48 - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 20, 2006
HITTING AFTER THE WHISTLE
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The Spartans freshman goaltender allowed
just two goals in wins over Michigan on Friday
night and Miami (OH) on Saturday night and
was named MVP at the conclusion of the CCHA
Tournament. The wins gave Michigan State its
record 11th CCHA Championship.
"I think now's a time when it's up
to everyone individually to find out
how much they want to invest in this
team. If you're not up for a game like
Friday, then you shouldn't be playing
- Michigan captain Andrew Ebbett on this
Friday's matchup with North Dakota.
BY THE NUMBERS
6 Consecutive seasons in which
Michigan has qualified for the
SATURDAY'S SCORING SUMMARY
Northern Michigan 2, Michigan 3
Northern Michigan..............1 1 0 - 2
Michigan ................................................ 1 1 1 - 3
1. NMU Matt Ciancio 1 (Bobby Selden) 5:30. 2. MICH Matt Hunwick
10 (T. J. Hensick, Noah Ruden) 10:54. Penalties - Matt Hunwick,
MICH (cross-checking) 2:24; Patrick Murphy, NMU (slashing) 8:41;
Jason Bailey, MICH (slashing) 8:41; Nathan oystrick, NMU (cross-
checking) 9:44; Jamie Milam, NMU (roughing ATW) 13:46; Travis
Turnbull, MICH (roughing ATW) 13:46; Zach Tarkir, NMU (interfer-
3. MICH T. J. Hensick 17 (Kevin Porter) 16:01. 4. NMU Darin Olver
15 (Pat Bateman, Mike Santorelli) 16:16. Penalties - Matt Ciancio,
NMU (interference) 2:10; Jason Bailey, MICH (charging) 4:48; Mark
Mitera, MICH (roughing ATW) 10:56; Pat Bateman, NMU (roughing
ATW) 10:56; Jack Johnson, MICH (CTH roughing) 11:15.
5. MICH Matt Hunwick 11 (Brandon Kaleniecki, Andrew Ebbett)
8:19. Penalties - Nathan Oystrick, NMU (slashing) 15:29; T.J. Hen-
sick, MICH (cross-checking) 15:29.
Shots on goal: NMU 7-11-13-31; MICH 18-12-12-42. Power plays: NMU 0-of-3;
MICH 1-of-3. Saves - NMU Bill Zaniboni (17-11-11) - 39; MICH Noah
Ruden (6-10-13) - 29. Referee: Steve Piotrowski.
Access granted: eIers move on
Spartan beatdown brings line changes for Icers
By Mark Giannotto
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - Michigan State put Michigan away on Friday
night when Spartan forward Bryan Lerg finished off a 2-on-1
breakaway by chipping the puck past Wolverine goalie Noah
The goal gave Michigan State an insurmountable 3-1 lead,
and it cemented a 4-1 win over Michigan.
But it was the Wolverine forwards trailing the play who were
the real story behind the game.
In the week leading up to the regular-season series finale
against Ferris State on Feb. 24 and 25, Michigan coach Red
Berenson teamed up dynamic forwards T.J. Hensick, Andrew
Cogliano and Kevin Porter on the same line. At the time, it
looked as if the Wolverines had finally put together a solid sec-
ond line to complement the top line of senior captain Andrew
Ebbett, senior alternate captain Brandon Kaleniecki and soph-
omore Chad Kolarik.
But because Hensick, Cogliano and Porter are all offensive-
oriented forwards, Berenson worried about their defensive cov-
Lerg's goal was a shining example of Berenson's concerns.
Michigan freshman defenseman Jack Johnson was left hung
out to dry as the Spartans skated in on the 2-on-1.
To add to that, the offensive fireworks expected from the
three were nonexistent. The Wolverines' lone goal on Friday
came courtesy of an Ebbett one-timer.
Another concern about pairing Hensick alongside Cogliano
was the small stature of both players. Each weighs less than
190 pounds. The absence of a big player to clear space for either
of them hindered their effectiveness.
Also, Cogliano was forced to move from his natural position
of center to wing.
But in the 17 hours between Michigan's loss to the Spar-
tans and its 3-2 victory over Northern Michigan on Saturday
afternoon, Berenson made a slight change that paid huge divi-
Cogliano was moved back to the third line alongside fresh-
men Travis Turnbull and Tim Miller, and junior David Rohlfs
moved to the second line with Hensick and Porter. In the
process, Cogliano switched back to the center position. This'
returned the lines back to where they were before the Ferris
"I wanted to give T.J. more of a big defensive forward on his
side, and then get Cogliano back into the middle, because he's
always been a centerman," Berenson said. "I think it gave him
a little more room playing with a different line."
The line change brought back the chemistry between Hen-
sick and Porter. Prior to the switch, the two had been on a tear
Sophomore Kevin Porter picked up an assist in Saturday's 3-2 win over Northern Michigan.
together. But the connection appeared to stall with Cogliano as
On Saturday, Hensick and Porter teamed up for the Wolver-
ines' second goal when Porter fed Hensick, who beat Northern
Michigan goalie Bill Zaniboni to give Michigan a 2-1 lead.
Seniors Ebbett and Kaleniecki iced the game when they
assisted junior Matt Hunwick for the game-winning goal. It
extended Ebbett's point streak to nine games. In those nine
games, he has scored five goals and notched 14 assists.
But he has been one of the few consistent performers for the
Wolverines during that stretch.
For the Wolverines to defeat a tough North Dakota team on
its home ice in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament,
they will need production from more than just the top line.
Although they are no longer on the same line, Hensick,
Porter and Cogliano must share the scoring load with Ebbett,
Kaleniecki and Kolarik for Michigan to make a run to the Fro-
2006 NCAA TOURNAMENT
___ -+ T ; ;
4 Bemidji State
Green Bay, Wisc.
