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October 11, 2013 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-11

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8 - Friday, October 11, 2013

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The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

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Anew beginning

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By ALEJANDRO ZON&IGA3
Daily Sports Editor
Andrew Copp made himself a
promise. Named an alternate cap-
tain by Michigan hockey coach
Red Berenson, the sophomore for-
ward vowed to contribute more
to avoid a BC 1
repeatofthe MICHIGAN 3
crushing
disappointment of last season.
And on Thursday night, Copp
and No. 10 Michigan notched
a statement victory at Yost Ice
Arena by topping No. 4 Boston
College, 3-1, in both teams' regu-
lar-season openers.
Copp finished with three
points on the night, highlighted

by a shot deflected off a Boston
College player five minutes into
the second period to give the Wol-
verines (1-0) a 2-0 lead. And just
moments into the third period,
after the Eagles (0-1) had cut the
deficit to one goal beforethe inter-
mission, Copp's pinpoint assist
to senior forward Luke Moffatt
helped restore Michigan's two-
goal advantage - one it would not
relinquish.
"That's what we're looking for,"
Berenson said. "(Copp) is a big
kid, he competes hard, he wants
to play at both ends of the rink,
and that's how we want our whole
team to play. But Andrew Copp is
not just a sophomore now - he's
one of our captains, and he's play-

ing like it."
The Wolverines struck early
when freshman forward JT Com-
pher and Moffatt combined on
the power play seven minutes into
the first period. Singlehandedly
breaking into the offensive zone,
Compher avoided two defen-
semen before sliding the puck
across the crease. Unmarked,
Moffatt one-timed it past Billett.
"It's definitely good to get the
first one out of the way always,"
Moffatt said. "Definitely good to
getJT'(Compher) his first point as
a freshman, and I feel like we got
the ball rolling early this year."
Moffat had a pair of goals, and
Compher had two assists as part
of Michigan's second line.

The Eagles' lone tally came
midway through the second peri-
od. Forward Johnny Gaudreau
fed defenseman Ian McCoshen,
and his slap shot from the blue
line made its way past sophomore
netminder Steve Racine after
being tipped by a defender. Ryan
Fitzgerald nearly brought Boston
College all the way back from the
two-goal hole on a breakaway
moments later, but his back-
handed wrist shot clanged off the
frame.
The Eagles' threatening sec-
ond period highlighted Racine's
solid night between the pipes.
The goaltender was the benefac-
tor of a lucky break when Boston
College forward Quinn Smith hit

the post despite having an open
net in the first period, but he
recovered quickly enough to poke
away the rebound. When forward
Austin Cangelosi snuck in behind
the Wolverines' defense and had
a prime goal-scoring opportu-
nity with four minutes to go in
the first period, Racine stuffed
him cleanly. And the netminder's
quick snag on an odd-man break
in the final frame preserved the
two-goal lead.
"That's what we need from
him," Berenson said. "He went
through his learning curve last
year, and hopefully now he'll be
more consistent."
After the disappointment of
the exhibition against Waterloo,

where the Wolverines went 0-for-
5 with the man advantage, Beren-
son warned that the power play
might not be up to par this early
in the season. It was a different
story on Friday, as both of Mof-
fatt's goals came on a dangerous
and versatile power play that fin-
ished 2-for-S.
Even more reassuring was the
fact that Michigan played without
junior forward Alex Guptill - last
season's leading scorer - who sat
out due to an unspecified viola-
tion of team rules.,
It didn't seem to matter,
though, as the Wolverines fired
32 shots and found twine in every 4
period as Copp's three-point
night secured the win.

Following late-season surge,

AL

Racine shines in opener

%.-IF ,

By ERIN LENNON
Daily Sports Writer

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PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Sophomore forward Andrew Copp finished with three points, including a goal.

Less than two minutes into
the No. 10 Michigan hockey
team's season opener against No.
4 Boston College, a lone stick lay
unclaimed on the ice after a scuf-
fle - a sign of things to come.
After 60 minutes of predict-
ably brutal hockey and solid play
from both teams, it was stellar
goaltending - from sophomore
Steve Racine that preserved the
Wolverines' 3-1 victory.
Racine - who allowed two
goals in an abbreviated appear-
ance in Sunday's exhibition -
finished the game with 20 saves,
including nine in the first period,
and allowed only one goal.
Much of Racine's success was
a product of limited rebounds.
Racine was able to sit on several
in-traffic shots, at times with
opposing players fallen in goal.
Late in the third period, he made
a quick glove save on an odd-man
rush.
In front of him, Racine had
the support of the penalty kill
all night. The defense held the
Eagles to just two shots on the
power play and to just 21 on the
game.
"He was awesome," said soph-
omore forward Andrew Copp.
"He's been working out all sum-
mer so we knew where he was at
mentally and physically. It's good
for him. It gets him a lot of con-
fidence to keep the ball rolling
from last year."
While Racine was the better
netminder, he was also luckier.
Three times in the second period,
Racine was mere inches from
allowing a goal, and three shots
in particular could have gotten
Boston College back in the game.

In the first period, Racine
juggled a puck in traffic that all
but jumped out of the goal by
itself. Racine got an even luckier
break in the second period, when
a shot from Eagles forward Ryan
Fitzgerald bounced off the cross-
bar, narrowly misting an upper-
corner goal. Once more with
three minutes remaining, having
made a left-pad save, Racine lost
sight of the puck and left the net
open for a moment for Fitzgerald,
who missed wide.
Meanwhile, Boston College
goaltender Brian Billett finished
the game with 29 saves having
allowed three goals - two of
which were a result of a sleepy
penalty kill, and another off a
deflection..Billett also spent 12
minutes defending the net with
four men.
"I thought our goaltender
played really, really well," said
Boston College coach Jerry York.
"We're going to have a strong
year this year in the net."
Despite the errors, the stat
sheet showed Racine allowed
a single goal against one of the
nation's top offenses, and the
defense held the Eagles' best
player, junior forward Johnny
Gaudreau, to one shot. It was a
game that will build confidence
not only inRacine, but in a young
Wolverines defense moving for-
ward as well.
"I think that's what we
expect," said Michigan coach
Red Berenson. "If you're at Mich-
igan, you know you need good
goalkeeping. Look what he did
last year. I think he was 8-1-1 in
the last 10 games. That's what we
need from him. He went through
his learning curve last year, and
hopefully now he'll be more con-
sistent."

S

, I

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Sophomore goalie SteveRacine stuffed Boston College with 20 saves Thursday.

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