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January 03, 2008 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-03

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, January 3, 2008 - SA

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, January 3, 2008 - 5A

A lack of egos
makes a world
of difference

The 2005 and 2007 Michi-
gan hockey teams both
welcomed large incoming
freshman classes following major
losses to graduation and profes-
sional contracts.
But the
end there.
"(The 2005
team) had a
couple guys
that played for
senior alter-L
nate captain H. JOSE
Chad Kolarik BOSCH
said. "I don't
want to throw The Bosch
anyone under, Watch
but I'm sure
you can figure
it out. A couple guys who didn't
mix well, didn't like anyone on
the team and the team didn't like
them. They'd run kids in practice
and just didn't have the team feel.
We have different character on
this team. We're not a bunch of
Without divisions between the
freshmen and upperclassmen, the
Wolverines are thriving in a way
only Michigan's National Cham-
pionship teams of the late 1990s
have in recent memory.
Unlike in 2005, Michigan swept
the College Hockey Showcase this
year and won the Great Lakes
Invitational last weekend for the
first time since 1996.
Michigan is 18-2 overall head-
ing into the season's second half.
The Wolverines were 12-6-1 at
this point in 2005.
Talent can sometimes overtake
a locker room, and when there's
too much talent around, the entire
team suffers - which happened to
Michigan the past two seasons.
This season's success starts
with senior captain Kevin Porter.
He's a gritty player who constant-
ly sets himself or teammates up to
score in big situations.
Off the ice, one could barely
Blue adji
Daily Sports Writer
Even considering CrislerArena
is home to Michigan, the Big
Ten's only sub-.500 team, it was
pretty barren 10 minutes before
The half of
the court far-
thest from the
tunnel was
sparse, where
just 11 Michi-
gan players
warmed up. SMITH
A crowd of
8,885 eventu-
ally filed in.
But the Wolverines received
no reinforcements.
In the last three weeks, Michi-
gan coach John Beilein dismissed
junior point guard Jerret Smith
from the team and redshirt fresh-
man guard K'Len Morris left the
squad for personal reasons.
The losses left Michigan with
fewer than a dozen active play-
In the Wolverines' first game
since the departures, their
offense appeared most 'affect-
ed. Michigan scored a mere 54

points, including just 13 off the
bench, in the loss to Wisconsin
last night.
Redshirt junior C.J. Lee and
senior David Merritt played 15
and seven minutes, respective-
ly, in the vacated backup guard
spots. Neither score. Along with
being forced to rely on a pair of
walk-ons in Lee and Merritt,
the trimmed roster has changed
"It forces us to use team man-
agers a little bit more, where if
we had NCAA players, then it'd
make it harder on us," fresh-
man guard Manny Harris said.
"Things we do in practice, every-
thing may look good. But we're
playing against team managers a
lot, so that can affect us."
But the new practices may
also have a positive effect. There
are more minutes to go around,
which makes senior forward Ron

pick him out of the group. He's
quiet and unassuming, and when
asked about a game, his answers
barely reveal he's even played.
That mentality has kept the
freshmen grounded and has fos-
tered an atmosphere that keeps
the team together.
"I think they don't think they're
upperclassmen," freshman Scoot-
er Vaughan said. "We're all on the
Michigan hockey team. They're
not seniors, we're not freshmen,
we're all a team. So I think that
factors into it. They're just great
leaders on and off the ice, with
their skill and just being a role
model - someone we can look up
Porterandthe otherupperclass-
men have ushered in a new era of
Michigan hockey, one absent of
internal tension and larger-than-
life, suffocating personalities.
Less has become more.
With success the norm and not
the exception in Ann Arbor, it's
easy to fall into the trap of think-
ing that the best talent and the
top recruits will translate into the
most victories.
What the Wolverines are prov-
ing this- year is that, even at a
program as strong as Michigan,
starting over with fresh talent can
be successful.
"We're pretty much like family
right now," Kolarik said. "We're
enjoying it. I just think it's cama-
raderie. I think it's a different feel-
ing in the locker room, different
feeling when we're hanging out
off the ice, and there's something
great right now. We're just going
to ride it."
It's still too early to know
where this joyride will end, but
it's already been more enjoyable
than the 2005 season, which felt
more like a rollercoaster.
Star players? Good riddance.
I'll take this team over those
individuals every time.
- Bosch can be reached
at hectobos@umich.edu.
ists to
Coleman think practices have
become more competitive.
Lee's energy and heady play
stood out on a night when Michi-
gan looked feistier than usual.'
The transfer from Manhattan
College had four assists and no
turnovers and started the sec-
ond half over freshman Kelvin
Smith was kicked off the team
Friday. He played in five games,
missed two with injury and was
suspended for the other five.
"We have certain expectations
of the student-athletes in our
basketball program," Beilein said
through the athletic department.
"After over a month of evalua-
tion and discussion, our coaching
staff has decided that Jerret has
not made sufficient effort to meet
these expectations."
Five players from last year's
team with remaining eligibility
are no longer on the squad. In
addition to Smith and Morris,
Kendric Price left the team ear-
lier in the season, walk-on Phil
DeVries decided not to try out
and Reed Baker's scholarship
wasn't renewed.
Michigan coach John Beilein
hopes to have help on the way.

