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November 18, 2010 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, November18, 2010 - 7A

Consistent play from
third line sparks icers

Junior guard Zack Novak is expected to provide an offensive boost off the bench this season for the Wolverines.
'M hopes shooters
stay hot against

By CASANDRA PAGNI
Daily Sports Writer
While most athletes agree that
competition among teammates is
good, sophomore forwards Chris
Brown and A.J. Treais take their
friendly rivalry pretty seriously.
As linemates on the Michigan
ice hockey team and roommates,
their close friendship adds fuel to
their competitive edges. To keep
pushing each other to get better,
Brown and Treais regularly make
predictions about who will score
before each game.
The incentive? They give each
other rewards when they're
right. And according to Treais,
Brown is leading the way.
"Sometimes we just try to pre-
dict who is going to score," Treais
said after practice Wednesday.
"And then if he scores, I give him
something and if I score, vice
versa. It's to keep it fun. I think
he's winning because I didn't get
my first goal until last weekend,
so good for him."
Treais and Brown are used to
playing together - they spent
the last half of last season on the
same line and played together
for two years on the Ann Arbor-
based U.S. National Team Devel-
opment Program.
They started this season on
different lines, but for the past
two weekends, Brown and Treais
have played on a line with fresh-
man left winger Luke Moffatt.
There is something to be said
for familiarity. Over the four-
game span, the trio has provided
a consistent offensive spark for
the Wolverines (5-2-1-0 CCHA,
6-3-3 overall), tallying a com-
bined three goals and 11 assists.
Treais has netted his only two
goals of the season in the past two
series, and Brown and Moffatt

each have had three-assist games
during that time. Prior to playing
together, Brown had just one goal
and one assist while Moffatt and
Treais hadn't recorded a point.
While Treais acknowledged
that at least two of the goals from
his line have been a direct prod-
uct of "puck luck," as Michigan
coach Red Berenson calls it, the
sophomore knows the important
role that work ethic plays in hav-
ing success on the ice.
"We've got a lot of confidence
(on the line)," Treais said. "I
mean, we've been working hard
and that's been translating into
goals and assists. We've been a
little lucky, too. I got one off the
head, Luke got one off the skate.
But we're working hard, and
we're reading off each other real-
ly well, so that's good too."
Moffatt, Brown and Treais
haven't just been scoring goals
and notching assists, though. The
line has clicked at the right time
for the Wolverines, scoring at
crucial moments in each of their
last two Saturday matchups.
After being shut out two Fri-
days ago against Alaska-Fair-
banks, Michigan rebounded to
grab game two thanks in large
part to the production of Brown,
Moffatt and Treais. The Wol-
verines took an early lead with
senior forward Louie Caporus-
so's goal at 1:25 in the first, but
the Nanooks scored just 23 sec-
onds into the second period to tie
the game at one.
Moffatt's first career goal came
two minutes later to give Michigan
the one-goal advantage. And after
the Nanooks tied the game at two,
Treais responded with his first goal
of the season to cement the win.
"Confidence is definitely huge,
especially getting the first goal,"
Treais said. "My first goal of the

season, for a while I didn't think
it was ever going to come. When
your confidence is high, every-
thing is better."
The line responded ina similar
way this past Saturday against
Notre Dame. When the Fight-
ing Irish scored first, the crowd
at Yost Ice Arena fell silent. But
after a five-minute span, Treais
found his way to the net for his
second goal of the season to tie
the game at one.
While the game went back
and forth two more times before
the Wolverines could pull away,
Treais's score put Michigan back
in the game, coming off its third
consecutive Friday night loss.
"A little more confidence, little
more spark, a little enthusiasm ...
they're giving our team a life right
now," Berenson said. "(Brown),
for example, was struggling until
we put him on that line and now
he's excited and he's getting a
little confidence. And he hasn't
even started to score yet. Wait
until he starts to score. He's play-
ing physical, he's working hard
and he's really taken charge of
that line."
Berenson constantly empha-
sizes the fact that line chang-
es can be expected to occur
frequently, especially to help
jump-start certain players who
aren't having production in
games.
But in the case of Treais,
Brown and Moffatt, the line has
gelled quickly and hasn't given
Berenson a reason to doubt its
legitimacy.
"It helps sometimes to have
the chemistry with someone that
you respect so much," Berenson
said. "You don't want to let them
down, you want to help them, and
they want to help you. It's just
contagious."

