Sunday, March 30, 2008

Michigan Hockey Highlight from NCAA Regionals

Click here for the much anticipated highlight from this past weekend's regional games!

Destination: Denver!!!

Michigan will face off against Notre Dame at 9PM EST on Thursday, 4/10

thanks for the photo, Greg

Michigan Baseball Sunday Doubleheader vs. Iowa

The second day of the Big Ten schedule for the Michigan Wolverines features another doubleheader, as the Iowa Hawkeyes look to avoid a sweep after losing two to Michigan at the Fish yesterday. You can listen to the WCBN crew LIVE on Continue to check here for updates on the game and live in-game highlights.

Mike Wilson starts for the Wolverines today against Nick Erdman.

A Nate Recknagel single down the left-field line has plated Kevin Cislo and given Michigan their first run. They now lead 2-0 after a 6-4-3 DP off the bat of Zach Putnam scored Derek VanBuskirk. Click HERE to hear Stu Zaas' call of the Recknagel RBI single.

Michigan now leads 5-0, with VanBuskirk singling in Chris Berset and Recknagel doubling in Leif Mahler and Kevin Cislo.

Web Gem nominee here from Ray Fisher Stadium courtesy of SS Leif Mahler as he flashes the leather turning the 6-3 double play.

We apologize for the lack of live blogging, but we only have Mike and I in the booth, so we're relegated to the broadcast. Michigan won the first game of this doubleheader 6-3, and we are about 5 minutes away from game time of game two. Go Blue! Listen to the audio recap of the game by clicking HERE.

Michigan and Iowa are tied 2-2 in game #2 of this Sunday doubleheader against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Travis Smith, the freshman starter, gave up 2 runs in the 1st but has settled down since. Alan Oaks drove a 3-2 pitch over the right-field wall to tie the game off of Tony Manville in the bottom of the 4th, and we now head to the 6th after a rain delay tied at twos.

Michigan wins! Nate Recknagel singled in Leif Mahler to give Michigan a 3-2 lead in the 7th and Ben Jenzen made it stand, providing three innings in relief of Travis Smith, with Jenzen picking up the win. Go Blue!

Rich Rodriguez Responds to Boren's Family Values Claim

At yesterday's press conference, Rich Rodriguez defended his program against claims made by departed O-lineman, Justin Boren. Rodriguez cut off the reporter who asked him what he thought about the statement that Boren released, saying, "That's just ridiculous."

Previously, Rodriguez had refused to comment on the Boren situation, saying he only talks about players who play for Michigan. Apparently that policy changes when those former players decide to bash the program. ""Family is pretty important to all of us, and every coach can tell you that, just ask anybody who has played for me in the last 15 years. Don't ask somebody that's left with a different agenda."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Michigan v. Clarkson: Game 2 from Albany


MICHIGAN IS HEADING TO THE FROZEN FOUR! Billy Sauer’s incredible goaltending allows the Wolverines to keep their 2 goal lead. Michigan fans are going nuts as the band plays “The Victors” and the Michigan players mob Billy Sauer at the net. Michigan will go to the Frozen Four for the 23rd time, more than any other school. I will wrap things up shortly.


Billy Sauer is playing out of his mind, making save after save to deny the 6 on 3 attack by Clarkson, as they have pulled Leggio in favor of another attacker. He continues to dive all over the place and denies Clarkson any chance to place the puck in the back of the net.


Steve Kampfer gets called for tripping in front of the Michigan net, but it couldn’t have come at a better time. He bails out Billy Sauer, who nearly gives up a shorthanded goal.


Things are getting crazy in Albany, with the Clarkson attack becoming more frantic. Thankfully, Clarkson’s Tim Marks just got called for slashing with 3:50 left in the period. This is a real backbreaker for the Golden Knights


The linesman has called another penalty, this time on Brandon DeFazio for interference. As I just finish typing this, Chris D’Alvise gets called for a slash, giving Michigan a 5 v. 3 advantage. This is a big momentum gain for Michigan as they can add another goal.


At the beginning of the third period, we were handed a ballot for the 2008 Ice Hockey Championship All-East Regional. Here is how we filled ours out (we promise it’s not too biased):

F- Kevin Porter, Michigan

F-Chad Kolarik, Michigan

F- Matt Beca, Clarkson

D-Mark Mitera, Michigan

D- Travis Anderson, Niagara

G- Billy Sauer, Michigan

MOP: Kevin Porter, Michigan


The announcer, who has a heavy New York accent, has just announced the final of the Wisconsin-Denver game, with Wisconsin winning 6-2. Thankfully, this is not Michigan’s fate, as they were sent to Albany instead of Madison.


The penalty fest continues as Matt Beca is called for roughing. Michigan will have the man advantage once Naurato returns to the ice.


Unfortunately, Brandon Naurato gets called for slashing about a minute into the Michigan power play. It was a silly decision by Naurato right in front of the ref and we will play 4 on 4 hockey. Billy Sauer stands on his head shortly after to keep the 2 goal advantage.


Chris D’Alvise will be called for high sticking, sending the Wolverines back on the power play. The Wolverines are 1-3 on the PP tonight.


GOAL MICHIGAN! The third period starts out with a bang as Porter puts in a backhand goal from beautiful passing from Chad Kolarik and Max Pacioretty. The first line continues to dominate and Kevin Porter now has 5 goals in this regional. With the majority of the third period remaining, the Wolverines can enjoy a 2 goal cushion.


The final minute of play sees the Wolverines take advantage of Clarkson getting caught out of position twice with Kolarik getting stuffed by David Leggio twice, the first on a one on none with the goalie only to beat, the second on a 2 on 0 with Porter hitting Kolarik for the shot. David Leggio just kept Clarkson in this game by himself and a one goal lead going into the 3rd is very dangerous for the Wolverines. Shots after 2: Clarkson 17, Michigan 14


Another great penalty kill by the Wolverines, Billy had a couple nice saves, and Clarkson is now 0-6 on the power play. The Wolverines are starting to get frustrated by the amount of time they are spending on the penalty kill and it can be seen in their offense.


Both teams saw the penalties go by the wayside, but immediately afterwards, Tristin Llewellyn is hit with a penalty which, was in this humble man’s opinion, a terrible call. This ref unit has worked its way out of the Frozen Four, unless the NCAA wants to see its refs get ripped for terrible officiating on national television. The NCAA chose a terrible set of refs for this weekend and hopefully, they wake up before they cost the Wolverines the game with another horrible call.


Chad Langlais has been hit with a cross-checking penalty, which the ref declined to call but the linesman made from VERY FAR AWAY. Clarkson has followed the penalty with a great attack and a couple good scoring chances, before Nick Dodge is hit with a penalty on his takedown of Tim Miller.


The Wolverines kill off another penalty, pushing Clarkson to 0-4 on the power play tonight. The game has turned into a grind fest with a lot of shoving and very little offense.


Tristin Llewellyn has received a two-minute minor for cross-checking with 13:43 left in the period, the Wolverines go back on the penalty kill, where they are 3 for 3 on the night in successfully killing the Golden Knight’s power play. The penalty was a result of a scrum in front of Billy Sauer as Clarkson had a great attempt at a goal.


Not much going on in Albany as both teams have skated full bore for the first five minutes of the 2nd period, and have created a combined total of zero good scoring chances. The closest for Michigan was a 2-1 for Tim Miller and Danny Fardig which resulted in Fardig having an open net, but whiffing on the attempt. Clarkson’s closest was a slap shot set up for Detroit Red Wings prospect Bryan Rufenach, but he whiffed on his attempt.


The first period has come to a close here in Albany, with Michigan leading 1-0 thanks to Palushaj’s wraparound goal. The shots on goal are tied at 10. Billy Sauer has made some great saves to keep the Wolverines in the game. The play is much more physical than it was last night as the Golden Knights look to slow down the powerful Michigan offense. They remind Tony, Andrew, and I of Michigan State’s trap style. We also agree that Clarkson fans are as obnoxious as all get-out. Michigan will be on the PK once play resumes.


25 seconds from the end of the period, Kampfer goes back into the box for holding. The penalty seemed to come out of frustration, as the play since the Michigan goal has been in the Michigan zone.


A questionable tripping call comes to Steve Kampfer, putting Clarkson back on the power play. Fan rain down “Worst Ref Ever” onto the referee tonight. Keep in mind that these are the same fans that have put up with Shegos all year.


