6A - Wednesday, October 23, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Once a heckler, Nagelvoort
is just fine on the other side
By JEREMY SUMMITT
Daily Sports Editor
As freshman goaltender Zach
Nagelvoort skated from the
bench to the Michigan crease
just minutes into the third period
of Friday night's game at New
Hampshire, hundreds of people
were calling his name. He was
excited, but nervous.
Ever since he was little, Nagel-
voort dreamed of putting on a
Michigan sweater. His grand-
parents have had season tickets
to Michigan hockey games, right
behind the opposing team's pen-
alty box, for longer than he can
remember. He says he was the
little kid always heckling the guy
in the penalty box. His grandpar-
ents didn't seem to mind.
But Friday, he was the one tak-
ing the heat from raucous fans
stacked directly behind his net.
There was never a question if he
relished every second of it.
"I absolutely love when there's
a student section right behind me
or something, ripping me apart,"
Nagelvoort said. "Nothing gets
me more fired up. Especially
when they call me by name, I just
When the Wolverines traveled
to New Hampshire last week-
end, they knew the crowd would
be similar to the rowdy folks in
Ann Arbor. It wasn't anything
new, except Michigan would be
on the receiving end of the hos-
tile chants. No one was more pre-
pared for their name to be called
by 1,000 screaming hockey fans
than Nagelvoort, though.
From his grandparents seats,
Nagelvoort used to watch Marty
Turco, Al Montoya and Shawn
Hunwick dominate the Michigan
crease at Yost Ice Arena. All eyes
were turned toward Nagelvoort
this weekend, though, after the
starting netminder, sophomore
Steve Racine, was forced to leave
the game with a groin injury.
The Wolverines tied New
Hampshire, 1-1, on Friday thanks
to Nagelvoort's 15 total saves in
the third period and overtime,
including a penalty shot that
hardly fazed him.
"When it's put on my shoul-
Freshman goalie Zach Nagelvoort filled in for sophomore Steve Racine.
ders like that, shootouts are like group of youth hockey, everyone
my favorite thing in the world," gets a turn to play goalie. While
Nagelvoort said. "To get a pen- Nagelvoort doesn't vividly recall
alty shot in my first opportunity his first game in goal, he knew
to be playing is the best thing that he played well enough to make
could have happened." the position a possibility for the
Sophomore forward Andrew future.
Copp has played with Nagelvoort Just a year later, he tried out for
since they were 5 years old, and he Copp's father's team, and ended
still remembers how Nagelvoort up being one of the only goal-
would play best in the most cru- ies that showed up. He made the
cial moments. In Racine's absence team and has been a goaltender
Saturday, Nagelvoort picked up ever since.
his first collegiate win after mak- Nagelvoort wasn't recruited
ing 22 saves in a rematch against that seriously during high school,
the Wildcats. where he had stints with both
"The results speak for them- the Detroit Compuware AAA
selves," said Michigan goaltend- team and the Traverse City North
ing coach Josh Blackburn. "He Stars, a North American Hockey
came in and played outstanding, League team.
and you know, killed some penal- His chance to finally play
ties, even a penalty shot. Getting hockey in Ann Arbor came after
thrown into the fire like that isn't two more season-long campaigns
easy." with other NAHL teams. Nagel-
Nagelvoort didn't think his voort played for the Soo Eagles
chance would come this week- in Sault Set. Marie, Mich., before
end at New Hampshire. He didn't heading west to South Dakota to
really expect to be playing goalie join the Aberdeen Wings, where
as a youth player either. he got on a bit of a hot streak
In mini mites, the youngest age that attracted national attention.
Nagelvoort went 8-1-1 with a .949
save percentage in his 10 games
Michigan assistant coach Billy
Powers paid Nagelvoort a visit
in South Dakota to watch him in
person. After playing to Powers's
liking and sharing a good conver-
sation after the game, Nagelvoort
jumped at the chance to be a Wol-
"He's paid his dues to get to
Michigan," said Michigan coach
Copp remembers Nagelvoort
as a well-mannered, hard-work-
ing kid throughout their youth
hockey days. Copp was thrilled to
hear they would be in Ann Arbor
together when word of Nagel-
voort's recruitment came around.
"I actually went up to him the
other day, and t'm like, 'Who
would have thought when we
were playing mini mites that
we would be wearing Michigan
sweaters right now?'" Copp said.
"I love the spot we're in."
According to Copp, Nagelvoort
always had a good sense of humor,
and he still does. In practice,
whenever Nagelvoort catches the
puck, he usually throws the saved
puck directly back at the forwards
to let them know it's not in the net.
"Goalies are always a little
nuts," Copp said. "It can get a
little annoying when you want to
score goals and not him having
the puck thrown at you."
Dating back to the under-12
national championship with
Detroit Compuware - where
Nagelvoort played with Copp and
former Michigan defenseman
Jacob Trouba - Nagelvoort was
always a jokester with a knack for
staying loose in tense situations.
