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April 14, 2008 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-04-14

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The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com I April 14, 2008
Porter honored as hockey's best

Senior captain
named Hobey Baker
Award winner
By COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
Daily Sports Editor
DENVER - Seniors Kevin Por-
ter and Chad Kolarik, all smiles for
the media, posed together with the
trophy.
It wasn't the trophy they wanted
most - a 5-4 overtime loss to Notre
Dame the day before had killed the
Wolverines' National Champion-

ship hopes.
But after captain Kevin Porter
won the Hobey Baker Award on
Friday, setting him apart as the best
player in college hockey, he made
sure his linemate and best friend
shared the spotlight.
"For the past six years, he's been
my best friend," Porter said. "With-
out him, this wouldn't have been
possible."
The senior is just the second
Wolverine to win the honor. Bren-
dan Morrison was the first, in 1997,
also winning itthe day after Michi-
gan was knocked out of the Frozen
Four.
Porter was long considered to be

the favorite for the award.
"We were all nervous, but every-
one in that building knew that
Kevin Porter deserved to win the
Hobey Baker," freshman forward
Max Pacioretty said.
The award criteria include out-
standing character on and off the
ice, game skills, sportsmanship
and academic accomplishments.
Porter finished the season with 33
goals and 30 assists, including 15
power-play goals. He was named
the CCHA Player of the Year and
was the top scorer in the league.
The half-hour award ceremo-
ny featured highlight videos and
interviews with each finalist. The

other two finalists for the award
were Boston College junior Nathan
Gerbe and Miami (Ohio) senior
Ryan Jones.
Gerbe scored three goals in the
Eagles' 6-1 NCAA semifinal win
against North Dakota and two goals
against Notre Dame in the National
Championship game, giving him a
nation-best 35 goals for the season.
Jones finished with 31 goals, third
highest in the nation.
Less than 24 hours after their
season ended, the Wolverines sat
in the last row of the Pepsi Cen-
ter's lower bowl during the cer-
emony. When Porter's name was
announced as the winner, they

jumped to their feet and gave him a
standing ovation.
Porter predictably said that
winning the award was nice but it
didn't ease the sting of losing the
day before, a sentiment shared by
his teammates.
"Obviously, we're going to be
happy right now," Pacioretty said
Friday. "But when we watch that
game tomorrow, we'll know that we
should be there."
Porter spent Friday away from
his teammates, attending a dress
rehearsal, preparing an acceptance
speech and napping before the cer-
emony.
See HOBEY, Page 7B

WHY PORTER WON
THE HOBEY BAKER
Named first-team
All America
Named CCHA Player
of the Year
Second in the country
in points (63)
Second in the country
in goals (35)
Five goals in NCAA
East Regional

SAID ALSALAH/Daily
(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) Redshirt freshman Avery Horn runs the ball in Saturday's scrimmage. Fifth-year senior John Thompson (No. 49), redshirt freshman Brandon Herron (No. 58) tackles sophomore Martell Webb (No. 80). Junior Brandon Minor goes
for a carry. Redshirt freshman Steven Threet throws a pass. Junior Greg Mathews (No. 13) escapes fifth-year senior Tim Jamison (No. 90). Threet attempts a pass while facing pressure from Jamison. Assistant coach Tony Gibson addresses the team.
FIRST LOOK AT NEW BLUE

'M' scrimmages at Saline

Roster shaken up in practice

Revamped team
scrimmages before
select fans
By DAN FELDMAN
Daily Sports Editor
SALINE - In Michigan's first
spring practice March 15, it really
hit junior free safety Stevie Brown
that Wolverine football a new atti-
tude.
The team was running a skelly
drill, which is designed to improve
the secondary's pass coverage, and
the players didn't run to the ball
quick enough.
"(Michigan coach Rich Rodri-
guez) comes running, knocks over
all the trash cans and stops prac-
tice," Brown said.
As Brown and the rest of the
team did up-downs, the message
was clear: "We're going to be a fast
team, and that's what he wants to
see."
The regime change showed
Saturday, when the Wolverines
played their annual spring game.

