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June 30, 2008 - Image 46

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-06-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Orientation Edition 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

From Page 31
five goals and six total points.
"Yeah, it's about time he matches
me," joked Chad Kolarik, who has
notched four goals twice this season.
"He's the best player in the nation,
and this should solidify his spot for
Hobey. He's had a great year, and
I'm his campaign manager."
And Kolarik's not the only one
pushing for Porter to win the 16-
inch, bronze statue given to the
nation's best college hockey player.
After Porter's first goal, the rela-
tively small contingent of Michigan
fans burst into a "Hobey Baker"
chant. With each successive goal,
the chantbecame louder and louder,
until almost all the Wolverine fans
were on their feet cheering on Por-
ter after his final goal, an empty-net-
ter in the third. Although the chants
are hard to ignore, Porter wants to
focus on the bigger picture.
"I try not to think about it," Por-
ter said. "It's nice, but we're here to
win a national championship. It's
not about one person. I wouldn't be
anywhere near where I am without
... the rest of the team."
Porter led the way for the Wol-
verines' top line, which completely
dismantled the Purple Eagles. The

three forwards - Porter, Kolarik
and freshman Max Pacioretty -
combined for 80 percent of Michi-
gan's scoring (12 of 15 points).
Midway through the - second
period, the trio broke out on a 3-
on-2 rush toward the Niagara zone.
Racing hard up the middle of the ice,
Pacioretty found Kolarik, who slid a
perfect pass to Porter. The North-
ville native was left all alone with
Purple Eagle goaltender Juliano
Pagliero - a clear mismatch.
"I don'tknow whatyou do to stop
that line from Michigan," Niagara
coach Dave Burkholder said. "That's
unbelievable. Those guys are going
to be on TV for a long, long time."
Pacioretty to Kolarik to Porter
- the stat line that's become all-too-
familiar this season - worked to
perfection again Saturday against
Clarkson as Porter notched a game-
clinching goal in the third period.
Although every Michigan offen-
sive line can put up big numbers on
any given night, it starts with the
first shift - Berenson wouldn't have
it any other way.
"I think that's been the story of
our season," Berenson said. "Kevin
has set the bar for this team, and
Chad Kolarik is hanging onto it with
him and making sure that he holds it
high. And they make the difference
on this team, there's no question."

From Page 29
with the Wolverines.
Laugh all you want about my
attempt to become an outside line-
backer - everyone I've told has so
far - but for two hours yesterday, I
was a Michigan Wolverine.
And I promise you, they didn't
take it easy on us. Just ask the kids
puking in the strategically placed
Oosterbaan Fieldhouse trash cans.
On my way to the tryout, acau-
tious optimism came over me. The
solemn-faced students walking by
my side weren't freaks of nature,
but regular Joes like me. It wasn't
until I made it to Schembechler
Hall - where guys who received
special invitations from the coach-
ing staff flexed biceps bigger than
my head - that I questioned why I
ever let anyone talk me into this.
They drilled us, ran us and
yelled atus (Mike Barwis's raspy
cannon of a voice will haunt me
for weeks), until it felt like my legs
were going to shrivel up and fall
And then they made us run gas-
sers, full-out sprints across the
field and back.
A lot of them.
We broke off into position-only

drills, and I was fortunate enough
to be coached up by Jay Hopson,
the linebackers coach with a
southern drawl so thick he had to
explain the first drill four times
before we finally understood.
During the drills, I face-planted
trying to cut a corner. My elbow
hit fake grass, and I came up with
a huge rug burn on my arm.
I know what you're thinking,.
but guess what? Rug burns hurt,
and I was pretty tough about it.
Even with my less-than-stellar
footwork and shortness of breath,
I obviously made an impression on
Hopson duringthe tryout.
"We're just looking for athleti-
cism," Hopson said. "We wanted
to see how they moved their feet,
their hips, and you can just put in
the paper that you did fantastic."
I wouldn't have a shred of jour-
nalistic integrityif I omitted the
fact that Hopson burst into a deep
belly laugh after that sarcasm-
laced response.
Even Rodriguez took note of me.
After practice, he took the time to
evaluate my performance, saying,
"We always need big guys, but you
don't quite fit that build."
Give me three more inches, 50
more pounds and about a second
off my 40-yard dash time, and I'm
sure he would've handed me a

scholarship right there.
Rodriguez and his staff's open
tryout and their willingness to
joke about my subpar performance
are a refreshing change from the
old Fort Schembechler, Pentagon-
tight mindset characteristic of the
old coaching regime.
When Rodriguez called all 65
tired and sore participants into a
midfield huddle after the tryout,
he reminded us that the most
important thing, regardless of
whether or not we made the team,
was to work hard for a Michigan
You can tell Rodriguez cares
deeply about the enormous fan-
base that surrounds this program
from the way he treated us as
Just like members of the Michi-
gan football team.
His first open tryout went off
without a hitch, and Rodriguez
promised to hold another during
the first week of classes next fall
for those who aren't called back.
So, just in case my name isn't on
the list being posted at noon today,
I'll be back in the fall.
Rodriguez won't know what hit
This column originally
ran on Feb.15, 2008.




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