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February 04, 2013 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-02-04

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4B - Monday, February 4, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Freshman forward Boo Nieves totaled three goals in the sweep of the Spartans. Freshman goaltender jared Rutledge played his best hockey of the year.
Finally a sweep for Michigan

By GREG GARNO had two goals to lead Michigan,
Daily Sports Writer while junior forward Luke Mof-
fatt added a goal and an assist.
DETROIT - The buzzer The Wolverines fired 45 shots on
sounded, the players shook hands goal on Saturday after taking 37
and the Michigan hockey team the prior night.
skated off the ice and into the "This is the best weekend
locker room faster than usual. we've had, probably all year,"
The Wolverines had business Berenson said. "I think the team
to attend to. It was time to sing deserved it. They worked hard,
'The Victors,' a tradition reserved they got through some tough
for whenthey earn a series sweep. spots and they kept the goals
Inside the locker room it against down."
was any- Moffatt kicked off the scor-
thing but MS H 2 ing when he flipped in a puck
business, MICHIGAN 3 three minutes in the first period,
though, as MSU 2 giving Michigan its fourth con-
they shout- MICHIGAN 5 secutive game with a power-play
ed and goal. His goal was just the start
laughed- an unfamiliar feeling. of Michigan's barrage of shots on
For the first time this season, Michigan State goaltender Jake
Michigan sang. It defeated rival Hildebrand.
Michigan State, 5-2, on Saturday Hildebrand, who has been the
at Joe Louis Arena, following a one constant in the Spartans line-
3-2 win on Friday night in Ann up, did not look as sharp as previ-
Arbor. ous contests. His defense didn't
"I had to get the words out help him much either, allowing
so they knew the words," said the Wolverines to fire off 18 shots
Michigan coach Red Berenson in the first period. -
as he pulled the lyrics to the song The goalie across the ice,
out from his jacket. "They hadn't freshman Jared Rutledge, looked
sung it all year. confident and composed after his
"Most of our Michigan teams first start of 2013 on Friday. Rut-
get.to sing it a lot. This has been a ledge saved 26 shots in the after-
tough year for this team, but they noon, thanks in part to a defense
can enjoy it tonight." that. effectively cleared out dan-
But before they could walk gerous chances.
back to sing the song, it would "In a big venue and a big envi-
take another strong first period ronment like this, there's a lot of
and strong defense to suck the life pressure on him," Berenson said.
out of the Spartans - who have "I thought he handled it well."
still been unable to sweep a series Derek DeBlois scored the sec-
this year. and goal of the evening when he
Junior forward Derek DeBlois - took a turnover from the blue

line and rifled the puck into the
upper-right corner. The shot was
hard enough to knock Hildeb-
rand's bottle of water off of the
top of the net and force it to spill
on the ice.
His goal was even more
impressive considering it came
when Michigan was shorthand-
ed, exemplifying its strong spe-
cial teams play as of late.
"It feels great," DeBlois said. "I
closed my eyes for that shot."
Michigan State began the sec-
ond period with a shorthanded
goal of its own. Chirs Forfar took
control of the puck near the cen-
terline and skated down the open
ice before fooling Rutledge.
But the Wolverines came out
stronger off of the goal, looking
determined to finally sing their
fight song.
Freshman forward Andrew
Copp.continued his strong rookie
campaign when he slipped the
puck between Hildebrand's legs
for the go-ahead goal. Copp's
fifth goal of the season came from
sophomore forward Andrew
Sinelli, who took the rebound
from behind the net and found
the Ann Arbor native in the
But the Spartans wouldn't go
down easily, when captain Greg
Wolfe laid out to get his stick on a
puck sliding in front of Rutledge.
For much of the game, Michi-
gan's defense prevented open
looks, something it had struggled
to do with No. 9 Western Michi-
gan last weekend.
DeBlois' night wasn't done,

