gave them Wednesday off and will give them
Sunday off to give us really nice recuperation
time. We finally get to add a few more things
execution-wise and to add things offensively
The women's basketball team has a nine-day rest until its next matchup. The players, Including
senior Tabitha Pool, could use the break to regroup after losing eight straight.
N WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD
Lnz happy to be back in A2
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer
adjusting, and dec
the other side of t
"She was re
Sometimes you have to leave to fully reserved," Henry
appreciate just how good you have it. freshman and sop
That's what high jumper Stephanie wasn't quite comfo
Linz realized after she left the women's didn't think that s
track and field team and transferred to have a large teami
Oakland University her junior year to play she was pretty shy
volleyball before When Linz in
returning to Michi- was leaving, he di
gan this year. personally.
After a "I was disappo
quiet freshman losophy is thatI
campaign at time," Henry sa
Michigan dur- isn't the place for
ing which she going to talk you<
redshirted the Then, after a
indoor season Linz decided to re
and finished Unable to transfer
15th in the out- Unz term because of
door Big Ten Linz had to wait u1
Championships, Linz developed term to transfert
into a consistent jumper as a sopho- and rejoin the tra
more. She was named to the All-Big "I really missed
Ten second team and finished sec- "Oakland was a sr
ond in the Big Ten Championships. got to meet a lot o
She also won the NCAA Regionals I missed the big-s
with a career-best jump of 5-10 1/2 Henry was no
and finished seventh in the high she decided to co
jump at the NCAA Championships. "I was confide
After the season, Linz earned All- come back," He
American honors. confident that s
But Linz did not adjust very well what she was mi
to the big program at Michigan. to leave in order
Although most Michigan freshmen things are here at
take time to acclimate to college life After traininga
and Michigan coach James Henry's newly implement
program, Linz was having trouble Linz has returne
Michigan wins weekly awards
The Wolverines were doused this week with weekly
A pair of Michigan hockey players - consisting of
sophomore Matt Hunwick and junior Jeff Tambellini
- was the first to get recognized. Hunwick earned the
CCHA Defensive Player of the Week award, and Tambel-
cided to experience
eally quiet and
said. "During her
phomore year, she
ortable because she
he fit in. She didn't
in high school, and
formed Henry she
idn't take the news
inted, but my phi-
I recruit you one
id. "If Michigan
r you, then I'm not
out of leaving."
year at Oakland,
eturn to Michigan.
r during the winter
until this year's fall
back to Michigan
ck and field team.
it here," Linz said.
mailer school, and I
f nice people. Still,
t surprised when
.nt that she would
nry said. "I was
he would realize
ssing. She needed
to see how good
all summer with a
ed weight routine,
d to the high jump
as a stronger athlete.
Last weekend, in the first meet of
the season, Linz won the high jump
with a height of 5-8. With that clear-
ance, she almost qualified for the
NCAA Regionals at this early stage
in the season.
Even with a strong start, Linz is
working toward two overall goals:
to jump six feet and win the Big Ten
Championships in either the indoor
or outdoor competition.
Henry has confidence in Linz's
athletic ability in and what she
should accomplish this season.
"She's picking up where she left
off," Henry said. "I want her to be
where she was when she left. She
was an All-American in track, and
she can return to that form. It's still
a reward at the end of the rainbow,
and we're working on technique and
Linz returned to Michigan with
more than focus and determination
to excel in the high jump. She came
back an entirely different person in
her coach's eyes.
"Now, she'stotally different this
year - she has changed her whole
approach," Henry said. "She's
helped to create a sense of compan-
ionship among the high jumpers."
As for the remainder of the season,
Linz isn't worried about what will
happen. She's just happy to be back.
This Friday the Wolverines will
travel to Lexington, Ky., to compete
in the Kentucky Invitational.
Chris DeJong and senior gymnast
Geoff Corrigan also took home Big Ten Athlete of the
Week honors. DeJong had strong performances against
No. 1 Southern Cal, No. 5 Standford and No. 8 Cali-
fornia last week. The junior finished no lower than sec-
ond all week. Corrigan won the all-around competition
- with a new Michigan-record score of 55.40 - at the
Windy City Invitational last weekend. He also set the
new Michigan record on the parallel bars with a 9.50.
Dudley invited to Gridiron Classic