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November 30, 2009 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-11-30

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The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com I November 30, 2009

MICHIGAN 3
Junior Louie Caporusso celebrates a goal in the Wolverines' 3-2 win over Wisconsin in the College Hockey Showcase. After its worst start in more than 20 years, Michigan swept the tournament. SAID ALSALAH/Daily
SHOWING UP
Blue'D' finally shines Team is playing
during Showcase sweep |Michigan hockey'again

BY MARK BURNS
Daily Sports Writer
Through the first two months
of its season, the Michigan
hockey team lacked a signature
characteristic of most Red Beren-
son-coached teams: sound defen-
sive hockey.
But according to sophomore
alternate captain Luke Glenden-
ing, the Wolverines in their sweep
of the 17th-annual College Hock-
ey Showcase might have finally
found that missing component
this weekend.
"That has been our goal all year
but we haven't really done it yet,"
Glendening said of playing strong
defense. "This weekend, we start-
ed to do it, and it showed up on the
scoreboard."
It showed with a 3-2 victory
over Wisconsin and a 6-0 drub-

bing of Minnesota, which sealed
Michigan's sixth Showcase sweep
in program history.
On Saturday night, Michi-
gan (7-7) slipped past an under-
achieving Wisconsin team, that
Berenson said may have been the
Wolverines' toughest opponent
all year.
With the score tied at one late
in the second period, Glendening
corralled the puck off a face-off in
the Badger zone.
He lifted a nifty wrist shot
underneath the crossbar to give
Michigan the lead heading into
the final stanza.
The Wolverines got the game-
winning tally midway through the
third period from junior center
Louie Caporusso, who received
a pass from freshman A.J. Treais
at the right side of the crease and
deposited the puck in the net.

Michigan held on down the
stretch by minimizing Wiscon-
sin's (8-5-1) odd-man rushes and
playing strong man-to-man cover-
age in the defensive zone.
"They were really good, and
we were on our heels on and off
during the game," Berenson said.
"The fact that if we keep our goals
against down, we will be in these
games. ... But that was a grinding
game tonight.
"That was a man's game. It was
in-the-trenches type of hockey,
and we survived it."
The previous night's 6-0 victory
against the Golden Gophers wasn't
as much of a fight for survival. Five
different players scored, and junior
left wing Carl Hagelin notched
two goals.
Hagelin scored his second goal
off a small but significant play that
See SHOWCASE, Page 4B

here's no sugarcoating
Michigan hockey's near-
disastrous start.
Two straight sweeps at the
hands of two bitter rivals. A series
split two weeks ago against peren-
nial basement-dweller Bowling
Green. And the
worst start in 23 RYAN
years. KARTJE
"It doesn't
sit well," junior On ice hockey
Louie Capo-
russo said after
the win against Bowling Green.
- "it doesn't feel good to belong to a
team that is not playing Michigan
hockey-caliber."
And then, the nation began to
notice.
Despite salvaging a win against
the Falcons, the Wolverines were
out of the top 25 for the first time
in 12 years - and that's back when

the polls only counted the top 10
teams.
Then, with Michigan already
limping, sophomore forward Rob-
bie Czarnik quit the team to sign
with the Ontario Hockey League's
Plymouth Whalers. And on the
same day that highly touted goal-
tending recruit Jack Campbell
decommited.
Last week was the lowest of
lows for the Wolverines, who
hadn't been below.500 through 12
games since the 1986-87 season.
But sweeping this weekend's
College Hockey Showcase has
righted the path for now. The wins
against Minnesota and Wisconsin
show that in the hardest of times,
Michigan coach Red Berenson's
teams have always proven his abil-
ity to stay the course. And that's a
testament to his ability as one of
the best coaches in the game.

