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March 24, 2009 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-24

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*I

8 - Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Berenson impressed with Vaughan's stint at wing*

By GJON JUNCAJ
Daily Sports Writer
When Michigan hockey sopho-
more Ben Winnett injured his knee
Mar. 13 against Western Michigan,
the Wolverines lost an experienced
center on their fourth line and a key
penalty killer.
Winnett's injury didn't heal as
fast as the coach-
ing staff had NOTEBOOK
hoped, and Michi-
gan coach Red Berenson was forced
to move freshman Luke Glendening
to center in practice last week to
handle faceoff duties.
So, needing to fill a hole at right
wing, Berenson let his curiosity get
the best of him.
SophomoreScooterVaughan,who
had played defense his entire colle-
giate career, was surprised when he
discovered he would switch to the
open forward spot. The Placentia,
Calif., native played on the fourth
line in the CCHA Tournament last
weekend alongside Glendening and
senior Brandon Naurato.
With Alaska playing just three
lines for most of Friday's semifinal
game, Vaughan didn't see as much
ice time as Berenson would have
liked. But Berenson said Vaughan
looked decent in his limited oppor-
tunities.
"The thing I like about him is he's
an upbeat skater," Berenson said
Friday. "He's a better-than-average
skater and gives us some jump. He
also gives us some good puck touch-
es. He has pretty good hands and
he's hungry to play."

percent of their draws this season.
" Berenson admitted he was con-

I

cerned about the night-and-day
performance butsaid losing faceoffs
can depend more on individual
matchups than discouraging trends
within the team.
The player most responsible for
the discrepancy in the circles was
Notre Dame junior center Kevin
Deeth, who won 14 of 21 draws.
Deeth was surprisingly dominant
against sophomore forward Louie
Caporusso, taking seven of eight
draws from the Wolverines' top
faceoff man. Caporusso entered the
weekend having won 58.2 percent of
his draws. Deeth is just as impres-
sive in the circle, winning 58.4 per-
cent of his faceoffs this season.
HONOR ROLL: Caporusso and
junior defenseman Steve Kampfer
were selected to the CCHA All-
Tournament team after Saturday's
title game.
Caporusso had a goal and five
assists in four games in the tourna-
ment. The Woodbridge, ont., native
is tied for fourth in the nation with
24 goals. He is also one of10 finalists
for the Hobey Baker award, given
to the nation's top college hockey
player.
Kampfer notched two assists and
accumulated a plus-two plus-minus
rating in the conference playoffs.
Notre Dame goaltender Jordan

Pearce was the tournament's most
valuable player. Fighting Irish
defenseman Ian Cole and forwards
Ben Ryan and Calle Ridderwall
rounded out the All-Tournament
squad.
PERFECT ATTENDANCE: Senior
forwards Tim Miller and Travis
Turnbull both played in their 165th
consecutive game Saturday, break-
ing the program record set by Rob
Brown (1986-1990). Neither Miller
nor Turnbull has missed a game
during their collegiate careers.
Their streak dates back to 2005.
Miller, named CCHA's top defen-
sive forward last Thursday, has
scored a goal and three assists in
his past three games. Turnbullwent
pointless on the weekend.
NOTES:Saturday'sdefeatsnapped
Michigan's nine-game winning
streak at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
The Wolverines had not lost there
since the Fighting Irish beat them
in the 2007 CCHA Championship
game. ... Saturday marked just the
second time this season Michigan
has lost with a lead after two peri-
ods. The first came on Nov. 14, a 2-1
defeat against Western Michigan....
The fourgoals allowedin Saturday's
third period were the most the Wol-
verines have surrendered in a single
stanza since the opening round of
the 2007 NCAA Tournament, an 8-5
loss to North Dakota.

0

SAIDALSALAH/Daily
Sophomore Scooter Vaughan had never played forward for Michigan until this weekend's CCHA Tournament semifinals and finals.

With Winnett still questionable
for Michigan's first-round matchup
with Air Force in the NCAA Tour-
nament, Berenson said Vaughan
might stay on the wing. Berenson
thought Glendening looked smooth
at center, and Vaughan said he felt
comfortable on the ice with his new
linemate.
"I think me and Luke cycle
the puck really well down low,"
Vaughan said. "I bring a little speed

and a little physical play. I didn't
really show thatmuch this weekend,
but it's something I need to work on
through practice and I'll getanother
chance this upcoming weekend."
Vaughan said his primary goal
entering the weekend was to have
a positive plus-minus rating. And
although he didn't record a point
against Alaska or Notre Dame, he
registered a plus-two on the week-
end.

