12 , 2004
Error of Being Frank
Lakers press on in spite of coach's critical
From an outsider’s
perspective, there seemed to a few positives Lake Superior State
could take from its 8-5 loss to visiting Michigan State last week.
The Lakers scored five goals, which was one more than they had
tallied in their previous six games (all losses). They jumped
out to two-goal lead eight minutes into the first period. And
instead of folding when the Spartans scored three unanswered goals
to take a 3-2 advantage early in the second period, LSSU got the
next two markers to regain the lead.
Superior State coach Frank Anzalone doesn’t share the glass-half-full
do the things we needed to do and we lost,” he told reporters
gathered in the bowels of Taffy Abel Arena following the defeat.
“We did everything we could possibly do incorrectly and
Michigan State took advantage on every single occasion.
do things to correctly when we had the lead or when we regained
defenseman Barnabas Birkeland thought the Lakers played well
against Michigan State last weekend.
No one expects
coaches to be perpetual fountains of praise for their team, and
criticism is an effective motivational ploy in many cases. Anzalone
takes it to the extreme, however. His constant griping about the
shortcomings of his current squad and comparisons to the teams
he assembled in his first stint as Lakers’ coach from 1982-1990
sour attitude is nothing more than a mere annoyance for those
without a vested interest in the LSSU program, one wonders how
his negativity affects an impressionable young team – 13
sophomores and eight freshmen are on the team’s 28-man roster,
and 14 first- and second-year players were in the lineup for Thursday’s
contest against MSU. Judging from one rookie’s comments,
it’s not as bad as one would expect.
“I thought the
[Thursday] game was a matter of us making mistakes that they were
able to capitalize off of,” said freshman defenseman Barnabas
Birkeland. “I was not happy with the eight goals, but I
thought we still played well. If we bring that type of game to
Bowling Green…we’ll have a lot of success.”
LSSU students attending
last week’s game in Sault Ste. Marie were given Terrible
Towel knockoffs inscribed with the slogan, “I Believe”,
and a number of students wore t-shirts emblazoned as such. For
now, the head coach isn’t playing along.
AND HEARD IN THE CCHA
IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU – Michigan State sophomore
forward David Booth, who’s struggled with injuries and inconsistencies
this season after a fine freshman campaign, may have found his
groove just in time for the Spartans’ playoff run.
Booth scored 17 goals
and 36 points during his rookie season, but had just three points
– all assists – in 10 contests this year. Last Thursday,
coach Rick Comley shuffled the Washington, Mich., product to center
a line between Colton Fretter and Kevin Estrada. Booth, who hadn’t
played in the middle since he was with the U.S. Under-18 team
in 2001-02, scored three goals and added an assist in MSU’s
8-5 win against Lake Superior State.
different look,” Comley explained following the game. “I’m
doing it to give him some freedom. It was a breakthrough game
Not only did Booth
make his mark on the scoresheet, but he was also one of the most
active players on the ice. Freed from the responsibilities that
wings are saddled with, he was a constant presence in the offensive
zone, shaking free for good looks at the net and winning battles
for loose pucks.
“I felt I could
do more,” Booth said. “There’s a lot more flow
as a centerman. You can get more involved in the offensive zone.”
Lake Superior State
held Booth’s line scoreless at Joe Louis Arena, but the
pivot was one of three Spartans to record a team-high five shots
on goal – he and his linemates combined for 10 shots on
nice to get your feet moving and get the puck in the neutral zone,
“Booth said of his new position. “I hope that I can
Great Weekend Getaway
at Michigan (Fri.-Sat.): Here’s the CCHA
version of the Series of the Year, with a Miami sweep –
as unlikely as that may be, given the RedHawks haven’t
won in Ann Arbor since 1994 – all but locking up the
regular season title for Blasi’s troops. Michigan
comes into the series having split at Alaska-Fairbanks last
weekend. The loss snapped the Wolverines’ eight-game
winning streak, but one can hardly fault U-M for dropping
a game on what is arguably the NCAA’s most difficult
travel destination. When teams are as evenly matched as
these two, special teams and/or goaltending usually figures
prominently in the outcome. Miami’s Brandon Crawford-West
is on a roll, but Michigan’s Al Montoya is a big-game
goalie. It would also behoove the RedHawks to break out
of a 0-for-18 drought on the power play that dates back
to Jan. 24.
you’re there: It’s President’s Day weekend,
so if you’ve got a few dead presidents in your pocket
– better yet, a handful of dead inventors-diplomats-kite
flyers – head east on I-94 to Detroit Saturday afternoon
as the Red Wings welcome Colorado to the giant concrete
bunker known as Joe Louis Arena. The rivalry isn’t
what it once was – the Avs probably consider games
with Vancouver more intense, not to mention more meaningful.
