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October 29, 2013 - Image 7

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The'Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday; October 29, 2013 - 7

* The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 7

For Wolverines, Nieves s
feet not translating to goals

By ERIN LENNON
Daily Sports Writer
If life is a highway, hockey is
the German autobahn with a few
daunting roadblocks along the
way- the defensemen.
And come game time, sopho-
more forward Boo Nieves is the
McLaren Fi, stuck in first gear.
Early in the second period
Friday against Boston Univer-
sity, Nieves turned a one-on-one
breakaway into a solo look at the
Terriers's net, faking right and
then blowing past a defenseman
with that familiar ease. Nieves
came equally close to scoring later
in the period during No. 4 Michi-
gan's second power play, but fell
into the net without the puck.
"I liked his energy on Friday
and the speed when he cut around
the defensemen twice and went
to the net," said Michigan coach
Red Berenson. "I thought his puck
touches, defensive awareness, and
his intensity and faceoffs were
right on. And on Saturday, he
never got that back."
At full speed, Nieves wove eas-
ily through traffic. But that's about
the only time he's given the crowd
something to marvel at this sea-
son. Before the season, Berenson
singled Nieves out as one'of sev-
eral players in need of a breakout
year for the Wolverines.
Through six games this season,
Nieves has only one goal and one
assist. Without utilizing much of
his signature speed, he has been
a non-factor in each of the Wol-
verines' four victories. He is on
pace for a repeat season - Nieves
tallied 29 points, including eight
goals and 21 assists in 41 appear-
ances as a freshman. But as one
of the Wolverines' key offensive
weapons - especially on a line
with junior forwards Alex Guptill
and Zach Hyman - cruising just
won't cut it.
The talent is there - we saw a
glimpse of that on Friday night.
Following the departure of five
Wolverines, Michigan's biggest
question mark heading into the
season was the special teams. Last
season, power-play production
fell largely on the shoulder of first-
year Winnipeg Jets defenseman
Jacob Trouba, while penalty kill-
ing was the job of former Wolver-
ines A.J. Treais, Lee Moffie, Kevin
Lynch and Jon Merrill.

PATRICK BARRON/Daily
Sophomore tight end A.J. Williams has been suspended for the MSU game.
Tight end Williams
suspended by-Hoke

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Sophomore forward Andrew Copp has the strength to counter the team-best speed of sophomore forward Boo Nieves.

Thus far, the
been as close to p
expected of a ros
10 freshmen - n
backup freshmani
dicted, the power
longer to develop.
power play is
just 7-for-23
this season. But
the Wolverines'
first loss of the
season on Sat-
urday featured
one goal from
the home team
- something
the penalty kill
won't be able to co
Nieves has sit
the center positio
his freshman year
his new role, Ni
the speed, while
ward Andrew C
the strength. Atc
given more room
better view of the
to weave around.
with Guptill -
two goals and tw
games - Nieves h
to set the tempo fo

penalty kill has
rerfect as can be
ter that includes
ot to mention a
innet.But as pre-
r play has taken
And Michigan's

offense.
He has the ability to create
offense simply by being fast on his
feet, said senior defenseman Mac
Bennett.
Bennett refers to Nieves's lack
of production as little more than

a sophomore
slump.
"You go
"Do you want to from not play-
ing at all over
go or is it safer the summer to
coming back,
to stay here?" and all of a sud-
den it's tough to
be consistent,"
he said. "It's
rntrol. an issue t've been dealing with
ace moved into myself. But as we play more and
n after spending more, you'll see his stock rise."
r at left wing. In Added Guptill on Friday: "He's
eves represents a superstar. He's one of the best
sophomore for- players in college hockey right
opp represents now."
center, Nieves is Though Nieves might not sta-
to skate and a tistically be among the top-10
defense he need centers in college hockey, he can
. And on a line certainly skate circles around
who has tallied nearly every member of the
o assists in five fourth-ranked team in the nation.
as the potential It would be misguided to assume
r a highly touted that Michigan lives and dies with

Nieves. But Michigan (4-1-1 over-
all) cannot afford for Nieves to
not produce in these games. And
for Nieves, it's a matter of simply
skating at top-speed in practice as
often as when the stands are filled.
"If you drive around in your car
on low gear all the time, you get
used to it," Berenson said. "Until'
someone shows you you've got
high gear."
It's also a, matter of know-
ing when to change gears. Once
Nieves finds the confidence to
press the pedal, the challenge
will be to know when to press the
pedal and when to lay off.
"You also can't drive your car
100 miles an hour when you're 50
feet from a stop sign," Berenson
said. "When you're on the high-
way, though, that's your opportu-
nity. Hockey is a game of intensity,
but it's a game of short sprints and
then every so often you get a
chance, and that's when Boo needs
to know he has that extra gear.
"With cement trucks out
there, you have to decide how fast
you're willing to go. There's a risk
involved in using that speed. Do
you want to go or is it safer to stay
here?"

