The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2020 THE WOLVERINE 91   OLYMPIC SPORTS "We have our team goals that we kind of put aside, and we focus on the little details that all add up to our goals. If we focus on those little de- tails and have good practices, we're going to accomplish a lot as a team. "We want to compete to win a Big Ten championship and qualify for the national championship. We're focus- ing on those two things, but day to day we have to focus on the details." Top Athlete: Freshman Hailey Borja participated in the four events for U-M in the fall season, and posted an average score of 73.17 in 12 rounds. "She's established herself as our top player this fall," Dowling said. "We have a very young team — three freshmen and three sophomores. But, if we can get our young players and our senior leadership rolling at the same time, we can be a pretty dan- gerous team." Athlete To Watch: Sophomore Ashley Lau posted a freshman-re- cord 74.19 scoring average in 2018- 19, while leading the way for a U-M at a team-best five tournaments. "She was our No. 1 player last year, but wasn't impressed with her- self this fall," Dowling said. "She had some nice rounds, but didn't play to the level she knows she can play at. I see her confidence growing every day in practice, and I think she has the ability to win college golf tournaments." Don't Miss: Big Ten Championships April 24-26 at Maineville, Ohio. ❑ Record: 15-12-3 overall and 10-8-2-1 Big Ten National Ranking: No. 16 in College Hockey News' KRACH Ratings; No. 20 in the Men's Division I Pairwise Rankings (USCHO projection) Overview: The winning ways ushered in with the calendar change from 2019 to 2020 carried forward for Michigan hockey into the month of February. A home weekend split with Ohio State was followed by a home sweep of Wisconsin and a resounding 5-1 massacre of Michigan State on Valen- tine's Day in East Lansing. Sophomore netminder Strauss Mann's excellent goaltend- ing provided the base supporting a renewed ability to put the puck in the net for the Wolverines, giving Michigan fans hope of sneaking into the NCAA Tournament this spring. Best Win — 5-1 over Michigan State Feb. 14: Michigan jumped on the Spartans early in the opening period on goals by senior forward Jake Slaker and senior defenseman Luke Martin, then kept the pressure on with another pair of goals by fifth-year senior forward Jacob Hayhurst and sophomore defenseman Jack Summers while Mann kept Michigan State off the scoreboard until the third period. Slaker's second goal of the night in the third period iced the convincing win for Michigan. Three Stars Of The Month First Star — senior forward Jake Slaker: Slaker's 2020 scoring barrage continued with four goals and seven assists over the last six games. The San Diego native tallied four points on a goal and three assists in the series-opening 8-4 win against Wisconsin Feb. 7, and then added a pair of goals Feb. 14 at Michigan State. Through 30 games, he led the Wolverines in points (25), goals (12) and assists (13). Second Star — freshman forward Nick Granowicz: Find- ing his scoring chops amid the Wolverines' 2020 offensive resurgence, Granowicz notched his first career hat trick Feb. 7 against Wisconsin at Yost, and added assists versus the Badgers Feb. 8 and Michigan State Feb. 14. The offensive outburst by Granowicz confirmed his status as an offensive weapon after he prepped for his Michigan freshman year by recording 32 goals and 27 assists for the Merritt Centennials of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) last season. Third Star — senior defenseman Luke Martin: His total output of three goals and eight assists slots him in as the second-leading scorer among Michigan's blue line corps, but doesn't tell the whole story of his status as the Wolver- ines' stalwart defensive ace. Martin has logged big minutes against opponents' top lines both at even strength and especially on special teams. Freshman Impact — defenseman Cam York: The Phila- delphia Flyers' first overall draft choice at last summer's NHL Draft (first round, 15th overall) has finally shaken off the injuries that have slightly derailed his freshman season. York, even having played injured through the season's first half, leads the Wolverines' defenseman in scoring with five goals and 11 assists and is the main quarterback of Michigan's power-play first unit. Player to Watch — senior forward Will Lockwood: Michi- gan's senior captain, Lockwood has quietly crept into the second overall scoring spot behind Slaker with eight goals and 12 assists. His leadership will be key to the Wolverines' run at an NCAA Tournament berth. Must-See Series — Feb 28-29 at Minnesota: After a slow start, the Gophers have surged to the top of the Big Ten standings. Both teams will be vying for a quality placement in the Big Ten Tournament. Minnesota will be seeking a first- round bye as regular-season champs, while Michigan will be trying to earn a home series in the opening round. — Bob Miller Senior forward Jake Slaker paced the Wolverines in points (25), goals (12) and assists (13) through 30 contests. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL Hockey Rewind: Jan. 25-Feb.17

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