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February 28, 2014 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-28

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6 - Friday, February 28, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Postseason berth on the line

'M' faces another
ranked opponent

By GREGGARNO
Daily Sports Editor
The Michigan hockey team
finds itself in an uncomfortable
position this weekend.
No longer can it rest on its lau-
rels from its impressive first half
of the season.
No longer can Ohio State
it rely on stel-
lar goaltending at Michigan
to bail it out. Matchup:
No longer can Ohio State
it afford to be 15-10-3;
inexperienced. Michigan
This 15-10-3
week, the When: Friday
13th-ranked 6:30 P.M.;
Wolverines Sunday Noon
will play a Where: Yost
home-and- Ice Arena
home series TV/Radio:
with Ohio BTN
State (5-6-3
Big Ten, 15-10-
3 overall) and this weekend the
Wolverines will play with their
figurative backs against the wall.
"We can't afford to lose any
more games and I think every-
one in that locker room knows
that," said senior forward Derek
DeBlois. "We're fighting for a
playoff spot every day."
Added Michigan coach Red
Berenson: "Everyone is getting
better and we may not have got-
ten better as a team. A lot of our
individuals have continued to
improve but has our whole team
gottenbetter? I don't think so."
Michigan (7-6-1, 15-10-3)
sits eight points behind second-
place Wisconsin and a bye in the
first round of the Big Ten Tour-
nament, and just three points
ahead of the fourth-place Buck-
eyes.
A loss would not only math-
ematically eliminate the Wol-
verines from finishing in the top
two of the conference, but would
also put them on the bubble of a
berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Standing in their way will be

nICKI LU/Daily
Senior forward Derek DeBlois and the rest nf the Wolverines lonk no shut dnwn a ptent Ohio State nffense.

a pair of forwards that lead Ohio
State's offense, which sits No.
7 in the nation. Together, Ryan
Dzingel and Tanner Fritz have
combined for 32 points this sea-
son on a team that averages 3.39
goals per game.
So to help his team shut them
down, Berenson distributed
an article on the importance of
defense. It'sbeengoingon longer
than any senior can remember,
and no one knows who wrote
it, but it preaches that defense
doesn't require a special skillset
so much as a special mindset.
"Defense is all heart and all
will," said senior forward Luke
Moffatt. "Offense might not
come every day, but with defense
you can show up every day."
Unfortunately, Michigan will
be missing one of its hardest
workers in senior defenseman

Mac Bennett. The captain will
miss the weekend after he suf-
fered an "upper-body injury" in
the second game of last week-
end's series against Penn State.
Questions also surround
the goaltending position, after
freshman netminder Zach
Nagelvoort allowed five goals
- albeit with a porous defense
in front of him - on Friday
night. Sophomore goaltender
Steve Racine held the Nittany
Lions to two goals, which makes
the decision for the weekend
increasingly harder.
Nearly one year ago against
the Buckeyes, Berenson started
Racine in the hope of sparking
his offense. The result was an
8-1-1 record in the final10 games.
The loss puts more pressure
on forwards to shut down
Ohio State's potent offensive

duo. Berenson will have to
excel at making line changes
this weekend to match his top
line with the Buckeyes' on a
consistent basis.
But Michigan's forwards also
proved they are capable after
holding Penn State to 20 shots
last weekend.
"The fact is that we need
to play better and find a way
to generate more wins on a
consistent basis," Berenson said.
"We have to play a lot better than
we have in recent games. It's
that simple. If we do well, then
we'll have a chance of having
a good Big Ten Tournament
and then being an option in the
NCAA. If we don't win, then we
don't make the tournament and
won't deserve it.
"We have to start playing
better, starting this Friday."