Mi
end A
pend
"viol:
team
He
sion
again
gan S
Ac
Dayt
liams
morn
charg
cle w
violat
ing.
Wi
main
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Thur
by Th
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when
very
gan c
ment
lot o
hims'
help
lessor
Wi
cinna
40 m
whict
sity.
W
SION
Mich
State,
and t
Th
reflec
the g
andt
fell 2.
pain
gan's
Hoke
confe
his to
while
Mi
six pe
"n R

By MATT SLOVIN Lansing. One of the six came
ManagingEdiror when then-Spartan defensive
end William Gholston punched
chigan sophomore tight offensive tackle Taylor Lewan.
4.J. Williams has been sus- Monday, Lewan admitted that
ed for one game due to a a picture of Gholston was set
ation of team rules," the as the background image on his
announced Monday. cell phone for an entire year fol-
will serve his suspen- lowing the game for motivation.
Saturday NOTEBOOK Lewan said the Wolverines
ist Michi- were "bullied" in that game and
tate. vowed not to let it happen again.
cording to a report from Hoke estimated that 27 players
on, Ohio's ABC 22, Wil- on Michigan's current roster
was arrested early Sunday were on that 2011 trip.
ing in Oxford, Ohio and "That's what they did two
ted with operating a vehi- years ago. They bullied us,"
hile intoxicated, a stop sign Lewan said Monday. "That's
tion and underage drink- tough for me to admit. I don't
like getting bullied."
illiams, who is the team's Even though Gholston has
blocking tight end, is moved on to the National Foot-
luled to appear in court ball League with the Tampa
sday, according to a report Bay Buccaneers, the incident
2e Toledo Blade. remains fresh in the mind of the
's certainly disappointing fifth-year senior.
one of your kids makes a "If someone came up to you
poor decision," said Michi- and hit you right in the face,
oach Brady Hoke ina state- would you take that personal-
. "A.J. realizes he has let a ly?" Lewan said. "Yeah, I took it
f people down, including personally."
elf. As families do, we will Fifth-year senior tackle
A.J. as he learns a valuable Michael Schofield remembers
n from this." Michigan State defensive coor-
iliams's hometown of Cin- dinator Pat Narduzzi describing
iti is located approximately his team's play as "60 minutes
iles southeast of Oxford, of unnecessary roughness." He,
h is home to Miami Univer- too, said that it's now clear the
type of physical football Michi-
HAT IS YOUR PROFES- gan will need to play to win in
? BULLYING: In 2011, East Lansing for the first time
igan traveled'to Michigan since 2007.
as it will again Saturday, "It was a battle, a fight," Scho-
ook a beating. field said. "We don't forget it."
at fact wasn't necessarily NOTABLE QUOTABLE: Hoke
'ted on the scoreboard - was asked to compare and con-
sine 'was tied at halftime, trast the Michigan State rivalry
:he Wolverines eventually and the one with Ohio State. "I
8-14 -' but rather in the think they're both important,"
pulsating through Michi- he said. He also added, "This
players bodies afterward. isn't an admiration society. It's
said'in his Monday press a great rivalry with two teams
rence that it was a defeat that are 45 miles apart? That
eam needed to feel for a might not be enough, but it's
. what it is." ... Later, a reporter
chigan State accumulated asked Hoke about the last time
ersonal foul penalties dur- he wore green clothing. "That's
Michigan's last trip to East a dumb question," he said.

'M' shows vast improvements
By JASON RUBINSTEIN
Daily Sports Writer '
Two weekends ago at the ITA/ UT Rgoa Tunmt,
USTA Regional Tournament,
the Michigan men'stennis team
struggled to find its bearings, '
not advancing anyone past the
second round. This past week-
end, though, at the Big Ten Indi-
viduals in West Lafayette, there
seemed to be a marked difference.
Seniors Shaun Bernstein and
Alex Buzzi each made it to the
singles quarterfinals, while
freshman Kevin Wong made it to
the singles consolation semifinals
after suffering a 6-1, 6-1 loss to
Jonas Dierckx of Iowa in the first
round. In the doubles bracket,
Bernstein and Wong - paired
together for the first time -
advanced to the semifinals before
being ousted by Michigan State.
"We got a chance to play more
matches and were more sharp ALLISON FARRAND/Daily
mentally on the match court," Senior Shaun Bernstein lost in the singles quarterfinals, but thrived in the doubles with a newpartner, freshman Kevin Wong.
said Michigan coach Bruce Ber-
que. "It was an improvement unique playing style to earn a Bernstein cruised through their the second doubles pair that Ber-
from last week, but we're still quarterfinal berth.: first three matches before losing que keeps together this season
nowhere near where we want to Buzzi upset the tournament's to Michigan State's Harry Jadun after this weekend's tournament.
be for the season, but we're head- No. 5 seed, Nebraska's Dusty and Gijs Linders, 8-2. Luckily for the Wolverines, the
ing in the right direction." Boyer, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, in the sec- "They both have good dou- dual-match season is months
Perhaps the most important and round. Buzzi couldn't finish bles skills," Beruge said. "They away, which will allow the pair to
part of the weekend was the the tournament, though, due to both are comfortable at the net really grow together.
strong play of Wong in both sin- a nagging arm injury and retired and like to move at the net and "We're going to work a lot on
gles and doubles. The freshman after losing the first set in his cross. Shaun has the experience playing high-percentage, aggres-
used his speed to get to the net quarterfinal bout. Berque thinks and understands the intensity sive tennis," Berque said. "We
quickly and extend points. Even the injury stemmed from a lack of required to play doubles at this will focus on playing points and
so, his tennis IQ was what helped matches and will talk to the med- level, while Kevin is a very natu- get these guys to compete on a
him the most. ical staff this week for an official ral doubles player. level that will make them suc-
"He kept more balls in the diagnosis. "They seemed comfortable cessful."
court and played higher-percent- Bernstein, the tournament's together and clicked really well As for now, the Wolverines
age tennis," Berque said. "He was No. 4 seedlost in the singles quar- for their first time playing togeth- have two weeks before the USTA/
making a lot of sloppy errors in terfinals after being broken once er." ITA Indoor Championships. Day
the first week, so we worked him in each set by Northwestern's Though juniors Michael Zhu by day and match by match, this
hard on better decision making." Strong Kirchheimer, but Bern- and Alex Petrone are the only team is piecing itself together
The singles success didn't end stein thrived in the doubles with pairing Berque has committed and making a statement about its
with Wong as Buzzi used his his new partner, Wong. Wong and to, Wong and Bernstein may be strength.

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