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October 28, 2011 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-10-28

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8 - Friday, October 28, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Michigan proves itself
"_, against formidable foe

Freshman forward Phil Di Giuseppe scores an empty-net goal. Junior forward Chris Brown sacrificed a goal of his own to give the freshman an easy tally.
Wolverines topple nation' No.
defense in series opener at Yost

Daily Sports Editor
Michigan hockey coach Red
Berenson said that the fourth-
ranked Wolverines had some-
thing to prove in their series
against No. 6 Ferris State. Michi-
gan holds the higher ranking, but
the Bulldogs brought an unde-
feated record with them to Yost
Ice Arena.
And they've beaten some ofthe
nation's top programs in No. 16
Miami and RPI. The Wolverines
failed to establish themselves in
their firsttest of the season at No.
14 Northern Michigan.
Michigan made a statement
on Thursday. Ferris State (2-1
CCHA, 6-1 overall) had sur-
rendered just five goals all year
- less than one per game. The
Wolverines equaled that mark in
the openinggame of the series.
"It's good to score against a
team that doesn't allow goals,"
Berenson said. "We knew goals
would be precious, and maybe
that's why we played a little more
Michigan (1-1-1, 5-1-1) found
most of its success by moving
the puck down low. It fired nine
shots on goal from the top of
the crease in the second period
despite failing to get a shot from
close range in the first.
The Wolverines capitalized on
those second-period opportuni-'
ties to jump out to a 3-0 lead.
"It's all aboutthe dumps," said
sophomore forward Derek DeB-
lois. "We weren't really skating it
into the zone that well so (it was)
just getting pucks by their 'D'
and working hard. Good things
happen when you go to the net"
Michigan's power play came
alive after sluggish play against
Northern Michigan. The Wol-
verines entered the contest just
5-for-28 withthemanadvantage,
and their failure to convert on a
five-minute penalty in overtime
against the Wildcats forced them
to settle for a two-point shoot-
out victory. The power-play unit
played effectively on Thursday,
converting on two of five chanc-

es. Freshman forward Phil DiGi-
useppe scored Michigan's first
goal of the night on a power-play
chance off a feed from junior for-
ward Chris Brown. Senior for-
ward David Wohlberg converted
for the Wolverines' third goal
when he fired an open wrist shot
in space in front of the crease
with the man advantage.
Michigan, at least temporar-
ily, put to rest any concerns about
the effectiveness of its power
play. The Bulldogs had denied
opponents on 27 of 28 power play
opportunities before Thursday.
"I can't tell you it was any
great execution," Berenson said.
"It was shots finding their way
into the back of the net and sec-
ond efforts on loose pucks and
a little bit of puck luck. But if
you have the puck in their zone
enough, things will happen."
The Wolverines' forwards
harassed Ferris State goalie Tay-
lor Nelson in the later periods.
Screens and traffic in front of
the goal combined with Michi-
gan's improved ability to get the
puck down low created scoring
"I think just getting the puck
to the net (worked for us)," senior
forward David Wohlberg said.
"The goalie couldn't see much.
(As) Red says, what the goalie
can't see, he can't save."
Berenson still wants to see
more success from the other
end of his special teams. Both
of the Bulldogs' goals came on
the power play. Yet Michigan
made improvements in the areas
it focused on after the Northern
Michigan road trip. The offense
played with more opportun-
ism in its second CCHA series
and proved its power play could
score. The defense, despite strug-
gling with a man down, denied
Ferris State in 5-on-5 play.
"We had to play better than
we played last weekend, and that
might be a common theme all
year," Berenson said.
Brown said that he considered
Michigan the underdog coming
into the series. The Wolverines
didn't play like it.



Daily Sports Writer
Junior forward Chris Brown
was adamant this week about
Ferris State's emergence as a
CCHA contender, going as far as
to call the Michigan hockey team
"underdogs" in their two-game
set against
the Bull- FERRIS STATE 2
dogs. MICHIGAN 5
If that
was the angle the fourth-ranked
Wolverines were going for
Thursday night, they didn't play
the part too well.
Michigan doubled the total
number of goals that Ferris State
has allowed this season - from
five to 10 - and turned a tight
first period into an emphatic 5-2
victory. Despite an undefeated
start to the season, the Bulldogs
were handed their first loss.
The game was expected to be
low-scoring since Ferris State
boasted the nation's top defense.
"Their defensemen are like

forwards," said Michigan coach
Red Berenson of the Bulldogunit
that was allowing just .83 goals
per game entering the contest.
"They jump into the play. There's
a lot of activity."
The defensemen's aggres-
siveness is surprising for a unit
so focused on team defense. In
the game's first 20 minutes, the
teams traded blows. Both sides
repeatedly sent pucks down into
the opposition's zone, but no
skaters were there to recover in
scoring position.
That all changed after the first
intermission.From that point on,
the nation's top defense couldn't
prevent Michigan (1-1-1 CCHA,
5-1-1 overall) from collecting the
puck around the net.
There was also fancy pass-
ing, like the kind junior forward
Chris Brown displayed early
in the second period when he
fooled Ferris State netminder
Taylor Nelson.
On the other side of the
pipes, freshman forward Phil°Di