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"Th

By MINH DOAN that we need to fix," said Michi-
Daily Sports Writer gan coach John Paul. "We weren't
doing a good job in our initial
er starting off the season dodges. We couldn't get to the
ring program records for spots we needed to get to get good
g, the Michigan men's shots off. We also were impatient
se team's offense came to an and took some poor shots."
halt last weekend against On the other side of the field,
johns Hopkins losing, 14-5. the defense also had a lackluster
s weekend, the schedule game last week. After a stellar
o easier for the Wolverines two games against Mercer and
when they take on No. 15 Detroit, the defense took a step
,1 on Saturday afternoon at back against Johns Hopkins,
'sterbaan Fieldhouse. allowing nine goals in the first
Big Red (2-0) enter half. The Wolverines improved in
lay following a good start the second half to allow just five,
season by defeating Hobart highlighting their problems with
linghamton. Cornell took inconsistency.
inghamton on Tuesday "The defense is just very
and used a five-goal run in young," Paul said. "At the very
cond quarter to come out mostwehaveguys playingintheir
ous, 14-8. third season. They just have to
nell is coming off a very learn from practice and in every
sful 2013 spring campaign game. Wehighlight in film all the
ch it went undefeated in the little mistakes we're making and
tague and appeared in the if we can correct a couple of those
Final Four. mistakes every week, we're going
gone from the team is to end the season with a pretty
er Rob Pannell, who was good defense."
13 Ivy League Player of the Added senior defensive mid-
nd the Big Red's program fielder Jeff Chu: "The big thing
in career points and assists. we need to do is make adjust-
11 led Cornell to become the ments throughout the game. Once
d-ranked scoring offense in we settle into the game plan, we
untry last season. Defender need to figure out what (Cornell)
Noble, a 2013 1st Team All- is doing and make changes in the
can, also graduated. huddle."
ding the offense this sea- This will be the first meeting
r the Big Red are attackers between the two teams in his-
intner and Matt Donovan. tory, but will be Michigan's third
air leads the Cornell offense match against a ranked opponent
ten and six goals, respec- this season after playing No. 10
The duo was responsible Penn State and the Blue Jays ear-
ie goals in the Big Red's win lier in the season.
inghamton. "(Playing ranked teams) shows
ther the Wolverines'offense us the improvement, but also
e defense had a particularly highlighted the things we need
game in the loss to Johns to do better to compete with top
ns and both units aim to teams," Paul said. "Most new pro-
e back against the Big Red. grams don't do this, we've done it
Michigan offense is head- because we want a benchmark."
reshman attacker Ian King, The Wolverines have preached
eads the team with eight all season about not just building
but* against the Blue Jays, a program, but becoming a team
uld not find twine and the that can compete with the best,
ur scorers for the Wolver- One win over a ranked opponent
ould only muster two goals like Cornell won't prove they are
tively. a powerhouse just yet, but it will
ere are two things that go a long way in proving to them-
stood out against Hopkins selves that they can succeed.

REMEMBER WHEN MICHIGAN BEAT MSU?
We made a poster of this week's historic SportsMonday page!
And it's only $10. E-mail Austen Hufford at ahufford@umich.edu for a print.

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RELEASE DATE- Friday, February 28, 2
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Women look for
first-ever victory
By ZACH SHAW "With a group of young
Daily Sports Writer freshmen, there are no
upperclassmen to teach them at
In its inaugural season, the what level they're supposed to
Michigan women's lacrosse team compete at in practice," Ulehla
will see many firsts. Heading said. "They understand it to some
into their second game of the extent in a game, but if you don't
season, the Wolverines have an practice it every single day, in
opportunity to achieve their most every practice, you can't execute
important first: their first win. it at this level in a game."
Friday against Marquette, the Because the adjustment to the
team will play its first-ever home athleticism of college lacrosse
game at Oosterbaan Field House. affects the entire team, the
By falling to Villanova, 20-7, Wolverines must find alternative
last Saturday on the road, the ways to gain an edge Friday.
Wolverines (0-1) beganthe season "We're learning strategically
on the wrong end of the win how to adjust to different defenses
column. Michigan will need to and how to execute the defense
be patient with an all-freshman we want to play based on what
squad in one of the nation's another offense is doing, and
toughest conferences, and will those X's and O's just take some
likely be the underdog in every time," Ulehla said. "After going
game it plays. over film, they were able to really
But with Marquette in just learn a lot from the mistakes that
its second season as a program, we made."
Michigan coach Jennifer Ulehla On such an inexperienced
sees an opportunity for early team, the learning curve applies
success. to everyone. Last week, five
"I'm calling it the youth-ver- different Wolverines scored
sus-youth game," Ulehla said. "In in the seven-goal effort and 17
our first game, (Villanova) threw players saw action. Without
a funky defense at us and it was a experienced veterans, the bench
lot to deal with as freshmen. I'm remains active, and it's hard for
sure Marquette will do something anyone to be considered a leader
like that as well, butI think we're or star player. Ulehla is looking for
going to be a little more com- leadership by committee with 28
posed. We'll be competing and freshmen on the team.
showing a lot of effort, and I think "I want everyone to step up
the team that's more composed and be leaders on the field," Uleh-
with a young group will win." la said. "We're all freshmen, and
After dropping their first game I need more from each player on
by double digits, the Wolverines the field. Each one has more in
were forced to quickly regroup them, and this week I'm trying to
and prepare for the Golden Eagles get it out of them.
(0-2). According to Ulehla, having "Even our leaders need people
game experience to learn from to help lead them. We're looking
has been a huge boost in practice, for everyone to bring something
and should show up in the final to the table and lead every other
results. person to a win," Ulehla said.

really

Toatiuh for one
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short
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mire?
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(c)2014 Tribune Content Agency, LLC -

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