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October 22, 2008 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-22

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

October 22, 2008 - 3B

Late push
gives'M'
fifth place
By NICK COSTON
Daily Sports Writer
Last season, the Michigan
women's golf team had just five
top-five finishes.
But after four tournaments this
year, the Wolverines already have
three, thanks to a successful final
round at the Lady Northern Invi-
tational this past weekend.
Sitting in ninth place after two
rounds, the Wolverines made a
late push and posted a 312 team
score Sunday to finish in the top
five yet again.
"We didn't shoot 300, but it was
still great to move up four spots,"
said junior Ashley Bauer, who fin-
ished seventh overall (226). "We
didn't fall apart."
The Wolverines finished 42
strokes behind tournament cham-
pion and host Purdue (895).
One of the big reasons Michi-
gan moved up four spots Sunday
was because its underclassmen
stepped up on the windy Kampen
Course in West Lafayette.
Freshman Milena Savich, who
shot a 7-over par 79, and sopho-
mores Katelin Davis (5-over)
and Min Yean Tan (7-over) all
impressed Michigan coach Kathy
Teichert.
"The shots and decisions that
they make defy their youth,"
Teichert said. "They're young but
experienced. We're moving up the
ladder and building consistency.
"When you have as much youth
* as we do, it's easy to get frustrat-
ed. (But) they're having fun and
they're happy, and they're per-
forming better."
This weekend, Michigan trav-
els to Wilmington, N.C. for The
Landfall Tradition, where the
Wolverines finished last in a field
of 12 teams a year ago.
But with the team performing
much better in tournaments this
season, Teichert had one word to
describe howshe thinks Michigan
will finish next week: "Better."

Sophomore line ignites Wolverines
in win over Northern Michigan

By CHRIS MESZAROS
Daily Sports Writer
It took the Michigan hockey
team 81 minutes before it record-
ed its first goal
this weekend. NOTEBOOK
It then
scored two in less than a minute.
After sophomore Matt Rust
opened the scoring in Saturday's
5-3 Michigan win, the Wolverine
playmakers, led by their top line,
started to wake up.
"(Getting the first goal)
shouldn't be a factor but it had to
be a factor," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "The first goal
(Friday) night hung on to be the
winning goal."
Sophomore Aaron Palushaj had
the puck behind the net and made
a backhanded pass to a streaking
Rust, who buried the puck past
Wildcat goaltender Brian Stewart
for the Wolverines' first goal of
the series.
After Rust's goal, the floodgates
burst open. Michigan's top line
connected for two more goals on
Stewart, another by Rust and one
from Palushaj.
Michigan was stifled by the
Northern Michigan defense in
Friday's 2-0 loss, which didn'tgive
sophomore forwards Palushaj,

Rust and Carl Hagelin any room
to operate.
Saturday,thetriobouncedback,
combining for 10 points. The star
of the game was Rust, who scored
two goals. Hagelin and Palushaj
assisted on both of them.
"(We played better), not just -
because we got three goals,"
Palushaj said. "We were back-
checking well, we played good
defensively and scored a couple
goals.",
Palushaj also assisted on the
Louie Caporusso empty netter to
ice the 5-3 win.
Each of Michigan's lines strug-
gled to find room to operate Fri-3
day, but it was particularly evident
with the top line.3
Northern Michigan stuck to its
assignments and played physical;
down low, using pressure to limit
Michigan's chances to pass the
puck.
"My line in particular didn't CLIF REEDER/Daily
really have a stellar .game," Rust Michigan coach Red Berenson said scoring the first goal in Saturday's game was
said. "We really didn't get a five- critical to jump start his team aftera shutout loss Friday night.
on-five play going, just scrambling
down. That's what you expect on GOAL OR NO GOAL: With 34.5 pulled for an extra attacker.
the road, you don't expect to have seconds remaining in Friday's Sophomore Chad Langlais took
a pretty game, but not accept- game, Michigan found itself on a shot from the blue line, which
able." the short end of a close call. The was deflected by Rust. After the
But Saturday, the line found its Wolverines were on the power puck deflected off the goalie,
rhythm, especially after its first play trailing 1-0 and had a 6-on-4 senior Travis Turnbull knocked
goal. advantage with goalie Billy Sauer it in and appeared to have scored