He talked to Rich Rodriguez yes-
terday about adding a football
player to the team and said the
new football coach was receptive
to the idea.
"I'd like some big tight end
that can set screens and guard
some people," Beilein said. "Not
as much to play, as much give us
a guy who wants to (help in prac-
Beilein has one guaranteed
addition. Freshman guard Laval
Lucas-Perry transferred from
Arizona, where he averaged four
points and 1.6 rebounds in five
games. The Flint native is prac-
ticing with the Wolverines and
will be eligible to play in Jan.
He also perfectly demonstrates
why the Wolverines need help. At
just 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, he
was the scout team's power for-
ward in practices leading up to
last night's game.

Michigan forward Travis Turnbull is mobbed by teammates following his double-overtime goal that ended over 82 minutes of scoreless hockey and sealed the Wolver-
ines' first GLI championship since 1996.
Michigan wins first GLI title since 1996 in double-overtime thriller

Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - No. 1 in the Great
Lakes Invitational. No. 1 in the
nation. One goal.
hockey MICHIGAN 6
team sur-
rounded MICHIGAN 1
its first MICHIGAN TECH 0
GLI - -.
onship trophy in 11 years Saturday,
holding its index fingers to the
sky - and rarely has the number
one signbeen so appropriate.
After rolling over Providence
College 6-0 Friday in the tourna-
ment's firstgame, Michigan defeat-
ed Michigan Tech 1-0 Saturday in
a double-overtime, three-and-a-
half-hour contest. The marathon
victory sealed Michigan's first GLI
championship since 1996, snapped
a six-game losing streak in the
tournament's title game and con-
tinued its extraordinary season.
"It's about time," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. "I know
these players are tired of hear-

ing about how many years we
have lost. Kevin Porter and Chad
Kolarik are our only two seniors.
They've been through this and
they know the, heartbreak that
comes when you don't win that
championship game."
Two minutes and thirty-two
seconds into the second over-
time, just moments after a Michi-
gan Tech shot hit the post, junior
forward Travis Turnbull tipped
freshman defenseman Scooter
Vaughan's shot from the point past
Michigan Tech goalie Rob Nolan
for the game's only goal.
Michigan goalie Billy Sauer
had 37 saves in the game and
added to his career-high 50 saves
against Providence for a tourna-
ment MVP-worthy 87 stops on the
In a game in which the Wolver-
ines (11-1-0 CCHA, 18-2-0 overall)
had their lowest offensive output
of the season - before Saturday,
they had scored three or more
times in all but one of 19 games
- play was dominated by big hits
and defensive stops. The teams
combined for 19 penalties and 44
blocked shots.

"They're a big team - they can
skate, and they like to take the
body out there and try to get us off
our game," Kolarik said. "It was
just a mess out there. Everyone
was laying on the ice."
The Huskies (5-6-1 WCHA, 7-
9-2 overall) had a few chances to
take the lead, most notably on a
one-timer by captain Jimmy Kerr
in the first overtime that hit Sau-
er's outstretched leg.
"It's frustrating," Kerr said.
"There's not much you can do in
that situation. We banged and
banged away. ... Sometimes, you
don'tget the bounces."
Michigan Tech goalie Rob
Nolan finished with 45 saves and
allowed just two goals on 74 shots
for the weekend, which included a
4-1 win over No. 5 Michigan State
Friday to earn a spot in the cham-
pionship game.
The Wolverines played with-
out freshmen Carl Hagelin, Max
Pacioretty and Matt Rust and
sophomore Chris Summers, who
are playing in the World Junior
Championships in the Czech
Republic. Before this weekend,
Hagelin, Pacioretty and Summers

