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October 02, 2008 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-02

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8A - Thursday, October 2, 2008

8 T r , t 22The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wolverines excited for te
CCHA's new shootout rule

0

ALLISON GHAMAN/Daly
Fifth-year senior Nicole Edwards won her first race of the year, even though she
only expected it to be a tune-up for the rest of the season.
Edwards doesn't
struggle with
big adjust-ments

Hagelin and Palushaj
early candidates to
take open-ice shots
By GJON JUNCAJ
Daily Sports Writer
NHL exhibition games aren't
typically ratings monsters. Few
people saw Montreal Canadiens
forward and former Michigan
Wolverine Max Pacioretty tally a
shootout goal against the Detroit
Red Wings on Tuesday night.
But a few Michigan hockey play-
ers watched their former team-
mate glide down the ice and beat
Detroit goaltender Jimmie How-
ard with a nifty backhander.
Sophomore forward Carl Hage-
lin was among those who celebrat-
ed Pacioretty's goal. It was a timely
occasion for the Sodertalje, Sweden
native to take notes. This season,
Hagelin can expect to be thrown
into a similar situation.
The CCHA officially re-intro-
duced the shootout to college hockey
this summer. If a conference game
is tied after regulation and a five-
minute overtime period, each team
will send three skaters one-on-one
versus the opposing goalie. Should
the shootout remain tied once three
shooters from each team have had
their turn, the squads will select
a different player, and each team's
skater will have a chance to score.
When a shootout occurs, both
teams will get one point for a tie
after overtime. The team that wins
the shootout will receive an addi-
tional point, which will count only
in the CCHA standings and have
no bearing on NCAA Tournament
seeding.
Michigan assistant coach Mel
Pearson said the coaching staff
isn't close to a decision on which
shooters they prefer, though choos-
ing among a slew of candidates has
been a hot-button topic of discus-
sion this offseason. And some of
the players are already campaign-
ing for a chance.
"It'll be interesting (who we
choose)", Pearson said. "I had
(senior forward) Travis Turnbull
come up to me today in practice
and say 'Coach, just wanted to
let you know that in the USHL I
scored seven of 11 shootouts.' So
we've got some players politick-

a

0

SAM WOLSON/Daly

Sophomore Carl Hagelin is one of many Wolverines excited for the chance to take penalty shots.

Fifth-year senior
looks to end career
with Big Ten title
By NICK MATTAR
For the Daily
For fifth-year senior Nicole
Edwards, the first race of the sea-
son was supposed to be a chance
to get back into the grind of the
cross-country season after a sum-
mer without much competition.
Any signs of a sluggish first race,
were quickly put to rest by the end
of the race.
At the Detroit Titan Invitation-
al on Sept. 6, Edwards finished
first and set a new course record.
"The first race of the season is
about getting the cobwebs out and
can be really rough mentally," she
said. "It's always eye-openingrun-
ning that first race of the season."
For Edwards, college cross
country has been an "eye-open-
ing" experience ever since she
came to Michigan. As a high
school runner in Winnipeg, Mani-
toba, Edwards ran mostly three
and four-kilometer races. She was
faced with -a new challenge when
she arrived in Ann Arbor.
Despite her limited running
background, Edwards made an
immediate impact on the course.
Edwards was redshirted her
freshman year, but used that time
to adjust to the traditional five-ki-
lometer collegiate women's cross-
country race.
Although high school prac-
tices usually consisted of simple
workouts, there was much more
training and volume running
when it came to college cross
country. But, according to Michi-
gan women's cross country coach
Mike McGuire, it didn't take long
for Edwards to adapt to the longer
course.