GOAL MICHIGAN! Freshman Aaron Palushai took the puck from behind the net and made a nice wraparound goal, catching Leggio out of position and putting the Blue ahead 1-0 on the power play. Assists were awarded to Mark Mitera and Kevin Porter and the goal came about 15 minutes into the first. Just like last night, Michigan scores first, which will hopefully give them some momentum to carry to the end of the period.


Michigan just had their best scoring opportunity turned away by Leggio. Chad Kolarik got the puck near the Clarkson net, made a nifty move to go high, but it was saved by the Clarkson netminder. After the play, Kolarik was interfered with by Clarkson defenseman Phil Paquet, but Chad helped it with a dive. Once the penalty was called, Paquet grabbed Kolarik’s cage and pushed it down. Kolarik was called for “embellishment,” the first time I have heard that called, and Paquet will be penalized 2 minutes for interference and 2 minutes for roughing after the whistle. Michigan will go back on the power play to try and get a goal here in the first.


Billy Sauer just made two great saves to keep this game scoreless, one on a point blank one-timer. This is reminiscent of the CCHA championship round, where Billy had a slow first night and had to play well against Miami in the title game.


Matt Rust gets called for interference to put the Golden Knights on the power play for the first time. Michigan has yet to find the tempo they set up last night and they are looking to keep up the solid penalty kill they maintain in their game versus Niagara.


The first penalty of the night comes as Brandon DeFazio takes a contact to the head penalty. Both teams have been back and forth early in this first period and neither have been able to set up a good scoring chance. Hopefully this power play will give Michigan some momentum early in the game. On a side note, there is a good showing by Clarkson fans and they have not been silent since the puck dropped. We aren’t near the Michigan fans, but they are awfully hard to hear.


Let’s Play Hockey! The puck is dropped and Michigan tries to continue their season. Clarkson gets a quick shot of on Billy Sauer, but he makes the save. Below are the starting lineups for each team. Scooter Vaughn is dressed for this game and will play alongside Mark Mitera on the blue line.

Clarkson -> LW – Chris D’Alavise
D - Steve Zalewski
RW – Matt Beca
D – Grant Clitsome
D – Phil Paquet
G – David Leggio

Michigan -> LW – Max Pacioretty
C – Kevin Porter
RW – Chad Kolarik
D – Mark Mitera
D – Chris Summers
G – Billy Sauer


We have settled in for the East regional final and a set to watch our Wolverines take on the #3 seed Clarkson Golden Knights. These two teams have not played each other since 1962 when Clarkson defeated Michigan in the Frozen Four. Red Berenson was at this game, but was a player instead of a coach. Michigan fans continue to stream in to root on the #1 ranked Wolverines. We won’t be able to blog live again, but will have our posts and final thoughts after the game.

Michigan Takes on Iowa in Michigan's Big 10 Baseball Opener

Listen to the Michigan baseball doubleheader against the Iowa Hawkeyes with the WCBN crew LIVE on

Zach Putnam is on today as he has tied a career-high by striking out 10 Hawkeyes through five innings of work. Here are a few of the strikeouts

Strikeout #6
Strikeout #7
Strikeout #9

And Putnam's career day continues from the plate as he just parked one onto the softball field, giving Michigan a 3-0 lead. Adam Abraham followed hitting the next pitch off the "Brick" Monster out in left field for a double.

Putnam's Solo Homer

Abraham's Double
Strikeout #11 (sets career high)

Putnam lost the no-no on a 7th inning single by Justin Toole, and after three unearned runs crossed the plate in that 7th inning, Michigan found themselves in a brand new ball game.
Michael Jacobs' day is done, after going 7.1 IP, giving up 3 runs (2 earned), 7 hits, 2 Ks, and zero walks on the day. Jacobs is responsible for Nate Recknagel, who singled with one out in the bottom of the 8th. Putnam is now up with Andrew Porter pitching for Iowa -- 1 on, 1 out, 3-3 ballgame.

8th inning

Zach Putnam's fantastic day on the mound is over as he is replaced by Tyler Burgoon here in the top of the 9th inning. Here is the line for Putnam:

8 IP 3 H 3 R 0 ER 0 BB 12 K

Michigan was unable to push across a run in the 8th after a 1 out single from Nate Recknagel. Kenny Fellows came in to run for Recknagel and has stayed in the game as a defensive replacement, with Derek VanBuskirk moving over to 1st base.

9th inning

Tyler Burgoon continues the dominance of this Iowa Hawkeye lineup as he sets them down 1-2-3 with a called third strike to end the inning.

In the bottom half Jeremy predicted another game-winning home run from Alan Oaks (see Vanderbilt in last year's NCAA Regional). Unfortunately Oaks came up about 15 feet short as he flew out to left. On another note, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning Chris Berset has drawn the first walk of the game, and he has now advanced to second on a wild pitch before being replaced by Nick Urban as a pinch runner. After a seven pitch walk to Ryan LaMarre Kevin Cislo has beaten out an infield single, and Derek VanBuskirk will bat with the bases loaded and two outs. Unfortunately VanBuskirk popped out to second. Extra innings here we come.

10th inning

1-2-3 in the top half of the inning, as Iowa should be used to this by now, as they have been set down in order for the 9th time in 10 innings so far.

Kenny Fellows leads off the inning with a strikeout, however third-string catcher Kody McManis can't hold onto the pitch and Fellows reaches first safely before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Jeremy thinks Putnam should lay down a bunt here, but Zach has never laid down a bunt at Michigan and I think Jeremy is a little crazy, and I am vindicated as Putnam smashes a double off the Blue Monster to drive in the winning run, capping off a fantastic game for him as Michigan takes game 1 4-3 in 10 innings. Game 2 will start in about half an hour, and we will work on getting game 1 highlights up for you. GO BLUE!

Here's the highlight of Putnam's game-winning double.

The second game is underway -- click on the link at the top of this blog post to listen to Matt Boyer, Stu Zaas, Jeremy Kreisberg, and Michael Tobin call Chris Fetter's first home start of the season.

Iowa is up 1-0 in game 2 on a Hoef triple, followed by a Cataldo sacrifice fly. Fetter has settled down since, striking out three of the last five batters he faced, including this one on Matt Mossey.

Iowa now leads 3-0, as Chris Fetter balked in a run and Justin Toole hit a sacrifice fly to score two runs in the 3rd inning. Michigan looks to be going through the motions so far in this game, and, in a 7-inning contest, they'll have to turn it on soon if they hope to win the 2nd game of this double-dip.

Michigan has tied it up here in the bottom of the fifth so it's a case of de-ja-vu as we're tied 3-3 again.

WOW! Zach Putnam has given Michigan the 5-3 lead with a no-doubt home run onto Alumni Field. His monster day continues ashe now has two homers for the doubleheader.

Michigan wins 5-3 and sweeps the doubleheader on the first day of Big Ten action at the renovated Fisher Stadium! Go Blue!

Ford Field and the Frozen Four

First off, let me start by saying that I have seen the future... and his name is Stephen Curry. Curry did not disappoint to the tune of 33 points, pushing his tournament total to 103. To put that into perspective, the career mark for points in the Tourney is 427, set by Christian Laetnner... and Curry has managed to get a fourth of the way there in 3 games. Bottom line: The kid is nasty with the jump shot, was able to create his own shot more often than I've seen previously against Michael Flowers (who held Manny Harris to single digits this year), and received a well deserved standing ovation from the 60,000 on hand at Ford Field. When you've got LeBron James at your game, swaying in his chair with amazement, you know you have arrived.

Speaking of Ford Field, I felt this was a terrific venue to watch a tournament game and a great atmosphere for basketball. While the court was raised up and at midfield, somewhat far away from the action, I enjoyed the fact that the distance from the court gave people a chance to see plays develop. While most people might think the court is too far away from the stands, I really enjoyed it and think it will be an excellent site for the Final Four next year.

However, I DO NOT think this will be a good site for the Frozen Four in 2010. While the NCAA did a great job of promoting it at the game, there is no way they will come close to filling that stadium. I think the awesome sight lines Ford Field has to offer will be good for viewing the game, but c'mon: This arena was nowhere near capacity for a Sweet Sixteen/Elite 8 game. How does the NCAA expect to fill it for college hockey?! There are 6,000 fans at an average college hockey game. That's a little less than one-tenth the capacity of Ford Field. This might not sit well with some of the college hockey fans, but a niche sport like college hockey will not even come close to filling that arena and empty seats take away from a solid atmosphere. I predict that the event will be somewhat of a disappointment, and would've been better off at a smaller arena like Joe Louis, or even the Palace.