TROUBLE IN THE CIRCLE: Michi-
gan looked like two different teams
in the faceoff circles last weekend.
The Wolverines won 42 of 68 draws
(61.8 percent) against Alaska, which
has won 50.3 percent of its faceoffs
this season.
But Michigan was uncharac-
teristically submissive against
Notre Dame, winning just 23-of-62
faceoffs (37.1 percent) against the
Fighting Irish, who have won 56

FOOTBALL UPDATE: TONEY CLEMONS TO TRANSFER
Sophomore wide receiverToney Clemons has left the football team,
according to the Valley News Dispatch (Pittsburgh). For.more
information, visit michigandaily.com.

Lee, Merritt and Shepherd were the nucleus of Blue's turnaround

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -
As C.J. Lee walked off the
court for the last time in
is career as a member
of the Michigan JASON
men's basketball KOHLER
team, not only
did the Michigan On men's
fans stand up and basketball
acknowledge the fifth-year senior
guard, but so did his teammates
and coaches.

If there was anyone who had a
right to hold a grudge against Lee,
it was Kelvin Grady, who Lee edged
out of the starting lineup. But the
sophomore guard embraced Lee in
a long hugbefore the captain took
a seat.
In the waning minutes of a loss
to Oklahoma Saturday, Lee had just
fouled out for the first time in his
career. Occupyingthe bottom posi-
tion in the 1-3-1 zone, he stood face

to face with the hest player in the
country, the Sooners' Blake Griffin,
and refused to back down.
And as Lee took a seat with
Michigan down by nine points, he
quickly jumped up, yelling com-
mands at his teammates on the
floor. Next to him, Grady followed
suit, yelling out, "Keep fighting!"
He was just following the lead of
his captain - something the Wol-
verines did all season.

Replacing Lee on the court was
fellow fifth-year senior captain
David Merritt. And in the final
minute, senior Jevohn Shepherd
subbed in.
On Selection Sunday last year,
Lee, Merritt and Shepherd sat
down and talked about how they
were goingto lead the Wolverines
back to the NCAA Tournament.
The weight was on their shoul-
ders. They didn't have a choice.
Without the seniors, this team
would have been lost and would
have lacked the guidance to take
the Wolverines back to the Big
Dance.
Coming into this season,
sophomore Manny Harris was an
unquestionably talented scorer,
but he was still young and very
quiet in the locker room. Junior
DeShawn Sims was more experi-
enced but was still adapting to his
new role under the guidance of
Michigan coach John Beilein.
The duo's star power wasn't
enough - the Wolverines needed
leaders.
Thisnseason, Lee averaged just
2.8 points and 1.5 assists and Mer-
ritt just 1.9 points and 1.0 assists.
But their impact on their team-
mates was unmeasurable.
They did the little things. They
talked when the team needed a
voice. They set the pace in practice.
They were the identity of the
team.
Beilein selected Merritt to give
the pregame speeches and gave
Lee the starting point guard posi-
tion - and their teammates were
watching.
Freshman guard Stu Douglass
said his whole motivation in the
NCAA Tournament came from
wanting to win for the seniors.
"You don't want tosee these

0

Fesse sMAN/aily
Fifth-year senior C.J. Lee was a nocal and emntional leader for the Wolnerines all year.

guys go," Douglass said. "That was
all the motivation in the world."
When Lee wentto the bench,
he knew it was the end, but he also
knew his team wouldn't go down
without a fight.
And in the waning minutes of the
game, the Wolverines put together
one of their scrappiest performanc-
es of the year. In the last possession
of the game, Michigan grabbed four
offensive reboundsbefore Sims
threw in a layup.
After the game, Lee said he
would like to be remembered as
a player that came every day and
fought hard, representing Michigan
to the fullest. Every time he put

on that jersey, people knew he was
going to bring it.
Lee then mused, "That's defi-
nitely what they can say about us
(as a team)."
Lee, Merritt and Shepherd won't
be back next year. But they won't
be forgotten. They can't be forgot-
ten because they are the epitome of
Michigan basketball.
A few years ago, Michigan bas-
ketball had a different image.
It was an image of the NIT. It
was the image of failingto win
down the stretch. It was the image
of teams with weak leadership.
These seniors changed that.
They didn't have a choice.

Trade in your CARHART and NORTH FACE for
SUNGLASSES
and...more lasses?
In response to increased student demand, the
COLLEGE OF LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND THE ARTS
has expanded its 2009 spring/summer course offerings.
Sign-up for these new classes when registration begins in March.
Read more, including the list of new options, at
.lsa.umich.edu/lsa/newcourses
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