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January 16, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-01-16

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The Michigan Daily - michigandailY.com

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, January 16,2013 - 7A

A tale of two halves for 'D'

Sophomore forward Alex Guptil has scored just five goals this season. By this point last year he had scored 12.
ack of net presence
continues to hurt 'M'

By MATT SLOVIN similar goals this season is its
ManagingEditor sometimes-glaring lack of a true
net presence.
During Friday night's 5-4 loss Last season, Guptill played
to Alaska at Yost Ice Arena, the this role to a considerable
Michigan hockey team scored amount of acclaim, redirect-
quite possibly its ugliest goal of ing point shots into the back of
the season. the net or screening the goalie
Because garbage goals have to allow for a good look from a
eluded the Wolverines this teammate.
season, nobody was going to After a particularly oppor-
complain that it didn't come on tune weekend in front of the net
a pretty laser from freshman against Notre Dame last year,
defenseman Jacob Trouba at the Michigan coach Red Berenson
blue line or a sweet back-door likened Guptill to one of the
finishby another Wolverine. But NHL's all-time greats at wreak-
good teams find ways to score, ing havoc in front of the goalie
even if they aren't the most visu- - the soon-to-be-retired Tomas
ally appealing. Holmstrom of the Detroit Red
The gritty goal happened Wings.
like this: With the Wolverines "You see Holmstrom do it
trailing 4-2 to the Nanooks, every night," Berenson said at
sophomore forward Alex Gup- the time. "Obviously, (Guptill's)
till skated around the Alaska got a nose for the net. Those
net with the puck. His shot were big goals he scored."
attempt deflected off the goal- They certainly were, and
tender's pads to Derek DeBlois. Michigan misses them in the
The junior forward had his shot worst way.
turned away as well, leaving a Guptill can't quite pinpoint
juicy rebound right to the stick exactly . what has changed,
of Trouba, who watched as the though he did say that defense-
puck ricocheted into the net. man Greg Pateryn, who gradu-
A highlight-reel goal? No. But ated last season, was good at
they all count the same. getting the puck through the
Part of the reason that Michi- opponent's defense. At this point
gan hasn't willed itself to many last year, Guptill had 12 goals.

This year, he has just five.,
"I'm not going to point the
finger at anyone," Guptill said.
"That's my fault. I've got to get
in front more and battle harder
to get there. The power play's
been a big issue, and we need to
sort that out in the weeks com-
ing forward."
Berenson said that he hoped
in the preseason that Guptill,
who has yet to score a power-
play goal, would continue to
provide the net-front presence
he demonstrated last year and
that other new scorers around
the crease would emerge. But
that hasn't been the case.
"The one thing Guptill had
going for him was a pretty good
track record from last year,"
Berenson said. "And he was
good in front of the net - he'd tip
in goals, he'd find loose pucks,
rebounds and bury them. And
this year, that's not happening."
With the power play convert-
ing at an abysmal 12.9-percent
clip, it's not fair to believe that
all of the unit's struggles would
dissolve if Guptill - or another
scorer - began tallying those
dirty goals. But it would make
a sizeable dent, and could spark
an offense that's looked lethar-
gic for most of this season.

Daily Sports Editor
Twenty-one points is no small
deficit, especially when playing
on the road. But the fact that the
No. 5 Michigan men's basketball
team was a bounce. of the ball
away from taking a last-second.
lead against No. 11 Ohio State in
its 56-53 loss on Sunday is a testa-
ment to how good the team can
be, when it shows up.
This was a tale of two halves,
and the Wolverines can't allow
this to become a common occur-
rence. Lackluster defense will
lead to double-digit deficits, but
Michigan won't be able to assem-
ble a comeback every time. As
much firepower as the Wolverines
possess on the offensive end, per-
haps their greatest strength can
be their defense, which showed
how necessary it is to this team.
"I think for the majority of
the second half, we played well,"
sophomore guard Trey Burke said
after Sunday's loss. "We should
have played the way we played in
the second half, in the first half."
That much is clear: Michigan's
offense might not have been able
to do much of anything in the
first half, but the defense was
where the mess started. During
a 10-minute span in the middle
of the first stanza, the Buckeyes
scored 25 points on 10-of-12
shooting from the field.
Michigan's defense was medi-
ocre at best during most of the
first half, allowing Ohio State to
beat it off the dribble while clos-
ing too slowly on the perimeter.
The Wolverines were unable to
do anything right on that side of
the ball. They conceded 34 points,
allowing Ohio State to shoot 52
percent from the field, including
4-of-9 from beyond the arc.
They showed no sign of the
defense that allowed just 47
points on 34-percent shooting in
their 62-47 win against Nebraska
last week.
"We got very, very excited

about this opportunity and got out
and probably challenged defen-
sively a little too much away from
our base defense," said Michigan
coach John Beilein.
But with just over three min-
utes left in the first stanza, Michi-
gan showed a glimpse of whythey
are one of the best teams in the
country. After a 3-pointer from
Ohio State forward Deshaun
Thomaswidened the gap to 34-15,
the Wolverines clamped down on
Blocks from freshman forward
Mitch McGary and Burke cre-
ated fastbreak opportunities on
offense. Spanning the two peri-
ods, Michigan held the Buckeyes
scoreless for more than five min-
Following halftime, the Wol-
verines continued what they
started. Alternating between a
zone and man-to-man defensive
scheme, they controlled the con-
test the rest of the way on the
defensive end.
Ohio State point guard Aaron
Craft, who had tallied seven
points and two assists in the first
half, produced just two points and
two assists in the final 20 min-
utes, including a 0-for-4 show-

