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Gophers men's hockey loses to Michigan, comes up short of Big Ten title game

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Gophers men's hockey loses to Michigan, comes up short of Big Ten title game


For the third consecutive year, the Gophers will not be the Big Ten hockey tournament champions. And for the third year in a row, Michigan made sure that was the case.

Behind goals by Kienan Draper and Gavin Brindley, 23 saves from goalie Jake Barczewski and a suffocating defensive effort, the Wolverines defeated the Gophers 2-1 on Saturday night in a Big Ten tournament semifinal at 3M Arena at Mariucci. Michigan adds its latest triumph over Minnesota to a pair of 4-3 victories in the 2022 and 2023 Big Ten title games at Mariucci.

The Wolverines (21-13-3) will face regular-season champion Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday in East Lansing. The Spartans beat No. 7 seed Ohio State 2-1 in the other semifinal.

The Gophers (22-10-5) must wait until March 24 to find out where they’ll be playing in the NCAA tournament. They entered Saturday at No. 6 in the PairWise Ratings, and they’re a lock to make the 16-team NCAA field as an at-large entrant. The four regionals are in Sioux Falls, S.D.; Maryland Heights, Mo.; Springfield, Mass.; and Providence, R.I. The Frozen Four is April 11-13 at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.

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Gophers goalie Justen Close kept his team in the game, making 29 saves. Jimmy Snuggerud scored Minnesota’s only goal, with 1:29 left in the third and Close pulled for an extra attacker. The Gophers pushed for the equalizer but came up short.

Throughout the game, Minnesota had trouble generating offense as Michigan pushed the Gophers to the perimeter and had sticks in passing lanes. Minnesota’s play was by no means crisp, with several errant passes and puck battles lost.

Michigan won 36 faceoffs in the game to the Gophers’ 20.

The Gophers came out fast, getting three shots on goal in the opening 1:11. Michigan, however, got on the scoreboard first on its second shot of the game when Draper slammed a rebound of a Chase Pletzke shot past Close for a 1-0 lead at 3:12.

Michigan appeared to stretch the lead to 2-0 at 6:32 of the first when Phillipe Lapointe fed Fantilli with a backhand pass in front of the net that Fantilli fired past Close. Gophers coach Bob Motzko challenged the play for offsides, and after a video review, officials waved off the goal.

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Close kept it a one-goal deficit at 14:58 of the first with a poke check against Garrett Schifsky just in front of the net. The Gophers had a push at the 16:50 mark when Luke Mittelstadt and Mike Koster forced Barczewski to make a pair of saves two seconds apart.

Outshot 10-7 in the first period, Michigan turned up the pressure early in the second, putting the Gophers on their heels and forcing Close to make four saves by the 3:37 mark.

Michigan’s pressure paid off with the game’s first power play when Pitlick was called for hooking at 4:26. The Wolverines, whose power play operates at a nation’s-best 35.6%, spent the full two minutes in the Minnesota zone. Close made four saves, and defensemen Carl Fish and Sam Rinzel each had a key blocked

Michigan boosted the lead to 2-0 at 18:36 of the second when Brindley, on a rush, beat Close with a shot from the right circle.

The Gophers got their first power play of the game at 3:15 of the third when Ethan Edwards was called for interference. Minnesota got two shots on goal during the man advantage, with Barczewski robbing Aaron Huglen with a glove save

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Michigan

The Michigan Sailing Club offers a fun, unique experience

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The Michigan Sailing Club offers a fun, unique experience


Seated on the shores of Baseline Lake is a unique all-volunteer sailing club that serves the local community and is home to the University of Michigan Sailing Team.

It’s called the Michigan Sailing Club. It’s a co-operative club dedicated to the pleasure and fellowship of small-boat sailing. The all-volunteer club offers sailing (both racing and leisurely day-sailing), windsurfing, paddle-craft, swimming, fishing and more.

To learn more about this club, the Sun Times News connected with Jeff Kaloustian, the Commodore of the Michigan Sailing Club.