"Sheisverycompetitive andhas
great natural leg speed," McGuire
said. "Her mile time improved
each year, until last year (when)
she set the school record."
In addition to setting the school
record in the mile as a redshirt
junior, Edwards also finished
seventh at the Big Ten Cham-
pionships last season and won
the NCAA Great Lakes Regional
Invitational individual title. But
Edwards' teammates know that
she is capable of accomplishing
even more, despite it being her
final year.
"She can do whatever she puts
her mind to," , redshirt junior
Geena Gall said. "The sky's the
limit for her."
Edwards has high aspirations,
too. With the Big Ten Champion-
ships in Ann Arbor next month,
she wants to make her final race at
Michigan one to remember. After
finishing in the top 10 overall last
year, she hopes to improve even
more.
"It may be a big jump to go from
seventh place to first, but this is
my last chance to win it," Edwards
said.
No. 8 Michigan State and No.
13 Wisconsin were the only Great
Lakes Region teams ranked above
No. 17 Michigan going into this
weekend, so Edwards and the rest
of the Wolverines will have a lot of
competition in November.
But McGuire believes Edwards'
running career doesn't have
to end with her senior season.
McGuire has coached several
post-collegiate runners, and he
thinks Edwards is on pace with all
of them.
Edwards isn't sure if she will be
running in four years, but if she is,
she will be working toward one
final goal.
"It's sort of my dream goal right
now, but I want to go to the 2012
Olympics," idwards said.

ing."
The decision to select players for
the shootout will not be set in stone.
Pearson said the participants could
change each game, depending on
the player's current play. Pearson
maintained that there is no clear-
cut favorite, though at least two
sophomores are likely high on the
staff's list of options.
Hagelin scored 11 goals last
season, and fellow forward Aaron
Palushaj notched 10. Both are
renowned for their stick-handling
and expressed their excitement
about the new rule.
"I don't know if the coaches like
it too much, because obviously it's
not a fair way to win," Palushaj
said. "But I like it. It's going to be
interesting. We get to work on
our moves a little more, put more

emphasis on shootouts in practice,
too."
Pearson said the Michigan
coaches were in favor of the shoo-
tout. Though he understands the
arguments against it, he believes
it's in the best long-term interest
of college hockey.
"I think some of the coaches
were a little concerned that it
could come down to one or two or
three players making a difference
in a team sport," Pearson said. "I
think you have to do what you can
do to sell the sport, grow the sport
and help get people excited."
There have been 61 ties in the
last three CCHA seasons, so who-
ever those three players are could
have a huge impact on conference
standings. Teams with dangerous
open-ice skaters will have a great

advantage ifa game remains dead-
locked through regulation and
overtime.
IHagelin and Palushaj often
take time after practice to fine-
tune their attacks. If they end up
in shootouts, both have some pos-
sible signature moves in store for
the occasion.
"I used to play outdoor hockey
with my friend, in-line hockey,"
Hagelin said. "And I usually have
this particular move that I use,
and I use it on the ice, too. So if I
take a shoot-out, I'll use.that one."
Palushaj's approach will be
much less calculated.
"I have a couple (moves) lined
up when we get to that," he said.
"I'll pull them off the top of my
head when I get to the red line if
we're in a shootout."

Penn State way ahead in the Big Ten race

By ANDY REID den, they're looking beyond a Rose
Daily Sports Editor Bowl berth to a possible run at a
national championship.

That 19-point comeback you're
still daydreaming about is having
major ramifications. Entering last
Saturday, there were three teams
with a shot of winning the Big Ten
title and earning a BCS berth. But
as the Big Ten enters its second
week, there is just one left.
Wisconsin blew it and with
games against Illinois, Penn State
and Ohio State remaining, the
Badgers will be hard pressed to
win the Big Ten. =
Ohio State looks back in form
now that running back Beanie
Wells is healthy. But with the big
loss to USC and a trip to Wisconsin
this weekend, the Buckeyes have a
lot of work to do.
ButPennStatefansmightaswell
head to the travel agent right now:
"Do you have any deals on trips
to Pasadena? What about Miami?
Say, around New Year's Day." The
Nittany Lions skyrocketed to sixth
in the nation after taking down
No. 22 Illinois, and all of a sud-

Here's the breakdown of this
week's Big Teri action:
NO.14 OHIO STATE AT NO.18'
WISCONSIN
Penn State looks like a team that
has tha Big Ten championship on
lockdown, and if that's true, the
Buckeyes and Badgers will be bat-
tling for second place. Only time
will tell whether that honor will
come with a Capital One Bowl
berth or a chance to play in the
Rose Bowl (if Penn State lands a
spot in the BCS Championship
game).
We know this: With Wells's
return to the backfield last week
against Minnesota, Ohio State's
offense looked a lot better. The
combo of Wells and freshman
quarterback Terrelle Pryor looks
poised to do some serious damage
to defenses and scoreboards alike,
especially with Pryor becoming
more and more comfortable in his
newfound starting role.

