Page 4-The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - February 4,1991
Sorry Buckeye icers
wallow in hellish pit
by John Niyo
Daily Hockey Writer
COLUMBUS - It was a case of the good, the bad, and the ugly this
weekend as the Wolverines traveled to face Ohio State in Columbus.
Michigan's hockey team is good, Ohio State's is bad, and the two games
they played were very, very ugly.
Saturday, the good and the bad teams combined for a whopping 40
penalties, all of them two minute minors. Friday was somewhat milder
with the two squads spending a mere 71 minutes in the penalty box.
And during the hour-long second period Saturday night you could
sense that all of the unfriendly gestures out on the ice were wearing on
not just the players. It was painful for everyone.
Mostly, it was painful because every fight, every penalty and every
delay meant that all those innocent fans had to stay a little longer in
that godforsaken building the Ohio State hockey team calls home and it
just kept going on and on and on....
You get the idea. I was one of the lucky ones. Warned repeatedly be-
forehand of what lay ahead, my initial shock was numbed somewhat.
Others are not so lucky and surely there are some still standing outside,
staring in disbelief.
There it is.
That building right there.
That's it? You've got to be kidding! My house is bigger than that!
Good ole OSU Ice Rink. At least they don't try to call it an arena.
But rink might even be a little too nice. Maybe they should just call it
OSU Ice. Then there wouldn't be any false notions about the place.
Or maybe they should just follow Michigan defenseman Aaron
Ward's lead. "It's a pit. It's a pit from hell. There's nothing nice you can
say about it."
So we won't. Let's call it OSU Pit From Hell. Then everyone will
know exactly what to expect when they get there. Or what not to expect.
Don't expect to see the game. The view from all 1400 seats is bad. The
200 standing room only tickets aren't any better. You can see the game
better by listening to the radio.
Don't expect to attend a good game anyway. The ice is little more than
a small frozen pond that, as Red Berenson put it, has "a center line and
two ends." No matter where the puck is, it's within firing range of the
opposing goal. Ten skaters at a time are corralled into the tiny rink and
told to play hockey and told not to fight. It's like sticking eight second-
graders in the back of a station wagon and telling them not to fight.
The whole place is one big joke. Here, in the shadow of St. John
Arena - an excellent facility where a top notch Ohio State basketball
team plays - there is a carnival going on and few seem to realize it.
Sitting in the press box you get a good idea of how silly everything is
at the dinky OSU Pit From Hell. You can't help but laugh, watching the
Zamboni in between periods. It goes around the rink for forty days and
forty nights, hitting all the spots he missed earlier and generally making
a mess of things. Then out comes the kid on skates with the pail and a
squeegee to save the day. Good entertainment.
The other form of entertainment (since the games here never provide
any) is provided by the agitated fans. The Pit From Hell is a catcaller's
dream. With the rink as small as it is, you can make eye contact and
converse with anyone in the building if you want. And the OSU fans do,
mostly with the referees. They're a pretty talkative bunch. And if you get
bored of talking you can always try to spit on the ice. Or watch pieces of
the ceiling fall dow Or try to figure out what exactly the announcer
just said. Did someb>,, score? I couldn't see. Nice call ref, get some
It just doesn't make any sense. How can Ohio State expect anything
but a joke of a hockey team given it's current setting? And how can a
school with 54,000 students continue to call a hole like The Pit "home
ice" and keep a straight face? What's the matter with The Ohio State
University (as they like to be called)? No one with any sense can call
that place home. Of course, it probably doesn't even have a phone.
JtskpJy rUtTdd rmE.J
Steve Shields prepares to stop the puck as an Ohio State player lets it get away. The weekend was full of missed opportunities for the Buckeyes.
Continued from page 1
scoring explosions in the second
In the first game, the Wolverines
bombarded Ohio State goaltender
Mike Bales with 15 shots in the first
period, but Bales stood tall for the
Buckeyes, allowing only a Patrick
Neaton goal for a 1-0 margin.
The dam finally broke in the
second period, as Michigan scored
four unanswered goals to put the
game away. The Wolverines scored
in the first and last minutes of the
period, as junior leftwinger Denny
Felsner opened the floodgates and
sophomore defenseman David
Harlock put the finishing touches on
a nearly flawless 20 minutes.
Michigan's two other goals in
the period came within a minute of
each other, with Tamer and rookie
Mike Stone doing the honors.
"(Michigan) had a couple of goals
that were deflected off our sticks, so
we can't do much about that," Welsh
said. "They were getting opportun-
ities in the first period, too, but they
hit a few off the crossbar. The luck
wasn't with them, then."
The first period of the second
game was a struggle for the
Wolverines, as the Buckeyes outshot
them, 16-12. Despite this fact, Ohio
State trailed, 1-0, after Felsner
opened the scoring with his 31st
goal of the season.
The Buckeyes finally got on the
board after a controversial high-
sticking call against rookie Brian
Wiseman gave the Buckeyes the man
advantage. David Smith's power
play goal with :50 left evened the
score at one heading into the first
'I'd compare it to a
dog that's nipping at
your heels: You've
either got to keep
running or you've got
to turn around and
kick the dog'
- Red Berenson
Once again, though, the
Wolverines bagged the game during
the middle stanza. Rookie Cam
Stewart and junior Ted Kramer each
knocked home power play goals in
the first six minutes of the period.
Tamer then promptly closed the
Wolverines' scoring two minutes
Interestingly, in what seemed to
be the norm for the evening, Tamer,
Stewart, and Kramer were united in
the penalty box after a melee which
took place with five minutes to go
in the period.