But it should be a good game. Keep an eye out for former
Michigan State blueliner John-Michael Liles, who’s
cracked the Colorado roster and is a key cog in the team’s
power play, especially with ex-BGSU star Rob Blake shelved
with a broken leg.
be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to Mike
Weaver, the guy who designed this Web site. Weaver,
another former Michigan State defenseman, was summoned to
the National Hockey League by the Atlanta Thrashers Sunday.
It’s the Brampton, Ontario, native’s third tour
of duty in the NHL. Here’s hoping he gets his first
goal in The Show – he’s got six NHL assists
in 50 career games with the big club.
to last week, I didn’t know Lake Superior State
has a costumed mascot. “Foghorn” is supposed
to be a muscular, Popeye-esque seaman and, no doubt about
it, he’s a big guy. But his facial expression is downright
scary – I’m well beyond the Boogeyman stage and
I found him frightening. He looks like a Muppet that was part
of a laboratory experiment gone horribly awry, or the kid
from the Cracker Jack box after a few years taking supplements
purchased from Victor Conte. Don’t make him angry. You
wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• Fights in college hockey occur about as often as Howard
Dean primary victories, which makes Saturday’s spirited
bout between Michigan State’s Joe Markusen and Bo Cheesman
of Lake Superior State even more impressive. If you saw
this duel, you’ll agree – these guys knew what they
minutes into the third period with the game tied at one, Cheesman
repeatedly poked at Spartan goaltender Dominic Vicari, who had
frozen the puck under his glove. Markusen took exception, and
a donnybrook ensued.
a good job of getting us sparked up,'' MSU captain Jim Slater
told the Lansing State Journal. "We were getting
it handed to us for the first couple minutes (of the third) and
he got us going again.''
score the game-winning goal three minutes after the fight. Both
Markusen and Cheesman will serve one-game suspensions for their
actions. Michigan State is at Alaska-Fairbanks this weekend, while
Lake Superior State travels to Bowling Green.
the tradition of every martial arts movie ever made, the student
has become the teacher. Sort of.
Blasi earned his 84th career victory behind the Miami
bench Saturday vs. Notre Dame, moving him into third place on
the school’s all-time wins list. He’s now one game
against his former mentor, current Denver skipper George Gwozdecky.
Steve Cady tops the category with 121 wins.
only did Michigan’s eight-game winning streak come to end
with Saturday’s 5-3 loss at Alaska-Fairbanks, but the game
also marked the first time in nearly a month that the
Wolverines had trailed an opponent. The run started when
Michigan tied Ohio State in the second period of a game at Yost
Arena Jan. 9 and ended 1:33 into the second period Saturday on
a goal by the Nanooks’ Ryan Campbell. That’s a stretch
of 413:13 for those of you scoring at home.
National Hockey League trade deadline is less than a month away
– March 9 to be exact – and one name frequently
mentioned in trade rumors is R.J. Umberger. Vancouver
owns the rights to the former Ohio State standout, but Umberger
hasn’t played this season because the two sides have failed
to reach a contract agreement. The Canucks are a legitimate Stanley
Cup contender (even with Dan Cloutier in goal) and are interested
in acquiring Chicago forward Alexi Zhamnov. According to ESPN.com,
the hapless Blackhawks asked for another ex-Buckeye – forward
Ryan Kesler – and winger Jason King in exchange for Zhamnov,
but Vancouver has countered with Umberger and Fedor Fedorov, the
enigmatic younger brother of Anaheim’s Sergei Fedorov.
Obscure Bowling Green Note of the Week continues
its trend away from its humble, irreverent beginnings. This weekend
marks a momentous occasion at Bowling Green as the school welcomes
back members of the Falcon squad that won the 1984 NCAA championship.
The team, which downed Minnesota Duluth in quadruple overtime
in Lake Placid to win BGSU’s lone national title in any
sport, will be feted during a ceremony Friday when the Falcons
host Lake Superior State.
of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.
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