The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
November 3, 2414 - 3B
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Special teams' struggles
doom Wolverines on road
M' upsets Spartans
By JEREMY SUMMITT
Daily Sports Editor
HOUGHTON, Mich. - Until
Saturday, the Michigan hockey
team hadn't started a season
2-5 since 1986. And it has its
special teams performance to.
blame for that.
After getting swept at No. 17
Tech this MICHIGAN 2
weekend, MICH. TECH 4
series in MICHIGAN 2
which the MICH. TECH 5
Wolverines were outscored
4-0 on special teams - all
the concerns about leveling
the plus-minus ratio on the
power play and penalty kill are
"Our special teams should be
plus for us to be playing well,
and right now they're a big
negative, so we've got to get that
fixed," said Michigan coach Red
Berenson before traveling to
UMass-Lowell on Oct. 24.
But the issues with the
penalty kill weren't present
until Saturday's loss. Michigan
had allowed just two power-
play goals in the 18 times it
was shorthanded this season,
including a perfect 14-for-14'
stretch dating back to a 2-1 win
over New Hampshire on Oct.
But Saturday was an absolute
debacle. Berenson referred to
Michigan T'ech's performance
as "a clinic," the way the
Wolverines were outworked on
their power play.
The penalty kill, arguably
Michigan's most acclaimed
strength before Saturday,
couldn't even perform up to
expectations in a disastrous
weekend. The Wolverines
conceded four power-play goals
in the series finale, resulting in
a 6-2 loss.
"On special teams, we had
to be better on the power play
than we were last night, and
we were 0-for-7," Berenson said
after Saturday's loss. "Then on
the penalty kill, we thought
we were OK, but then we got
schooled tonight. So it was a
game of special teams tonight,
and that was the difference."
There were simple mistakes
like defensive-zone turnovers
that led to an easy tap-in goal
for forward Tyler Heinonen in
the first period. Other times,
a series of mental lapses in
Michigan's own zone assisted
the Huskies in picking apart a
penalty-killing unit that had
ranked among the nation's best.
Berenson pinned the
inability to execute on a myriad
of things, such as winning
faceoffs, blocking shots and
cutting off passing lanes as
reasons for the pitiful showing
on the penalty kill.
But all Michigan's
shortcomings can't be stated
without a tip of the cap to
Michigan Tech. The Huskies
looked faster and more inspired
in both of this
Max Shuatt. "But we've got
to be better, block more shots.
We've got to be willing to put
it on the line more for the rest
of our team. It was a really bad
effort on the PK by our team."
The Wolverines could never
replicate Michigan Tech's
gritty effort, displaying a dismal
performance on the power-play
unit as well. In 13 opportunities
with the man-advantage,
Michigan never scored.
This issue has been a long-
compared to the fresh concerns
about the penalty kill. The
Wolverines have scored just
three goals in 28 chances on the
power play this season, good for
a 10-percent success rate.
"We have a lot of guys that
haven't scored yet, and they're
fighting the puck," Berenson
said. "You saw we had just-
that we fanned on. We've got
to be better with the puck and
without the puck."
In its seven games this year,
Michigan has conceded two
shorthanded goals. During the
Wolverines' 28 opportunities
with the man-advantage,
By BRANDON CARNEY
For the Daily
The Michigan men's soccer
team hadn't taken home the Big
Bear Trophy - given annually
to the winner of the Michigan-
Michigan State game - from East
Lansing since 2003.
That streak was in danger
of continuing Sunday until
fifth-year senior midfielder
Tyler Arnone stepped in. When
Michigan State's Jay Chapman
put the Spartans on top just
before halftime, Arnone gathered
his teammates and tried to regain
the lost morale.
"I told everyone, 'We're going
to winthisgame,"'Arnonesaid. "I
looked everyone in the eye. I said,
'We're goingto calm down and get
back to doing what we're good at,
and we'll be the better team."'
A record crowd saw the
Wolverines knock off the
12th-ranked Spartans on their
Senior Day in a come-from-
behind effort, 3-2.
Taking into account Arnone's
words, Michigan clicked on all
cylinders throughout the second
half. It took the Wolverines just
nine minutes to find an equalizer.
junior forward William Mellors-
Blair ran down the right sideline,
beating Spartan defenders, and
found freshman forward Ahinga
Selemani inside the six-yard box,
who had the easy finish past
the post, making this his third
straight game with a goal.
Just five minuteslater, Selemani
assisted forward Colin McAtee,
who gained possession and put a
run past the Michigan State back
line to beat Spartan goalkeeper
Zach Bennett - putting the
Wolverines up for good.
pressure on the Spartans' well-
experienced back line from the
beginning of the match, starting
with a shot on goal by Mellors-
Blair less than a minute after
kickoff. That would be the first
of 20 Wolverine shots, doubling
Michigan State's 10.
Forward Colip McAtee helped to bring the Big Bear Trophy back to Ann Arbor.
weekend's scored only
contests. They one more
won the 50/50 We've got to be goal than the
battles in better wt the opposition.
the corners, Michigan's
resulting puck and without bye week
in a large next weekend
edge in puck the puck." couldn't
possession come at a
despite not better time.
having a single Berenson and
skater weighing over 200 the rest of the coaching staff
lbs. Michigan has 11 of those have placed an emphasis on
players. the power play in practice for
"I think they made some weeks.And now, ironingoutthe
adjustments on their power massive wrinkles on both units
play and give a lot of credit to comes as a tougher task than
them," said sophomore forward the Wolverines expected.
It was in the eigth minute,
when the ball fell to Arnone, that
Michigan would be rewarded for
its fast start. Arnone took a touch
off a poor Spartan clearance, then
volleyed ahard shotjust out ofthe
reach of Bennett. It was Arnone's
first goal of the year after being
in and out of the squad due to
"To finally connect and see
it hit the back of the net was
absolutely amazing," Arnone said.
"It set up quite nicely for me, and I
focused on my technique, put my
foot through the ball and let it do
An early start was huge for the
Wolverines, as Michigan State
(9-4-4 overall, 3-2-2 Big Ten) had
only given up nine goals heading
into the match. Getting ahead put
the Spartans in a position they
weren't accustomed to - playing
After the score, Michigan
(6-7-3, 3-2-2) began to regress
in energy after dominating the
The Spartans scored off
their first shot of the game in
the 15th minute, when the ball
took a deflection off a Wolverine
defender and sailed over fifth-
year senior goalkeeper Adam
Michigan State exposed the
Wolverines' young defense again,
as Spartan midfielder Jason Stacy
crossed the ball in from the wing
and found Chapman in front of
goal for the tap-in.
But McAtee's heroics brought
the Big Bear trophy back home.
The win puts Michigan in
a three-way tie for fifth in the
Big Ten with 11 points. With the
State and Big Ten Tournament
starting next weekend, the
Wolverines are doing everything
they can to make up for early-
season losses to try to make the
NCAA Tournament field.
"We needed a win regardless of
who we were playing today," said
Arnone. "It just happened to be
Michigan State today. It's always
nice to bring home something
tangible like the (Big) Bear. It
boosts morale and puts us in a
better position to compete."
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