the game-tying goal.
But after reviewing the play
the referees determined the play
had been whistled dead before the
puck crossed the goal line.
"The ref's explanation was he
blew the whistle down and in the
video he doesn't have a clear view
when the puck went in," Rust
said.
The sophomore stayed on the
ice after the game to get an expla-
nation long after the ice cleared.
Northern Michigan killed off
the remainder of the game, adding
an empty-netter with two seconds
remaining.
COMING UP EMPTY: Michi-
gan's power play is struggling.
Besides a Brian Lebler goal with
two seconds remaining against St.
Lawrence two Saturday's ago, the
Wolverines have not connected on
the man advantage, going 1-for-32
this season.
The power-play did a better job
this weekend keeping control of
the puck in the offensive zone and
making crisper passes. But the
Wildcats played stifling defense
down low, cutting out passing
lanes in front of Stewart.
"The power play has to capital-
ize," Berenson said. "We had our
power-play opportunities, but we
didn't take advantage of them."

WILDCATS
From Page 1B
Palushaj raced with the puck
behind the net before setting
up sophomore forward Matt
Rust for the first goal of the
night. Then, with nine min-
utes remaining in the third,
Palushaj sent a wrist shot past
the diving Wildcat goalie Brian
Stewart for a 4-1 lead. He fin-
ished with one goal and three
assists on the game.
And each of the Wolverines'
first four goals followed the
same script: one skater con-
trolled the puck behind the
net before finding a teammate

in blue charging toward Stew-
art. That Wolverine offensive
aggression was mostly absent
in Friday night's 2-0 loss.
The Wolverines managed
to score Saturday because the
players did "a better job of get-
ting screens and getting body
position in front of the net,"
Rust said.
Senior goaltender Billy Sauer
arguably had a better game Fri-
day than Hogan did on Satur-
day, stopping 19 of 20 shots. But
despite Sauer's encouraging
numbers, Michigan's offense
couldn't take advantage.
Nursing a one-goal lead in
the third period Friday, North-
ern Michigan's team defense

had little margin for error, and
played sharp defense accord-
ingly. The Wildcats blocked 12
Wolverine shots in the final
frame, and 20 total for the
game. Michigan couldn't regis-
ter a single shot on goal in four
third-period power play chanc-
es. The Wolverines ended the
weekend 0-14 with the extra
man.
"We might have played a lit-
tle too much individually when
we were trying to get more of
a team effort," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said Friday. "I
think the individual efforts
were there, but we weren't
moving the puck well enough. I
can't point anybody out and say

they had a great game."
Rust held himself and his
linemates, Palushaj and soph-
omore forward Carl Hagelin,
accountable Friday night, say-
ing their offensive impact was
minimal and Northern Michi-
gan's defense made Stewart's
job in net a little too easy.
"We've got to get more shots
through," Rust said Friday.
"(Stewart) did nothing spe-
cial."
Rust said he and his team-
mates needed a scrappier game
on Saturday.
The first line's renewed
aggression in the second game
paid dividends: Thanks to
relentless pressure on Stew-

art in front of the net, Rust,
Palushaj and Hagelin combined
for a 3-7-10 line in Saturday's
win.
Stewart needed to make just
four saves in Friday's final
frame en route to Northern
Michigan's 2-0 victory. His 15
stops total on Friday were a
reflection of his defense's per-
formance. Michigan struggled
mightily to find openings in the
shooting lanes all night.
That the Wolverines rou-
tinely found cracks in North-
ern Michigan's team defense
less than 24 hours later proved
Rust's and Palushaj's point on
the importance of crashing the
net.

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