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February 07, 2006 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-07

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Tuesday
February 7, 2006
sports.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily. com

POeRlitSigan tily

10

al

Olympics full of 'cool'

sports

High-speed sports. Low-speed sports.
No-speed sports. Violent crashes.
Guns. Spandex body suits. Women
in sequined outfits. Men in sequined outfits.
Naked emotion. Precious metals. Internation-

bulky sled, then hopping in and praying that
their driver can navigate down a chute of ice.
In 2002, the Jamaican two-man bobsled team
came within five seconds of a gold medal. Of
course, their time of 3:14.94 was only good
enough for 27th place (out
of 37).

al intrigue. Based-on-a-true-story
Disney movies.
No matter what your taste is,
you'll probably enjoy at least a
few events in the upcoming Turin
Winter Olympics, which begin on
Friday. To help you decide which
sports to watch, I've decided to
break down a few selections from
the smorgasbord of Olympic
entrees.
Alpine skiing: When the com-
petitors have 0.00 blood alcohol
contents, alpine skiing is dangerous
enough. Austrian skier Hermann
Maier was, presumably, sober when

I

°"

Cross-country skiing:
Because literally anyone
can ski cross-country with-
out killing himself (unlike
downhill skiing or bobsled),
it's the perfect sport for
heartwarming lovable-loser
stories. Kenyan Philip Boit's
performance in the 1998
Olympics opened the flood-
gates for hopelessly over-
matched competitors from
warm-weather countries like
Cameroon and Thailand.

MATT SINGER
Spitting Ice

T REVOR CA MPBE LL/Daily
The Wolverines hope senior Noah Ruden can build on his career high of 39 saves as they get set to face the Broncos.
Brg battle on tap
for Iers Western

By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer

The echoes of the two massive
hits from last Tuesday's game at
Yost Ice Arena can still be heard.
In the first period of Michigan's
last game against Western Michi-
gan, Bronco forward Sean Weaver
and Michigan freshman Jason Bai-
ley were knocked out cold on the
ice. The hits provide evidence of
how physical that game began. And
there is no indication that tomor-
row's matchup in
Lawson Arena will be -
any different.
"(Western Michi- TON

gan isn't your ordinary last-place
team.
"We know they're going to
come out flying, especially at
their home rink," captain Andrew
Ebbett said. "They love playing
there, and their fans love to see
Michigan come to town."
In the last meeting between the
two teams, the Broncos jumped
out to a 2-0 lead but, midway
through the second period, the
score was tied at three. In the
end, Western Michigan's physical

gan) is not as badN
as their record," Weste
Michigan coach 7.3
Red Berenson said. as
"Every game is a
battle. They'll play
this game like it's a
Stanley Cup game.
If they don't win another game
all year, they will be happy they
beat Michigan."
The Broncos sit dead last in the
CCHA with 15 points and a con-
ference record of 6-14-3. But they
are a respectable 5-6-1 at home,
with four of those wins coming
against Ohio State, Michigan
State and Northern Michigan -
three teams who are still in the
thick of things for the CCHA's
top four spots. With its physical
brand of hockey, Western Michi-

i
t <

f h gan at
Mclgan
'p~m,

style of play couldn't
hold on long enough,
and Michigan broke
out with four unan-
swered goals to win
7-3.
"We can't let them
get a lead at home
like that," Ebbett
said. "They won't
let us come back.
We have to be ready

