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February 11, 2008 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-02-11

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TO THE MAIZE RAGE?
hasn't yet turned it around

* The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com February 11, 2008

FRIDAY: MICHIGAN 4, MIAMI 2 * SATURDAY: MICHIGAN 5, MIAMI 5
No. vs. No. 2 Battle of the nation's best

DRIGO GAYA/Dal

The Michigan hockey team celebrates one of its nine total goals scored against Miami (Ohio) goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. Zatkoff came into the weekend with the nation's best goals-against average and save percentage.
Dynamic of fenses carry the 'Al' lives up to all the hype,
day in marquee matchup but still has more to prove

By NATE SANDALS
Managing Sports Editor
OXFORD - In abattlebetween
the nation's top two offenses and
top two goalies, something had to
give.
Judging from the 16 goals
scored this weekend, the net-
minders broke first.
Trailing Michigan, 5-3, and at
risk of being swept for the first
time all season, No. 1 Miami
(Ohio) stormed back to tie the
game in just over three minutes
Saturday night.
Though Miami had all the
momentum in the final minutes,
the second-ranked Wolverines
held on for a tie and a critical con-
ference point that, coupled with
Bowling Green's loss to Alaska,

clinched a first-round bye in the
CCHA playoffs.
"It was an exciting game for
the crowd," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "I'm sure the goal-
ies aren't crazy about it when they
give up that many goals."
The hectic conclusion started
with a quirk and ended with a
flurry.
Wolverine goalie Billy Sauer
came into the weekend with the
nation'ssecond-bestgoals-against
average and save percentage.
After allowing two third-period
goals in Friday night's 4-2 win,
Sauer was victimized twice again
in the last 20 minutes Saturday.
Even more frustrating for the
junior netminder, one of the goals
came after the puck appeared
to hit the netting above the end

glass.
"It hit the top of the glass and
popped up," Sauer said. "But I
mean, who knows? I guess I have
to see a replay for that."
Instead of the whistle blowing,
the puck caromed awkwardly
into play, and bounced off the top
of the net into the crease, where
freshman Andy Miele had plenty
to shoot at for his second goal of
the game.
With just a one-goal lead,
Michigan went on the defensive
instead of continuing to press. It
proved to be a costly adjustment.
Miami (17-4-1 CCHA, 25-4-1
overall) knotted the score at five
when forward Jarod Palmer fed
senior Nathan Davis with a cross-
crease pass that left Sauer
See REDHAWKS, Page 3B

OXFORD - ed by the media after Saturday's
H is team was No. 1. game, fielding questions about
His team's red-and- why his team, all of a sudden,
white clad fans had was a disappointment. Obviously
camped outside Steve Cady flustered, he tried to stick up
Arena since for his team after a 4-2 loss and
Thursday, -- - 5-5 tie made them victims of the
braving the Wolverines' best series of the
33-degree season.
temperature "I mean, come on, guys," Blasi
in 60 tents snapped. "We're 25-4-1. Give me
lining the a break."
path to the He probably didn't expect it.
arena's doors. Not many did. It took just 11 min-
And his COURTNEY utes for Michigan to take control
team was RATKOWIAK of the weekend, with four quick
about to play goals in the last half of Friday's
a No. 2 team first period. But Saturday's 5-5
frustrated after a four-game tie showed glaring differences
winless streak. between the teams - and rea-
But Miami (Ohio) coach Enri- sons why the Wolverines are
co Blasi found himself surround- atopthe CCHA.

Miami is the polished, experi-
enced team that's looking beyond
the CCHA regular-season crown
- a statement made by Red-
Hawks senior Nathan Davis after
Saturday's loss, when he said the
team is built more for a national
championship run.
Michigan is the team that
finds an opportunity in every
lucky break, the team that can
unpredictably swing from being
completely dominating (by scor-
ing a goal in the first 63 seconds
of each period Saturday) to
shockingly bad (in their 2-shot,
8-penalty third period Friday).
But the Wolverines played
better than Miami Saturday
- and should have won. Defense-
man Mark Mitera was tripped
See RATKOWIAK, Page 3B

SOFTBALL
Young pitching
no problem for
Wolverines
Nemitz, Taylor turn in top-notch
performances in opening weekend
By NICOLE AUERBACH
DailySports Writer
While snow blanketed Ann Arbor this weekend, the
Michigan softball team was throwing its first pitches
and taking its first swings of the season in sunny Boca
Raton, Fla.
The 12th-ranked Wolverines didn't allow an earned
run and went 4-1 on the weekend, beating Massa-
See SOFTBALL, Page 4B

Blue avoids familiar late-game
collapse in 2nd conference win'

By MARK GIANNOTTO
Daily Sports Editor
Play impressively for a stretch,
maybe even take a lead, only to watch
it wither away after a sequence of
missed shots, bad defense and costly
turnovers -It has become a familiar
storylirie for the Michigan men's bas-
ketball team this year.
Against Penn State Saturday, the
Wolverines
appeared to MICHIGAN 68
be follow- PENN STATt 63
ing the same
script. They allowed the Nittany Lions
to take an early second-half lead,
despite playing well for the game's
first 30 minutes.
But this time, Michigan rebounded

from its mistakes and escaped with
a 68-63 victory in front of 9,714 at
Crisler Arena.
Penn State opened the second half
on a 12-0 run. During that stretch, the
Wolverines committed five turnovers
and failed to score for more than five
minutes. Penn State's lead surged to
six, and Michigan appeared to lay
down in defeat once again.
Instead, the Wolverines showed.the
growth and maturity Michigan coach
John Beilein and his staff have been
searching for all season.
"You get hit in the head so many
times, eventually you have to pro-
tect yourself," redshirt junior C.J.
Lee said. "I think that's what we did
tonight. On our home court, we knew
it was important to respond from that

run in the second half."
Michigan didn't respond with a
huge surge of its own. The Wolverines
had to claw their wayback, using scor-
ing outbursts of 6-0, 7-0 and 9-0 to
regain the lead.
And it was a collective- effort that
helped Michigan win its first game
since Jan. 12.
Sophomore DeShawn Sims - who
didn't play much in crunch time
against Ohio State last Tuesday - led
the charge down the stretch. With the
score tied at 57, he spun along the base-
line, drew attention from help-side
defenders and dished the ball to soph-
omore Ekpe Udoh for an easy layup.
On the ensuing possession, Sims put
back an Anthony Wright miss to give
See NITTANY LIONS, Page 3B+'

SAID ALSALAH/Daly
Sophomore DeShawn Sims poured in 16
points in Saturday's victory.

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