NCAA East Regional Game 1


After a slow first period that saw a lot of physical play from both sides, the Michigan first line simply took over the game, scoring all 5 of the goals for the Maize and Blue. Kevin Porter, the unanimous WCBN Sports player of the game and CCHA player of the year, scored four goals, including the natural hat trick. CCHA rookie of the year Max Pacioretty added a goal and 2 assists, while senior Chad Kolarik had 3 helpers on the night. Overall, the Wolverines did a great job of not overlooking their opponents and playing the successful style of hockey that they have won with all year. Niagara coach Dave Burkholder didn’t have a specific plan to stop Porter and ended his press conference statement with, “How do you stop that line?” He also added that Michigan did a good job not taking penalties.

Michigan’s win breaks a 3 game NCAA Tournament skid and was Red Berenson’s 24 win in the tournament. Berenson applauded the spectacular effort of the first line and added that the defense stepped up their play after he called them out in pre-tournament practice. He added that he was pleased with Billy Sauer’s effort, stopping shots when he need to even though he only saw 9 shots through 2 periods. Kolarik joked at the press conference that, “It’s about time he caught up to me,” referring to the 4 goal game Porter had. Kolarik has two 4 goal games on the year. Michigan knows that will face a tougher team in Clarkson, but they will spend the day preparing for there opponent.

Elsewhere in the NCAA Hockey Tourament, the CCHA was very successful. Notre Dame stunned top seeded New Hampshire 7-3 in Denver and Michigan State was able to pick up where they left off last year, knocking off number two Colorado College 3-1 in the same location. These 2 teams will play Saturday night, while Miami will play Air Force Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately due to budget constraints, WCBN is unable to air these games live, but they are being recorded. Highlights will be up and the game will be put on the Sports Stream. Check back after the game tomorrow for the blog about Saturday night’s game.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Michigan v. Niagara: Game 1 from Albany


VICTORY! The Michigan Hockey Pep Band plays “The Victors” as the game ends, 5-1, in favor of the Wolverines. Michigan out shot Niagara 39 to 17 and added 3 more goals in the third period and Michigan captain Kevin Porter adds 4 goals to bring his season total to 32. I will be back with my final thoughts and hopefully a few highlights.


GOAL MICHIGAN! What a night for Kevin Porter as he adds an empty-net goal for the Wolverines. He took the puck away from a Niagara defenseman to score his fourth goal tonight and make it 5-1 Michigan. There is now less than a minute in the game and Michigan looks to close out the game strong.


Our media friend Mark Damico who was watching the game by us has handed me a sheet to promote a new college hockey website, He knows his hockey and is just looking to spread the word. He tells me that there will be a nice article on Michigan hockey, including his interview with Michigan coach Red Berenson. The site will be fully operational after the Frozen Four.

UPDATE: In the middle of the second period, he predicted a 5-1 Michigan win, which it was. Like I said, he knows his stuff.


The shutout is done as Niagara scores for the first time tonight. Captain Matt Caruana scores his 17th goal this year off an assist from Vince Rocco. There is a little under 4 minutes to play in Albany as Michigan looks to hold off the Purple Eagles for the remainder of the game.


The Niagara power play ends as Kyle Rogers is called for roughing. Once Hagelin’s penalty is done, the Wolverines will go back on their 2 for 4 power play unit.


Carl Hagelin takes an elbow to the head penalty for Michigan. The Wolverines penalty kill has been great all night, staving off the Niagara special teams that came into the game 3rd in the nation. The Purple Eagles will look to add at least one goal tonight and take a little momentum away from Michigan.


HAT TRICK FOR KEVIN PORTER! The top line adds another goal as the Michigan fans throw hats on the ice and rain “Hobey Baker” chants onto Porter, who now has 31 goals on the year. Michigan now leads 4-0 with 8:58 left to play in the third. Chad Kolarik picks up his fourth assist on the night and Max Pacioretty adds his third along with his goal. More pretty puck movement from the Wolverines led to this goal, allowing “The Victors” to resonate once again in Albany.


Shortly after the Michigan goal, a hooking penalty comes to Niagara winger Paul Zanette, so the Maize and Blue will have a chance to add another power play goal. They are 1 for 3 with the man advantage tonight.


GOAL MICHIGAN! Kevin Porter adds his second goal of the night off a shot from defenseman Tristin Llewellyn. The shot bounced around in front of the net, touching Max Pacioretty and Chad Kolarik before Porter puts the loose puck in the back of the net. Michigan’s first line is now responsible for all 3 of Michigan’s goals.


We are 6 minutes into this third period and Niagara has upped their physical play and intensity. Michigan seems to be playing back, but still have only allowed one shot on goal. Niagara has kept the play so far in the Michigan zone, but the defense continues to step up. Billy Sauer just made a nice save to keep the two goal lead.


End of the 2nd period from Albany, the Wolverines up 2-0 thanks to goals from Max Pacioretty and Kevin Porter. Michigan out shot Niagara 19-5 that period, leaving Niagara in desperate need of some changes during this intermission.


Pagliero doing all he can to keep Niagara in this game as he has faced 26 shots so far this game, while only allowing 2 goals. The Wolverines have a 26-7 shot advantage with 6:30 left in the second period.


2-0 MICHIGAN! A great play by the top line, breaking out of the defensive zone and the perfectly run 3-2 break by Kevin Porter, Max Pacioretty, and Chad Kolarik. Patch brings the puck into the zone, drops it off to the trailing Kolarik who feeds the puck between the two Niagara defenders to Kevin Porter. Porter then beats Pagliero five-hole for a great goal and a 2-0 Wolverine lead.


After a tough first period, the Wolverines are absolutely dominating to start this second period, outshooting Niagara 7-0 in the first 5 minutes. Niagara will try to take advantage of the possible momentum killer as a pane of glass comes loose just over 6 minutes into the period.


The Wolverines successfully kill off another penalty, as Niagara gets no shots on goal during that power play and have been out shot by Michigan 11-0 since the Purple Eagles took an early shot advantage in the first period.


With 18:41 left in the second, the Wolverines now are back on the PK following a hooking penalty by Matt Rust.


GOAL MICHIGAN! Power play is finally taken advantage of by the Wolverines, as Max Pacioretty gets the power play goal, his 15th of the season, to put Michigan ahead 1-0. Assists to Chad Kolarik and Aaron Palushaj, with the primary assist coming on a spectacular pass by Mr. Kolarik.

- 8:24--

The puck is dropped and the second period is under way here in Albany and Michigan resumes the power play left from the first period.

-- 8:09 --

The first period here in Albany has come to a close with Michigan and Niagara tied 0-0. Michigan has been slowed by some physical play by the Purple Eagles and numerous whistles by the referees. Michigan put 11 shots on goal, while Niagara has put only 4 on Billy Sauer. Both defenses are playing physical hockey and are trying to slow down the strong offenses from both teams. The Wolverines will be on the power play for 1:16 once play resumes in the second period.

--8:03 --

Not a minute after Niagara killed their first penalty, Michigan will go back onto the power play after Purple Eagles’ captain Matt Caruana was called for boarding.

--8:00 --

The Wolverines will go on the power play after Kevin Porter was tripped up by Niagara defenseman Scott Langdon, who was serenaded with the “See Ya” chant, at 14:09.


Michigan has just had two great scoring opportunities, including a Hagelin-Rust 2 on 1, but both have been turned away by two nice saves from Juliano Pagliero.

-- 7:46 --

Niagara will have the first power play opportunity as Chris Summers takes an elbowing to the head penalty at 7:46 on mid-ice. The penalty came in retaliation from a big hit from a Niagara player. Michigan’s 14th ranked penalty kill will go to work for the first time against the potent Purple Eagles’ offense.

-- 7:34 --

The puck drops and the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament begins for the Maize and Blue.

--7:28 --

The Michigan Hockey Pep Band has just played the National Anthem and both teams are being introduced tonight, Michigan in their maize sweaters, Niagara in black. There are about 2 sections filled with Michigan faithful. One notable scratch for Michigan is Scooter Vaughn, who supposedly injured his shoulder in a pre-tournament practice and is replaced byEric Elmblad, whose only appearance was in the CCHA Tournament versus Nebraska-Omaha. Here are the starting lineups for each team:

Niagara-> LW – Vince Rocco
C – Matt Caruana
RW- Kyle Rodgers
D – Scott Langdon
D – Ryan Annesley
G – Juliano Pagliero

Michigan -> LW – Max Pacioretty
C – Kevin Porter
RW – Chad Kolarik
D – Mark Mitera
D – Chris Summers
G – Billy Sauer


Due to unforeseen complications with the NCAA blogging policy, we cannot bring you the first game live here at the East Hockey regional. We will be working throughout the game on getting credentials and will post highlights and the blog entry after the game is over.