ing from the field. As a team, the
Buckeyes scored just 22 points
in the final stanza, shooting less
than 35 percent from the fioorand
1-of-6 from downtown. Michigan
also had all five of its blocks in the
final 23 minutes, including two
each from McGary and Burke:
"Before we went to zone, I
thinly we tried to hug the perim-
eter too much and tried to take
away their perimeter shooting,"
Burke said.
But most impressive was Mich-
igan's defense in the final min-
utes. Falling behind 52-46 after a
Thomas layup with just over four
minutes remaining in the game,
the Wolverines didn't allow a field
goal the rest of the contest - the
Buckeyes sank four free throwsin
the final 12 seconds. They forced
four of their eight second-half
takeaways in the final three min-
utes, scoring four points off turn-
Though it' was a tale of two
halves for the defense, Beilein
stayed positive about the over
exuberance duringthe first half.
"I like having guys that have
the big hearts, and a lot of cour-
age, that want to go out there and
get after them," Beilein said.

Freshman forward.Mitch McGary was a defensive presence ina loss to Ohio State.

As the ponds freeze,
rowing moves indoors

Daily Sports Writer
The cool Ann Arbor air has set-
tled, and the grey world is upon us
once. again. With Belleville Lake
freezing over, this can only mean
one thing for the Michigan wom-
en's rowing team: winter training.
For those of you not familiar
with the sport of rowing, the win-
ter season is the time when row-
ers move indoors to train on the
ergometers - a machine manu-
factured to simulate that of the
rowing motion in a boat - in the
Intramural Building. It is crucial
to the advancement of rowers
who are forced to train in cooler
climates, and one with which
all rowers inevitably establish a
peculiar relationship. The winter
season is the most critical time
of the year because it is during
this period of brutal training and
unparalleled commitment that
champions are made.
Winter training is like trying
to find heaven in hell. Michigan
coach Mark Rothstein has estab-
lished a rigorous training pro-
gram for his team over the years,
usinghis 16 years of experience to
tweak and perfect its intricacies.
It consists of weightlifting,
core strength development,
cross-training and above all, 8-10
hours per week of training on the
ergometer. It's a strenuous and
taxing commitment, but the team
knows it's required ofthemifthey
want to win.
When rowing, the biggest chal-
lenge is not physical, but mental.
Every rower has the physical
capability to finish their workout,
but the challenge is activating the
mental capacity to finish strong.
The ergometer presents itself as a
distinctive test of self-will. Every
stroke of every minute is publicly

that q
then u
in th
to row
can't d
stein s
helps t
the sar
you ari
in cot
to mai
but it'

yed and recorded, placing ,moments during winter train-
ess pressure on everyday ing, especially during the work-
mance. The ergometer outs where you are working at
out a variety of data points your anaerobic threshold for an
uantify power application, extended period of time," said
output and consistency, fifth-year senior rower Melissa
the coxswains and coaches Ongun. "The burn can be some-
se to evaluate, measure and thing that makes you regret ever
t current and future perfor- starting the sport."
s. But it's fighting through that
every workout conducted burn with and for your team that
e ergometer room, each makes it all worth it. These ath-
knows exactly what is letes, much like the majority of
:ed of her. She is given a athletes in Ann Arbor, have dis-
c speed and ratingatwhich covered a profound love and dis-
before letting loose on the tinguishable pride for Michigan
eter to achieve it. and the team they are associated
There is somethingveryunique
and very powerful about going
Chere can be through a whirlwind of agony,
1 _ failure, rapture and success with
ee very dark those around you that creates
,, t an impenetrable bond between
teammates, the type of bond that
helps to win championships.
Ongun and Idoni made clear
their intentions about the upcom-
hen you're in a boat, you ing spring season; they want
irectly see what a person's nothing less than to repeat as Big
but when you're on the Ten champions, and it will be the
eter, each individual is held result of their sustained effort,
stable to a number," Roth- intensity and ruthless ferocity
aid. during winter training that will
shirt junior Emily Idoni make it all possible.
that it is this state of Rowingis aunique and ancient
stability that ignites the sport, and one that is easily over-
motivation. She said that it looked. It's the simplicity, the
o know "that each of your stark devotion and the love-hate
sates is right there feeling relationship that makes rowing
me pain of the workout that one of the craziest, most har-
e." rowing, honorable and reward-
ing this phase, rowers are ing sports to be a part of. It's a
nstant mental turbulence sport that pushes its participants
intain an optimal state of beyond all known physical and
r, focus and vision of the mental bounds, allowing them to
. This is a daunting task, achieve goals they once deemed
s made possible by estab- unachievable.
a passion for winning and "We realize that it won't be
luad camaraderie. easy, but it willbe worth it," Idoni
ere can be some very dark said.

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