By BEN ESTES guard Darius Morris said Wednes-
Daily Sports Writer day. "And we make shots in practice
--- ---- and he recruits a lot of shooters and
In the 2008-09 season, the Mich- we know that everybody on this
igan men's basketball team shot team can get it done. It's just the
42.5 percent from the field, includ- bottom line of going out there and
ing 33.4 percent executing it.
on three-point "Just hopefully we can be consis-
attempts. The Bowling tent this year. We don't want to have
next year, those Gmn at flashes where some games we're 50
numbers dipped percent, 30 percent or 10 percent.
to 4n.6 percent Michigan We just want to be consistent."
and 29.9 percent, When: Tonight The Falcons aren't a very explo-
respectively. at 7 p.m. sive offensive team. They only mus-
So it comes Where: tered 52 points in a season-opening
as no surprise Crisler Arena loss to Howard, and they return just
that the former two of their top-six scorers from last
made the NCAA TnRadio year's team, a squad that finished in
Tournament for Network last place in the Mid-American Con-
the first time all ference's East Division.
decade, while One of those players though,
the latter slid to a junior swingman Scott Thomas, has
disappointing seventh-place finish scoring potential. The forward led
in the Big Ten, failing to make any Bowling Green in scoring last sea-
postseason tournament. son and is repeating the feat so far
That's why the Wolverines' per- in 2010, coming in with 15.5 points
formance in their season opener per game. Thomas can do damage
last Saturday against South Caro- from any spot on the court, meaning
lina Upstate was so encouraging for Michigan will have to be disciplined
Michigan fans. Michigan (1-0) went to keep him fromgting open ooks.
22-of-50 from the field and made Down low, the Falcons feature
seven of 22 3-pointers, good for 3L8 big-bodied freshman Cameron
percent. Black. The 6-foot-10, 230-pound
The team will have to continue center is a physical presence in the
to put up those kinds of numbers paint and will be a challenge for the
in order to perform above its rock- Wolverines' equally inexperienced
bottom expectations this season. group of big men.
Thursday night's game against "He's a strong guy," Beilein said.
Bowling Green (1-1) at Crisler Arena "He's just going to get rebounds just
will provide another test early. because he's a space eater, so we've
"(Coach John Beilein) really got to play with our feet around him
emphasizes trying to put up a lot of to make sure that we somehow can
shots in practice," sophomore point establish some leverage with him

when he has the ball, and when he
doesn't have the ball, because he
can get some put-backs very easy
because of his size."
But if Michigan's excellent defen-
sive performance against the Spar-
tans is any indication, it should be
able to slow down the Falcons' aver-
age attack.
That just makes it even more
critical that the Wolverines' offense
remains efficient - a poor showing
could keep Bowling Green in the
game longer than it should be.
One area of particular focus
will be on the fast break. Beilein
wasn't happy with his team's tran-
sition attack against South Carolina
Upstate, as Michigan failed to con-
vert on a number of attempts.
Whether it was Morris throwing
an errant pass or any number of his
teammates mishandling the point
guard's quality looks, the Wolver-
ines appeared rusty when pushing
the ball.
But the players believe they can
straighten it out.
"(Fast-break mistakes) were all
decision-making errors," junior
guard Zack Novak said. "They
weren't effort errors. People were
running hard, probably as hard as
they ran, but we just made bad deci-
sions. (Improvement) will come as
you play together more."
Beilein knows Falcons coach
Louis Orr from their days in the Big
East - Orr coached Seton Hall when
Beilein was still at West Virginia.
And whenever their teams
squared off, Beilein said, the home
team was usually the victor.

