4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 13, 2006
HITTING AFTER THE WHISTLE
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The senior forward had two first-period goals
in Saturday night's 4-2 win over the Lakers.
He notched the second one while falling down,
after tripping over himself.
"It's like trying to catch a feather
in the air, and you are grabbing it
here and there, and once you get
it you've got it. And you think why
is it so hard, it's so light. That's
like a power play. It's so fragile."
- Michigan coach Red Berenson on the
conundrum that is the Wolverines' power play.
BY THE NUMBERS
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE 3 - MICHIGAN 2 (OT)
MICHIGAN 4 - LAKE SUPERIOR STATE 2
Senior goalie helps to relieve teams woes
By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
He may not have had as illustrious
a career as former Wolverine legends
Turco or Blackburn, but Michigan
senior goaltender Noah Ruden may
Consecutive weekend series in
which the Wolverines have failed to
sweep the opposition.
Number of power play goals in their last
71 chances for the Wolverines. This
weekend Michigan was a disappointing
0-for-8 with a man advantage.
have just enough to
accomplish what the
other two did in their
senior seasons: lead
team to the national
Spending his first
SATURDAY'S SCORING SUMMARY
Michigan 4, Lake Superior State 2
Lake Superior State ............................. 2 0 0 - 2
Michigan........................ 4 0 0 - 4
1. MICH Brandon Kaleniecki 12 (Andrew Ebbett) 3:49. 2. MICH Bran-
don Kaleniecki 13 (Andrew Ebbett) 11:42. 3. MICH Andrew Ebbett
10 (Brandon Kaleniecki, Jason Dest) 14:28. 4. MICH Tyler Swystun 2
(Danny Fardig) 17:31. 5. LSSU Kory Scoran 5 (Steve McJannet, Jeff
Rainville) 18:29. 6. LSSU Dan Eves 6 (Derek R. Smith, Nathan Ward)
19:03. Penalties - Mark Adamek, LSSU (hooking) 19:11.
No goals. Penalties-Mark Mitera, MICH (cross-checking) 2:02;
Matt Wheeler, LSSU (tripping) 4:47; Mark Adamek, LSSU (slashing)
8:22; Matt Hunwick, MICH (interference) 16:23.
No goals. Penalties-Team, LSSU (too many on ice) 10:12.
Shots on goal: LSSU 7-9-4-20; MICH 12-9-3-24. Power plays: LSSU 0-for-2; MICH
0-for-4. Saves - LSSU Jeff Jakaitis (8-9-3) - 20; MICH Noah Ruden
(5-9-4) - 18. Referee: Steve Piotrowski. Attendance: 6,759.
Hensick 32 13 30 43 +3 24 97
Kolarik 32 10 18 28 +9 28 84
Porter 30 16 15 31 -1 30 77
Ebbett 32 10 21 31 +11 23 80
Johnson 29 7 20 27 +8 129 80
Cogliano 30 11 14 25 -3 32 95
Hunwick 32 7 16 23 +14 54 67
Kaleniecki 27 13 9 22 +8 36 73
Turnbull 32 5 9 14 0 53 50
Miller 32 4 10 14 +8 40 39
Naurato 28 7 3 10 -2 8 50
Rohlfs 31 2 7 9 +8 39 43
three seasons as "Al Montoya's back-
up" and having just one career CCHA
start entering this season, Ruden was
expected to fill a similar reserve role
for incoming goalie Billy Sauer. But
due to the freshman goalie's inconsis-
tency, Ruden got an opportunity to be
in a position he wasn't used to - that
of an everyday starter. It may have
taken a while - 28 games, to be exact
- but Ruden has started the last four
games in a row, and it doesn't look like
he'll be relinquishing the No. 1 spot
"You can ask Billy (Sauer), you can
ask Al Montoya, anybody," Ruden
said. "If you don't get constant work,
it's tough to keep sharp. You can do
what you can in practice, but game sit-
uations are completely different from
practice. The more games (you play),
the more you can hone yours skills at
a higher level, and I think that's what
is going on. I am learning a lot more
by playing more."
According to Ruden, he didn't feel
at his best this weekend, but the Wol-
verines were more than willing to
take what he gave them. The senior
allowed just five goals and turned
away 42 shots in the two-game series.
