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September 07, 2005 - Image 56

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4E - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2005

SPORTS

I

MICHIGAN 4, Wisconsin I
COLORADO LEE 4 , Michigan 3

Frozen failure
National title slips away again."

IAN HERBERT
Caught up in the Game
MARCH 28, 2005
GRAND RAPIDS - Fourteen NHL
draft picks, three first rounders, two
50-point scorers, a Hobey Baker
finalist, a superstar goalie and the win-
ningest coach in Michigan history. Oh yeah,
and 10 seniors. That's what made up this
year's Michigan hockey team. That's what
this team was - a team that had the tools
to win it all but once again fell short in the
NCAA Tournament.
After the team's 4-3 loss to Colorado Col-
lege, senior captain Eric Nystrom put it best:
"With the talent we had in that locker room
this year, anything short of a national cham-
pionship was disappointing."
And there it is - plain and simple. Nys-
trom knew it, and the rest of the team proba-
bly did too. For students in the class of 2005,
there has been one national championship in
their time at Michigan: the field hockey team
in the fall of 2001. We go to probably the best
university in the country for sports, and we
can't win any championships.
And I have news for this year's seniors:
this hockey team was your best shot to see
a natty. The Wolverines were preseason No.
1 and, when the playoffs came around, were

playing their best hockey of the year. They
brought a 14-game unbeaten streak into the
NCAA Tournament. They had the talent to
do it. But they couldn't.
With the talent we had in that locker room
this year, anything short of a national cham-
pionship was disappointing.
There's a tendency after a game like this
to say that Michigan just got beat by a better
team. After all, Colorado College was the
No. 3 team in the nation and the top seed in
the region. The Tigers came from the terrify-
ing WCHA - the conference that amazingly
houses all four of the teams in the Frozen
Four. The nation's leading scorer, Marty Ser-
tich, is on that team. And guess what, so is
the second most prolific scorer in the country,
Brett Sterling. So Michigan was "supposed"
to lose that game, right?
But that's taking the easy way out. The
truth is that there is no excuse for losing a
game like that. The Wolverines had a three-
goal lead just minutes into the second period,
and they blew it. They were winning when
the third period started, and they couldn't
hang on. They were the better team for a lot
of the game, but not when it counted. They
didn't get beat by a better team - they lost to
a team that they should have beaten.
If you're looking for answers, stop
now. The players don't have them, the
coaches don't have them and I certainly
don't have them.
The loss left everyone in Van Andel
Arena - except the 100 or so Colorado
fans - speechless and left me searching
for some sort of explanation. I rode home to
Ann Arbor in the backseat of our University-

rented minivan about as speechless as the
Michigan players must have been on their
ride home. Here's what I've come up with:
There is no good explanation.
This Michigan hockey team's inability
to win the big game defines what athlet-
ics have been like in my four years at
Michigan - the way the team lost defines
Michigan athletics, as well. Every year,
we have teams with potential that can't
quite make it happen. Every year we have
a fluke loss, a bad call or a mistake that
costs us an important game. Every year,
my friends and I sit around on the couches
in our house and talk about how this year
is going to be the year - for football, for
basketball and for hockey. This year we
had 10 seniors. Last year we had come off
two straight trips to the Frozen Four. It's
always something.
"Every year we say, 'Learn from this
experience,' " Nystrom said. "But when are
we going to finally learn? We've blown leads,
we've been there, we've been in the games
and haven't found a way to win. You have to
take it. You don't get back here every year."
This was just another missed opportunity.
And the seniors on the hockey team gradu-
ated without a championship that they were
more than capable of getting. The rest of the
class of 2005 will leave with a field hockey
championship.
With the talent that we've had in our
locker rooms over the last four years, that is
disappointing.

"
01

Ian Herbert can be reached at
iherbert@umich.edu.

FROZEN PARADISE LOST

2001-02
28-11-5 overall record
CCHA regular-season champions
CCHA Super 6 champions
Lost to Minnesota in Frozen Four semifinals, 3-2
2002-03
30-10-3 overall record
CCHA regular-season runner-up
CCHA Super 6 champions
Lost to Boston College in NCAA regional finals, 3-2 (OT)

2003-04
27-14-2 overall record
CCHA regular-season champions
CCHA Super 6 runner-up
Lost to Minnesota in Frozen Four semifinals, 3-2 (0)
2004-05
31-8-3 overall record
CCHA regular-season champions
CCHA Super 6 champions
Lost to Colorado College in NCAA regional finais, 4-3

JASON COOPER/Daily
Senior captain Eric Nystrom's shot sails wide of the Colorado College goal. The game was a collection of
missed chances for the Wolverines, especially Michigan's 10 seniors who graduated without a championship.