goals-against average of 2.87 and
a save percentage of .916.
"He gave us a good game (against
Ohio State)," Berenson said. "He
kept us in a game that we probably
didn't deserve to be within a goal
after the first or second period.
And all you ask from your goalie
is that he gives you a chance when
you're not at your best"
No. 7 Michigan (11-7-3 CCHA,
16-10-3 overall) will hope that
Kaleniecki can stay hot tonight.
The Livonia native is in the
midst of a five-game goal-scoring
streak. According to Berenson,
Kaleniecki is a "blue collar" goal
scorer who is willing to fight for
the puck in front of the net. Ebbett
had the same sentiment, mention-
ing that the entire team must play
more like Kaleniecki and score
the "ugly goals."
"We have to be able to work in
front of the net and find your open
spots," Ebbett said. "There aren't
many pretty goals come playoff
time. So, we're looking for the
ugly one and, we're tying to get
more guys to follow Kal's lead."
With the end of the CCHA sea-
son just three weeks away, it is
now crunch time for the Wolver-
ines, who want to finish in one of
the top four spots in the CCHA
to secure a bye in the conference
tournament. A win tomorrow will
propel the team past Michigan
State for sole possession of second
place.

he went tumbling off the mountain during the
1998 Nagano Olympics downhill competi-
tion. American skier Daron Rahlves was
also, presumably, sober when he violently
crashed during a giant slalom race in Switzer-
land last year.
So, it should be exciting to see Bode Miller
ski "wasted" (his word, not mine). The loud-
mouthed American skiing star went on "60
Minutes" proclaiming his affinity for skiing
under the influence. Although Miller later
apologized for his comments, he never said
he'd stop racing drunk. Needless to say, I'll be
glued to the TV when he jumps (or stumbles)
out of the gate.
Biathlon: I pondered and pondered. Why
would anyone combine cross-country skiing
(basically walking on skis) with rifle shoot-
ing? Then, it dawned on me. This must be
how Scandinavians fight wars.
Bobsled: This event has been a favorite
of mine since I first saw the closing scene
of Cool Runnings, where Sanka Coffie, Yul
Brenner and the Jamaican bobsled team carry
their broken sled past the finish line. It con-
sists of two- or four-person teams pushing a
Horton's
ends at 42
By Jack Herman
Daily Sports Editor
For now at least, Todd Leary can
sleep easy.
After hitting 41 consecutive foul shots to
start the Big Ten season,
Michigan guard Daniel
Horton prepared to take
two more with 15 seconds
remaining in the first half
of Saturday's 94-66 loss at
Iowa. He hit his first one,
but the second didn't fall.
Just like that, two months of hard work went
down the drain.
Horton's miss stopped his steak just four
shy of Leary's 46 in a row, which stands as
the all-time record for most consecutive free
throws made during the Big Ten season.
"I knew it wasn't going to last forever,"
Horton said. "I mean, I'm still mad that I
missed it, because I didn't bend my knees like
I normally do"
This season, Horton's performance from

Since I have a soft spot in my heart for sappy,
overproduced NBC Olympic feature stories,
Boit's trailblazing is fine by me.
Curling: Out of shape? Enjoy sweeping
floors? Big shuffleboard fan? If any of these
describe you, curling could be your ticket to
the Olympics. Curling teams push a stone
across an ice surface, then sweep the ice to
control its speed. Canadians say it's a great
time. I'll take their word for it.
Figure skating: As far as I'm concerned,
there are three reasons to tune into figure
skating:
1) Watching the drama unfold as the skat-
ers head to a closet-sized room to wait for
their scores. Showered in flowers and teddy
bears, the competitors' reactions cover the
entire emotional spectrum. Shrieking celebra-
tions, stunned silence and complete emotional
breakdowns are all par for the course.
2) The potential for international conflict.
In a sport where the scoring is inherently
subjective, international intrigue and judg-
ing shenanigans are nearly inevitable. Figure
skating's governing body has instituted
reforms in hopes of avoiding a repeat of