though, as he found himself in the
right place to swing the momen-
tum back in Michigan's favor.
After a hard shot from senior
defenseman Lee Moffie couldn't
be handled by Hildebrand, DeB-
lois tapped in the rebound from
the left side.
The goal was the final dagger
to the Spartans' chances of mak-
ing a comeback.
"That was huge," Berenson
said of DeBlois' second goal. "We
were on our heels, we weren't
playing well, we had just given up
a goal and we were sloppy in our
"It was one of those goals
that really discourages the other
Freshman forward Boo Nieves
contributed a goal late inthe peri-
od for good measure, attempting
a pass that deflected off the skate
of a Michigan State defenseman.
Rutledge was never tested in
the final minutes of the game,
allowing the Wolverines' fore-
check to dominate a dejected
Spartan squad.
"It's one thing to sweep, and
then I think it's another thing to
sweep State," DeBlois said. "It
couldn't have come at a better
And when the time came to
sing the fight song, the players,
rest assured, didn't need to be
reminded about the lyrics.
"We're all happy and rearingto
go," Rutledge said of his first-time
experience. "It's a great sight. I
did not (need help reading the
words). I knew them pretty well."

Out with the new,
in with the old
I t was a peculiar little Saturdays no longer belong
moment. to No.16, do they? Green proved
As five-star running back that a week ago. After Green's
Derrick Green strolled to the announcement created a mini-
head table in a banquethall in meltdown in Michigan spheres,
Richmond, Va. to pledge his com- some - though certainly not most
mitment to Michigan, Auburn - flipped over to NFL Network to
or Tennessee, Denard Robinson, watch Robinson's career finale.
tucked back in a locker room in Robinson, the image of a
Mobile, Ala., bygone experimental phase for
reached up the Wolverines, didn't seem him-
and strapped self at the Senior Bowl. He was
on the famed lined up at slot receiver and at
winged hel- kick returner just a month after
met for the setting the NCAA's all-time quar-
final time. It terback rushing record. He saw
was 4 p.m. on little action but performed admi-
Jan.26, the DAILY rably, catching both passes that
last Saturday WRITER came his way.
in January. As Green's commitment ush-
In that ered a new era by bringing back
moment, Michigan's future a traditional offensive scheme,
eclipsed its past. Robinson's departure marked the
With the eyes of the nation on farewell to an experiment that
him, Green, the No.1 high-school began the day Rich Rodriguez
running back in the country, was hired as head coach five years
accordingato Rivals.com, and a ago. Robinson was the piece for
top-10 overall recruit, looked at Rodriguez and the spread offense.
the three h'ats lined up on the More could hardly have been
table and made his announce- expected from Shoelace: three
ment. years as starting quarterback,
"I'm goingato be taking my tal- a myriad of records shattered,
ents to the University of..." starting for 7-6,11-2 and 5-2 teams
Green paused to set aside the before injury felled him' midway
microphone. He had said on Twit- though his senior season.
ter that he was going to "shock Robinson won't be replaced -
the world," which was either very he can't be - but he doesn't need
good or very bad for Michigan, to be. The experiment is over.
his prospec- As Robinson
tive favorite, trains for the
depending NFL and what
on if it was a + should be a
veiled refer- successful
ence to the future, Michi-
Fab Five or gan is steadily
sincere fore- returning
shadowing. to its roots.
Thankfully, 'Team 134'
the shock will have
came only in no Denard
the presenta- TODD NEEDLE/DaiIy Robinson, no
tion, not the Denard Robnson's departure signals an end to electrifying
pick. the Wolverines' experiment with the spread. yet misplaced
As he stood quarterback
with a smile
splashed to brighten
across his face, the largest
Green reached stadium in
for the Michi- America.
gan hat on his The focus
right, but he effectively
never quite shifted at 4
got it off the o'clock on a
table. He Saturday.
smirked again. Green and
He lifted the ERIN KRKLA/D-y quarterback
Tennessee Juniorquarterback Devn Gardnerwill lead Devi eGard-
hat, cocked his Michigans new, ore conentional offense ner will head-
head and put the hat back down. line the Michiganbackfield now.
Then, he walked off the podium And regardless of the success they
and flipped a switch on the wall have, regardless of how long they
beside him. stay on campus, that tandem will
A projector screen behind the mark the true return of the pro-
head table slowly lifted to reveal style offense to Michigan. Lloyd
a No. 27 Michigan jersey. He Carr and Gary Moeller and Bo
shocked the world all right, but Schembechler will watch from
still, Green went Blue. the suites or from the heavens
Recruiting is high drama. One and see a familiar offense on the
piece - an elite running back - field. They'll see football they
has eluded the Wolverines for remember.
years. And now that the piece is Though Robinson is gone - his
secured in place, with the cross- shoestrings, highlight reels and
ing of the 't's and dotting of the 'i's dreadlocks trailing him out the
coming on National Signing Day door - old-school Michigan is
on Wednesday, Michigan is really, back.
actually, finally ready for the