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Detailing some of its history and explaining what the club is, Kaloustian said it was formed in 1938 by a group of Naval Architecture students from the U of M. He said the club originally was located on Whitmore Lake operating out of the basement of the roller rink, but was moved to its current location on Baseline Lake in 1953.

“It has changed from a student organization to an independent, non-profit club,” Kaloustian said. “We are open to the general public for membership, and you do not have to be affiliated with the University of Michigan to join! Our club serves as home to the University of Michigan Sailing Team and Sailing Team members are also members of the Michigan Sailing Club. The U of M team generally operates in the spring and fall when students are in Ann Arbor during the school year. This spreads out and staggers the use of the club facilities as the U of M team is often sailing earlier in the spring and later in the fall than many of our other members.”

He said the club is “unique since we are all-volunteer and this keeps our dues and costs low.”

“Members do not have to own a boat since we have our own fleet of boats for members to use,” Kaloustian says.

He said it’s important to note that they are not a sailing school, marina, or a place to rent a boat.

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“We want to welcome people into our fold who are interested in sailing,” he said.  “Our volunteer instructors teach members how to sail at all levels. We hope that our students become long-term members of our community, but we understand that we may not be right for everyone or that life takes them elsewhere. I always love to hear from former students who are sailing somewhere else in the world.”

Kaloustian has been involved at the club since 2001, but he’s been racing sailboats since he was 18. Over time his interest grew in it and he wanted to do more to promote the sport of sailing and teach others to sail.

“So, it was an easy choice to get more involved with the Michigan Sailing Club, which is only two miles from my home,” he said.

He’s gone from becoming a US Sailing certified instructor, to being on the board as treasurer, to Vice Commodore (in charge of instruction), to Commodore. He acquired the title of “Old Goat” in 2017, having sailed 25 Bayview Mackinac races.

“I am excited to maintain the club’s character while improving our sailing programs,” Kaloustian said. “I’m also working on some new, inclusive social sailing activities for the club. Look for lots of sailboats on Baseline Lake this summer!”

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The club holds beginner lessons primarily on Saturday mornings before powerboat traffic gets busy, Kaloustian said.

“We teach on the water as well as on land, teaching skills like proper knot tying, general boating rules, and sailboat handling skills,” he said. “Students learn a core set of skills that lead to our Basic rating.”

Heading into another season of sailing with the Michigan Sailing Club. A view of the Michigan Sailing Club. photo courtesy of the Michigan Sailing Club

He said members “who are interested in furthering their sailing skill and more involvement in the club can pursue a Helm rating, and our highest rating of Skipper, which represents a refined level of sailing skills, knowledge, and experience.”

“We also rely on members to learn and develop boat repair and maintenance skills to keep our fleet ship shape,” Kaloustian said. “We are lucky to have member experts in many aspects of boating in our club.”

So it is a unique club with a membership made up of people who love sailing (all skill levels- including those who have never sailed but want to learn) and those who want to be part of a sailing community that includes volunteering, teaching, making friends, meeting new people, racing, windsurfing, and being part of a club.

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To learn more, the club is planning open house times for prospective members to visit on April 27th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on the 28th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Check out their website MichiganSailingClub.org for times and more information on joining the club.

 

 

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Five biggest questions for Michigan football following the spring game

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Five biggest questions for Michigan football following the spring game


The reigning national champion Michigan Wolverines returned to the Big House on Saturday afternoon. Some questions were answered during the annual spring game, while others remain unanswered heading into the summer.

Let’s dive into the five most pressing remaining questions.

Who is the quarterback?

We’ll start with the most obvious. Michigan is in the midst of a five-way position battle at quarterback between Jack Tuttle, Alex Orji, Davis Warren, Jadyn Davis and Jayden Denegal. Tuttle was unavailable for the spring game, but the other four participated. Orji looked effective as a runner, but didn’t have many opportunities to showcase his arm. Warren had the best day of the bunch, uncorking the biggest passing highlight of the game on a touchdown pass to Kendrick Bell.

