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December 09, 2005 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-12-09

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Friday
December 9, 2005
sports.michigandaily. com
sports@michigandaily.com

POeRlE dgattSil

8

To end skid, Icers' focus is on 'D'

By Daniel Levy
Daily Sports Writer
The No. 7 Michigan hockey hopes a pair of
recent trends come to a halt this weekend.

The Wolverines host No.
Omaha this weekend in a bat-
tle between two teams heading
in opposite directions. The
Wolverines (5-3-1 CCHA, 9-5-
1 overall) come into tonight's
game having lost four straight,
while the Mavericks (5-5-0,
9-6-0) swept Ferris State last
weekend to extend their win-
ning steak to a season-high
four games.
"Omaha is one of the hot

20 Nebraska-
THiS WEEK~
Neh ask.O
YostmkeAe
teams in our

assists last weekend.
"They are going to get their chances,"
Berenson said. "Thomas led the league in
scoring last year, and he is on his way to
doing it again."
Michigan should get its fair share of chanc-
es to score as well. Nebraska-Omaha
is 10th in the CCHA in defense, and
LEND the Wolverines still own the nation's
top power play. Michigan enters
tonight's game with a 15-game
power play goal streak.
r>> The focus might be on scoring
tonight, but Berenson would like to
K> see his team make a conscious effort
to play tough defense.
"We have to play well defensive-
ly," Berenson said. "Part of that is an attitude.
It's not a skill."
The pressure doesn't lie solely on the
defensemen to stop the Mavericks' attack.
Michigan will be looking for a complete team
effort in trying to slow one of the nation's
most potent offenses.
"Whether it's forechecking or getting (the
puck) out of our own zone, a lot of it is little
things then end up being big," Berenson said.
"If we do that, then you'll say Michigan played
well, and we will end up taking away from
their team, their line and their strengths."
Along with putting an emphasis on defense,

a return to the basics could help Michigan end
its losing streak.
"I think we are doing way too much with
the puck and without," sophomore forward
Chad Kolarik said. "We just (have to) get (the
puck) deep, play north-south hockey and stop
trying to make one-on-one moves."
This weekend will be important for reasons
other than just trying to end Michigan's longest
losing strerak since 1988. After being swept
at Miami (Ohio) last weekend, the Wolverines
now sit 10 points back of the RedHawks in
the CCHA standings. Despite having played
three fewer CCHA games, Michigan's chanc-
es to repeat as conference champions will all
but disappear if it gives up any more ground.
Also, the weekend series against Nebraska-
Omaha presents the final two games it will
face until the end of the month when they face
No. 5 Colorado College at the Great Lakes
Invitational. It will be very difficult for the
Wolverines to head into the GLI with any sort
of confidence if they have to sit on a six-game
losing streak for three weeks.
"We've got two games before Christmas,
and we really need them to get back on the
right track," alternate captain Brandon Kale-
niecki said. "That's the most important thing.
Obviously, we need to win these two just to
get the points for the CCHA. We have to make
sure we are still on track for that."

league," Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
"They've won four straight, and their top line
is the top-scoring line in the country."
Nebraska-Omaha is second in the nation in
scoring, averaging just under four goals per
game. Its first unit features the deadly duo of
Scott Parse and Bill Thomas. Parse, who had
tallied nine goals and 18 assists this season,
has at least one point in every game. Thomas
leads the team with 12 goals and currently
holds a 10-game point streak. He earned
CCHA Offensive Player of the Week hon-
ors after scoring four goals and adding two

STEVEN TAI/Daily
Brandon Kaleniecki and the Wolverines will look to end a four-game losing streak this weekend.
oad woes no more
for undefeated Blue d