Update: I have sent an email the Blog Central to try and get this up for tomorrow. Even if we can, there are still regulations on how often we can blog and have a NCAA link on our page. Apparently there was an issue with a guy blogging play-by-play from a baseball game a few years ago. I've never worked directly with the NCAA before, and let me tell you, it's frustrating.


Just under 3 hours from drop of the puck for the Wolverines and Purple Eagles from Times Union Center in Albany. We have arrived safe and sound and will be heading over to the arena soon. Depending on wireless strength from the arena, we should have a continuous blog throughout the game. Check back closer to game time.

No Baseball Today

As anyone who looked outside today probably already knew, the Michigan baseball team's Big Ten season opener against Iowa today has been canceled. Because of how the Big Ten schedule works (games must be played in order), tomorrow's doubleheader will feature a 9-inning game followed by a 7-inning game, and Sunday (now a doubleheader) will feature a 7-inning game followed by a 9-inning game. Of course, those games are all weather permitting, and there is more rain in the forecast for Sunday.

NCAA Midwest Regional: Stephen Curry's Coming Out Party

Despite our best efforts to get media credentials for the NCAA Midwest Regional, a couple of us from the station will be headed down to Ford Field (an arena normally known as the "Epicenter of Misery" during football season) to get a first hand look at March Madness. Up to this point, the Madness has not disappointed fans, with the tourney producing two 12 v. 13 match-ups and showcasing some hidden talent among the lower seeds (Brazelton of WKU and Joe Alexander WVU to name a few). However, their has been no bigger storyline than Stephen Curry, who will bring his smooth jump-shot to the Motor City tonight. If you haven't heard of him, watch the game tonight. He'll be wearing No.30 in Red and carrying Davidson's entire roster on his back.

Curry has been the most intriguing player of the tourney for a lot of reasons, starting with the sweet jump-shot that obviously runs in the family. His father, Dell Curry, played 12 seasons in the NBA as a 3-point specialist, most of the time for the Charlotte Hornets. Stephen's game has been comparable to that of his dad's (he has Dell's quick release off the feed), but has also shown the Iverson-esque ability to get his shot off in traffic.

This brings me to his prospects as a pro: Curry is listed as 6'3, but that's being generous. He's also listed at 185 lbs. Now, I know media guides have a tendency to stretch the truth, but this kid would be lucky tip the scales at 165 in sopping wet clothes. He looks like he's 12 yrs old, and that puberty is still two years away. Let me put it to you this way: If he turned sideways, you'd have a hard time seeing him. Many analysts see this as the biggest knock on Curry, and one thing that might prevent him from making it in the pros.

I disagree. And the evidence to this lies across the Huron River at Eastern Michigan, where Earl Boykins' name is plastered all over the EMU record books. Boykins, a 5'5 guard out of Cleveland, has played nine seasons in the NBA. While Boykins isn't running people over, his best attributes are his quickness, and ability to get his shot off with a hand in his face (much like Curry). While I think Curry (who is still only a Sophomore) has the opportunity to be much better than Boykins, this shows that Curry doesn't need an intimidating physique to go high in the draft.

(I personally see Curry as a Rip Hamilton type guard when all is said and done: A guy who really can't create his own shot, but is lights-out coming off a solid screen).

As for this weekend, look for Curry to drop 27 on Wisconsin in a loss. Bo Ryan's teams always play tough D, they rebound extremely well, and tomorrow night will be no different. Holding Curry under 30 should be Ryan's goal, and I think if this happens, Wisconsin has a very good shot at meeting the winner of Nova/Kansas in the Elite 8.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's Great...To Be......A Davidson Wildcat??

Talk about a school that has its priorities in line, Davidson University announced that any student who wishes to take the 11-hour trip up to Detroit and watch the Wildcats play in the sweet sixteen is free to do so. In fact, they are extremely free to do so as the university is picking up the entire tab. Transportation, lodging, and game tickets are being paid for by the University's trustees for any student who wants to go. Estimated cost - a mere $560 per student. The only catch was that the students had to respond within an hour and a half of receiving the email notification from the school president. Talk about some lucky cats!

Benedict Boren

Ok, so if you want to quit the team after four spring practices, fine. You want to badmouth the program saying the "family values have eroded?" Fine. But to leave the University of Michigan and then say you'd like to walk on at Ohio State??? That's crossing the line. How can you accuse Rich Rodriguez of eroding family values when you're about to walk out on your team and play for their archrivals? That is as hypocritical as you can get. Obviously those family values that you speak of didn't mean all that much to you that you're willing to walk out on your team like this. Oh yea, and your father who was a CAPTAIN here at Michigan is supporting your decision? Good for him and best of luck to you in your next two years that you'll spend without a scholarship backing up those great Ohio State O-linemen. Oh and it's good to see that you have your mug shot pose down pat, it might come in handy down in Columbus.

UPDATE: Rumors are a-flying that another player has quit, supposedly a DE...more to come when we get it

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

WCBN Broomball Advances to Round of 32

Ann Arbor, MI -- WCBN Broomball fell behind early but never panicked, riding a stellar defensive performance to a 5-1 win in the opening round of the Co-Rec Novice B Level A Playoffs. After Born to Play Broomball scored a goal to take a 1-0 lead at the 12:03 mark, WCBN rallied behind two goals off the broom of Chelsea Slater (Cincinnati , OH / Turpin High School) to reclaim a 2-1 lead going into the intermission. Kevin "Hulk Hogan" Gregus (Crystal Lake, IL / Prairie Ridge High School) picked up the assist, his fourth of the season.

Content to grind it out defensively, WCBN played a conservative second half holding the one goal lead until captain, Stuart Zaas (Solon, OH/ Solon High School) picked off a Born to Play pass and roofed a shot just over the goalie's outstretched blocker to give WCBN a two-goal lead. WCBN did not relent however, as a goal scored by a Born to Play girl would have tied the game. Tony "Don't call me Michael" Bolton (Canton, MI / Salem High School) played outstanding defense throughout the game especially down the final stretch. As Born to Play pulled their goalie, Zaas launched a pass down the ice to a streaking Slater who dove, fully extended to tap in her fourth goal of the game and her team-leading 12th of the season. Slater and Rachel Burns played all 29 minutes, Burns even remained on the ice after suffering a nasty fall.

WCBN advances to the round of 32 where they will take on the winner of Armenian Assassins/Smoke on the Water on Tuesday, April 1st at 9:40 PM at Yost Ice Arena. Tickets are first come first served, so reserve yours before Yost sells out. WCBN also received some good news after the game as the league commissioner informed them that Gregus's urine sample from last week disappeared. The league cannot find the sample and since it never made it to the lab, Gregus will be presumed innocent and may continue to play. The league has no suspects in the disappearance and the league employee who was placed in charge of the sample has been dismissed.

Game One Recap
Game Two Recap
Game Three Recap

Slater 4-0-4
Zaas 1-1-2
Gregus 0-1-1
Moore 11 Saves, 91.6% save percentage
Season Leaders:

1) Slater 14
2) Zaas 10
3) Gregus 6

1) Slater 12
2) Zaas 6
3) Seid 4

1) Gregus 4
1) Zaas 4
2) Slater 2

Jon Moore .875 save percentage; 1.0 Goals Against Per Game


  • With the win, WCBN Sports is on a franchise high four-game winning streak.
  • Ben Betzler's roughing penalty in the second half was the second penalty assessed to WCBN this season. Both were killed off successfully
  • Rachel Burns is listed as probable on the official injury report with a high right ankle sprain
  • Claire Otwell is listed as doubtful on the official injury report with a sore left shoulder
  • Player of the game: Chelsea Slater - Scored four goals
  • Game Time: 32 minutes
  • Attendance: 7
Media Contact: Stuart Zaas (440-227-5897)

Lebron James "Graces" Cover of Vogue Magazine

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Lebron James would become the third male (first black male) featured on the cover of Vogue. We also knew that he would be posing with with Gisele Bundchen - I wonder how Tom Brady felt about this... Anyways, with the release of this week's issue, some are saying that the cover perpetuates racial stereotypes. Typically the cover of Vogue features well-dressed attractive models who are almost certainly smiling. On this cover however, Lebron is wearing raggedy gym clothes and in place of his pearly whites is a horrible animal-like facial expression. Gisele of course is pictured with a flawless smile, wearing a fancy dress, her hair flowing in the breeze.

