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March 11, 1991 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-11

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday- March 11, 1991

Matt Rennie

Michigan senior center Don Stone carries the puck up the ice in Friday night's 4-2 victory over Ferris State. Stone, the Wolverines' co-captain,
scored two goals in Saturday night's championship game against Lake Superior State.

ICERS
Continued from page 1
Michigan on the defensive for
most of the extra time.
"I thought we were very domi-
nant in overtime," Jackson said.
"But in a lot of cases, what hap-

pens is you go down and dominate
in overtime and the other team
gets a breakaway and scores."
Unfortunately for Michigan,
that didn't happen.
"We lost the game, we didn't'
get beat," Ward added. "The team
comes back from' a 5-3 deficit
against a team that's supposedly

ranked number one in the nation
- that's an accomplishment right
there."
Berenson agreed. He was en-
couraged by the effort Saturday
and he was pleased with Michi-
gan's 4-2 semifinal victory Friday
over Ferris State, when the
Wolverines came back from being

down 2-0 with second period goals
by Jim Ballantine, Dan Stiver, and
Mike Stone, and an insurance goal
by Helber in the third.
"I feel very proud that we're in
this tournament, that we nearly
won, and I think we proved that
we're as good as any team in this
league," Berenson said.

Memory of loss may *
lead to better memories
DETROIT - Entering Saturday's CCHA Championship game, Lake
Superior State was the top-ranked team in the country, while Michigan
was ranked fifth. The Wolverines had won 20 of their last 21 games; the
Lakers were 25-0-2 in its last 27.
The irresistible force was meeting the immovable object. Each team
was speeding down its Road to the Joe, and a collision was inevitable. 0
The collision was a memorable one. After each team overcame two-
goal deficits in regulation, the score remained tied, 5-5. But the score
doesn't tell the whole story.
This was a good game, not just a close game. For every great play
made by one team, the other had an answer. Lead changes, momentum
swings - it was all there.
It was one of those games that people say nobody deserved to lose,
and during the regular season, nobody would have. The score remained
tied after the normal five minutes of overtime, but this was not just any
game. This was for the title.
Two teams. One trophy.
Keep playing.
The Lakers dominated the overtime, pummeling Michigan goaltender
Steve Shields with a barrage of shots. The Wolverines were hanging on
for dear life.
Eventually, inevitably, their grip slipped. Clayton Beddoes blasted
the puck past Shields to give the Lakers the title, 6-5.
Is Lake Superior a more talented team? Maybe a little. Maybe. But
whatever the miniscule difference, the Wolverines make it up in heart.
Lake Superior fans often view Michigan with all the negative
connotations that accompany a large, public university. In the past, the
Lakers have skated against the Wolverines as if they had something to
prove. They seemed to want to show everybody that the big-city kids
couldn't do everything better.
However, the roles were reversed this season. Today, everyone
recognizes Lake Superior as a national powerhouse, while Michigan
hasn't played championship-caliber hockey in more than a decade.
The Wolverines are the ones with the point to prove. Although the
Wolverines are 1-3-1 against Lake Superior this season, they have
established themselves as the prime threat to the Lakers' supremacy.
Sure, this loss was disappointing. This loss was heartbreaking. But by
no means was this loss demoralizing. The Wolverines went toe-to-toeo
with the nation's top-ranked team and held their ground.
"I think that we had them back on their heels," Wolverine Aaron
Ward said. "They know that we can not just play with them, but beat
them."
Of the last four games between the two teams, three have been
decided by one goal. The fourth? A 4-4 tie. Certainly the Lakers won't
welcome the possibility of facing the Maize and Blue in the NCAA
tournament.
And that is what lies ahead - the NCAA tournament. Michigan is
making its first trip to the Big Show since 1977, and this has been the.
focus of'the entire season.
Everything up to this point, including the CCHA tournament, has
been a preparation for what still lies ahead. As much as this loss hurts, it
really just amounts to a forgotten line in dress rehearsal.
So when the curtain finally goes up this Friday, the Wolverines will
remember the lessons they learned at Joe Louis Arena. Perhaps even
more vividly than if they had won.
Maybe this is a case of sour grapes. Maybe we're just trying to justify
the loss. Maybe &if Michigan had won, we would be looking backward,
savoring, instead of forward, anticipating.
However, the games these two teams have played this season make
any fan of the sport wishing for an encore. There's no guarantee that
they will square off again. Both have to face some great hockey teams
before making their hotel reservations in St. Paul.
Yet should it come down to another Michigan-Lake Superior
matchup in the Final Four, the Wolverines will remember Saturday's
game. They will remember that no lead is ever safe and that no deficit
is ever insurmountable.
And if they do, history may remember them as national champions.

