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March 15, 2013 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-03-15

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10 - Friday, March15, 2013

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Yost Ice Arena.
"It was the first time I'd seen
(Mike) play," Holden said. "That
was the lasting impression. If
you put in a clip and see his dad
and him, it's scary."
Mike's been told so many
times about the similarities
between him and Steve, but he
never gets tired of hearing it.
And he never gets tired of talk-
ing about he man who shaped his
childhood and helped bring him
to Michigan - all because Steve
enjoyed bringing his son to his
'office.'
t was Sunday, May 2,
..1999, and the Boston Bru-
ins had just shut out the Carolina
Hurricanes, 2-0, in the Stanley
Cup conference quarterfinals to
clinch the series in Game 6.
Steve registered two shots on
goal in that last game of the sea-
son for Carolina, but that wasn't
important. Hockey was over, and
now he had the summer to spend
with his family - but not before
stopping off at a teammate's
house after returning from Bos-
ton.
Susan Chiasson awoke her
sons early Monday morning. She
carried her 2-year-old daughter
Stephanie into the room that
Mike, then 8, shared with his
4-year-old brother Ryan. She
perched herself at the end of the
bed and tried to explain a situ-
ation that she herself was still
struggling to understand. Steve
was dead.
He was killed driving home
from a party at that teammate's
house. When the wreckage of his
truck was found, it had been dis-
covered that Steve's blood-alco-
hol content was more than three
times the legal limit.
Mike didn't believe what his
mother was saying. So, to go
prove her wrong, he walked out
of his room, ready to go down-
stairs to his parents' room where
he was sure his father would be
waiting. His mother had to have
made some kind of mistake.
He went to the landing, looked
down and expected to see Steve's
face looking right back up at him.

Instead, he saw Steve's team-
mates from the Hurricanes and
their wives in the family room
and around the kitchen table,
sitting, talking, crying, grieving
together.
Mike just sat, frozen, at the
top of the stairs.
"That was when it sunk in,"
Mike said. "I sat for a second and
then it hit me."
Steve might have been gone,
but the Hurricanes stayed. After
Susan was done calling fam-
ily and talking to the media, she
looked outside her window and
into the street.
There was Mike, Ryan and
about 15 members of the Hur-
ricanes outside playing street
hockey. They had all come to take
the boys' minds off the death, at
least for a little while, in the only
way they knew how.
"(My mom) said it was amaz-
ing to see the people in the com-
munity," Mike said. "She said
it was just a testament to the
Carolina Hurricanes organiza-
tion and whatthey instill in their
players. She said it was just great
to see the support with the trag-
edy that had just taken place."
Steve and Susan never
wanted to push their kids
into doing any sport, but when
Mike decided that he wanted to
devote his time to hockey, they
gave their full support. Like any
attentive parent, Steve would
take Mike and his younger broth-
er Ryan to the rink to master the
basics of skating.
The two would grab onto the
boards or wobble across the ice,
holding onto a chair to keep
themselves from falling. But if
the boys fell down when skat-
ing across center ice, they'd be
sitting on the image of a large,
red winged wheel, looking up at
seven Stanley Cup banners and
more than 19,275 empty seats
while they waited for Steve to
come help them up.
A regular day learningto skate.
at the municipal rink? Nope.
More along the lines of an empty
Joe Louis Arena after the Red
Wings finished practice.

Mike was just 4 years old
during Steve's stint with the
Red Wings, so his early years
in Michigan are still hazy. His
memories of the Hurricanes,
though, are much more vivid.
His family moved to Raleigh,
N.C., in 1998 when Steve left
Detroit after nine years playing
for the Red Wings, when Mike
was six.
For Steve, every weekend in
Raleigh was take-your-kid-to-
work day.
"It was pretty prevalent, just
being in and out of the practice
rink, coming in on Saturdays and
Sundays when he was getting a
workout in," Mike said. "That
would be a memory that stands
out, just me and my brother com-
ing and just looking at how tall
the sticks were, and how big the
gear was."
Mike and Ryan weren't the
only ones hanging around the
practice rink - other players
would bring their kids too. Ron
Francis, current director of
hockey operations of the Caro-
lina Hurricanes and teammate of
Steve's from 1998-99 remembers
how, together, the kids would
run around the arena and crawl
around the locker room.
The kids would even accompa-
ny their dads into the gym, and
as the players exercised on the
bicycles, their children would
mess around on the open equip-
ment.
That's just the way everything
was done. The kids felt just as at
home at Greensboro Coliseum
Complex, where the Hurricanes
played from 1997-99.
During games, they'd con-
gregate in what was called the
"Wives' Room," a room full of
all the family members of the
players. During the game, Mike
watched as intently as any fan
sitting in the arena, following
the puck and keeping track of
when Steve was on the ice. But
the real fun would happen dur-
ingthe intermissions.
"We'd go downstairs and we
would play ministicks with all
the other guys' kids," Mikesaid.
"My mom would put it in'her
See SPITTING IMAGE, Page 8