The offense-versus-defense
scrimmage was held at Saline
High School and was closed to the
public.
The team came close to Rodri-
guez's goal of running 100 plays
during the cold, rainy day. Both
sides of the ball ran generic sets.
The offense with three starters
returning moved the ball down-
field fairly well early in the prac-
ticebutthe defense, sevenstarters
returning, took control for most of
the afternoon, intercepting four
passes and nearly snagging sev-
eral more.
"The defense should dominate,"
Rodriguez said. "If they're not,
then we've got issues."
The scrimmage, which featured
a few option runs that either went
nowhere or backward, often frus-
trated the offense coaches. Rodri-
guez, who stood about 15 yards
behind the line of scrimmage
with offensive coordinator Calvin
Magee for every play, screamed
out questioning whether the play
clocks were working after mul-
tiple delay-of-game penalties.
"We've had a lot better prac-
tices," junior wide receiver Greg

Mathews, an Orlando, Fla. native,
said through shivers. "But weath-
er kind of had something to do
with it."
Still, what Rodriguez called the
"least important of all the spring
practices" did its goal of giving a
look into Michigan football.
The construction that forced
the game out of Michigan Stadium
or the inclement weather would
have, in many years, meant can-
celing the game. But Rodriguez
wanted to give friends, family and
boosters a chance to see the team's
new look. The bleachers were
about 70 percent full, but many of
the approximately 2,500 in atten-
dance left early to get out of the
weather.
Like he wanted to show a scrim-
mage to those outside Fort Schem-
bechler, Rodriguez wanted to
display the team's award winners,
too. The Wolverine coaches give
out awards at the end of spring
practice, butthey had never before
been announced at the time of the
practice.
An award is given to players in
each class for achievement dur-
See SPRING GAME, Page 8B

Rodriguez says
depth charts
aren't final
By IAN ROBINSON
Daily Sports Editor
SALINE - Senior defensive
tackle Terrence Taylor finished
last season on the All-Big Ten
second team, but he started Sat-
urday's spring
game at Saline NOTEBOOK
High School on
Michigan's second team.
The second-string defense
is not where most expected the
Muskegon native, who decided to
stay in Ann Arbor instead of pur-
suing the NFL Draft, to be.
In his press conference last
week, Michigan coach Rich
Rodriguez said Taylor is still
adapting to the new system and
is a long way from where the
coaches want the talented line-
man to be.
Fifth-year senior Will John-
son, who received the Meyer

Morton Award as the senior who
experienced the greatest devel-
opment during spring practice,
and redshirt sophomore John
Ferrara played defensive tackle
on the first team.
After Saturday's practice,
Rodriguez cautioned the media
not to read too deeply into the
current depth charts, saying the
coaching staff will make those
decisions the week before the
season opener against Utah.
"If you're looking at the first or
second team today, you're look-
ing at the wrong thing," Rodri-
guez said. "Right now, it's just
guys going out with one group or
another group."
It's the same situation on both
sides of the ball.
Redshirt freshman Steven
Threet played quarterback on the
No. 1 offensive unit even though
he's still competing with sopho-
more Nick Sheridan for the start-
ing quarterback job.
"It's about going out every day
in practice and not necessarily
worrying about the depth chart,"
Threet said.
Rodriguez said he wouldn't

name his starting quarterback
until the week before Utah.
'D' UP: Defensive coordinator
Scott Shafer preaches two goals
for his defense - turnovers and
tackles for loss.
After giving up a field goal
and touchdown on the first two
possessions of Saturday's scrim-
mage, the defense buckled down
and embodied Shafer's mentality.
"We came together on the
sidelines," said sophomore safety
Stevie Brown, who was the only
player to win two awards for his
performance in spring practice.
Injured linebacker Marell
Evans paced the sidelines, telling
his teammates it was unaccept-
able to lose to the offense.
On third and long halfway
through practice, Threet stepped
up in the pocketonly to find senior
linebacker Austin Panter in his
face for what would have been a
sack in a full-contact game.
The defense also had four inter-
ceptions on the afternoon, not
including a pick-six called back
for offsides and several drops
likely the result off a wet ball.
See NOTEBOOK, Page 8B

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