2002's "French-Judge-Gate". But I'm still
rooting for a repeat of the Salt Lake City
Olympics, when a figure skating controversy
between Russian and Canadian skating pairs
nearly sparked another Cold War.
3) Sasha Cohen (Check out this week's
Sports Illustrated if you don't know what I'm
talking about).
Luge: It's similar to bobsled, but lugers lie
on a tiny sled instead of sitting in a modified
go-kart. And a wipeout in luge is even nastier.
Fall off your sled, and you'll go speeding
down the ice chute protected by nothing but
your spandex bodysuit and crash helmet.
Ouch.
Skeleton: It's luge. Head-first. But the
real action for the United States skeleton
team has taken place outside the ice chute.
Female racers recently accused U.S. skeleton
coach Tim Nardiello of sexual harassment.
And America's best racer, Zach Lund, has
been caught using a banned substance. What
"performance-enhancing" drug did Lund
test positive for? Propecia, an anti-balding
medication.
"Sex", "drugs" and sliding headfirst down
an ice chute. That's what I call extreme.
If, somehow, none of those sports suit your
fancy, there are even more reasons to watch
the Winter Olympics. There's ice hockey,
ski jumping (the original extreme sport) and
snowboarding. There are the opening and
closing ceremonies, grand and ridiculous
pageants celebrating world brotherhood.
There are the official Olympic mascots: Neve,
whose head is a snowball, and Gliz (pictured
above), whose head is a block of ice.
Still think the Olympics are lame? Good
luck avoiding them. NBC and its affiliates
are airing 416 hours of Olympic coverage, so
you'll almost definitely stumble across some
of the XX Winter Olympic Games, whether
you want to or not.
- Matt Singer is excited to watch live
Biathlon coverage at 4 a.m. He can be
reached at mattsing@umich.edu.

r
i

0

anArmn
ast Local

for that first period and keep their
fans down."
The play of Ebbett and fellow
seniors Brandon Kaleniecki and
goaltender Noah Ruden will be
key to the Wolverines' success.
Berenson announced that he will
start the Bloomfield Hills native
in goal. Ruden is coming off a
solid performance against Ohio
State on Saturday night when he
made a career-high 39 saves in a
3-2 win over the Buckeyes. For
the season, Ruden is 5-5-0 with a

ALEX I
On Saturday, Horton's consecutive free throws ended four shy of the Big Ten record.

the charity stripe has been nothing short of
extraordinary.
The stats speak for themselves. Horton
ranks second in the Big Ten this season, shoot-
ing 91.8 percent (78-for-85). The percentage
also places him at fifth in the nation.
And Horton's efforts have added up to more

than just individual accolades.
Horton's free-throw shooting has come up
clutch for the Wolverines a number of times.
Against Boston University, he hit four late foul
shots on a night when his teammates went just
8-of-17 from the line. Horton's 8-for-8 showing
See HORTON, page 11

____ Y I

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO SUMMER SESSIONS
Your Summer Classroom:
Get Ahead or Try Something New!

E MEN'S SWIMMING
M' resets record books in win

By Anne Uible
Daily Sports Writer

On Saturday, the No.6 Michigan men's
swimming and diving team closed out the
regular season by leaving its mark on the
wall of Northwestern's Norris Aquatics
Center.

In the process of outscoring the Wild-
cats 166-125, the Wolverines managed to
break four pool records - which means
the record board needs some revising.
"This was a good ending to the regu-
lar season," Michigan coach Bob Bow-
man said. "We had some fast races, and I

was very pleased with our times. We've
worked out some of our problems, and
I'm confident about heading into the Big
Ten Championships."
Freshman Matt Patton began the Wol-
verines' record-breaking theme in the
1,000-yard freestyle - the second event
of the afternoon. Patton led the entire 40-
lap race, holding splits between 26.50 and
27.47 for all but two laps.
"I was focused on this race," Patton
said. "My plan was to take out in the race
fairly strong and then come back faster."
Following the event, Patton broke
another pool record in the 500-yard free-
style. After sitting out last week against
Indiana, Patton was happy to make such
a dominating return to racing. Break-
ing two pool records was just an added
bonus.
"It was exciting to come back after not
swimming last week and prove myself
like that," Patton said. "I've never really
broken any pool records before, so it was
pretty cool. I think the meet gave me a lot
of confidence as I head into the Big Ten
Championships and NCAA Champion-
ships."
Senior co-captain Chris DeJong joined

0

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