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0

By LIZ VUKELICH
Daily Sports Editor
Ben Holden blinked and
did a double take to see if
his eyes were deceiving him.
The CBS Sports college hock-
ey analyst was in Ann Arbor for a
Michigan hockey game in Octo-
ber 2011. He'd covered all the
Michigan greats of the last few
years from T.J. Hensik to Kevin
Porter. But on this 2011-12 team,
a team filled with players who
were on the cusp of a nation-
al championship just months

before, there was one young
defenseman that caught his eye.
There was something about
the way this player, Mike,
hunched his back, crouched his
legs and skated down the ice that
started turning the wheels in
Holden's memory and took him
back about 20 years.
As a hockey enthusiast and
Michigan native, Holden natu-
rally grew up devoted to the
Detroit Red Wings. He'd seen
scores of players pass through
the organization in his life. But
Mike resembled one in particu-
lar - a certain offensive defense-

man who played in Detroit in the
early 1990s.
Steve Chiasson was smart and
steady. He played simple and
hard. He spent 13 years in the
NHL - and Holden was current-
ly watching Steve's eldest son,
Mike, playing in his freshman
campaign for the Wolverines.
For Holden, watching Mike
was like going back in time -
specifically, a time before 1999,
when Steve was killed in a car
crash.
But there Holden was, in
2011, watching what looked like
a reincarnation of Steve play at

0

Not this time for Penn State
as Blue rolls in first round

0

By COLLEEN THOMAS
Daily Sports Editor
CHICAGO - It took the Mich-
igan men's basketball team a full
30 minutes to settle into a com-
fortable 15-point lead against the
Big Ten's worst team, and this
time, the Wolverines held on.
Penn State shot an impres-
sive 48 percent from the field on
the game,
but behind PENN STATE 66
aggressive MICHIGAN 83
play from
the post players, No. 6 Michi-
gan (13-6 Big Ten, 26-6 overall)
knocked the Nittany Lions (2-17,
10-21) from the Big Ten Tourna-
ment in an 83-66 win.
The Wolverines failed to fend
off a late-game comeback by Penn
State the last time these teams
squared off, but Michigan - per-
forming exactly as its "Rise to
the Occasion" warm-up T-shirts
read - kept its composure down
the stretch to fend off the Nittany
Lions.
"(The last game against Penn
State) was obviously in the back
of our head when we were up 15
points with 10 minutes left at
Penn State, and they're capable
of coming back and winning the
game," said sophomore guard
Trey Burke. "We just had to make
sure we did what we needed to do
to pull out the win."
Though Michigan was able to
pad its lead in the second half this
time around, Penn State again
kept the game close right out of
the gates.
The 12th-seeded Nittany Lions
were hot in the first half as they
shot 50 percent from the field by
attacking the interior and feeding
the ball to Sasa Borovnjak, who
got easy layups against redshirt
junior forward Jordan Morgan.
Borovnjak led the Nittany
Lions on an early 14-0 run after
Burke hit a 3-pointer to open the
game, so Michigan coach John
Beilein called a timeout to settle

his team down and find a better
matchup for Borovnjak.
Freshman forward Mitch
McGary checked in and proceed-
ed to dominate the paint. The
freshman had a double-double
in the first half alone - 10 points
and 10 rebounds - and finished
with 10 points and 11 boards.
"That's Mitch McGary," Burke
said. "He's able to come of the
bench and give us a spark. Once
he comes off the bench and gets
the crowd into it - he does that
a lot - that gives us energy. ... He
has the ability to bring a spark
to this team, not only on the
offensive end, but the defensive
end. I think he had six or seven
rebounds within 10 minutes, and
that just shows how much effort
and intensity he plays with."
With McGary seeing extended
minutes, the fifth-seeded Wol-
verines went on a 23-10 run to
gain a comfortable first-half lead,
but the Nittany Lions' hot shoot-
ing kept the game close.
Penn State clicked offensively
in the firsthalf as it has in the past
few games, getting easy layups
both from passes to the interior
to Borovnjak and Ross Travis and
from dribble penetration by D.J.
Newbill.
Though the Nittany Lion
frontcourt combined for 27
points, Beilein noted that most of
Penn State's unique offense runs
through its guards, Newbill and
Jermaine Marshall.
"Marshall and Newbill can
get to anywhere," Beilen said.
"Those two guards, they're two
of the best guards in the league
- that's a big part of (their effi-
cient offense). At the same time,
they're running some really good
stuff. ... We haven't seen a lot of
that action they're runningnow."
Newbill led the Nittany Lions
with 20 points, but Borovnjak and
Travis kept the post play close all
game. Penn State had 44 points in
the paint while Michigan tallied
38, but the Wolverines dominated

on the glass.
While virtually ineffective
rebounding doomed Michigan
against Indiana, its frontcourt
pulled down 36 rebounds against
Penn State, mostly on the offen-
sive end.
Five of McGary's 11 rebounds
came on offense, and Michigan
pulled down 15 total offensive
boards - its second-highest
total all season - en route to 28
second-chance points. Redshirt
sophomore forward Jon Horford
added 11 points and five rebounds
while stepping up to fill Morgan's
minutes, as Morgan got in foul
trouble while struggling to guard
Borovnjak.
While McGary took control
of the first half offensively, the

Wolverine backcourt handled the
offense in the second half. Burke,
junior Tim Hardaway Jr. and
freshman Nik Stauskas tallied a
combined 29 second-half points,
leading the Wolverines offen-
sively with 21, 15 and 15 points,
respectively. Michigan also shot
46 percent from the floor, led by
Burke's 7-for-15 from the field.
All three guards played well
off the ball screen, easily getting
to the basket for layups or mid-
range jumpers and drawing fouls.
Burke and Stauskas were perfect
from the free-throw line, and the
Wolverines shot an impressive 83
percent from the charity stripe.
With the win, the Wolverines
face No. 4 seed Wisconsin on Fri-
day.

TODD NEEDLE/Daily
Sophomore guard Trey Burke added 21 points in the conference tournament opener.

BOFRSMA

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