Last weekend was no different,
and all the practice he had pok-
ing fun at opposing players as an
elementary-school kid served as
preparation for the hostility he
faced in the seats behind his own
net at New Hampshire.
Nagelvoort says this past week-
end was the most fun he's ever
had playing hockey. In an arena
more than 850 miles from where
he and his grandparents always
sat in Ann Arbor, he felt right at
Redshirt junior quarterback Devin Gardner has kept in contact with Eric
Thomas, the motivational speaker who often addresses the Wolverines.
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By MATT SLO
in the week follow
to Penn State on Oct
vational speaker Eri
visited Ann Arbor to a
His message was
adversity can make or1
"This is a defining
Thomas said he told
verines last week. "Y
decide what this game
do to your season."
It was the second
Michigan coach Br
had invited Thomas,
educator, activist, at
minister whose web
ises "high-energy me
speak to the team. Th
grew up in Detroit, h
to the Wolverines afte
biters in consecutive
Akron and Connectic
them, "They weren't
their full potential."
Thomas said he w
ibly proud of the wayt
responded Saturday it
win over Indiana, espc
shirt junior quarterb
Gardner, his protege.
"I told him, 'Whet
to the level of your ga
nobody out there tha
you. You're dominant,
said. "The offense rest
Thomas works w
teams at all different
has spent time with t
Lions' defensive back
Washington State, P
and Purdue footballt
Hoke has carved a sp
for Thomas this yei
Arbor. Rather than si
him in for a one-tim
Hoke wants Thoma
like a part of the teai
referred to his work
program as being like
paid to an attorney.
"Coach has reallyr
a relationship with m'
said. "He said, 'We w
be a part of what we':
much as this relatio
Thomas took thosc
heart and began to
close mentorship wit
junior quarterback D
ner. Thomas and Gar
speak twice a week,
once a few hours b
According to Thot
ner's turnover woes f
the season have been
of mental lapses, not
VIN deficiency. Since the two began
for working together, Thomas said
he has noticed a maturation in
ing Michi- Gardner that is "striking" even
43-40 loss compared to where the quarter-
. 12, moti- back was just a few weeks ago.
i Thomas Gardner said last week that
ddress the Thomas's visit after the loss to
the Nittany Lions helped the
simple - team "kill the noise" of public
break your criticism toward the Wolverines.
While Thomas can't diagram
moment," X's and O's, he hopes his pres-
I the Wol- ence will be felt by the team on
ou have to Saturdays. He said mental prepa-
is goingto ration alone can't win football
games, but the team that has the
time that better mentality will often come
ady Hoke out on top.
a speaker, "Let's be honest," Thomas
uthor and said, "any Big Ten program has
site prom- guys that are the same frame,
ssages," to play the same position, had simi-
omas, who lar success stories in high school.
sad spoken There isn't a whole lot of differ-
er the nail- ence pound for pound. 4
weeks over "The edge that you have, the
cut, telling way that you separate yourself
playing to from the pack, is when you have
that mental fortitude, mental
'as incred- focus, and can bring the athleti-
the offense cism and the knowledge of the
n the 63-47 game."
ecially red- Though Thomas addresses the
ack Devin full team during his sessions, he
said his ultimate goal is to reach
n you play the captains,whomhethenrelies
me, there's on to carry his message onto the
it can stop field on game days, as well as in
' " Thomas practice. He said the last 10 min-
ponded." utes of his speeches are geared
ith sports exclusively toward the leaders in
levels and the locker room.
he Detroit Michigan's next game, at
cs and the Michigan State, will be a dif-
'enn State ficult one for Thomas to watch.
teams. But Thomas, a high-school drop-
ecial niche out, received his GED and then
ar in Ann graduated from Michigan State,
mply bring something. he said he uses to
e address, motivate inner-city products like
is to feel himself.
m. Thomas He's currently working
with the toward his Ph.D. at Michigan
a retainer State. His son, Jalen, named after
former Michigan basketball star
established Jalen Rose, is a freshman in East
e," Thomas Lansing. But Thomas grew up
'ant you to a Michigan fan and, because he
re doing as works so closely with the Wol-
nship will verines, he'll feel conflicted next
e words to "But I've got to root for the
develop a home squad," Thomas said. "It's
h redshirt going to be hard because I love
evin Gard- Devin. I love the coaching staff
dner try to and all the guys, but I'm a Michi-
including gan State graduate so I'm hoping
efore each they can pull it out.
"The only good thing is they
mas, Gard- only play once a year. Outside of
or much of that game, I'll be able to pull for
the result both of them."
Legends Division Bic Ten Overall
Michigan State 3 0 6 1
Nebraska 2 0 5 1
Michigan 2 1 6 1
Minnesota 1 2 5 2
Iowa 1 2 4 3
Northwestern 0 3 4 3
Leaders Division Big Ten Overall
Ohio State 3 0 7 0
Wisconsin 3 1 5 2
Penn State' 1 1 4 2
Indiana 1 2 3 4
Illinois 0 2 3 3
Purdue 0 3 1 6