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February 06, 2006 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-06

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 6, 2006




Andrew Ebbett
The senior captain had two goals in the sec-
ond period of Friday's game, one of which was
shorthanded. On Saturday night, he had the
assist on the game-tying goal.
"At first, I was concerned
about-why we didn't score on
the empty net. I thought we
had some time down there."
- Michigan goalie Noah Ruden describing the
sequence that led up to Ohio State's final rush on net
in the third period of Saturday night's game.

Friday's Game

Saturday's Game

Ending on a good note
Intermission changes lead to comeback victory


Points tallied by the line of Ebbett,
Kaleniecki and Kolarik during the
two games this weekend.
Goals scored by Michigan and Ohio
State in the second period of Friday's

Michigan 3, Ohio State 2
Ohio State..................1 1 0 - 2
Michigan...................0 1 2 - 3
1. OSU1 Tom Fritsche 10 (John Dingle) 6:22. Penalties - Andrew
Ebbett, MICH (tripping) 4:10; John Dingle, OSU (high-sticking)
10:28; Bryce Anderson, OSU (hooking) 13:55: Sean Collins, 051
(roughing) 15:12; Brandon Kaleniecki, MICH (roughing) 15:12; Kevin
Porter, MICH (holding the stick) 15:12; Jason DeSantis, OSU (rough-
ing) 15:12; Nate Guenin, OSU (cross-checking) 15:41.
2. MICH Tim Miller 4 (Chad Kolarik) 8:16. 3. OSU Sean Collins 7 (Kenny
Bernard) 8:47. Penalties- Matt Hunwick, MICH (cross-checking)
2:19; Tim Miller, MICH (roughing) 4:02; Dan Knapp, OSU (roughing)
4:02; Tim Miller, MICH (CTH high-stick) 11:18; Nick Biondo, OSU (CTH
high-stick) 11:18.
4. MICH Brandon Kaleniecki 11 (Andrew Ebbett) 0:12. 5. MICH Tra-
vis Turnbull 5 (Matt Hunwick) 2:20. Penalties-Jason Dest, MICH
(CTH elbowing) 2:51; Jason DeSantis, OSU (hooking) 5:40; Matt
MclIvane, OSU (tripping) 12:26.
Shots on goal: OSU 13-16-12-41; MICH 7-6-12-25. Power plays: OsU 0-of-3; MICH
0-of-15.Saves - OSU Dave Caruso (7-5-10) -22; MICH Noah Ruden
(12-15-12) - 39. Referee: Matt Shegos. Attendance: 6,817.

By Mark Giannotto
Daily Sports Writer
When the buzzer sounded at the conclu-
sion of the second period on Saturday night,
it looked bad for No. 6 Michigan.
The Wolverines trailed 2-1 and could not
get past the tough Ohio State defense. The
offense mustered just 13 shots on goal.
And for the first time all season, the Yost
Arena crowd was in shock.
Combined with Friday night's 7-5 loss
to the Buckeyes, falling Saturday would
have been crippling for the Wolverines'
postseason dreams.
But something changed during the sec-
ond period intermission.
Actually, a lot changed.
Even though the Wolverines scored five
goals in Friday night's game, Michigan
coach Red Berenson decided to switch the
offensive lines for Saturday night's contest.
Berenson broke up the very successful com-
bination of senior captain Andrew Ebbett,
senior Brandon Kaleniecki and sophomore
Chad Kolarik in order to add the more
experienced players to the other lines.
To start Saturday's game, Ebbett and
Kolarik paired with freshman forward Tim
Miller, and Kaleniecki lined up alongside
juniors T.J. Hensick and David Rohlfs.
Defensively, the line changes appeared
effective through the first two periods. The
Wolverines allowed fewer odd-man rushes
than the previous night, and goalie Noah
Ruden didn't face as many tough shots as
freshman Billy Sauer did the night before.
But the line changes altered the offen-
sive proficiency of Michigan. After scor-
ing 10 goals in the previous two games,
the Wolverines tallied just one goal
through two periods.
"The game wasn't going well, obvi-
ously," Berenson said. "I decided to put
Kaleniecki back with Ebbett, and that
seemed to help."
Along with switching the lines, Beren-
son also changed the forechecking forma-
tion. During the first two periods, Ohio
State settled into its offensive zone with
relative ease.
"They were breaking out way too easily,"
Ebbett said. "So we changed from the 1-2-2
to a left-wing lock between periods."
The left-wing lock paid instant dividends
for the Wolverines.