The King-Kong comparison seems extremely fitting as if you look at their facial expressions. If Vogue wanted to feature Lebron on their cover, that's great, but why not dress him up nicely? We all know Lebron cleans up well. While I don't feel that Vogue intended to be racist, I do feel that they are exploiting Lebron by creating this controversy just to sell a few more magazines. It is unfortunate because they could have gained plenty of publicity simply by having Lebron on the cover. Lebron sells himself, there's no need to stoop to this level.
This isn't the first time a popular magazine cover has decided to conform with racial stereotypes. On the right is a Sports Illustrated cover from March 11, 2002. This photo shows Barkley breaking free of chains and shackles. Rolling stone used a photo of Dennis Rodman with red horns coming out of his head. I don't have as much of a problem with the Rolling Stone cover because a) That photo of Rodman probably didn't require much, if any, photoshopping and b) Rolling Stone is known for its provocative covers. Sports Illustrated and Vogue do not have that history with their covers so they don't get off so easy.

Lebron has done a remarkable job with his image since entering the league. While Carmelo Anthony was busy appearing in "Stop Snitching" videos, James instead chooses to be befriend multi-gazionaire Warren Buffet and do some film work of his own on behalf of Nike, Powerade, and Bubbleicious. Lebron has been able to keep his street-cred while maintaining a squeaky clean image.

I am disappointed that not only did he sign off on the photo itself, but now he sees no problem with it. James told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he was “just showing a little emotion. Everything my name is on is going to be criticized in a good way or bad way. Who cares what anyone says?”

This may be the first slip-up that Lebron has made when it comes to his image. Thus far, Lebron has gotten by without a real agent or manager. Back in 2005 he fired his agent Aaron Goodwin, choosing instead to surround himself with a team of high school buddies led by best friend, Maverick Carter. Carter is not even a certified NBA agent which means that while he is able to negotiate endorsement deals for James, he can't touch anything having to do with the NBA. Should James be trusting his fortune to a guy who's education background goes as far as Akron St. Vincent St. Mary High School? It should be noted that it was Goodwin who negotiated over $135 million worth of endorsement deals for Lebron, not Carter.

Maybe an experienced agent or manager would have been able to come in and protect James here. Maybe it's time that Lebron rethinks his management model and brings in someone who knows what they're doing. He's done great so far, but allowing himself to be exploited like this seems like a rookie mistake made by a manager/agent who wasn't smart enough to think ahead and realize the type of controversy that was going to bring. I don't blame Vogue as much for trying to sell their magazine as I do blame Lebron and his team for allowing themselves to be taken advantage of.

Live Game Blog: Michigan Baseball vs IPFW

Michigan wins 4-2, with Kolby Wood getting the win and Tyler Burgoon picking up the save. Here are the highlights:

- Wilson K in the 1st
- VanBuskirk's tie-breaking single
- Berset's insurance run
- Final Out

And the final piece of good news--there is actually a tarp on the field, so maybe we will get some games in against Iowa this weekend. For Stu Zaas and Jeremy Kreisberg, good night and go Blue!

9th Inning
Surprise, surprise -- the new pitcher for the Wolverines is freshman Tyler Burgoon, although I'm sure Abraham will be ready in case there are any issues. Jared Davis finally shows us why he's on the Wallace Watch List, as he doubles over the head of Alan Oaks. Oaks seemed to be playing in and got turned around twice before the ball hit the wall, so IPFW has 1 on and 1 out. Rob Salaman has just noted that Kolby Wood is in line for the win for Michigan in his collegiate debut. A fly ball has moved Michigan one out away from the win. Check out the rest of the blog for some highlights, as they have begun to be uploaded. Michigan wins! Burgoon gets the strikeout of Aaron Kerns looking to end it! 4-2 final here at the Fish... I'll be back in just a few moments with highlights and a recap.

8th Inning
Kolby Wood makes his collegiate debut in a 2-2 game, and gets the first batter on a liner right back at him. Wood has looked very impressive, firing a fastball in the strike zone and attacking the hitters thus far. The 3-2 pitch to Quentin Brown is on the outside corner, strike three called! Great pitch by Wood to beat Brown in an 8-pitch at-bat. Wood has been using a nice slider to get ahead in the count, and he has now run the count to 0-2 on Mark Carden. Kolby Wood gets Carden swinging! Great pitching by Kolby Wood, and we head to the bottom of the 8th, still tied at 2-2. We've now switched computer, so live highlights should be available from this point of the game on. After Walker retired VanBuskirk, Abraham hit the ball past the diving attempt of the SS Carden. On a pick-off attempt, Abraham may have jammed his finger or wrist, and we'll have to watch Abraham to ensure his health. Abraham shows that he is healthy, as he steals 2nd base. VanBuskirk lines the ball into LF and Abraham is SAFE at home! Michigan leads 3-2! Listen to Stu Zaas and Michael Tobin HERE, as they had the call. VanBuskirk moved to 2nd on the throw home. Alan Oaks grounded out, with VanBuskirk holding on at 2nd, so Michigan has a runner on at 2nd with 2 outs. Berset has given Michigan a VERY valuable insurance run, as he lined a single up the middle, scoring VanBuskirk and giving Michigan a 4-2 lead. Listen to Stu and Mike HERE calling Berset's RBI single. Abraham is warming up in the bullpen, and we expect him to come on to try and get the save in this two-run game, unless Michigan can tack on a couple more. LaMarre strikes out swinging, but not before Michigan scored 2 runs to take a 4-2 lead.

7th Inning

Michael Powers will stay on to pitch in the top of the 7th inning! He's the first Michigan pitcher to stay on past his first inning of work. VanDriessche leads off the inning with a single. The 4th sacrifice bunt of the game for IPFW moves VanDriesche over to 2nd base with 1 out. Michael Powers fields the roller from Segraves and fires over to 3rd to nail VanDriessche. Great play by Powers! 2 outs, 1 on now in the top of the 7th with Jimmy Gilliland up at bat. The 1-2 pitch is handled by VanBuskirk in LF, and we go to the bottom of the 7th tied at twos. Ryan LaMarre hammers the first pitch of the inning into the left-centerfield gap! Stand-up double for Ryan LaMarre! Cislo is now up, facing a right-hander for the first time in this game. Cislo bunts LaMarre over to 3rd, with Taylor making a nice play to gun down Cislo at 1st. Mahler hit the ball to 3rd, but Gilliland fielded the ball easily and fired home, getting LaMarre in a run-down before LaMarre was tagged out by Taylor, the IPFW catcher... very disappointing turn in this inning for the Wolverines, as the game remains deadlocked at ones with a runner on a 1st base and 2 outs. Recknagel grounded the ball to short, where Carden got the force out at 2nd base, so we move to the top of the 8th tied at 2-2.

6th Inning
Mike Powers now in to work for Michigan, the sixth pitcher to work today for the Maize and Blue. We'll see if he can record the first 1-2-3 inning of the day as IPFW has had somebody reach base in each inning so far. Powers strikes out the first two Mastodons...could this be the inning? And it is! Comebacker to the mound is handled by Powers so on to the bottom of the inning, still tied at 2. Freshman right-hander Samuel Walker is now on to pitch for IPFW. Ryan VanDriesche went the first five innings, giving up two runs on six hits, walking two and striking out three. Adam Abraham leads things off for Michigan as they look to break this tie. Two up, two down to start the inning for Michigan as Mr. Double, Alan Oakes comes up to bat. Oakes doesn't disappoint delivering a single back up the middle. Nothing comes of it though as we go to the 7th still tied 2-2.

5th Inning
For the 5th consecutive inning, IPFW has a runner aboard as Ben Jensen, the new Wolverine pitcher hits Aaron Kerns to lead off the inning. Sacrifice complete for IPFW so they have a runner on 2nd, one out in this tie game. Jensen able to get out of it, so we head to the bottom of the fifth still tied 2-2. After falling behind 3-0, VanDriesche battles back to strike out Mahler, his third K of the game. Michigan goes down 1-2-3 so after five innings, we're tied 2-2.