In the 1998-99 season - a
year removed from their second
national championship in three
seasons - the Wolverines went on
an eight-game conference winless
streak, just three weeks before the
CCHA Tournamentbegan.
With high hopes and even
higher national expectations,
Michigan's college hockey dynasty
looked threatened after doubling
their season loss total in just eight
games. But the Wolverines domi-
nated the CCHA Tournament,
scoring 20 goals in four games to
get the conference's automatic
NCAA Tournamentbid.
And last season, after losing
captain and standout defense-
man Mark Mitera to injury, the
Wolverines started 9-7. They
knew they had to rebound. So
Michigan responded with three
See HOCKEY, Page 4B

Michigan falls off in last two tourney games

BY JOE STAPLETON
Daily Sports Writer
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.
- In the opening game of this
weekend's Old Spice Classic, the
Michigan men's basketball team
edged a good Creighton squad in
overtime for its first win of the
tournament.
The closeness of the game was a
little surprising, given Michigan's
No. 15 ranking and Creighton's
relative anonymity, but it seemed
to be merely a hiccup for the team
expected to win the tournament.
Looking back, that game was an
ominous sign for the games yet to
come.
Marquette soundly beat the
Wolverines in their next game.
And yesterday when Michigan
battled for third place in the tour-
nament against unranked Ala-
bama, the Wolverines lost their
second straight game, 68-66.
"It let us know that we still got
a long way to go," senior DeShawn
Sims said. "And we probably aren't
the 15th team in the country."
While not placing in a tourna-
ment it was expected to win was
tough for Michigan, what was
even tougher was the way it lost.
With Sunday's game tied and
five seconds left, Alabama junior

Senario Hillman missed a layup,
but sophomore JaMychal Green
came flying in with a furious put-
back slam.
Freshman Darius Morris took
the ball cross-court into the lane
and put up a floater, only to have
it thrown into the stands by Green
to seal the Alabama win.
"That was the best play for the
team," junior Manny Harris said.
"No one helped on me, no one
helped on nobody. It was a good
play. It just didn't go our way."
Harris, of all people, could have
used that help not only in Sunday's
game but in the whole tourna-
ment.
Harris averaged nearly 23
points per game in the Classic,
which earned him a spot on the
All-Tournament team.
Michigan's next-leading scorer,
Sims, averaged 13, and the rest of
the team was largely nonexistent
on offense.
"I'm not looking at that," Harris
said. "We came out with two loss-
es, so none of that really matters."
Harris was consistently the one
powering the Wolverines' offense
against Alabama, particularly in
the early minutes, when Michigan
took a 12-point lead with about
six minutes remaining in the first
See OLD SPICE CLASSIC, Page 3B

M-NOTE
Wolverines notch
fourth straight at-large
NCAA Tournament bid

BY MARK BURNS
Daily Sports Writer
The No. 12 Michigan volley-
ball team has received an at-large
bid to the NCAA Tournament for
the fourth consecutive year. The
Wolverines (24-9) garnered the
13th overall seed in the 64-team
field and will play in the Stan-
ford Regional.
Ann Arbor will be one of
16 host sites for the first two
rounds.
"Getting a top-16 seed in the
tournament was a goal of ours
since the spring season," Michi-
gan coach Mark Rosen said. "But
we know it doesn't guarantee
us anything. ... At this point in

the season, you can throw seeds
and all of that out the window,
because it's single elimination."
On Friday, Michigan will
square off against Niagara (23-8)
in the Purple Eagles' first-ever
tournament appearance.
If the Wolverines win that
game, they will face the winner
of Ohio and Notre Dame Satur-
day.
Michigan finished the regu-
lar season tied for fourth in the
Big Ten and is looking to make
it to the Sweet 16 for the third
straight season.
In the last two years, the Wol-
verines exited the third round
at the hands of Penn State and
Nebraska, respectively.

For volleyball coverage from this
weekend's games,
see PAGE 3B

AP PHOTO
Senior DeShawn Sims averaged just 13 points in three games this weekend.

ROUGH WEEKEND
U The young Michigan wrestling team
grabbed a win against Penn after dropping
two meets over the weekend. Page 3B.

ROAD WARRIORS
* After a fast start, the Michigan women's
basketball team is in the midst of a brutal
road game stretch. Page 2B.

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