Ten seconds into the third stanza, Buck-
eye defenseman Sean Collins collected
the puck behind his own net. He broke out
along Ohio State's right wing (Michigan's
left wing), but Ebbett was waiting there to
steal the puck. Without hesitatinghe passed
it cross-ice to a streaking Kaleniecki, who
poked it by Buckeye goalie Dave Caruso to
tie the game at two.
That goal woke the dead Yost crowd and
gave the Wolverines momentum. Just two
minutes later, freshman Travis Turnbull
beat Caruso five-hole for the eventual game
"We were fragile and on our heels,"
Berenson said. "(Kaleniecki's) goal got us
For the weekend, the line of Ebbett,
Kaleniecki and Kolarik combined for four
goals and four assists. On Friday alone, the
trio notched six points.
"I guess coach was going on a hunch by
trying out a couple new lines because we
didn't win on (Friday night)," Ebbett said.
"But I'm always happy to have (Kaleniecki)
on my left side. He's a big boost for Chad
and I, so I'm happy to have him back."
But the forecheck and line changes were
not the only aspects the Wolverines used to
provide a third-period spark. Those stand-
ing behind the bench changed between
periods too.
Throughout the season, the Wolverines
bench staff has consisted of Berenson, an
assistant coach, two equipment managers
and a trainer. NCAA rules dictate that just
five people may be behind the bench.
But when Michigan came out for the
third period, one equipment manager was
gone. Both of the Wolverines' assistant
coaches - Billy Powers and Mel Pearson
- were behind the bench, and the players
on the bench took over the duty of handing
new sticks to their teammates.
"Mel had been watching from upstairs
(in the first two periods)," Berenson said.
"So he could talk to the forwards about
things that we wanted to do better and keep
them encouraged. Our coaches are just like
the players, we like to be out on the ice, and
we get frustrated too."
Saturday's win represented the first time
this season that the Michigan coaching
staff has made such drastic in-game chang-
es. But thanks to the adjustments, it was the
Buckeyes who left the ice frustrated.








Hensick 29 11 28 39 +2 22 91
Kolarik 29 10 18 28 +6 26 77
Porter 27 14 13 27 -2 30 69
Ebbett 29 9 18 27 +8 23 72
Johnson 26 6 20 26 +7 127 72
Cogliano 27 11 14 25 -2 30 84
Hunwick 29 7 15 22 +11 52 62
Kaleniecki 24 11 7 18 +5 36 68
Turnbull 29 5 8 13 +1 41 45
Miller 29 4 10 14 +10 36 37
Naurato 25 7 3 10 -2 8 48
Rohlfs 28 2 7 9 +7 37 39
Mitera 27 0 9 9 +8 39 30
Bailey 22 5 2 7 -1 45 23
Dest 29 1 4 5 -1 33 21
Fardig 26 4 1 5 +2 28 36
Swystun 25 1 1 2 -10 10 25
Cook 28 1 0 1 0 31 18
Dunlap 3 0 0 0 0 2 2
Fragner 2 0 0 0 0 15 0
Montville 8 0 0 0 +1 0 1

Michigan had little to celebrate on Friday night, but Saturday night's win was sweet.

Furious forecheck key in win


1. Minnesota
This weekend
Minnesota was off,
but there were a ton










In a system named for legendary coach Red Beren-
son, the Daily hockey writers grade the Wolverines on
their performance in each of four areas.
(Graded out of 4 pucks)


of upsets to catapult
it to the top. Coupled
with its sweep over
Wisconsin a week
ago, still loom
large in our eyes.
2. Miami (Ohio)
After claiming the No.
1 spot last week, the
RedHawks promptly
lost to Alaska-
Fairbanks in Oxford
on Friday night. Miami
was able to rebound
with a 2-1 win over the
Nanooks on Saturday.
3. Cornell (16-4-3)
The Big Red started
the season off slowly,
but have quietly
become the hottest
team in college
hockey. They scored

a huge sweep over
ECACHL rival Colgate
this weekend.
4. Wisconsin (14-5-2)
After starting the
season off on a roll,
the Badgers have
encountered a bit of
a late-season swoon.
Luckily for them, their
split with Minnesota-
Duluth didn't knock
them out of the
power rankings due
to many of upsets
this weekend.
5. Michigan State
The Spartans have
made it through a
midseason slump
and come out as
one of the hottest
teams in the country.
They followed up
last weekend's ties
against Michigan
with a sweep of
Notre Dame.