4th Inning
Jeff DeCarlo, the southpaw from Medford, Mass. is the 4th pitcher for the Wolverines. DeCarlo got Scott Macinski to ground out to 3rd baseman Adam Abraham to begin the top of the inning. DeCarlo then walked Quentin Brown on seven pitches. Brown broke on a number of pitches, with DeCarlo playing cat-and-mouse with Brown on numerous pick-off attempts, but Brown would ultimately move to 2nd base on a single by Mark Carden into center-field. Bob Keller has now gone out to talk to DeCarlo with 2 on and 1 out. Devin Taylor takes a 2-1 pitch to left for his third hit of the game, as Quentin Brown comes in to score, giving IPFW a 2-1 lead. DeCarlo got Jared Davis looking for the 2nd out, so IPFW now has a runners on at 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. A wild pitch moves the runners up, with 2 runners now moving into scoring position. Mahler just scooped up a groundball and fired on to 1st to end the top of the 4st, but not before IPFW grabbed a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the inning, VanBuskirk popped up to lead off the inning, but Alan Oaks doubled into right-center. After Berset flew out to CF, Ryan Lamarre delivered the RBI single on a ground ball up the middle, tying the game at two-a-piece. After a passed ball moved LaMarre to 3rd base, Cislo walked on 4 pitches. Leif Mahler is now up with runners on at 1st and 3rd. VanDreissche got Cislo in a pickle which ended up with Lamarre being gunned down trying to score from third.

3rd Inning
Travis Smith is the new pitcher for the Wolverines to start out the top of the third with the score tied 1-1. Devin Taylor leads things off with a single to right for IPFW but Smith is able to work out of the jam as the score remains 1-1 as Michigan comes to bat. Recknagel rips a single to left and then shows some rare speed as he swipes his first base of the season. Good opportunity here for Michigan to break the tie with a man on 2nd, one out. Putnam and Abraham were then retired so we head to the fourth, still tied 1-1

2nd Inning
New Pitcher for Michigan is Chris Fetter as Rich Maloney told us before the game that he plans to use many different pitchers today in order to keep arms fresh. Fetter is off to a rough start as the first batter, Kerns reached via a Nate Recknagel error then came around to score on a bunt single by Micinski. 1-0 IPFW leads midway through the second. Now to the bottom of the first...VanBuskirk starts things off with a bloop single to center and Alan Oakes follows with a double off the right field wall on the next pitch. Promising start to the inning as Michigan has runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out and Chris Berset at the plate. Chris Berset wastes no time lining the first pitch to right, deep enough for VanBuskirk to tag and score to tie up the game 1-1.

1st Inning
Wilson gave up a hit in the top half of the inning, but rallies to strike out the next two Mastodons to get out of the first unscathed. In Michigan's half, Leif Mahler was able to draw a walk and advanced to second on a nice piece of hitting by DH Zach Putnam who took a breaking ball over the outside corner the other way for a basehit. Michigan was unable to put a run on the board though as Abraham ended the threat by popping out to first


For the first time in the last three attempts, Michigan will actually get to play a game today. Mike Wilson will be on the hill for the Wolverines while Ryan VanDriessche will get the ball for IPFW. Jeremy and I will be here live blogging the game, complete with all the highlights as they happen. You can also listen to our call online via MGOBLUE. First pitch will be at 5:05

We MAY Play Baseball Today!

I've been refreshing since I woke up, and I noticed at 9 a.m. that they've pushed today's start time for the game against IPFW to 4:05 p.m., perhaps giving them an extra hour to get the field ready for the game. Don't get excited just yet... be cautiously optimistic.

UPDATE: As Mike has pointed out, first pitch is now scheduled for 5:05

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

O-lineman Justin Boren off the Team

Last year's starting center/guard, junior Justin Boren has left the team, according to head coach, Rich Rodriguez. At today's press conference, Rodriguez refused further comment on the situation other than to offer his new trademark, "I only talk about players who play for the University of Michigan."

Speculation says that strength and conditioning coach, Mike Barwis, is the main reason behind Boren's departure. Boren now joins two other former starting O-linemen (Alex Mitchell and Jeremy Ciulla) as players who had eligibility left but have left the team. Michigan certainly will be thin at Offensive Linemen come fall. Rodriguez admitted that it is rare to have true freshman on the two-deep depth chart as Michigan certainly will in the fall.

In other news, the Spring Game/Practice will be held on April 12th, at Saline High School. No word on whether or not this will be open to the public since Saline High can't hold the couple of thousand that usually attend when it's held at the Big House.

UPDATE: Boren decided not to leave quietly as he released a statement saying, "Michigan football was a family, built on mutual respect and support for each other from Coach Carr on down. We knew it took the entire family, a team effort, and we all worked together. I have great trouble accepting that those family values have eroded in just a few months. That same helmet, that I was raised on and proudly claimed for the last two years, now brings a completely different emotion to me, one that interferes with practicing and playing my best and mentally preparing for what is required."

Boren will have two years of eligibility left after transferring unless he tried to pull a Ryan Mallet and petition the NCAA for a special exception to the transfer rule. No word on whether the NCAA considers "erosion of family values" as a valid reason to transfer and not sit out a year.

Gotta Love that Michigan Weather

On the way to Rich Rodriguez's press conference, Stu and I walked into the Fish to check out the field conditions... and there's snow. It's on the outfield grass. It's on the parts of the dirt that the tarp missed. It's everywhere. On a baseball field. It hasn't snowed in Michigan since last weekend... they were supposed to play baseball games on that field Monday and Tuesday. Honestly, I'll go out there and shovel, but were they really so sure that it was going to snow today that they had to cancel today's game (it still hasn't rained today) against Bowling Green? Were they so darn confident that it would snow today that they neglected to shovel the field on MONDAY so that they could even have a prayer at playing tomorrow against IPFW? Way to go Michigan baseball -- this is the most hyped season in years (rightfully so, this team has a ton of talent), and they can't get the field together for the first two weeks of home games. I understand Michigan weather makes baseball in March a tough task, but either stop scheduling home games in mid-March or get the field ready. I've had enough of the "inclement weather" excuse when I live in Michigan and I'm able to have a catch outside.

On a brighter note, check out the Daily Sports Report Archives and Extra Points Archives if you missed any of our recent shows. And pray that we'll be able to bring you a game tomorrow (3:05 vs. IPFW) live from Ray Fisher Stadium on

WCBN Sports Podcast

The WCBN Sports Podcast has been updated furiously in the past couple of days, with all of the goal highlights, highlight compilations, and pictures from this weekend's CCHA Tournament. The podcast is also headlined by Tony and Stu's phenomenal interview with Jim Carty. Check it all out, and bookmark the podcast because it will continue to be updated constantly with original WCBN Sports material, made exclusively for the podcast. Next up: MLB Season Preview, NCAA Hockey Tournament Preview, Michigan Baseball Update (if they ever play again).

Can I Root For Michigan Hockey?

Wow! Can you believe it, a team of college students wearing those proud winged helmets, in the final stretch of the season, and still favored to win the National Championship! Sounds great right. Well it is great. But for your typical Michigan fan, the names Billy Sauer, Kevin Porter, and Chad Kolarik don't quite mean as much as the likes of Mike Hart, Chad Henne, and Mario Manningham... that is if they have even heard of the #1 ranked Michigan Hockey super-stars.

Yost Arena, the home of Michigan Hockey holds 6,603 of the most raucous, dedicated, and maize blooded Michigan fans in the world, which is a mere six percent of the Big House. But trust me, those six thousand plus fans are much more intimidating than any crowd I've seen march through the gates of Michigan Stadium on Saturday afternoons. I myself have only been to one hockey game at Yost in my life, I had fun, but, obviously haven't made it back since. With Hockey not being as prominent of a sport around the rest of the country, you find that most of the dedicated students who follow Michigan Hockey are from within the state, and grew up watching the likes of Steve Yzerman and the "Russian Five," win Stanley Cup's for the Detroit Red Wings.

But for the rest of us who never cared about, or for that matter even thought about hockey, is it wrong for us now to want to get in on the fun? I was raised to hate Duke basketball, Yankee baseball, and Dallas Cowboys football; raised to hate the perennial forces in most sports, and raised to always hate front-runners or fair weather fans. So while we die hard Michigan football fans fear being labeled "band wagoners," which is essentially the closest thing to traitor you can call a fan in sports, how can we resist getting excited about the possibility of seeing one of our glorious teams that rock that beautiful maize and blue winged helmet win a national championship? Who knows when we'll have another opportunity to.

Can you blame us Californians, New Yorkers, and Floridians for wanting something to cheer about here? But my real question, which I am posing to all of you loyal Michigan Hockey fans is: are you going to embrace the new Michigan Hockey fans, or are you going to chastise them for being fair weather fans? Because as I said, those six thousand plus that sell out Yost Arena every night are the most intimidating Michigan fans I have ever been around in my life. I don't want you guys calling me ugly, or telling me to put my mask back on... because that is hurtful. But seriously, Isn't this how you build up Michigan Hockey's fan base for future generations to come? But I understand that it is hard for those of you who have stood by the Wolverines through thick and thin, to watch as fans come in and bask in the glory that ought to be yours. So I bid you to let me know, can I root for Michigan Hockey? Or should I be ashamed for even thinking that I can?