And despite the overtime loss on Fri-
day night, Ruden kept Michigan in the
game numerous times.
"We were getting some good chanc-
es, and Noah was giving us a chance,"
Berenson said after Friday's game.
It appears Ruden's starting spot is
safe for another weekend, but, even if
it wasn't, the Bloomfield Hills native
wouldn't be too worried. He just wants
to lead his team through the playoffs.
"That's what I want to give this team'
Ruden said. "(To be) someone who has
been to these road barns and someone
who has been to the (NCAA) Tourna-
ment. And someone who can lead this
team on the ice and, hopefully, off the
Continued from page 1B
a wicked slapshot over Jakaitis's left should
from just inside the blue line to give the Wo
verines a 3-0 lead.
"That's about a one-in-a-thousand shot
Ebbett said. "That won't happen again."
Trailing 4-0, Lake Superior State (11-9-4
15-9-6) tried to get back into the game, ta.
ing advantage of two defensive lapses by th
Wolverines to cut the score to 4-2 at the en
ice. If I get my chances and we keep
winning, hopefully I can fill that roll."
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE: At the beginning
of the season, freshman Tyler Swystun
could claim to be an everyday skater,
but inconsistent play forced Beren-
son to switch up the lines, causing the
Alberta native's playing time to dimin-
ish. But over the weekend, Swystun
earned back-to-back starts, notching
two points in the process - including
a goal Saturday.
"Well, it's been a while," Swystun
said of his goal. "You kind of forget what
it feels like (to score). It's great to have a
good weekend like this, and, hopefully, I
can keep it up and contribute."
Despite irregular playing-time as of
late, Swystun has continued to keep his
head up and work hard in practice. The
results were obvious over the weekend,
when it seemed like he was everywhere on
the ice. Swystun's work ethic hasn't gone
unnoticed, and he received praise from
Berenson after Saturday night's game.
"It was nice to see him get a goal,"
Berenson said. "A kid like that, he's
working, and he's been frustrated
(and) it's been a tough season for him.
But we're seeing glimpses of why we
NOTES: Two more potential goals
were reviewed using the newly-installed
overhead cameras during the weekend.
Both affected Michigan's score and, in
both instances, the original call of no
goal was upheld. Berenson wasn't upset
with either call, but instead praised the
officials for their efficiency: "If we're
going to add these cameras to all the
rinks in our league, then they should
be run right and they're doing a good
job." ... An unlikely group made an
appearance at Yost Ice Arena on Fri-
day night. The mascots for the Toledo
Mud Hens, Plymouth Whalers and Sar-
nia Sting joined Big Boy, Bd's Mongo-
lian Barbeque's "Mongo Man" and the
Keebler Elf in a game of broomball
during the first intermission. The Sar-
nia Sting mascot and Plymouth Whaler
each notched a goal, but the highlight
of the evening was the fight that broke
out between the Keebler Elf and the
much bigger Mongo Man. The Keebler
Elf won. The Mongo Man couldn't be
reached for comment. ... Rarely do
the opposing team's parents do much
when the student section chants "Ugly
parents." But the Lake Superior State
parents' section became the first to fire
back at the students, albeit modestly.
On Saturday night, after the first Laker
goal, a mother stood up and held a sign
that read "Rude Students." Security was TOP
not called in to remove the sign. ABO
of the first period. But that was as close as
the Lakers would come. Senior goalie Noah
Ruden rebounded from a frustrating Friday
to preserve the two-goal margin.
er The action slowed down after the first
)- period, as the Wolverines continued to strug-
gle on their power play. Michigan looked out
," . of place with the extra man, going 0-for-4 on
the night and generating only three shots in
4, those four chances.
k- "It was just about a blessing we didn't get
he too much time on the power play," Berenson
id said. "We weren't in sync."
T____ -- I- i4- i 4
__ + -+ 9 i + 1 4
: Ruden Is quickly emerging as this season's No.1 goalie at just the right time for the Wolverines.
OVE: The Keebler Elf wasn't backing down against the bigger and more physical Mongo Man.
Power play is man
disadvantage gfor M
THE 'RED' LINE
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)
The six goals this week-
end is a little bit mislead-
ing. Besides the first
period of Saturday's game,
when the Wolverines
notched four goals, the
offense was held at bay
by the Laker defense.