plunge back into pro-style, smash- - Nesbitt can be reached
mouth, beat-down football. at stnesbit@umich.edu

A return to form for DeBlois

Daily Sports Editor
DETROIT - Midway through
the first period of the Michi-
gan hockey team's game against
Michigan State on Saturday after-
noon, junior forward Derek DeB-
lois poked the puck away from a
Spartan in the neutral zone.
Skating towards the goal on
a breakaway, DeBlois closed his
eyes, then sniped the puck over
Michigan State goaltender Jake
Hildebrand's left shoulder - a
shot so powerful that the water
bottle attached to the goal was
ejected out of its fastenings and
fell to the ice.

er-play tallies and one was short-.
handed. The duo of DeBlois and
freshman forward Boo Nieves -
who had combined for just seven
goals before this weekend - tal-
lied six against Michigan State.
For the Wolverines, whose
special teams have been a work
in progress since October, this
weekend signified some pretty
big strides.
"We took advantage of loose
pucks," said Michigan coach Red
Berenson on Friday. "There were
a couple of loose pucks or turn-
overs and all of a sudden, it was in
the net. It was just good, instinc-
tive hockey plays."
The Wolverines' power play,
though mildly effective, hasn't
been close to the production lev-
els that Berenson would like. This
weekend, though, the unit finally
started to play to its potential,
with DeBlois and Nieves at the
center of it all.
DeBlois' goal off a one-timer in
the second period of Friday's 3-2
win over the Spartans came at
even strength, though he scored it
just seconds after the Wolverines'
power play ended. Nieves found
twine with another one-timer,
but this time, Michigan was still
on the man advantage.
Hildebrand never even had a
chance to register that the shots
were coming. And according to
Berenson, the Wolverines need
more of these one-timers going
forward to keep blind sighting the
"(The goal is) not something
that was planned, it just is,"
Berenson said. "We got pucks on
the net quick and surprised the
goalie. We got away quick, and
they went in."
But for all of the power play's
improvements, it was the penalty
kill that stole the show this week-
end. On Friday, the unit came
through in the clutch when, with

three minutes left in the game
and Michigan only up by one,
senior defenseman Lee Moffie
went to the box for interference.
The Wolverines have been
notorious for giving up goals late
in the third period, and this pen-
alty couldn't have come at a worse
time. On this occasion, though,
Michigan State didn't even regis-
ter a shot on goal.
DeBlois' shorthanded goal was
the cherry on top of the unit's
stellar performance that held
the Spartans to a weekend total
of just eight shots on the man
advantage. But his weekend acco-
lades didn't stop there - with 17

seconds remaining in Saturday's
contest, his second-period goal
gave Michigan an all-important
two-goal lead going into the final
"It was huge," DeBlois said of
the goal. "They kind of had a little
momentum there. Any goal at the
end of the period kind of deflates a
team, and it came at a good time."
DeBlois' play over the weekend
hardly came as a surprise to any-
one, least of all Berenson.
"I think he's just being Derek,"
Berenson said. "He had another
hard-nosed, hard-working week-
end and he got rewarded. ... He's
just in the right place at the time."

Junior forward Derek DeBlois
exploded for three goals this weekend.
A forceful shot and an impres-
sive play to be sure, but even more
so considering that the Wolver-
ines pulled it off shorthanded.
It was just that kind of series for
DeBlois and Michigan's special-
teams unit - everything seemed
to be clicking perfectly en routeto
the Wolverines' weekend sweep
of the Spartans.
Out of Michigan's eight goals
over the weekend, two were pow-



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