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January 18, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-01-18

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, January 18, 2013 - 7

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com Friday, January18, 2013 - 7

Veteran team ready for title run

PAUL SHERMAN/Dalyp
Michigan coach Red Berenson is running out of time to turn Michigan's disappointing season around.
M o oks to halt skid-in U.P.

By LIZ VUKELICH
Daily Sports Editor
It wouldn't sound like it from
the way he referred to his strug-
gling hockey team as a "train
wreck," but Michigan coach Red
Berenson is being cautiously opti-
mistic about this weekend's trip
to Lake Superior State.
In his 28 years at the helm,
Berenson has
seen teams who Michigan
fhe never imag- atSSU
ined would win
another game Matchup:
do just that. Michigan 7-13-
And though 2; LSSU12-11-1
the number of When: Friday
opportunities 7:35 P.M.,
for Michigan Saturday
to turn things 7:05 P.M.
around this Where: Taffy
season is start- Abel Ice Arena
ing to dwindle, TV/Radio:
he still believes mgoblue.com
that this year's
team - sitting
towards the bottom of the CCHA
with a 4-10-2 conference record
- can make strides in Sault Ste.
Marie. !
"I think we're challenged and
we're pushing," Berenson said.
"We're trying to get this train
back on the tracks. It's not the
start of the season, but we've got
to start somewhere. Right now,
we're going to try and make it a
new start."
There's been so much nega-

tive attention surrounding the
program the past few months, so
forgive Berenson if he tries to find
any kind of positive aspects head-
ing into the weekend.
But there have been some posi-
tives. Though the overall team
results haven't been anywhere
near Michigan's usually high
standards, there have still been a
few bright spots and commend-
able individual efforts across the
board.
Three forwards - senior Kevin
Lynch, sophomore Zach Hyman
and freshman Andrew Copp -
were singled out as players who
have effectively created offensive
opportunities, forechecked well
and battled hard, even wvithout
the puck. However, as Berenson
points out, it doesn't matter what
these players are doing well, if
the rest of the Wolverines can't
build off the available chances.
Still, he's trying to walk the line
between being harsh enough
while not being disparaging.
"Anything (the players) get is
somethingthey deserved," Beren-
son said. "If you start getting per-
sonal with them, the only thing
they can go on is what they've
done, and I think it's pretty clear
that it's not good enough. This
team is going to have to suck it up
and take the heat."
The freshman class is the one
expected to suck it up the most.
In the past, rookie standouts have
usually been the ones to carry

the forward corps. With Copp
already carrying a lot of the offen-
sive grunt work and forward Boo
Nieves tied for second in the team
for points, Berenson is looking to
them to continue and enhance
their already high standard of
play.
Michigan usually prefers to
have the brunt of the road trips
comes in the first half of the sea-
son - that way the team can build
camaraderie while traveling early
in the year, and then use that to
finish out the season strong with
a majority of homestands.
Instead, the Wolverines have
just three more games at Yost
Ice Arena this season, though
they know they haven't taken full
advantage of home ice. And yet,
they still have yet to register a win
on the road this season - a chal-
lenge that won't be made easier
by the fact that the Lakers hold a
marginal 22-18-3 series lead over
Michigan when playing in Taffy
Abel Arena.
None ofthe Wolverines want to
admit that leaving Ann Arbor for
a series could be a good thing, but
at this point, any kind of variation
could be an effective catalyst for
change.
"Going on the road, that's all
you have, seeing your team," said
senior forward A.J. Treais. "You
don't have any fans in your favor
... all you've got is your buddies,
and maybe that's something that
can change (the season)."