Monday, March 24, 2008

WCBN Interview with Jim Carty

WCBN's Tony Bolton and Stuart Zaas sit down with Jim Carty of the Ann Arbor News and discuss his 4-part special on Academics and Athletics at the University of Michigan. We will discuss this issue more in-depth during our Game of the Week broadcast a week from Friday.

Listen to the full audio

This Week's Programming Schedule

Monday: Michigan Baseball vs Oakland 3:05 - listen live at
Extra Points: 6:00-6:30 - listen live at
Tuesday: Michigan Baseball vs Bowling Green 3:05 - listen live at
Daily Sports Report 5:15-5:30 - listen live at
Wednesday: Michigan Baseball vs IPFW 3:05 - listen live at
Daily Sports Report 5:15-5:30 - listen live at
Thursday: Daily Sports Report 5:15-5:30 - listen live at
Friday: Michigan Baseball vs Iowa 3:05 - listen live at
Michigan Hockey vs Niagara 7:35 - listen live on the WCBN Sports Stream
Saturday: Michigan Baseball vs Iowa 1:05 (doubleheader) - listen live at
Michigan Hockey (hopefully) vs Clarkson/St. Cloud. State TBA - WCBN Sports Stream
Sunday: Michigan Baseball vs Iowa 1:05 - listen live at

I hope those pitchers' arms are loose...

UPDATE: And the trend's game has been postponed due to poor field conditions. Hard to imagine they'll improve much for tomorrow as the forecast calls for more wet weather.

UPDATE: Tuesday's game has been canceled as well... no make-up date has been announced for either game. My major concern at this point is that the rain and snow will kill the field yet again, making it impossible to get any games before Saturday at the earliest (it's supposed to rain again on Friday). Gotta love baseball in Michigan.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Upset City, Baby!!!

March Madness is the most anticipated sporting event in March (apologies to college hockey fans). And it did not disappoint during the first weekend of play. Like most, my bracket is screwed-up beyond all recognition. However, after the dust settled, I found myself only a point out of first place (Thank You, Scottie Reynolds). In case you missed it, here's a breakdown of this weekend's past events/ honors:

Biggest Shot: This goes to Western Kentucky at the buzzer against Drake. Now, I know some people would like to argue San Diego with 1.2 seconds left, which probably was a bigger upset. But that play can't beat a 3 pointer at the buzzer from 2 feet behind the line off a drop pass. Bob Knight said it was the best play out of a timeout he has seen all year. I'll side with the General on this one.

Team to beat: It's a toss-up between UNC and Kansas. Take your pick. Both looked strong in the first two rounds of play. Each team mirrors each other, with both teams having the ability to go 7 or 8 deep by just rotating players in off the bench (Chalmers, Lawson, Rush, Ellington, Hansborough, Ginyard,Collins... Getting the picture?). If things play out, these two will play each other in the national semi-final (in what would be a heavyweight prize fight), with the winner most likely cruising to a national title.

Biggest Upset: I'm going with Davidson over Georgetown. Stephen Curry has beaten two tourney regulars (Gonzaga and G'town) essentially by himself. Yes, he looks like he's twelve and probably couldn't grow a beard if he wanted to... but he's got a grown man's game. I think he's got problems coming up with Bo Ryan and Wisconsin, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him drop at least 30 on the Badgers. Apologies to San Diego on their tourney run, but when a kid drops 70 in two games (and his name isn't Kobe or Lebron) you need to show him some love.

Biggest Disappointment: Far and away, this was Duke. I didn't have them getting past the second round, but c'mon! They shoot the lights out all year and then basically lay an egg in their two biggest games against Belmont and WVU?! I'm still trying to figure out how they beat UNC. And don't give me the typical Ty Lawson excuse. This team couldn't have beaten Michigan in its last two weeks of play (Yeah, they were THAT bad).

Michigan Earns Overall #1 Seed

Michigan will be the overall #1 seed and head to the Albany, NY Regional where they will take on the Niagara University Purple Eagles in opening round play. Should Michigan advance, they would face the winner between St. Cloud State and Clarkson. Friday's game will be televised by ESPNU at 7:30, or you can listen to Tony, Andrew, and Kevin on the WCBN Sports Stream.

UPDATE: Now online are the highlights from the weekend set to music...check them out by clicking here

Michigan Wolverines Win the CCHA Championship!

So there was absolutely no internet at the Joe tonight, thus no broadcast and no blog. To make up for it, I stayed up late cutting up the highlights for you so please check them out by clicking on the links below! Full recap to come tomorrow when I am well-rested.

Goal #1: Michigan takes a 1-0 lead as Aaron Palushaj scores his ninth goal of the season off a BEAUTIFUL feed from Matt Rust at the 7:38 mark of the 2nd Period. Tony and Andrew have the call

Goal #2: Michigan takes a 2-0 lead behind another beautiful play. This time it was Brandon Naurato who pokes it off of a Tim Miller assist. Miller did a spectacular job winning the faceoff, but instead of hitting it back, Miller directed the puck in front of the net where a charging Naurato was able to drive it past Zatkoff. Tony and Christian call this one and Christian displays his excellent journalistic skills in the post-game press conference as you'll hear.

Michigan Wins the CCHA Championship!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

CCHA Semifinals: Michigan vs. Northern Michigan Game Highlight

To listen to the highlight compilation from last night's 6-4 CCHA Semifinal win for Michigan, click here

Friday, March 21, 2008

CCHA Semifinals: Michigan vs. Northern Michigan

Michigan wins 6-4! Here's Tony Bolton and Christian Montgomery calling the empty netter for the final highlight of the night. You can hear all of the highlights that the internet at the Joe would permit at the WCBN Sports Podcast. We're packing up, so no recap for now. Wish us luck driving home from the Joe. Good night and go Blue!

-- 10:57 --

EMPTY NET GOAL!!! Michigan will win the game 6-4, as Ben Winnett puts the capper on a huge, tough-fought win for the Wolverines over NMU. I'm working on a goal highlight and a recap, but we may have to leave, so I can't promise one now, but you can rest easy for one more night, as Michigan survives a crazy game at the Joe and will play Miami tomorrow night in the CCHA Finals.

-- 10:53 --

Michigan went offside with 1:15 remaining. Northern had held the puck in Michigan's zone for about 30 seconds, but Stewart stayed in the net. Now, with a minute remaining and Northern in control of the puck, Stewart has gone to the bench.

-- 10:49 --

By the way, yet again, the internet failed me as it is just not fast enough for streaming audio, so there will be no highlight of the 5th Michigan goal. Billy Sauer does not look good, so this game is far from over, but 1:54 remains, as there will now be a face off in front of Stewart. Look for Stewart to come to the Northern bench soon.

-- 10:47 --

GOAL!!! Kolarik shoots the puck from the near-side circle and AGAIN the puck bounces off a Northern defenseman. They're giving the goal to Tim Miller (his second of the game as of now) and the assist goes to Kolarik. Welcome back to the top line, Tim Miller, who seems to enjoy playing in place of Pacioretty. 5-4 Wolverines.

-- 10:44 --

What a crazy game. We've been going end-to-end with scoring opportunities, as Caporusso couldn't convert against Stewart, and then Sauer left a fat rebound out in front, but covered up on the subsequent shot. 4:20 remaining, still tied at 4.

-- 10:42 --

The goaltending in this game warrants a serious conversation. Michigan has been shooting at Stewart, who is big and positions himself well but is by no means mobile, while Sauer has ignored positional fundamentals, playing one of his most sporadic games of the year. 5:51 remaining in the 3rd with the game tied at 4.

-- 10:39 --

Stewart has stood on his head, almost single-handedly killing off the Michigan power play. Michigan led 4-3 with seven a half to go, but NMU has tied up the game yet again on a goal by Jared Brown from Matt Siddall. The internet was too slow to stream the NMU goal, but you can go back to the good times and listen to Tony and Christian's call of Michigan's 4th goal by clicking HERE.

-- 10:34 --

Mark Olver continues the trend of dirty play by NMU, as he stuck out his leg to try and trip Kevin Porter by the knees -- he'll go to the box, and we'll play at four-on-four for a 1:12 before Michigan goes on the PP.

-- 10:30 --

After an NMU defenseman covered the puck in his defensive zone, Turnbull hit at the puck but got called for a hit from behind... "c'mon Shegos," says Andrew Seid, and I agree -- that's a weak call. We'll be playing at four-on-four before NMU goes on the power play.