Giuseppe - perhaps the most
pleasant surprise of coach Red
Berenson's latest recruiting class
- was waiting eagerly.
When Nelson committed to
Brown's potential shot, he over-
compensated by sliding and left
Di Giuseppe with more than
half a net to work with. That
was more than enough room for
Michigan to open the night's
scoring with a power-play tally.
Just four minutes later, fresh-
man forward Travis Lynch
scored his fourth goal of the
season. After junior defenseman
Lee Moffie found sophomore
defenseman Mac Bennett, Lynch
skated in to clean up.
And two minutes after Lynch
extended the Wolverine lead,
senior forward David Wohl-
berg's goal made it clear that,
despite sweeping Miami (Ohio)
the previous weekend, No. 6 Fer-
ris State (2-1-0, 6-1-0) needed to
be brought down to earth.
The Bulldogs scored as the
period winded down and added

one more later in the evening
after Michigan sophomore for-
ward Derek DeBlois scored his
first goal of the season.
Up 4-2, with Ferris State's first
loss imminent, Berenson was
But the Wolverines' finest
moment of the evening came
when the result wasn't in any
Skating against an empty net
late in the third period, Brown
looked up and salivated at the
sight of the open goal.
Then he looked to his left and
saw his linemate Di Giuseppe
matching his stride - the rising
talent who plays wise beyond his
years. For Brown, the decision
was easy. The dish from Brown
to set up Di Giuseppe's second
goal was exactly what Berenson
wanted to see.
"A lot of players have a tough
time doing that, but good for
(Brown)," Berenson said. "It
shows you what kind of a team
we are."

Di Giuseppe and junior forward A.J. Treais have jelled on the second line.



Fifth-year senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick saved all even-strength attempts.

Senior forward David Wohlberg made life difficult for the Ferris State defense.

Matchup with Fighting Illini packed with postseason implications


Win over No. 20
Illinois would give
Michigan a Big Ten
Tourney berth
Daily Sports Writer
A lot is at stake for the Michi-
gan women's soccer team this
The result of the Wolverines'
game against No. 20 Illinois in
Champaign will be a huge deter-
minant in whether Michigan
will advance into the Big Ten
Tournament starting Nov. 2 in
"It's been a weird Big Ten sea-
son," said senior captain Court-
ney Mercier. "There are six
teams currently all within one
point of each other.
"The only control we have on
the selection is by assuring a vic-
tory against Illinois this week-
The six teams that will be
vying for a spot in the Big Ten
Tournament include Michigan,
Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State,
Nebraska, and Purdue.
No. 1 Penn State, Wiscon-

sin, I
and N
of host
But th
us and
said M
"We w
do bas
or a tie
to play
back a
ing off
Penn S
"In t

Illinois, Michigan State a matter of breaks," Ryan said.
orthwestern (by default "Even if it's a good shot, if the
ting) have ensured them- linesman gets it wrong it doesn't
spots in the tournament. count.
e teams who will fill the "It's a matter of execution. If
ing three spots are still we score, we will win."
rmined. Michigan has an all-time
of now, Iowa is ahead of record of 11-6-1 against Illinois
1 Nebraska is behind us," and has won five of the last eight
ichigan coach Greg Ryan. meetings.
ill know what we need to Luckily for Michigan, they
ed upon the result of that have redshirt junior goalkeep-
in terms of needing a win er Haley Kopmeyer, who has
totaled a record of 287 saves in
her career as a Wolverine.
Kopmeyer is one of the five
upperclassmen this year, with 18
n the losses underclassmen comprising the
rest of the team.
ast week, it This batch of Michigan upper-
classmen have been playing for
Tas a matter Ryan since he started coaching
in Ann Arbor in 2008, but dur-
of breaks." ing their tenures they have yet to
make it past the first round in the
NCAA Tournament.
Yet even with such an unbal-
either way, we are going anced distribution this year, nine
like we need a win." different players have scored at
Wolverines (4-5-1 Big Ten, least one goal this season.
overall) hope to bounce "The success of this season
gainst Illinois after com- has been so contingent on the
of two tough losses last performance of the upperclass-
nd against Ohio State and men," Mercier said. "Our atti-
tate. tudes and actions influence all of
he losses last week, it was the younger players. It's a pres-
M a'


Redshirt junior forward Clare Stachel battles an Ohio State defender for the ball during Michigan's 1-0 loss last Friday.

sure we love having.
"Especially this weekend, we
must take care of our jobs and set
the example."
Even with the team being hit
by several different season-end-
ing illnesses and injuries, the
Wolverines are only one game

away from having their second
double-digit winning season in
a row.
"This team is special," Ryan
said. "They have represented
Michigan in the very best way,
and they have given everything
to do so. While the future of this

program is hugely bright, we
don't want to give up today just
yet. "
Added Merciert "The key will
be executing it all on the field
this weekend.
"It comes down to us winning.
No ifs, ands or buts."

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