Don't blame the offense
for the loss on Friday.
Against one of the best
defenses in the nation,
the Wolverines scored five
goals. The two third-period
tallies on Saturday may
have saved the season.

hen you thought it couldn't get worse, it got worse.
And when you thought it was finally getting better,
it got worse.
Such was the story of the first two periods of Michigan's
come-from-behind victory over Ohio State on Saturday
- nothing went right. The more experienced Buckeyes con-
trolled the play, dominated the transition game and would
have run up the score if it weren't for the outstanding play of
Wolverines goaltender Noah Ruden.
But once the third period began, it was a
whole different game. There was no fairytale
story of an inspired speech by a coach or cap--
tain between periods. Instead, the Wolverines
pointed to something surprisingly more tan-
gible: a change in forechecking strategy.
Throughout the first two periods, Michigan
used its typical 1-2-2 forechecking method, I
using one forward to pressure the Buckeyes as R>
Ohio State tried to clear out of its own zone.
But once the Buckeyes passed the first lines of JAMES
the Wolverines' defense, they were consistentlyD
breaking out into odd-man rushes and creat- Do
ing point-blank chances that Ruden fortunately James(
managed to turn away - 95 percent of the time.
In an effort to minimize these chances, the Michigan
coaching staff decided to shift the forecheck to the left-wing
lock in the third period - a strategy made popular by the
New Jersey Devils and the Detroit Red Wings during the
mid-1990s. This method is based on a 2-3 formation, with
the center and right wing applying pressure on the Buckeyes
inside of Michigan's offensive zone. The left wing and the two
defensemen split the blue line into three zones so that they
have more of the ice accounted for with less ice to cover indi-
And it worked like a charm.
Finally, the Wolverines pinned Ohio State down in its zone,
sealing the puck in and creating second chances. The differ-
ence was apparent immediately when senior Brandon Kalen-
iecki knocked a puck past Buckeyes netminder Dave Caruso

to tie the game at two just 12 seconds into the third period.
But the difference was even more pronounced in Michigan's
defensive zone. Even though the lock focuses on keeping the
puck at the other end of the ice, the lack of Ohio State break-
aways helped the Wolverines prevent the Buckeyes from tak-
ing the same easy shots, giving the Michigan offense a chance
to stay in the game.
The change in formation saved the game and, perhaps, the
season. And it makes perfect sense that it would. It can be


easy to overreach your responsibilities and cover too
much ice in the 1-2-2 formation. The lock relies on
both teamwork - people staying in the right place
- and personal responsibility - being the one line
of defense in your personal zone. These two keys to
the lock are also the keys to any potential Michigan
success as the postseason approaches.
It's simple and easy to implement - I once read
that the lock "could be explained in a 30-second
timeout." Because many of the Wolverines are just
discovering their respective niches in the college
game, there have been many instances of players
trying to do too much and being caught out of posi-
tion. The simplicity of the lock was an easy way

Mark Giannotto

to provide the younger players with a concrete role
each time the puck began moving out of the offensive zone,
and it helped the Wolverines instantly re-gel as a team.
Having seen such a strong performance in the third period,
hints of optimism still hang around in the corner of Michigan
fans' heads. Just look back to the teams that made the left
wing lock famous: Jacques Lemaire's Devils won the 1995
Stanley Cup, and Scotty Bowman's Red Wings won three
cups between 1997 and 2002 with the lock.
Of course, every team in the league will have received word
of Michigan's left-wing lock strategy by the time the play-
offs roll around, but it might just be the ticket to postseason
success for a young, maturing team.


James V. Dowd

The defense was suspect for
most of Saturday's game but
they bounced back with a
solid performance in the third
period. With extra forecheck-
ing help, they were able to
minimize odd-man rushes.

Friday's results:
Ohio State 7, MICHIGAN
Alaska-Fairbanks 4, MIAMI (OH) 3
Michigan State 3, NOTRE DAME 2
OHIO STATE 1, Notre Dame 0
NEBRASKA-OMAHA 8, Lake Superior State 0
Saturday's results:
MICHIGAN 3, Ohio State 2
MIAMI (OH) 2, Alaska-Fairbanks 1
FERRIS STATE 7, Western Michigan 2
Michigan State 2, NOTRE DAME 1
*Home teams in caps

These pucks belong to Noah
Ruden. His career-high 39
saves may have saved the
team's season. Billy Sauer
had a rough outing on Friday,
giving up five goals. But don't
worry Billy, section 17 row
2 still loves you. O

Continued from page 1B
in the left corner of the ice and sent it
across to alternate captain Brandon
Kaleniecki, who punched it home. The
goal not only tied the game, it also revi-
talized the lifeless Yost crowd.

seal a 7-5 win for the Buckeyes
During the back and for
Michigan had trouble putting a
State (10-10-2, 14-12-4). At 6:
second period, Ebbett scored a
goal to give the Wolverines the
three leads during the game.
While the Wolverines were
power play, sophomore Chad

- Dowd is sick of referee Matt Shegos's shenanigans.
He can be reached atjvdowd@umich.edu.
. you get your chances," Berenson said on
th affair, Friday night. "We had a couple of good
way Ohio chances that we didn't score on."
08 in the The Wolverines' best chance to win
n exciting late came when Buckeyes defenseman
eir first of Matt Waddell was called for tripping at
11:45 in the third. During the ensuing
killing a power play, Buckeyes forward Kenny
i Kolarik Bernard stole the puck from sophomore

H. Jose Bosch





________________________ 4 4 1 -


A Adlikk

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