MEN S SWIMMING AND DIVING
T anker's growth
spurt spurs success

By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer

March 6, 2004.
On that day, the Michigan men's
basketball team defeated Northwest-
ern 63-56 in Evanston.
With the win, the Wol- -
verines captured their ToM
third road victory of the>
2003-04 season.
Dec. 10, 2005.
Tomorrow, Michigan
travels to Tampa to take
on South Florida in hopes
of securing its third road
victory of the young season. The win
would eclipse last year's total of two
and match the three posted by the
2003-04 team.
Already, Michigan has traveled to
Boston University and Notre Dame to
play two tough teams on their home
court, and, both times, the Wolver-
ines have emerged victorious.
Now, Michigan (6-0) will take
its unblemished record on the road
against a South Florida team hungry
to avenge last season's 71-62 loss in
Ann Arbor.
"It's going to be a tremendous
challenge for us," Michigan men's
basketball coach Tommy Amaker
said. "It will be our third road game,
and I'm not sure many people have
done that. If we could somehow
muster up enough to win the game in
South Florida, that will be a tremen-
dous accomplishment."
South Florida (4-2) returns home
to the USF Sun Dome for tomorrow's
contest after a four-game road trip in
which it went 2-2, dropping games
to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and
Florida International.
The Bulls have missed Terrence
Leather, who averaged a team-lead-
ing 18 points last season. Replacing
the graduated star forward, senior
guard James Holmes has paced the
Bulls by averaging 20 points per
game.
The Wolverines believe the key to

winning their third road game will
be to continue to play their game by
spreading the ball around. In recent
victories, Michigan has boasted
a balanced attack. Against Notre
Dame, the Wolverines had four play-
ers score in double dig-
iet:En its. In the preceding
'R1UOW game against Miami,
five players posted
double figures. Even
though the Wolverines
had just two players in
double digits against
Delaware State on
Wednesday, they still
registered 19 assists and rotated the
ball well.
"We've worked really hard to bring
this program back to a certain level,"
Horton said. "We feel like we're not
quite there yet, but we feel like we're
on the right path."
PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE: Just three
seconds remained on the clock before
the end of the first half in Michigan's
69-49 win against Delaware State on
Wednesday night.
Delaware State's Tracey Worley
had just driven to the basket and con-
verted a lay-up to bring the Hornets
within five.
Amaker had just turned to begin
the walk into the locker room.
That's when junior Dion Harris
took a pass from Horton and stopped
just past half-court to launch a
prayer before the horn buzzed.
Harris's shot floated through the
air and into the basket, allowing the
Wolverines to take a 32-24 lead into
halftime.
"I turned away and couldn't
believe that it went in," Amaker
said. "I was watching it and just
assumed that it was going to miss.
... We needed that to give us a little
lift, and maybe that took a little bit
of the wind out of (Delaware State's)
sails going into the half."
GETTING HIS MONEY'S WORTH:
Everyone in Crisler Arena hushed
whenever junior center Courtney

By Anne Ulble
Daily Sports Writer

When Michigan senior Andrew
Albright was a freshman in high
school, he didn't make his school's
varsity swimming team. But the
following year, he won the Indiana
state championship title in the 100-
yard breaststroke.
"I really got motivated after
my first year swimming competi-
tively," Albright said. "But, it also
didn't hurt that I grew six inches
and gained 40 pounds."
Growing up in Carmel, Ind.,
Albright began swimming when
he was an 8-year-old on summer
league teams. But it wasn't until he
was 15 years old that he got serious
with the sport.
Albright credits his coaches from
his club team as being very influen-
tial in his pursuit to become a bet-
ter and more competitive swimmer.
"They knew how to push me in
and out of the pool," Albright said.
"Since they placed a lot of their
former swimmers into good col-
lege programs, I thought they could
make me a better swimmer and help
me pursue the opportunity to swim
in college. They made me a much
stronger swimmer."
Upon the spring of his senior
year of high school, Albright had
already signed with Michigan. Part
of his decision to compete in Ann
Arbor was to work with legendary
coach Jon Urbanchek, who coached
Albright for two years before turn-
ing the program over to Bob Bow-
man in 2004.
In Albright's first year at Michi-
gan, the team won the Big Ten
Championships in Bloomington,
and he knew he had come to the
right place.
"That meet set the tone for my
experience here," Albright said. "It
made me excited about swimming,