-- 10:28 --

Tonight's attendance has been announced at 9,471... I'll give the fans a pass given the horrendous weather, even though the Joe can fit about 21,000 people. Gregor Hanson just took a slashing penalty, so Michigan now goes on the PP.

-- 10:25 --

GOAL!!! Mark Mitera took the shot from inside the blue line, and it looked like it deflected off of both NMU defenseman Blake Cosgrove and Michigan forward Travis Turnbull before it beat Stewart. Turnbull scores from Mitera and Kampfer and now Michigan leads 4-3. Goal highlight to come....

-- 10:21 --

Billy looked a little shaky on the last Northern rush, but Nick Sirota took a penalty in the NMU offensive zone on the fore-check, so with 15:01 remaining, Michigan has a PP.

-- 10:18 --

Michigan is getting beaten to nearly every puck, but Sauer has stood tall so far in the 3rd. They've announced that Chad Langlais picked up an assist on the Miller goal, which you can listen to by clicking HERE (it's Tony and Christian Montgomery now).

-- 10:16 --

Game on! 16:37 remaining, as Sauer covers up after a flurry of NMU shots.

-- 10:14 --

We have a stoppage in play because of a large crack in the boards. You can't make this stuff up. 3-3 Michigan with 18:49 left in the 3rd.

-- 10:10 --

GOAL!!! MICHIGAN TIES THE GAME!!! It is now 3-3, as Tim Miller passed the puck in net and it bounced off the skate of T.J. Miller into the net, as Stewart was moving from post-to-post and had no chance. Goal highlight to come....

-- 10:08 --

Michigan has killed off the final few moments of the power play, and so we are now skating at full strength.

-- 10:05 --

NMU's 3rd goal highlight from Tony and Andrew can be accessed by clicking HERE. I'm glad that didn't take 2 hours... you can visit the WCBN Sports Podcast to listen to all of the goal highlights from the CCHA Tournament, as well as WCBN Sports podcast shows.

-- 10:02 --

As I've said, the internet here is really slow, and it fades in and out, so while I was able to upload the first two highlights in a matter of seconds, it now tells me that the 3rd highlight will take 2 hours, so we'll see if we can get that up sooner rather than later. We are now in the 2nd intermission, and there's not much we can say at this point. Michigan leads NMU in shots 27-8, yet Northern has beaten Sauer three times, including twice in the final five minutes or so of the 2nd period. It's not as though Michigan is playing badly, even defensively, but NMU has converted on seemingly every major scoring opportunity they've had, and Brian Stewart has been up to the task against the firepower that Michigan brings on offense. The real problem is that Michigan's defensive blunders have been far more glaring than Northern's. It is inexplicable that Mark Mitera would decide to pinch on a power play opportunity when NMU has two men coming the other way through the neutral zone. The 3rd goal was simply a great wrister, but conservative play by Scooter Vaughan and Mark Mitera could've enabled Michigan to avoid giving up the first two. Added to that, you've got the officiating of Shegos and the large Northern contingent in the crowd, and the feeling here is not positive from a Michigan standpoint. I'm nervous, to be honest. 5 minutes left in the 2nd intermission -- lets hope that the Wolverines can figure out a way to beat Stewart by then.

-- 9:59 --

Here come the bad highlights. Check out Tony and Andrew's call of NMU's 2nd goal, which tied the game at two-a-piece by clicking HERE.

-- 9:49 --

If you'd like to go back to when things were going well, check out Tony Bolton and Andrew Seid's call of Michigan's 2nd goal by clicking HERE.

-- 9:46 --

Michigan has taken a penalty, as Chris Summers retaliates after being slashed with a trip -- it is 3-2 NMU, who will end the 2nd period on the power play.

-- 9:45 --

NMU now has the lead at 3-2. They have now scored on half of their shots, as a wrister from the near-side circle by Matt Siddall beats Billy Sauer.

-- 9:43 --

Tie game, 2-2. Kevin Porter got tackled amidst an odd-man rush for NMU, and when the puck bounced out in front of the net, Billy Sauer missed on a poke-check giving Mark Olver an open spot in Sauer's five-hole, and he was not to be denied. This is very disappointing, considering Michigan leads in shots 25-5, yet NMU has converted on two of those five shots.

-- 9:41 --

NMU has taken a bench minor for too many men with under 7 minutes remaining in the 2nd period. NMU just had a short-handed opportunity after a blunder by Mark Mitera, but Billy Sauer held strong and Michigan still holds their 2-1 lead, as they go to work on the PP.

-- 9:36 --

GOAL!!! Travis Turnbull takes the feed from Louie Caporusso and slides the puck past Stewart to give Michigan a 2-1 lead. Considering how well NMU has been playing this period, this was a HUGE goal to give Michigan a lead at the midway point of the game. T.J. Miller then took a penalty for tripping while Michigan got a bench minor, being served by Brandon Naurato, for too many men on the ice. A goal highlight is to come.

-- 9:33 --

Michigan has killed off the penalty with the help of a Tristin Llewellyn blocked shot. Llewellyn limped off the ice, so we'll have to watch to see if his injury is serious. On a positive note, Chris Summers has been playing well since being hit into the boards head-first in the 1st period.

-- 9:26 --

The puck just rolled through the crease past a sprawling Billy Sauer, and on a subsequent slap shot the puck bounced off the glass and back into the crease, but Sauer covered up.

-- 9:23 --

Matt Rust has taken a penalty with a little over 14 minutes remaining. Tony and Andrew are perplexed at the call, and rightly so, as it looked like Rust barely tapped the pad of goalie Brian Stewart.

-- 9:22 --

Michigan is having a tough time gaining the zone against NMU, and now that they finally have, the power play is about to expire with Michigan still passing the puck around the perimeter. Brian Stewart has covered up, and the power play rush is over.

-- 9:20 --

With 16:58 remaining in the 2nd, NMU's Alan Dorich takes a penalty for tripping. Michigan will be on the power play.

-- 9:18 --

Tune in to hear Tony Bolton and Andrew Seid LIVE at the Joe for the 2nd period now that our technical difficulties are somewhat over.

-- 9:12 --

That's the end of the first period, with the score tied at 1 a piece. The Wolverines ended the period with some extended pressure in the NMU zone but not many scoring chances as NMU does a great job blocking any movement in the slots for the Wolverines. Shots in that period were 12-2 in favor of the Wolverines.


With 4:55 remaining in the 1st period, NMU is on the board with a goal from Matt Butcher, his 8th of the season. Assisting on the goal were Gregor Hanson and Ray Kaunisto. Just 29 seconds later, Billy Smith is hit with a game misconduct and 5 minute major for checking from behind. The Wolverines are now on the power play for the rest of the period.


With 8:16 remaining, Billy Sauer just made a nice glove save on a slap shot from the far-side circle. It's great to see Billy on top of his game early on, especially given how easy it can be for a goalie to fall asleep in a game where the first shot on goal against him comes with under 9 minutes remaining in the 1st. The shot total thus far is 8-1 in favor of the Wolverines.

-- 8:42 --

By the way, the internet here is painfully slow. Since I finished writing that delayed post, Northern took a penalty and killed it off, so we still sit at 1-0 with under 10 minutes remaining in the 1st.

-- 8:37 --

GOAL!!! Chad Kolarik scores his 4th goal since coming back from the groin injury to give Michigan a 1-0 lead with a little over 12:30 remaining inthe 1st. Kolarik swept around the net and slipped the puck past Stewart before he could move from post to post. Tim Miller and Tristin Llewellyn picked up assists on the goal. I can't emphasize enough how important it is for Michigan to pour it on early against a tough Northern team. You don't want to let these guys hang around, because regardless of how much talent Michigan has when compared to Northern, anything can happen in a close game, as evidenced by Michigan's two ties at Yost against Northern earlier this year.

-- 8:36 --

Well, we're finally here and set up at the Joe. The new technology we're trying to use for the broadcast is failing us thus far, but we're still working on getting a live broadcast up and running for you, and, if we do, the live game blog will feature goal highlights during the game. As of right now, we are a little over four minutes in and Northern is skating pretty well. Michigan had two quality scoring chances, but starting goalie Brian Stewart turned Michigan aside both times. On another somber note, NMU is better represented in the crowd, and that is very disappointing.

Finally, on a positive note, both Matt Rust and Scooter Vaughan are in the lineup for the Wolverines, with Tim Miller moving up to the top line in place of suspended Max Pacioretty. Go Blue!

--8:28 --