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October 06, 2005 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-06

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 6, 2005 -15A

0R Wings skate to
victory in first game

Sugiyama aces first
test as a Wolverine

DETROIT (A P) - It didn't take long
for Pavel Datsyuk to make a return on
Detroit's investment.
Datsyuk scored 95 seconds into
the game, assisted another goal sev-
eral minutes later and the Red Wings
went on to beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1
yesterday night in the opener for both
teams.
"That's why we wanted him back,"
Detroit coach Mike Babcock said
after making his debut behind the Red
Wings' bench. "He showed why a lot of
people think he's one of the top young
players in the NHL."
The 27-year-old center returned to
Detroit for a $7.8 million, two-year
contract last week after threatening to
stay home and play in Russia for a sec-
ond straight season.
"I'm happy to be back in Detroit," he
said.
Despite his late arrival, Datsyuk
didn't look rusty and seemed to mesh
well with his teammates.
"The same players play," he said. "I
didn't come to the camp, but it's the
same team. It's a good start, not only
for me, but for the team."
A 2-1 game turned into a rout in the
second period when Detroit scored
three goals while St. Louis took just
three shots, none of which got past
Manny Legace, who needed to make a
mere 13 saves.
"That was unacceptable," said St.
Louis' Dallas Drake, whose only
shot was in the third period. "We just
refused to shoot the puck."

Patrick Lalime allowed four goals on
24 shots before the Blues replaced him
with Reinhard Divis midway through
the second period. '
"They have a good team, but we
showed them too much respect,"
Lalime said.
Robert Lang, Mathieu Schneider,
Mikael Samuelsson and Brett Lebda
scored for the Red Wings, who still
seem to have a lot of talent despite hav-
ing to cut their payroll almost in half
because of the NHL's $39 million sal-
ary cap, a result of the lockout that cost
last season.
Eric Brewer had a goal midway
through the first period for the Blues,
who will be challenged to extend the
longest playoff streak in professional
sports to 26 straight years after this
season because their owners have put
the streamlined team on the market.
St. Louis traded star defenseman
Chris Pronger to Edmonton, allowed
forward Pavol Demitra to leave as a
free agent, and legendary defenseman
Al MacInnis retired.
"It's a new world," Blues coach Mike
Kitchen said.
The one-sided game didn't provide
much excitement, but Shanahan did with
some feisty play in the third period.
After Keith Tkachuk knocked down
Datsyuk and was called for roughing,
Shanahan pounced on him and the two
were in the middle of a scrum. Shana-
han fought skate-to-skate with Jamal
Mayers later in the period, sending the
crowd into a frenzy.

By Bryan Hamilton
For the Daily
Remember that feeling?
You're a freshmen, you're walking
to your first college test.
You're nervous, unconfident,
maybe unprepared.
Now imagine, that your first test isn't
in chemistry or calculus, but in tennis.
Not only are you up against the
pressure of your debut, but up against
upperclassmen looking to beat down
on a young, inexperienced freshmen.
You thought solving derivatives
and integrals was tough.
But it was Michigan women's ten-
nis freshman Chisako Sugiyama,
who in her debut looked like the
experienced upperclassman. In her
first tournament as a Wolverine, Sug-
iyama posted a perfect 9-0 record to
claim the singles title this past week-
end at the Wolverine Invitational.
"I certainly didn't expect to go
undefeated," Sugiyama said. "But I
felt confident because of the way that
I played my doubles matches heading
into singles play."
And as for those first time jitters
and nerves?
"I wasn't really nervous at all,"
Sugiyama said. "I was obviously the
underdog going into the tournament
and that's a role I like because I don't
feel like there's a lot of pressure on
me."
After such a performance, it's
doubtful that Sugiyama will find,
herself in many more underdog roles.
Dominating the competition, Sugi-
yama coasted to the finals by sweep-
ing through her first three opponents
in six sets.
In the finals loomed the 109th
ranked women's player in the world,
Western Michigan's Rattiya Hiran-
rat. The unfazed freshmen continued
on her tear and rocked the heav-
ily favored Hiranrat, 6-1, 6-3. After
mowing down her opponents with
such command, Sugiyama sought
perspective.

"When I won the match and real-
ized that she was ranked so high, I
was very surprised because of the
way I beat her," Sugiyama said.
"But rankings really don't mean that
much. I don't really even know how
the system works and how you get
ranked like that. Plus, it's only one
match."
Such perspective and a level-head-
ed attitude were instrumental in get-
ting the Japan native to Michigan.
The tennis prodigy was recruited
by several schools, including Big
Ten-rival Illinois, but she ultimately
chose Michigan for the balance that
it offered.
"I've always loved big universi-
ties," Sugiyama said. "I come from a
small school and just saw Michigan
as a place that had a lot to offer. The
tennis facilities here are phenomenal
and, academically, they're really
good in the kinesiology field, which
is what I want to study."
Whether it's the professional
field or professional sports, it's
never too early for the potential
star freshmen to consider life,
post-collegiate tennis.
"It all really depends," Sugiyama
said. "My plan is to see where the
next four years take me with my
tennis. I may finish undergrad and
decide to go and get a Master's in my
field. But if I'm in a position to play
tennis professionally, I would love to
do that."
In the mean time, the curve has
been set high for Sugiyama for the
rest of this year. A position, to no
surprise, that Sugiyama relishes.
"I also love to have the pressure on
me," Sugiyama said. "I find that the
more pressure is on me, the harder I
push myself and the better I do."
Whatever the task - whether it's
the added pressure of playing as the
favorite, or simply being a freshman
in kinesiology taking her first exam
- if this past weekend is any indica-
tion, Sugiyama will have no problem
passing any test.

In the first Red Wings game since spring 2004, Detroit beat St. Louis, 5-1.

aJbe o-trbog UttDl
STAFF PICKS
Predictions for the upcoming
NHL hockey season
Stanley Cup Winner
Stanley Cup Runner-up
Conn Smythe trophy winner
Next team to win in a shootout
Number of Al Montoya minutes
Sidney Crosby goals
Most overrated player
Most overrated team
Number of Red Wings victories

Ian Sharad
Herbert Mattu
Montreal Philadelphia

Vancouver
Jose Theodore
Washington
60
15
Lemieux
Colorado
49

Calgary
Peter Forsberg
New Jersey
377
17
Robert Lang
Detroit
48

Kevin
Wright
Pittsburgh
Phoenix
Mario Lemieux
Columbus
1,002
25
Dany Heatley
Washington
70

II.

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