had played in every game, and Rust
had missed just one. But Michigan
adjusted nicely - junior Brandon
Naurato moved up to the first line
in both games and notched an
assist on Turnbull's game-win-
ner. Freshman Louie Caporusso
returned to the lineup after miss-
ing six weeks with a knee injury
and tallied two points against
Michigan's GLI win is the sec-
ond tournament streak the Wol-
verines have snapped this year. In
November, Michigan completed
its first College Hockey Show-
case sweep since 2002. Porter and
Kolarik will leave the team as the
first senior class since 1996 to win
both the Showcase and GLI in
their final season.
But the Wolverines need to
avoid repeating their post-Show-
case complacency, manifested in
a 3-2 loss to CCHA bottom-feeder
Ohio State the next weekend.
"We got a little comfortable and
we were satisfied with what we
did (in the Showcase)," Sauer said.
"I think we have to learn from
that situation. There are no games

Big Ten season starts with a bust for Beilein

Daily Sports Writer
When news broke of John
Beilein's hiring as Michigan men's
basket- --- _
ball coach WISCONSIN 70
last April, MICHIGAN 54
much of
the optimistic chatter surrounded
his unique and effective offensive
But after their latest loss, a 70-
54 defeat to No. 25 Wisconsin (1-0
Big Ten, 11-2 overall) last night at
Crisler Arena, Beilein and the Wol-
verines (0-1,4-9) might need totalk
about heading back to the drawing
The Maize and Blue went nearly
seven minutes without a field goal
to begin the game and shot an abys-
mal 27 percent in the first half.
And that came after the team
spent much of the break focused on
starting the Big Ten season and the
New Year off on the right foot. .
"There was a lot of talk," said
freshman Manny Harris,who had a
team-high16 points in the loss. "But
we came out and didn't perform
how we should have, so we've got to
set another goal for ourselves."
After the Wolverines' encourag-
ing performance against UCLA 10
days ago - when Michigan led with
nine minutes remaining in the con-
test - the goal was to improve upon
its terrible accuracy from beyond
the arc. Beilein blamed that loss on
his team's 6-for-31 3-point shooting
Last night, though, the coach
seemed resigned to the fact that
his team probably won't be able to
shoot well from long distance any-
time soon after another woeful
display from the outside. The Wol-

verines made just five of their 18 3-
point attempts.
And yet, when asked what the
ideal easy basket was in his offense,
Beilein's first answer was a "step-
in 3-pointer." Clearly, there's some
work to be done before anything
comes easy for this team.
"We have to have good shooters,"
Beilein said. "We came into this
year with - probably if you look at
how many guys (on Michigan) have
ever made a college 3-pointer - it's
not a whole lot."
The poor shooting start didn't
doom the Wolverines right away.
Michigan's 1-3-1 defense seemed
to confuse Wisconsin early on, and
the Badgers didn't get their first
point until senior Brian Butch hit a
free throw with 16:36 remaining in
the first half.
Although Wisconsin went on
a 10-0 run from there, Michigan
trailed by just five after sophomore
Jevohn Shepherd hit a jumper with
about eight minutes remaining.
From there the game belonged
to the more experienced and more
talented Badgers, who were coming
off last weekend's impressive road
win over then-No. 9 Texas.
Ignited by 10 consecutive points
from freshman Jon Leuer, Wiscon-
sin went on a 13-3 run to close the
opening half with a 16-point cush-
ion. Leuer had a career- and game-
high 25 points and was a perfect .
5-for-5 from 3-point range.
To their credit, the Wolverines S'M1 W oLSON/Da
showed grit in the second half, clos- Freshman guard Manny Harris bad 6 points in the Wolverinestb-point loss to
ing the lead to single digits after Wisconsin is yesterdays lit Ten opener.
freshman Kelvin Grady hit one of 3-pointers and committing costly wait. For now, the team must swal-
the team's few 3-pointers with just turnovers down the stretch. The low another defeat.
under seven minutes remaining in Wolverines finished under 40 per- "If you're losing, your spirit is
the game. cent from the field for the game. down," sophomore Ekpe Udoh said.
But Michigan couldn't hold Talk of a new year and a new era "You can't really take anythingpos-
momentum, missing several forced for Michigan basketball willhave to itive from losing."



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