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October 15, 2009 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-10-15

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8A - Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Berenson preaches offensive toughness.

Daily Sports Writer
After playing 987 games as a
defenseman protecting NHL creas-
es, Michigan hockey coach Red
Berenson knows the price forwards
need to pay to be successful in front
of the net.
Two games into the season,
Berenson hasn't seen any of his for-
wards consistently offer up their
bodies in front
of the pipes. But NOTEBOOK
when his play-
ers do swarm the net, the effort is
rewarded. After failing to score a
goal in its previous game, Michigan
found more success swarming the
net in its 6-1 win against Alaska-
Anchorage Saturday.
"On Friday night, we were get-
ting good shots from the point,"
Berenson said. "But the goalie saw
all the shots. We never got any-
body in front. Our forwards weren't
determined enough to get to the
front of the net. Saturday, we were,
and that was the difference."
While the physical role currently
remainsvacant,there's a212-pound
glimmer of hope in senior Brian
Lebler. He scored his first goal of
the season on a deflection early in
the game and has been one player to
go to the net occasionally.

"Lebler should be (the guy in
front)," Berenson said. "He's a
senior, he's a big body, and he's a
big strong kid. He's played that role
from time to time, but we're still not
as consistently good at it. I could
never puta (Detroit Red Wings for-
ward Tomas) 'Holmstrom' stamp
on anybody on this team until they
can do it night after night."
Freshman forward Chris Brown
led all freshman in points on the
weekend with two goals and an
assist. His three points were tied
with junior Matt Rust for the most
on the team. None of the other six
freshman have recorded a point
"You can't expect your fresh-
man to carry your team," Berenson
said. "But they still need to know
the level of play, the level of com-
mitment and competition to play at
Michigan, and I think they learned
that this weekend."
With six freshmen on offense
and just one on defense, the expe-
rienced blue liners have provided
support not just with producing
offense, but helping the players
"We have brought in a lot of
freshmen forwards and they're
learning real quick," juniordefense-
man Tristin Llewellyn said. "Hav-

ing this veteran group (on defense)
helps really speed up the process."
With experienced teammates
and this weekend off, the for-
wards should be able to get up
to speed in time for their home
opener next Thursday. Whatever
the learning curve may be, Beren-
son doesn't seemed concerned
with his freshmen at this point in
the season.
"The team, really, is as good as
its upperclassmen," Berenson said.
"Freshmen and sophomores need
to be making us better and hopeful-
ly making a little bit of a difference
in different roles."
NOTES: Unlike last season,
whenthe Wolverines were plagued
with injuries early in the season,
the team remains in good health.
Senior forward Anthony Ciraulo
sat out practice with a sore back
yesterday, and junior defenseman
Chad Langlais sat out Monday's
practice with a sore groin, but both
are expected to be 100 percent for
the next game. ... The Wolverines
play in their home opener October
22 against Niagara before flying
east to take on Boston Univer-
sity the following Saturday. They
played the same Thursday/Satur-
day schedule last year, beating the
Purple Eagles 4-2 before losing to
BU 7-2.

Senior Brian Lebler may become the Wolverines' most physical forward, in part because of his 212-pound frame.

Wolverines, Quihano dance around Bearcats in shutout

Daily Sports Writer
Earlier this week,junior defend-
er Jeff Quihano brought a sombre-
ro to practice and choreographed a
"Mexican Hat Dance."
As a defender who takes very
few shots, Quihano wanted a spe-
cial way CGN
to cel-M
ebrate his CINCINNATI 0
next goal
and intended to reveal the "Hat
Dance" whenever the opportu-
nity presented itself. Little did
he know that he would need his
hat in his next game - during
Wednesday's 2-0 victory at Cin-

In the game's 20th minute, the
Wolverines already led 1-0. Quih-
ano found freshman midfielder
Hamoody Saad on the flank and
vacated his left-back position to
streak up the field.
Saad chipped the ball over
Bearcat defenders back to Quih-
ano, who faced a near-impossi-
ble angle on the baseline. The
defender blasted a shot over the
keeper into the roof of the goal.
Without his sombrero, he needed
to improvise.
"After I scored, one of my
teammates, (senior defenseman)
Julian Robles, told me, 'Go ahead
and do the 'Stanky Leg,' " Quih-
ano said. "So I put my finger on
my nose, made it seem like it was

a smelly scene, and just did the session.
'Stanky Leg.' " They outshot Michigan 26-10
The goal and the dance pro- and won nine corners in the sec-
vided the Wol- and half.
verines with Cincinnati's
the momen- aggressiveplay
tum to secure "After I scored ... kept Michigan
a much-needed (1-2 Big Ten,
victory despite Robles told 9-3-1 overall)
a strong Cin- on the defen-
cinnati perfor- me, 'Go ahead sive for much
mance in the of the final
second half. and do the stanza, but
TheBearcats the Wolver-
(8-6) relied Stanky Leg.'" ines respond-
heavily on the ed. Robles
long ball and led the resis-
were more tance, head-
intent on pushing the ball into the ing numerous balls out of the box.
opposing half than keeping pos- Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper

Chris Blais continued his solid
play by posting six saves in the
winning effort and earning his
fifth shutout of the season.
"Our overall management of
the game was superb - the best
of the season to date," Michi-
gan coach Steve Burns said.
"Our team showed their class in
the first 20 minutes and really
opened up Cincinnati through
some great possession and play
in the flanks.
"The two goals we scored in
that time were deserved, and
we weren't far off delivering the
knockout punch with a third
"To Cincinnati's credit, they
were up for the challenge and we

showed a lot of poise in weather-
ing their direct play the rest of the
In securing the victory against
the physical Bearcats, Michigan
proved that it can win by employ-
ing many different styles of play.
Such versatility will be needed
as Michigan prepares for its final
stretch of the season against
Akron, Michigan State, North-
western, and Ohio State.
These games will be much
easier if the Wolverines continue
to receive scoring contributions
from unlikely players like Quih-
him to bring his sombrero to the
game next time.


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