I I

After weekend sweep, Blue
advances to World Series

GET YOUR.
SENIOR PORTRAIT
TAKEN
November 10-12 and 15-19
in the Sophia B. Jones room
of the Michigan Union
North Campus November 18-19
in Valley room of Pierpont

ByEMILYBONCHI
Daily Sports Writer
The bat made contact, popping
the ball up into short right field,
just behind the second baseman.
After a collision between junior
right fielder Ashley Rose McLaury
and senior second baseman Jackie
Genow, the ball somehow still
rested securely in Genow's glove.
The Michigan club softball team
had made the third and final out
against Central Michigan, earn-
ing the Great Lakes North Confer-
ence title.
The victory on Sunday, which
secured a trip to the 2011 National
Club Softball Association World
Series in Columbus, Ga., has been
a long time coming.
In 2002, two students interest-
ed in playing softball, but not at
the Varsity level, founded the club
program. Now, eight seasons later,
the team has developed quickly,
expanding from a pickup team on
Elbel Field to a conference-win-
ning program.
The Wolverines (12-3) packed
up their cars early Sunday morn-
ing and drove to Mt. Pleasant,
Mich. for their final games of
the fall season - a triple-header
against Central Michigan. Two
wins would give them first place
in the conference. But if Grand
Valley won just one game that
weekend, the threat of a tie for
first would loom.
A sweep, however, would give
Michigan the berth to nationals.
Junior Kelly Babcock pitched
a shutout in game one, giving the
Wolverines the 9-0 win. During
the next two games, pitched by
junior Lyndsay Berger and Bab-
cock, respectively, Michigan lim-

ited the Chippewas' offense to
just eight runs. Sophomore Brigid
Lynch, junior Genevieve Kotyuk
and Burger earned top offensive
honors for the Wolverines, con-
sistently getting on base and pro-
ducing RBIs. Michigan ended up
sweeping the series with scores
of 6-2 and 13-6 in the second and
third games.
"It was absolutely freezing at
the game and it was snowing,"
said Berger, who is co-president of
the club. "It was our last game of
the year and everyone was pretty
tired. As soon as the last out was
made, we all freaked out. 'We just
won the conference, we can go to
nationals!'"
The shutout against Central
Michigan was Michigan's fifth of
the season, as it blanked Indiana -
South Bend in three games on Oct.
10 and shut out Bowling Green in a
game the following weekend.
The club softball team has out-
scored its opponents 126-63 this
season, proving that talent on the
diamond can be found outside of
Alumni Field.
Berger and her co-president,
junior Jessica Kraft, have worked
together to make sure everything
runs smoothly throughout the
season, since being involved in a
club sport brings upon many dif-
ferent types of responsibilities.
"I think it's a completely dif-
ferent experience," Berger said,
comparing the club team to a
varsity program. "There is a lot
more of a balancing act that goes
on. A lot of girls are challenging
softball with one, sometimes two
jobs, and a full academic load. In
addition to that we have to pro-
vide our own transportation.
We're paying for equipment, bats,

uniforms ourselves."
This player-run team definitely
has its ups and downs - last week-
end only one umpire showed up to
a game, and the team has to fund
the entirety of its trip to Georgia.
But the hard work its members
have put in throughout the course
of the season has certainly made it
worthwhile.
"I think this team is one of the
most talented teams I've seen
while being here," said Michigan
graduate student and fifth-year
shortstop Kelly Bartlett. "What's
made us really good this year is
that we have an older team; a lot
of our team members are juniors
and seniors. Over the past couple
of years, we've really developed
together, making our individual
talents even better."
This year, the Wolverines
returned thirteen players, nine of
whom are juniors.
"We've banded together as a
team," Barlett said. "We realized
we had to stick together and face
the opposition with those issues.
If we started fighting internally,
then things would start to fall
apart."
Junior Ashley Rose McLaury
said earning a bid to the World
Series was something the play-
ers have wanted for a while and
receiving it was an all-around
team accomplishment.
"I think that we have a lot fun
when we're together," McLaury
said. "And that chemistry trans-
lates into us being able to work
together as a team. At the end of
the third game on Sunday we all
wanted that out. We wanted to
finish it and have that good solid
end to a really awesome fall sea-
son."
A 1

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