TIGERS
Continued from page 1E
But it may have been the Tigers' second goal of
the night that broke the Wolverines' spirits. With
Sweatt in the penalty box and Michigan on the
power play, Colorado College was able to mount
a shorthanded rush into the offensive zone. After
Montoya saved defenseman Mark Stuart's shot,
forward Trevor Frischmon-scooped up the-rebound
and put the puck past Montoya low to the glove side
with 4:33 left in the second period.
Colorado College tied the game 4:24 into the
third period onforward Joey Crabb's wrist shot
from the left slot.
Junior Andrew Ebbett nearly regained the lead
for Michigan at the 10:30 mark of the third, but his
wide-angle shot from the left side of the net passed
through the crease just in front of the posts.
Just 30 seconds later, Frischmon notched the
game-winner. After Montoya stopped forward J.P.
Brunkhorst's shot, the rebound came out in traffic.
Frischmon wound up with the puck and fired it past
Montoya from the left circle for Colorado College's
first lead of the game.
Despite a power play opportunity in the waning
moments, Michigan was unable to convert.
Colorado College coach Scott Owens was proud
of his team's effort, especially against a squad like
Michigan, which Owens called "probably the hot-
test team in the country."
On the other hand, some Wolverines were left
despondent as they faced the prospect of a long off-
season. Others mourned the end of their Michigan
careers.
Nystrom took the loss particularly hard, but he
cited even more important reasons for his sorrow.
"The hardest thing is going around the locker
room and hugging those guys for the last time," Nys-
trom said. "We're never going to put the Michigan
jersey on together ever again. So that's the hardest
part. The game is just a game. It's a big game, and it
hurts to lose it, but these are your closest friends. To
not be able to play with them again is even harder.
There's just been so many memories, highs and
lows, good and bad. It's been a hell of a run, and it
sucks (that) it ends like this."

'M' tops Buckeyes
in CCHApVlayoffs

By Jake Rosenwasser
MA RCH 21, 2005a
Daily Staff Writer

DETROIT - After Michigan senior Jason
Ryznar scored an empty-net goal with less than a
second remaining in Michi-
gan's 4-2 victory over Ohio H TE
State, Wolverine goalie Al HG
Montoya left the net he had
been guarding so closely.A A N '1
He skated throughout his
zone and along the boards
with his hands raised in
celebration. He even banged the glass with his
goalie stick as the 16,000-plus fans in attendance
at Joe Louis Arena - most of whom were clad
in maize and blue - cheered. And because the
final buzzer hadn't sounded yet, all Ohio State
could do was watch.
And after the formality of a faceoff, the Wol-
verines players flipped their helmets and gloves
in the air and continued the celebration of their
third CCHA tournament victory in the last four
years. With Saturday's win, No. 4 Michigan
avenged its loss to the No. 10 Buckeyes in last
year's CCHA Tournament final and wrestled the
Mason Cup back to Ann Arbor.
"Last year was tough, watching them skate
around with the Cup," Michigan forward Jeff
Tambellini said. "We came out, played hard
and got it done. Any time you can beat Ohio
State - with that rivalry they have with Mich-
igan - it's a great feeling."
The Wolverines took the lead early in the
third period when Tambellini - the tourna-
ment's Most Valuable Player - flipped a shot at
the Ohio State net from deep in the corner. The
puck took a fortunate bounce off of Ohio State