SATURDAY'S BOXSCORE:
Michigan 2 1 2 0 5
Lake Superior 1 4 0 1 6
First Period-1, Michigan, D.Stone (Roberts), 9:32. 2, Michigan, Felsner (Ouimet, Sorenson),
10:49. 3, Lake Superior, Beddoes (Harris, Wetherill), 13:04. Penalties-Evans, Michigan (hooking),
6:14; Johnston, Lake Superior (holding), 6:27; Tamer, Michigan (checking from behind), 9:11; Harris,
Lake Superior (roughing), 9:11; Beddoes, Lake Superior (tripping), 16:20; Evans, Michigan (high-
sticking), 1922; Moger, Lake Superior (high-sticking), 19:22.
Second Period-4, Lake Superior, Faucher (Barnes), 1:35. 5, Lake Superior, Johnston (Weight),
ppg, 7:54.6, Lake Superior, Moger (Beddoes), 8:27. 7, Michigan, Ward (Helber, D.Stone), 9:58. 8, Lake
Superior, Johnston (Beddoes, Beslin), 13:47. Penalties-Constantin, Lake Superior (tripping), 4:16;
Harlock, Michigan (slashing), 7:14; M.Stone, Michigan (roughing), 7:14; Divita, Lake Superior
(roughing) 7:14); Harlock, Michigan (interference), 8:50; Weight, Lake Superior (hooking), 9:35;
Moger, Lake Superior (checking form behind), 16:18.
Third Period-9, Michigan, Tamer (Helber), 1:24. 10, MichiganD.Stone-(Roberts, Felsner), 4:01.
Penalties-Ward, Michigan (holding), 10:25; Harris, Lake Superior (high-sticking), 13:02.
Overtime-1, Lake Superior, Beddoes (Barnes), 6:39.
Shots on goal-Michigan 14-11-5-2-32. LSSU 7-15-10-5=-37.
Power-play Opportunities-Michigan 0 of 6. Lake Superior 1 of 4.
Goalies-Michigan, Shields, 25-4-3 (37 shots-31 saves). Lake Superior, Madeley, 28-1-3 (32-27).
Referee-Matt Shegos. Linesmen-Mark Shegos, Terry Schug. A-17,682.
Bubble teams await destiny

DETROIT - Now that the reg-
ular season and league playoffs
have concluded, CCHA coaches
are turning their full attention to-
ward the 12-team NCAA tourna-
ment field. The pairings will be
announced tonight.
Regular season and playoff
champion Lake Superior State is
the top-ranked team in the country
and is assured one of the tourna-
ment's four byes. Michigan, run-
ner-up in both the regular season
and the playoffs, is also a tourna-
ment lock and should host its first-

round match.
That leaves Ferris State and
Western Mi higan on the bubble.
Although F~ris finished higher in
the regular season standings,
Western seems to have the edge
based on its 2-1 overtime victory
in Saturday's consolation game
and its 3-1-1 advantage in head-to-
head competition. While there is
some debate over which team de-
serves to be selected, the consen-
sus is that the conference is worthy
of three bids.
- Matt Rennie

SHIELDS
Continued from page 1
moments - that's part of goal-
tending."
But Shields' rollercoaster ride
continued and the car was headed
straight downhill. After surviving a
3-2 overtime matchup with Ferris
State, Shields hit bottom. During
Michigan's second gamewith the
Bulldogs, the frosh made only
seven saves while letting in four
goals.
Keough replaced him in the
third period. The ensuing 7-3 loss
was Michigan's second in only
nine games and the worry lines
began to furrow the brows of

Wolverine supporters.
Thelines would get even
deeper. After missing Michigan's
weekend competition in Boston,
Keough announced his resignation
from the team, citing his studies as
the reason. That left Michigan two
goalies with only 17 games of col-
legiate experience between them.
As the leader in that category,
Shields was left with the responsi-
bility of anchoring the Wolverines'
success, and the unenviable posi-
tion of accepting much of the
blame for the team's losses.
"The biggest disappointment
was when we were in Boston and
we played (Boston University) in
the first game and I didn't play
well at all," he said. "My confi-

JOSE JUAREZ/D~aily
Michigan forward Brian Wiseman stick checks Lake Superior State's
Dean Hulett in the first period of Saturday's CCHA Championship game.

dence was really down for a few
weeks after that - that's probably
the most down I've been since I've
been here."
4 Yet as winter break approached
and students left failures and suc-
cesses of the previous term behind
them, Shields did the same. His
greatest moment in Maize and
Blue occurred during the hiatus at
the Great Lakes Invitational.
The rookie stepped in the
driver's seat and steered his team
to its third straight GLI title. He
stifled the offense of the nation's
sixth-ranked squad, Maine, stop-
ping 31 Blackbear shots-on-net,
and allowing one lone goal.
"I knew it was going to be
toughigoing in there whendwe were
missing Harley and Neat

(Michigan defensemen David Har-
lock and Patrick Neaton)," Shields
explained. "And I thought it was a
good opportunity to prove myself
and prove I could be a good goalie
in Division I.
"After the Great Lakes I had a
lot of confidence and it felt like I
could go out there and win the
games for the team every night. It
was a different feeling than the
start of the year when I was ner-
vous and screwed up."
As Michigan picked up the vic-
tor's trophy, Shields was handed
the prize for the tournament's Most
Valuable Player. The tracks of the
coaster seemed to have finally
leveled off.
"His attitude didn't really

change after GLI, but it was his
confidence that changed," Shields'
roommate and fellow rookie Cam
Stewart said. "His ability to play
and confidence were a lot higher
- they had been building since
September. The way he had to
handle the pressure was to go out
and play. He took advantage of the
time to play and proved a lot of
people wrong."
Shields went on to capture vic-
tories in Michigan's next 13
matchups and posted the team's
longest winning streak in the pro-
cess. He ended the regular season
with the best record in the league
(22-3-3) and set a school record for
the most victories in a season (32).
Rumors that Shields would be a
first-round pick in thewNHL draft
this summer surfaced.
But the season is far from over.
Michigan is on the verge of its first
NCAA berth in 14 years. Shields

could be the anchor the Wolver-
ines need sailing into the national9
tournament. But should Michigan
sink, it remains that Shields has
been a big part of the wave the
Wolverines have been riding.
"There's a lot of pressure put on
me (going into the NCAA tourna-
ment)," Shields said. "But I think
Coach has enough confidence that
the goalies can come through and
do a good job.
"All you can ask is that the
goalies work as hard as we can
and if we come up short, well,
there's nothing you can do about it.
Everyone's going to work hard, it'll
just be a matter of how bad we
want it in regards to how far we'll
go:"
Shields has already gone pretty
far. He began the year as a ques-
tion mark. But he will end it as an@
exclamation point.

I I

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