Normally second or third line
defensemen, juniors Jason
Dest and Tim Cook played
well all weekend. In all, the
blue liners were in the right
position more often and gave
up fewer odd-man rushes.
Noah Ruden earned himself
three pucks this weekend.
The modest Ruden claimed
he didn't have as good a
weekend as his statistics
may indicate, but it looks as
if we may actually have a No.
1 goalie. That is comforting.
The Gophers won three games on a
four-game road trip, solidifying their
position atop the national rankings.
While they only managed a draw with
lowly Michigan Tech Saturday, their
sweep at Wisconsin one week prior
marked them as the team to beat.
2. Boston College (19-6-2)
Boston College earned two more vic-
tories this week, knocking off North-
eastern in the first round of the Beanpot
tournament before burying Providence
8-3 on Friday, Tonight's Beanpot cham-
pionship game against Boston Univer-
sity is a big one, as the Terriers have
been fairly hot themselves. Having
lost to Boston University one month
ago, this game is a must-win for the
3. Boston University (17-8-2)
The Terriers have jumped up into
the Daily Power Rankings for the first
time this year, having won 10, count
them, 10 games in a row. During this
past week, they have downed Har-
vard and Massachusetts. If they can
knock off Boston College tonight,
they will finally receive the national
respect they deserve.
Without goaltender Brian Elliott,
the Badgers have struggled in recent
weeks. Elliott was unable to return
for this past weekend's showdown
with Ohio State at Lambeau Field in
Green Bay, Wisc. The Badgers came
out on top, 4-2, but have won just
two of their last four.
AROUND THE CCHA
Pts Michigan State 4, OHIO STATE 3
DAILY POWER RANKINGS
When Yost Ice Arena public address
announcer Scott Spooner stated
his usual, "Lake Superior State
returns to full strength" on Saturday night, I
half expected the Michigan stu-
dent section to give the Lakers a
This weekend, Michigan went
an abysmal 0-for-8 on the power
play and managed just eight total n
shots on those chances.
No goals? Eight shots? Isn't
this the Michigan team that led
the nation in power play efficiency .
through the first half of the season? JAM
Up until Jan. 2, the Wolverines
sat atop the nation, converting 26.1 DC
percent of their chances - almost Jame
two-percent better than any other
team in the country.
But since the New Year, Michigan has gone
just 6-for-71 with a man advantage, good for
a whopping 84-percent conversion rate. It's
become so bad that I find myself wishing the ref-
erees wouldn't call penalties on opposing teams.
In Saturday night's game, Michigan notched
four even-strength goals in the first period, but
cooled off significantly after that. When asked
what the difference was for the offense between
the first versus the second and third periods, cap-
tain Andrew Ebbett pointed to the power play,
calling it a momentum-killer.
And he was absolutely right. For some com-
pletely inexplicable reason, Michigan fared
significantly better during five-on-five -play. It
created much better chances and prevented Lake
can the Wolverines do in the meantime?
Alternate captain Matt *Hunwick believes
the key lies in getting the puck down into the
opponents' zone. He thinks that if Michigan can
dump the puck into the zone, its
speed will give the team a chance
to set up their power play.
But why the Wolverines can't
seem to get it into the zone to begin
with boggles my mind. During the
early parts of the season, Michigan
was easily able to set up its power
play, almost regardless of the oppo-
nent. And while I know teams
S V. watch film and learn Michigan's
set plays, I want to believe that
wDthe Wolverines' talent should be
On... enough to win battles for the puck
in the offensive zone.
Ebbett and Hunwick both said that the team
will focus on the power play during this week's
practices before it heads to Omaha next week-
end. Whether or hot these practices can help
the power play unit congeal might be a deter-
mining factor in how the CCHA playoff race
sorts itself out.
Nebraska-Omaha will certainly be out for
blood next weekend - the Mavericks sit in a
fourth-place tie in the league standings. That
fourth spot is key, since the top four teams get
a first-round bye and home-ice advantage in the
second round of the CCHA playoffs. Should
Nebraska-Omaha and Lake Superior State
falter this weekend, Ferris State might have a
chance to steal the fourth spot in their home-
and-home with the Wolverines during the fol-
James V. Dowd
H. Jose Bosch