J

defender Jason DeSantis and slipped past Ohio
State goalie David Caruso give Michigan a 3-2
lead that they would not relinquish.
"It's a typical Tambellini kind of goal," Tam-
bellini said. "I've scored half my goals in my
career like that. I just shoot the puck, throw it to
the net, and usually good things happen."
Ohio State got one too. In the second period,
just 11 seconds after senior Milan Gajic gave
Michigan a 2-1 lead with his second power
play goal of the game, Ohio State captain J.B.
Bittner centered a puck from behind Michi-
gan's net. The pass deflected off of Michigan
defenseman Eric Werner's skate and into the
net to even the game at 2-2.
The game - a matchup between the CCHA's
top two teams - was hard-hitting and close
throughout. Werner set the tone less than a min-
ute into the game when he leveled Ohio State
forward Andrew Schembri in the neutral zone.
And until Ryznar scored the empty-net goal to
push the lead to 4-2, the margin was never more
than one goal.
"It was a hard-fought game," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said. "Ohio State has had a great
year, and they lived up to their billing tonight. It
was a game that could have gone either way."
Ohio State coach John Markell wished that
one whistle, in particular, went the Buckeyes'
way. In the first period, with Michigan lead-
ing 1-0, a Buckeye sent a shot at Montoya from
the point. Montoya made the save and the puck
disappeared, for just a second, somewhere in
the clutter of his jersey and pads. Then the
whistle blew.
An instant later the puck became visible
behind Montoya. Ohio State forward Kenny
Bernard slapped the puck into the net and Ohio
State thought they had evened the score. But the

S

RYAN WEINER/Daily
Forwards TJ. Hensick and Jeff Tambellini pose with the Mason Cup after the CCHA championship.
Following the season, Hensick and Tambellini, the Wolverines' two top scorers, were named MVP.

play was reviewed, and because the whistle had
blown, the goal was disallowed.
"The puck was held for a millisecond, and
the whistle was gone," Markell said. "(The ref-
eree) lost sight of the puck. That was a legiti-
mate goal. Any time you can score a goal in a
game with this kind of magnitude - I think
we had other mistakes, but that kind of goal
being called back is positioning by the referee.
We have to live with it."
He also had to live with the stellar play of
Montoya. The junior made 27 saves and faced

significantly more pressure than he had seen in
the earlier rounds of the tournament. After a
sub-par regular season, Montoya has raised the
level of his game in the playoffs. In four playoff
games this season, Montoya has surrendered
just four goals.
On Friday, Michigan beat Alaska-Fairbanks
3-1 in the semi-finals. Juniors Tambellini and
Brandon Kaleniecki and freshman Chad Kolarik
scored and Al Montoya made 12 saves to put
the Wolverines in their fifth CCHA Tournament
final in a row.

Tarwater fulfills lifelong dream, wins NCAA 200-yard butterfly *

By Anne Ulble
MARCH 28, 2005
Daily Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS - Junior Davis Tarwater
dreamt of earning an NCAA title since he was seven
years old and watched Tennessee swimmer Melvin
Stewart claim the event title and record in the 200-
yard butterfly.
"When Davis was 10 years old he was the (Knox-
ville) city champion in the 25-yard butterfly,"
Davis's father, Dwight Tarwater, said. "He got a
letter from Stewart congratulating him on winning
the event. I think that got Davis really excited about
swimming. Never would I have imagined that 11

as he stepped up to the block.
"He had a healthy confidence going into the
event," Dwight said. "He had a pretty full program
over the three days, so we were just hoping that he
had enough steam to finish it off in this race."
As the official hit the buzzer to start the race,
Tarwater got off to a slow start and was the sev-
enth swimmer to make the first turn. At the 100-
yard mark Tarwater moved up to fourth place and
tried to track down Stanford's Jamie Cramer, who
maintained a lead of an arm's length over the rest
of the field. In the third 50-meter stretch, Tarwa-
ter made a pivotal move to take the lead position
and was even with the fading Cramer. As Tarwater
took control of the pack, he was followed closely
by, T~n' RP e.r Anrink the rrpuninc NIC'A A

He broke out into a huge grin and lifted his hands
above his head. Then he pointed up into the stands
to where his family was sitting.
"I didn't really know what to do," Tarwater said.
"I just kind of did whatever the first thing that came
to my mind. I did some kind of celebration, but
words really can't describe how it felt."
Dwight and Mary Tarwater were elated when
they saw Davis won.
"It's very emotional to see one of your own win
a national championship," Dwight said. "Davis has
worked so hard for this moment, and we couldn't be
more proud."
At the awards ceremony, the trophies for the
event were handed out by Olympic gold medalist at
the 200 Svdwne'v games and forme~r Miciga~ngreat

I J:' , s

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