Davis looked calm and mature in the pocket, but appears a year or two away. Denegal had his moments, but struggled with his accuracy.

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At this point, it appears Orji is still the leader in the clubhouse, but Tuttle and Warren will have their say in fall camp. The transfer portal is still an option — despite what Kirk Campbell said after the game — but there aren’t many options that appear better at this point.

Will Michigan need to hit the transfer portal for wide receiver depth?

Speaking of the portal, Michigan may need to dip into it to find a wide receiver or two. Tyler Morris and Semaj Morgan seem entrenched as starters, with Fred Moore displaying some highlight reels in the spring game as well. After that, it’s Peyton O’Leary and two true freshmen who won’t be on campus until the summer.

Sherrone Moore may opt to go after a bigger-bodied receiver to start from day one. Alternatively, Michigan could roll with what it has in Morris, Morgan and Moore while searching for some depth. In any case, the receiver room seems far from set with how few bodies are in it currently.

Is there enough depth along the defensive line?

What made the 2023 Michigan defense special was its ability to bring guys such as Kenneth Grant, Josaiah Stewart and Derrick Moore off the bench. The defensive line was able to rotate nine guys easily and effectively. With four of those nine out the door (Jenkins, Harrell, McGregor, Goode), the other five are ready to go, but who is able to provide depth?

Enow Etta has moved inside and seems like a promising piece. On the edge, T.J. Guy had a stellar performance in the spring game as well. Both will be vital pieces to the Michigan defense, but can they be trusted to be relied on in big moments as the reserves often were a season ago?

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Can the secondary withstand Rod Moore’s injury?

Moore’s ACL injury put a damper on spring ball this year. The vocal leader of the defense, Moore’s absence will be felt both on the field and off it.

So who is going to step up? The coaching staff has been consistently heaping praise on Zeke Berry. The young defensive back has the ability to play almost anywhere in the secondary. Makari Paige, an excellent returning starter, will be asked to step up his leadership, as his reputation is more of a soft-spoken player than a vocal leader.

While the secondary still has an All-American candidate in Will Johnson, losing Mike Sainristil and Josh Wallace to the NFL to go along with Moore’s injury will present the Michigan defense with new challenges.

Who will win the special teams position battles?

Tommy Doman has the punter spot locked up. Adam Samaha should have the kicker spot all to his own as well, but his spring game performance didn’t inspire much confidence, so it wouldn’t surprise to see a portal addition there.

But the more interesting battles are at kick returner and punt returner. One of the consequences of lacking wide receiver depth is it also restricts your options at returner. Semaj Morgan mentioned in an interview that he, Tyler Morris and Will Johnson have been practicing punt returning. While all three are talented, most fans want nothing to do with them returning punts given how important they are at their primary positions, especially in Johnson’s case.

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Who Michigan will have returning punts and kicks is anyone’s guess. They didn’t really show much of anything in the spring game, so these battles will definitely be settled in the summer.



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Michigan State Dodgeball wins its second straight National Championship

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Michigan State Dodgeball wins its second straight National Championship


EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – Last weekend, the Michigan State Dodgeball team was in Ohio with a chance to repeat as National Champs.

It would come down to the championship game against MSU and Ohio State. The Spartans dominated the Buckeyes and took home the title once again.

MSU only loses two seniors, Tyler Marks and Nick Fedewa, so the expectation for the Spartans is to repeat once again next year.

Both Marks and Fedewa had never played dodgeball competitively, but it was the club dodgeball table at MSU’s Sparticipation that caught both of their eyes. Now graduating, both seniors agree that the memories they made joining the dodgeball team will never be forgotten.

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Head coach Kevin Nguyen has been at the helm of the team since 2016, and it’s the relationships that he’s built with his players that make him want to continue coaching.

Michigan State Dodgeball will be looking to add new players in the fall, and MSU students can find out more by visiting the dodgeball website.

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