"It reminded me of playing Junior
A," Ward said. "Everyone was out
there trying to prove something."
Blue vs. OSU could
create messy playoffs
by John Niyo
Daily Hockey Writer
COLUMBUS - The weekend
series with Ohio State left the
Michigan hockey team holding a
mixed bag of results.
The Wolverines won their
twelfth straight game (they are
undefeated in the new year), and it
was their tenth consecutive win
away from Yost Ice Arena.
The win Friday guaranteed
Michigan at least a share of third
place in the league. With
Saturday's win, the Maize and
Blue clinched second. This means
that Michigan will host the
seventh place finisher in the first
round of the CCHA playoffs,
That's where the bad news
comes in. The seventh place team
in the league is currently Ohio
State. After this weekend's
debacle in Columbus, the prospect
of another meeting between these
two teams is not a very pleasant
one. ButBuckeye coach Jerry
Welsh doesn't plan on that
"We're not planning on
finishing seventh," Welsh said.
"We've got a plan to finish sixth.
We've got Lake Superior coming
up this weekend and it would be
tough to come out of that series
with any points, but we're still
very confident that we can beat
out Bowling Green for sixth."
That confidence might be
justified considering that Bowling
Green has continued its monstrous
slide down the CCHA standings.
The Falcons lost their 13th and
14th straight games (they've lost
12 straight league games) this
weekend at Northern Michigan.
Likewise, Michigan (21-4-3
CCHA, 24-5-3 overall) still retains
hopes of catching Lake Superior
State (22-2-4, 25-3-4) for the@
regular season title. Both teams
have four league games left on the
schedule and Michigan now stands
three points behind the Lakers,
who are ranked first in the nation.
Michigan has home-and-home
series with Western Michigan and
Michigan State coming up while
Lake Superior hosts the Buckeyes
and travels to Western Michigan*
to close out the season.
POLL WATCHING: Michigan
could climb a notch in the national
polls this week as Minnesota,
ranked ahead of the fourth-place
Wolverines, dropped a 5-3
decision to Minnesota-Duluth in
WCHA action in St. Paul Friday
It's possible that Michigan
might move up in the polls again
after this coming weekend since
Minnesota travels to Marquette to
face the WCHA-leading and
probably second-ranked Northern
Michigan Wildcats. Minnesota
took three points from the
Wildcats earlier this season.
FINAL FIVE: Though it is still
early, it looks as if five teams
have emerged as the leading cand-
idates for the top four spots in the
NCAA Tournament in March. Lake
Superior, Northern Michigan,
Mich-igan, Minnesota and Boston
College appear to be in line for the
first-round NCAA byes.
'Freaky Friday' for frustrated Wolverine frosh
by Mike Gill
Daily Sports Writer
is learning about the:
And hard breaks.
school of hard
He wonders what he ever did to
desefve such bad fate. Friday
night, the rookie Wolverine suf-
fered a broken leg (technically, a
broken fibular), which will idle
him for the remainder of the
regular season and at least part of
the playoffs. Oliver will have a
cast placed on his leg when
swelling subsides and it will be
removed four weeks later. Then he
will begin rehabilitation.
Oliver knew immediately the
extent of his injury. "I skated off
the ice and right there was (fellow
rookie Cam) Stewart," he said. "I
said 'Stewy, I broke my leg.' I
knew it right there."
"After he said that I looked at
him and he had eyes this wide,"
Stewart recalled, while making a
circle the size of a quarter. "I
grabbed his leg and kept trying to
move it saying 'No you didn't. No
you didn't.' But then we found out
that it was true."
Up until this year, Oliver did
not have the reputation of being
injury prone. Before joining the
Wolverines, in all his youth, he
only suffered a broken wrist.
Entering the Michigan State series
in late November, Oliver led all
CCHA rookies in scoring. Then, he
suffered a broken jaw, idling him
for four games. Now, a freakish
second line with Stewart and Brian
Wiseman, creating an all rookie,
explosive line. Oliver tallied 13
goals and 11 assists while seeing
action in 27 games.
The injury left Michigan coach
Red Berenson juggling his lineup.
With defenseman Doug Evans and
right wing David Wright in Ann
Arbor nursing injuries, Berenson
moved senior defenseman Kent
Brothers to the wing position.
Brothers, who previously had seen
action in only nine games this
season, had played the position his
first three seasons at Michigan.
Paul Sancimino, a walk-on transfer
from University of Michigan-
Dearborn dressed for the first time
this season, but did not see ice
"This will be a test for our
depth," Berenson said after Sat-
urday's 4-2 win. "It will be a
chance for others to step up. It's
too early to say how it will affect
this team. Hopefully we can have
guys come up and fill the void."
For Brothers, the chance to
move to offense was welcomed. "It
was fun and a challenge," he said.
"After not playing up there for
awhile, it was enjoyed. Right now,
there is a void on this team and
someone's got to fill it. We've had
a couple unfortunate injuries and it
is my turn to step up and fill the
Sophomore Dan Stiver moved
up and filled Oliver's spot on the
second line Saturday.
"We can't think of (Oliver's)
ccI1q Through Feb. 3,1991
Men's Hockey Standings
TEAM W L T PTS.
Lake Superior 22 2 4 48
Michigan 21 4 3 45
Ferris State 13 8 5 31
W. Michigan 14 10 2 30
-Michigan St. 10 11 5 25
Bowling Green 9 15 2 20
Ohio State 8 15 3 19
Illinois-Chicago 7 20 1 15
Miami (Ohio) 2 21 3 7
Right wing David Oliver watches his teammates beat OSU Saturday