By Raymond Rolak
Buchalski and Werenski Get Honors
ROCHESTER, Mich.- Senior righthanded pitcher Joe Buchalski has been named Oakland University’s Student Athlete of the Week. He made a quality start, picking up his first win of the season against Eastern Michigan.
Buchalski, from Sanford, Mich., tossed seven innings allowing one unearned run on three hits and striking out six batters in an 11-3 win over the Eagles on March 11. He has appeared in four games on the mound, boasting a 2.05 earned run average and a team-high 25 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .200 in his 22 innings pitched. The Golden Grizzlies (6-9) won two out of their three games over the weekend, splitting a doubleheader with Dayton. They began Horizon League play at University of Illinois-Chicago, March 18-20, at Granderson Stadium in Chicago. The Golden Grizzlies faced UIC ace pitcher, senior Ian Lewandowski of Naperville.
Road Trip to the Twin Cities…..Cincinnati Next
The University of Michigan hockey team traveled to St. Paul, MN for the 2016 Big Ten Championships. Michigan State got knocked out by Ohio State 4-3, in overtime. The Minnesota Golden Gopher’s bid to lock up the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and came out short as they fell to Michigan 5-3, in the championship game at Xcel Energy Center.
Minnesota made it close in the second period when Jake Bischoff scored his sixth goal of the year on a backhanded wraparound at 10:21, off a feed from his defensive partner Michael Brodzinski. Justin Kloos then blasted home a one-timer on Minnesota’s first and only power play of the night at 16:50. Tommy Novak and Bischoff assisted on the goal for the Golden Gophers. Michigan tallied a three-goal period of its own in the third period with Kyle Connor picking up the equalizer before Zach Werenski added a third power-play goal for the eventual game winner. Tyler Motte added an empty-net goal to seal Michigan’s first Big Ten Tournament title. When asked about the title game, Werenski said, “In between the second and third we talked about we owe them (Minnesota) for the end of our season last year. So we came out with some fire. And, you know, I thought we played a great game in the first and third.”
There is conjecture that Coach Red Berenson, 76, could retire after 32 seasons at Michigan. Those rumors have been speculative for several years but Berenson still has visible passion for the game and his players. Berenson knows how to win and is motivated by a third national championship. This would cap a career and go nicely with the NCAA titles won by his Wolverines in Cincinnati in 1996 and Boston in 1998. Berenson said, “This group is a good group. They’ve played in some tough rinks this year. They’ve played against some good teams. They’ll be ready.”
Berensen added, “You know, I’m one of those that, I like playing in these big buildings, but I like playing in them when they’re full and I think the players do too. It’s like, when you play in a building that’s less than half full, it doesn’t seem like it’s that important, and yet these are important games, and I know the Xcel Center’s done a great job here every time we play here, and the same thing with Joe Louis in Detroit, but I still like campus sites as a start to the playoffs. Personally, I’d like to see the fans see the teams on campus, I mean that’s where the real environment is, so I’ve been to regionals where there’s no one there and the NCAA’s asking the same questions as the Big Ten is.”
The Hobey Baker Award Committee announced its top 10 finalists for the 2016 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, naming JT Compher, Kyle Connor and Tyler Motte all Wolverines, among the group. The Hobey Baker Award is given annually to the top NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey player in the nation. The winner will be announced at the NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa Bay.
University of Michigan freshman forward Kyle Connor was named Big Ten Conference ice hockey Player of the Year, leading a group of five Wolverines honored with Big Ten awards. Sophomore defenseman Zach Werenski earned Defensive Player of the Year honors, while Connor was the Big Ten scoring champion, rounding out individual laurels for Michigan players. Senior forward Cristoval Nieves was Michigan’s selection for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Berenson was awarded Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Werenski, a Grosse Pointe native, is the No. 1 scoring defenseman in the Big Ten and is tied for No. 5 in the nation. He has a career-best 28 points (9G, 19A) in 32 games played. His six power-play goals put him No. 2 in the nation among defensemen. He has 51 blocked shots on the season. He has good size at 6’ 2” and 218 pounds.
Coming off its first-ever Big Ten Tournament title, the University of Michigan ice hockey team (24-7-5, 12-5-3-2 Big Ten) earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and took on No. 3 seed Notre Dame (19-10-7, 15-5-2 Hockey East) in a Midwest Regional semifinal on Friday (March 25) at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.
The NPASHF Announces Inductees
The National Polish-American Hall of Fame announced their inductees for the Class of 2016. Former Red Wing Joe Kocur and women’s basketball player Ann Meyers Drysdale were selected by their national sports panel. The veterans committee selected Chester Marcol– football, Monte Nitzkowski– water polo and Tony Adamowicz– moter sports. The induction banquet is in on Thursday, June 23, at the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy.
Detroit Tigers to Host 46th Annual Polish-American Night
Circle the date because it will be a sell-out. Wally Ozog announced that tickets to support the Detroit Tiger’s annual Polish-American Heritage Night at Comerica Park will go fast. It will be Friday, May 20, against the Tampa Bay Ray’s at a special 7:10 pm. Start. Plan to go early and stay late and don’t forget to wear red. There will be over 450 dancers, performers, scouts and chaperones on the field before the game. The dance groups are sponsored by the Polish National Alliance, the Polish Roman Catholic Union and the Polish Women’s Alliance. For tickets: 586-751-8168.
Kwiatkowski Wins E3 Harelbeke Race in Belgium
Poland’s Michał Kwiatkowski and Slovakia’s Peter Sagen were neck and neck for the lead. Kwiatkowski and Sagan rode the final 20 kilometers (12 miles) ahead of the pack. “I knew I had really good legs today and I had to go for the win, there was no other option,” Kwiatkowski said after sealing a second consecutive victory for Team Sky at the E3. Sagen, the defending world champion, started the final sprint and left the rest of the riders behind. With just 250 metres left, Kwiatkowski sprinted all out for the finishing line, with Sagan unable to respond. Kwiatkowski finished three seconds ahead of Sagan to notch his first win of this season. Britain’s Ian Stannard came in third.