But this week's not going to be
easy. Wisconsin hasn't lost at home
since November 2005 - Badger
coach Bret Bielema is yet to lose
a game at Camp Randall Stadium.
Add on that it's a night game and
that notoriously rowdy Wisconsin
student section is goingto be rock-
ing for this one.
This one will be fun to watch,
especially with both teams fight-
ing to keep up with Penn State.
NO.6 PENN STATE AT PUR-
DUE
The Boilermakers came into the
year wanting to prove they had
finally made the leap to the upper
echelon of the Big Ten, and Pur-
due coach Joe Tiller used his pre-
season press time to push Curtis
Painter as a legitimate Heisman
contender.
Maybe he should have put a
little more emphasis on getting
the team ready for the season.
The Boilermakers rank dead last
in total defense, 10th in scoring
defense and seventh in scoring

offense in the Big Ten.
Darryl Clark and the rest of the
Nittany Lion offense are more tal-
ented than any other offense -Pur-
due has seen this year. This game
could get ugly.
IOWA AT MICHIGAN STATE
It's times like these I wonder
how Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was
even considered to take over at
MichiganwhenLloyd Carrretired.
Last weekend's loss to Northwest-
ern , epitomized the Hawkeyes'
performance in the past few years:
underachieving all the way. This
was supposed to be the year Iowa
jumped out of "rebuilding" mode
and started improving. It looks
like Hawkeye fans might have to
wait at least one more season.
Expect Spartan Javon Ringer to
have another big day - Iowa has
given up just 100 yards rushing
per game, but it hasn't seen anyone
even remotely close to Ringer's tal-
ent level. If nothing else, it's fun to
watch him bowl over defenses.

0

Wilhite thrives after position change

By MICHAEL FLOREK
For the Daily
The Michigan field hockey team
knew it would have its hands full
trying to replace two of its top three
scorers from last year.
What they did not know was who
would fill that gap. To the team'ssur-
prise, it was senior Sarah Wilhite.
In 64 games before this year,
Wilhite recorded 10 points. But just
10 games into the 2008 season, she
already has 24 points, including six
goals, as she has split time between
playing as a midfielder and as a
back.
"The biggest thing is my posi-
tioning on the field," Wilhite said.
"I am being inserted in penalties
and am in a better position to score
than last year."
The change to insert her into

the penalty corner unit has paid off
better than the coaches could have
imagined.
"She is certainly very accurate
and demonstrates good ball speed
with that technical skill," Michigan
coach Nancy Cox said.
Wilhite is now second in scor-
ing in the Big Ten and the top scor-
ing back in the country. She is No.
12 nationally in scoring, and her 12
assists are second in the country.
"We always joked about how she
doesn't score that often, and this
year she has really stepped up to
the plate and she has been where
we need her to be," junior goal-
keeper Paige Pickett said. "There is
a little bit of surprise, but I wouldn't
expect anythingless."
Wilhite has also helped out Pick-
ett. The senior has two shutouts this
year, a 10-0 drubbing of St. Louis

- a game when Wilhite scored six
points, including two goals - and
a 3-0 win over Big Ten rival North-
western. Those two wins have been
the brightspotofamediocrestart to
the season. The Wolverines started
the season at No. 9 and have gone
4-6 while playing a brutal non-con-
ference schedule that included the
top fourteams in the country.
Wilhite acknowledged that the
team did not have the right mindset
going to some of the games.
"I think there were some games
where we thought we would win
just because we were Michigan,"
she said.
As a tri-captain, along with
seniors Stephanie Hoyer and
Michaela McDermott, the task of
turning around the season lies on
Wilhite's shoulders as the bulk of
Big Ten play approaches.

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