Ad
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Miku
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By ALEX TAYLOR Mikulak has been hampered
Daily Sports Writer by injuries this fall - he hurt
his left ankle in the summer
ding to the number of and then he tore his left calf
nally ranked Michigan muscle upon his return from
tic teams, the Michigan the ankle injury. He has only
s gymnastics team opens recently been cleared to start
eason as the No. 2 team in running and some light jump-
ountry. ing arid is expected to be able
me Wolverines, coming to start his dismounts -by next
sixth-place finish at the week.
nal championships last "I'm hopeful that we can
return all members from have him in the line-up on floor
year's team. This experi- and vault by our last dual meet
coupled with the team's. of the season," Golder said.
ts, has Michigan looking "The training staff has indicat-
complish something spe- ed that it might happen before
his year. t'hat, but we will have to see."
think this is a very tal- Caesar was another Wolver-
d team, it's a very deep ine who competed in the Olym-
said Michigan coach pics, representing Bangladesh.
Golder. "We don't have it Caesar made history in 2012
her completely right now when he became the first Ban-
use I'm one who tends to gladeshi athlete to record agold
rasize really being strong medal at the fourth Central
e end for the NCAA cham- South Asian Artistic Gymnas-
hip. I think it's a team that' tic Championships. A member
e end will do very well." of the 2010 national-champi-
his 17 years at the helm of onship team, Caesar is also the
rogram, Golder has guided 2011 Big Ten parallel bar cham-
Volverines to two national pion.
npionships - the most ' Caesar was riddled with an
rt one being in 2010. This injury-plagued year in 2012 in
Golder will look to junior which he tore his right bicep in
Mikulak, redshirt senior the first dual meet of the sea-
e Caesar and sophomore son. This kept him out for the
y Erwin to help him cap- rest of the season. He recovered
his third national title. from this injury, and then eight
days before the London Games
he tore his left bicep. Injuries
and all, Caesar still managed
ming off a year high- to complete all four of his rou-
ed by representing the tines on the Olympic stage, his
ed States at the 2012 Sum- first performance since he was
Olympics, Mikulak will injured at the dual meet in Jan-
to add more accolades to uary. Caesar, a co-captain, will
Iready impressive resume, look to put the injuries in the
h includes winning the past and return to his previous
round competition in 2011 form.
finishing runner-up in "You talk about, overcoming
He also won last year's adversity. Handling the situa-
A high-bar championship. tion and overcoming adversity,
les being the first Ameri- he sets a good example," Golder
;ymnast in Michigan's his- said. "He's a good captain."
to compete in Olympics, Erwin will look to continue
rak also had a skill named the success he had during his
him added to the code of freshman campaign. In 2012,
:s on pommel horse. Erwin earned All-American

honors on both vault and floor
exercise. He gained these hon-
ors by finishing third and fourth
on floor and vault, respectively,
at the NCAA championships.
The Big Ten has named Erwin
to the 2013 Gymnasts to Watch
List.
"The thing about Stacey was
as a freshman when we got to
the big meets he got bigger,"
Golder said. "He was better at
the Big Tens than he was dur-
ing the dual-meet season, and
then he was better at the NCAA
championships than he was at
the Big Tens. For a coach that
wants to peak at the NCAA
Championship, that's the kind
of guy that you want."
In addition to these three
gymnasts, Michigan will get
contributions from sophomore
Adrian de los Angeles - who
was also named to a Big Ten's
"Gymnasts to Watch"- senior
captain Rohan Sebastian and
sophomore Michael Strathern.
The Wolverines will open
their season this Saturday at
the Windy City Invitational in
Chicago.
Though it's the first compe-
tition of the season, Michigan
will not be easing into the sea-
son by any means - No, 1 Illi-
nois, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 8
Ohio State and No. 10 Iowa, will
all be in attendance.
"Illinois always comes out
pretty strong at the Windy City,
where we're looking atit more
like let's see where we are at,"
Golder said. "Hopefully, we
will win it, but the sun doesn't
rise and set with how we finish
at the Windy City."
Regardless of the result at
the Windy City Invitational,
with a coach like Golder lead-
ing a group of gymnasts like
Mikulak, Caesar and Erwin,
the Wolverines will almost cer-
tainly be a factor come NCAA
championship time.

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