and I wanted to improve."
Bowman describes Albright as a
quiet and contentious swimmer who
is a positive leader on the team.
"Andrew is a great team person,"
Bowman said. "He doesn't have to
be at the forefront of the team to
lead. I rely on him to get a feel for
where we are with some of the other
swimmers on the team because he
works so well with his teammates."
Bowman also pointed to Albright
as one of the most technically driv-
en swimmers he's coached.
"Andrew is very smart about
swimming," Bowman said. "He is a
student of the sport. He's tuned into
the bigger picture of swimming and
understands the global issues like
who's doing what and how teams
operate."
Albright credits this mindset to
his drive to always improve when
he gets into the pool.
"I'm always in it," Albright said.
"I think about times, I know other
swimmers' abilities, and I'm always
trying to figure out ways to get bet-
ter. Sometimes, I think about it too
much."
As one of the few swimmers that
competes in breaststroke, Albright
plays a pivotal role on the team.
"We count on him in every meet,"
Bowman said. "He plays his role
very well, and I have a lot of faith
in his abilities."
Albright plans on graduating
this spring and possibly pursing a
career in law. Though on the verge
of the "real" world, Albright isn't
quite ready to think about leaving
the pool and his team.
"I don't know if I'm ready to
leave this place," Albright said.
"It seems like just yesterday I was
a freshman thinking, 'Wow, the
seniors are so old.' Swimming for
Michigan has been a great opportu-
nity, and it'll stay with me until I'm
old and gray."

ALEX DZIADOSZ/Daily
Point guard Daniel Horton and the Wolverines won just two road games last year.

Sims stepped to the free throw line
during the first half.
The fans watched silently -
except for one man in the bleacher
seats directly behind the Delaware
State bench. Standing in a baby
blue sweatshirt, he shouted at Sims,
calling Sims's age into question.
From that moment on, Sims could
count on one thing when he stepped
to the line: the man in the baby blue
shirt heckling him. The heckler
ranged his comments from personal

attacks to singing lyrics, such as,
"You are so beautiful to me."
"I used to get a lot of that in high
school," Sims said. "I used to be the
center of attention."
Sims shot 5-for-5 from the line in
the first half, but the heckler may
have lodged himself in Sims's head
going into the second frame. The
junior struggled to hit free throws,
converting on just two of his five
attempts in the second. He even
hoisted an airball.

Sfwitq coimedq of ddestine ssip nins, nisudersnndin s,
and marital jealousies bq the master of French bedroom farce.

THE STOVE IS HOT, BUT NOT EVERYWHERE
GRADING BASEBALL OFFSEASON MOVES

0

eav Tkkct Ofk

I lea
in her
far

New York
Mets
A
Carlos Delgado,
Paul Lo Duca and
Billy Wagner were
good additioins,
but don't trade
Kris Benson just
because his wife
almost posed for
Playboy. Now, find
a replacement for
Kaz Matsui.

Boston
Red Sox
B
Yankees fan are
as scared as Jim
Herrmann in the
fourth quarter now
that the Sox have
Josh Beckett. But
trading Man-Ram
will hurt the team
no matter what.
And who's playing
shortstop?

Detroit
Tigers
C
Kenny Rogers for
two years and $16
million? The man
is 41-years old!
And he attacks
reporters, camera-
men, fans, team-
mates, coaches,
flight attendents
and blackjack deal-
ers. Bravo.

Florida
Marlins
D
The only reason
they don't get an F
is because they held
a firesale after win-
ning it all in 1997,
and then in 2003
they were cham-
pions again. So,
maybe they know
what they're doing.
But probably not.

73-14-1

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