March 26, 2006
Grand Forks, N.D.
March 25, 2006
Rohlfs 39 2 10 12 +6 43 63
Naurato 31 7 3 10 -3 8 54
Mitera 38 0 10 10 +6 57 37
Dest 40 2 7 9 -1 37 34
Bailey 26 5 2 7 -1 55 25
Fardig 37 4 3 7 0 30 45
Swystun 35 2 2 4 -11 12 34
cook 39 1 2 3 0 37 22
Dunlap 3 0 0 0 0 2 2
Fragner 2 0 0 0 0 15 0
4 Holy Cross
2 North Dakota
3 Michigan *
3 Colorado College
April 6, 2006
3 or 8 p.m.
April 6, 2006
3 or 8 p.m.
April 8, 2006
2 Miami (OH)
March 26, 2006
March 25, 2006
3 Boston College
4 New Hampshire
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)
1 Michigan State
1 Boston University
*Michigan faces North Dakota at 9 p.m. ET
The offense was awful in
Friday's dud against the
Spartans, and looked just
okay in the third-place
game against Northern
Michigan. Michigan needs
scoring from multiple lines
to get past North Dakota.
Despite a late-game collapse
against Michigan State, the
defense played well this week-
end. But the collapse came
when it really counted. If the
defense is to be successful
in North Dakota, it will rely
on help from the forwards.
Noah Ruden gave up four
goals against Michigan State,
but kept Michigan in the game
throughout. He had another
solid showing against the
Wildcats Saturday. Ruden
will have to be even better
nowIA that it's NC.AA time.
Continued from page 1B
four goals and earn the victory. Prior to the game, many of the
Michigan freshmen were nervous about the most significant
games of their young collegiate careers. With the players com-
ing out of the tunnel onto an NHL rink - a place where many
of them aspire to play in just a few years down the road - it's
understandable that the freshmen's nerves were on edge.
But Michigan State also had nine freshmen, including
Tim Crowder, who scored two goals on Friday, and Justin
Abdelkader, who knocked one in during Saturday's champion-
ship game. The Spartans, even on a night when their play was
far from its best, simply outclassed the seemingly uninspired
Wolverines. And even though Michigan was pleased with
its performance in the third period, the fact remains that it
couldn't put the puck in the back of the net.
Entering the NCAA West Regional in Grand Forks, N.D.
this weekend, the Wolverines' freshmen have just one game of
meaningful playoff experience. Saturday's third-place game
had neither the atmosphere nor implications of a playoff game.
As the Wolverines prepare to head to North Dakota, Beren-
son's dike analogy begs two questions: Was that one game
against the Spartans enough to plug that inexperience hole?
And once that hole is plugged, which one will open next?
If Michigan has any hopes of advancing to the Regional
Final, or, hockey gods willing, the Frozen Four, it first must
get through the host, North Dakota. If a half-empty Joe Louis
Arena intimidated the Wolverines' freshmen with a 60-percent
Michigan crowd, I can't imagine how nervous they will be
when they skate out into the 11,000-plus seat Ralph Engelstad
Arena, widely considered one of the toughest places to play in
college hockey, to face off against the Fighting Sioux.
Michigan's preparation can't simply rely on the expe-
rienced seniors who.have carried the team both emo-
tionally and physically this year. And even the juniors
playing the games of their lives might not be enough.
The Wolverines' chance for success comes down to
those 11 freshmen and how well they can mentally pre-
pare themselves for the toughest challenge they've seen.
Beyond the pressing need for the freshman class to develop
nerves of steel, Michigan must do its best to prevent new holes
from opening and old holes from reforming.
Captain Andrew Ebbett hit the nail on the head yesterday
when he said this weekend isn't about motivational speeches
or lip service. He said that success in the Tournament hinges
on each player giving his best individual effort. In fact, Ebbett
went as far as saying that if each player doesn't invest his
best effort on Friday night, they shouldn't be playing college
We've heard things like this from the team all year long, be
it at Yost, in Fairbanks, Bowling Green or Omaha. When the
going gets tough, the team promises to get going, but rarely
(with the exception of Ebbett and alternate captain Brandon
Kaleniecki) have the players lived up to these bold statements.
Ebbett's statement seems like common sense, but after see-
ing the efforts of some Michigan forwards last Friday, I hope
they hear Ebbett loud and clear before this Friday night.
There will be no room for nerves in Grand Forks. There will
be little room for mistakes. And with North Dakota goaltender
Jordan Parise and, most likely (barring a Holy Cross miracle),
Minnesota netminder Jeff Frazee standing between the pipes
on the road to the Frozen Four, there will be little room for
error when shooting on net. Both Parise and Frazee stop more
than 90 percent of the shots that come their way.
If the Wolverines have any hope of earning their way
to Milwaukee, the freshmen must develop nerves of
steel, offensive forwards like T.J. Hensick and Andrew
Cogliano must play the best defense they've ever played,
defensemen Matt Hunwick and Jack Johnson must jump
into the offense without getting caught out of position, and
Noah Ruden must play the two best games of his short
reign as a starter.
It's a lot to ask for, especially from a team that has struggled
to overcome obstacles almost every weekend this season.
They're certainly talented enough. They're definitely physical-
ly strong enough. They've done a good job plugging up most
of the holes that have come along, even if they took weeks to
The only question that remains is whether they're mentally
- Dowd can be reached email@example.com.
about Ralph Engelstad Arena, the location of the
d on ESPN2 Wolverines' regional. He mentioned the imported
t exactly jubi- leather that lines every seat and the grand marble
James V. Dowd
Continued from page 11B
the Wolverines from tying the game
After the bracket was announce
yesterday morning, the mood wasn'
H. Jose Bosch