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January 24, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-01-24

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 7A


Grajales knocks at
championship door
By MAX COHEN nents in dual meets against Wis-
Daily Sports Writer consin and Iowa.
Seeding in the Big Ten Cham-
Michigan 149-pound redshirt pionships is based directly off
junior Eric Grajales has been performance throughout the Big
knocking on the door for two Ten dual-meet portion of the
years. schedule, so Grajales knows what
With consecutive top-three he has to do to achieve his goals.
finishes in the Big Ten Champi- "If I can go through the rest of
onships and in the round of 12 in the dual-meet season undefeated,
the NCAA Championships - just that would be huge for my seed-
a round away from the hallowed ing at the Big Tens," Grajales said.
status of All-American - Gra- "It would be even bigger for my
jales has been on the doorstep of confidence going into the tour-
being a champion for his entire nament, so then I'll be capable of
wrestling career for the Wolver- winning it."
ines. Ranked No. 11 nationally Looking ahead, Grajales'
in his weight class, he knows it's chances at accomplishing an
time to break through. undefeated Big Ten dual-meet
"You feel the pressure to season remain. possible. In the
do what you want to do in the remaining five conference dual
amount of time that you have," meets, Grajales will likely face
Grajales said. two wrestlers currently ranked
Luckily for Grajales, pressure in the InterMat Top 20, both of
seems to be just another word whom are ranked lower than
in his vocabulary. In Big Ten him - Ohio State sophomore
dual-meet action so far this sea- Cam Tessari and Michigan State
son, Grajalesis 3-0, stepping up senior Dan Osterman.
for Michigan whenever he has Grajales's expectation of win-
stepped onto the mat. ning all of his Big Ten
Grajales has taken Eric Grajales,149 pounds matches comes as lit-

Junior forward Luke Moffatt has played on all four lines this season, but he provided a sparklfrom the fourth line on Friday with two goals against Lake Superior State.
Fourth line a happy surprise for Berenson

his performance up
another notch since Big Ten Dual
the Big Ten dual- Ne
meet season started -Dec. N
after a few losses in Sueflo
the non-conference
schedule. vs. Wi
"At Midlands, he -Major
didn't wrestle quite Schmi
to the level that
he thought he was vs.
able to," said Michi- -Major d
gan assistant coach Grothu
Donny Pritzlaff.

-Meet Record
&. 8Jake
hn, 3-2
dec. Cole
ec. Brody
us, 12-3

tle surprise based off
of his performances
this season. He has
been a steady hand in
the Wolverines' line-
up, providing experi-
ence on a team with
a perpetually fluctu-
ating lineup due to
youth and injuries.
"He's been through
the Big Ten season
two years and as a
redshirt he saw it,"

"Taking that as a positive, he Pritzlaff said. "The experience
pushed hard to get ready for the helps, he's been in a lot of tough
Nebraska dual and he did a really matches. I think that's something
good job." he can fall back on."
Against the Cornhuskers, With Grajales's sights set on
Grajales defeated then eighth- being a champion and an All-
ranked Jake Sueflohn in a tightly American, the pressure will only
contested match. Despite being increase as his goals become
down on the scoreboard for the within reach. This year, Gra-
majority of the match, Grajales jales hopes the pressure will
used a third-period takedown to be enough to open the door to a
take the lead which he held for a championship..
3-2 decision. Since that matchup, "I've always been the type of
Grajales has thrived, creating person that enjoys having pres-
the momentum that earned him sure on me, being able to shine in
major decisions over his oppo- front of a crowd," Grajales said.

Daily Sports Editor
Junior Luke Moffatt, senior
Jeff Rohrkemper and sopho-
more Andrew Sinelli - three
Michigan hockey players that
haven't exactly been household
names this season.
Moffatt, Rohrkemper, and
Sinelli, who have played on dif-
ferent lines, or sometimes not
even at all, comprised the Wol-
verines' fourth line during their
series split with Lake Superior
State this past weekend.
Traditionally, the fourth line
is not often called upon to pro-
duce a lot of points - it's usu-
ally made up of some of the more
unsung players on the team.
Which is why when the line fin-
ished this past weekend with
a combined two goals and four
assists, it was a pleasant sur-
prise for a Michigan team that
came in with a four-game losing
streak and an offense that had
scored just nine goals during
that span.
In the Wolverines' 6-4 vic-
tory over the Lakers on Friday
night, Moffatt tallied his sec-
ond and third goals of the year,
both coming off of assists from
Sinelli, and a secondary assist
from Rohrkemper. With a goal
against Bowling Green on Jan. 8,
Moffatt, who had failed to tally
a goal all season, now has three.
"I was having a tough start
production-wise this season - a
little snake bitten," he said. "Not
that I wasn't playing well, but
pucks weren't bouncing for me
and going in."
Michigan coach Red Beren-
sqn has frequently switched
up the lines this season in an
attempt to get the offense out of
scoring droughts. Considering
that Moffatt played with both
Sinelli and Rohrkemper on a
line for some of last season, this
familiarity proved useful.
Having played on every line
this year at some point or anoth-
er, Moffatt has experienced the
ups and downs that come with

different linemates. Butthis ver-
satility also enables him to bet-
ter understand how important
production from the lower lines
can be.
"When you're not on the
fourth line and they put up some
points or do anything good out
there, it's just great energy to the
team," Moffatt said. "The guys
feed off the fourth-line energy
even more than the first or sec-
Despite Moffatt leading the
score sheet against Lake Supe-
rior State, Sinelli had an equal-
ly impressive weekend. He'd
appeared in just seven games
this season and his two assists
on Friday doubled his season
point total - one goal. Berenson
said that if he keeps playing like
he did against Lake Superior
State, "he'll play a lot."
Despite Berenson's constant
shifting of the lines, he knows
not to tinker with something
that's working. Rohrkemper,
who was called on earlier in
the year to play defense due to
a depleted defensive corps, has
also seen time with different

lines this season.
"If the line is playing well,
that's the main thing," Berenson
said. "You hate to take a player
that's playing well and put him
on another line that's not play-
ing well. You're not sure if you're
going to get a win-win or a lose-
lose, so maybe you're better off
keeping them the way they are."
When Michigan has lost this
season, the next weekend's line-
up was never a certainty. And
even after the split, it's almost
a certainty that Moffatt, Sinelli
and Rohrkemper will all find
themselves playing some role
for Michigan when it travels this
weekend to play No. 9 Western
The Broncos' 1.88 goals
allowed per game is the CCHA's
second-best defense, and if the
Wolverines hope to have any
offensive success, the lower-tier
lines providing an extra-offen-
sive boost might be just what the
doctor.ordered for Michigan to
make a late-season push.
But Berenson knows that the
Wolverines' struggles won't
all be fixed by a couple of goals

from a lower line - offensive
and defensive production will
ultimately be the result of a col-
lective team effort.
"The fourth line is a good
start," Berenson said. "We've
got two or three others lines that
can pick up the slack....We need
production from anyone."
Fourth-Line Production
Pointsrecorded byMichigan'sfourthline
aainst lake SunerierState lastweekend.

Assists tallied by sophomoreforward

Well, this guy became

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