The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois on March 8, 2008 · Page 311
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The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois · Page 311

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Saturday, March 8, 2008
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PAGE 4 SECTION 2 DAILY HERALD SATURDAY, MARCH 8, 2008 Hull would like to see No. 3 retired BY TIM SASSONE lsavone@daifyhrraU.com Someday the Blackhawks might add to the five uniform numbers that are retired in the United Center rafters, and if that day should come, Bobby Hull knows what he'd like to see happen. Hull thinks No. 3 should join those banners belonging to himself, Stan Mikita, Denis Savard, Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito as a double honor for defensemen Pierre Pilote and the late Keith Magnuson. "People have asked me that question, and one number kind of looms maybe ahead of everyone else and it would cover a couple of guys," Hull said. "There's no doubt in my mind that if the Blackhawks were to retire another number, I think No. 3 would be looked upon as the number. Notes "I played with Pierre Pilote, and he was our captain and a great defenseman, and we all know what kind of man Keith Magnuson was and how he is missed by everyone." It has been Hawks policy to only retire numbers of former players inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Pilote would qualify on that front, having gone into the Hall in 1975. Pilote played for the Hawks from 1955-68 and won three straight Norris Trophies as the NHLs best defenseman starting in 1963. Ready to go: Center Kevyn Adams, out since the 15th game of the season with a torn ACL and MCL in his knee, is ready to return to the lineup. The problem is, Hawks coach Denis Savard has been reluctant to break up his lineup, particularly the fourth line of Adam Burish, Craig Adams and Ben Eager. "It's a tough call. (Kevyn Adams is) one of my leaders and has worked hard to get ASSOCIATED PRESS The Hawks' James Wisnlewskl and San Jose's Douglas Murray fight during the second period Friday night at the United Center. back, but he understands," Savard said. "At some point things happen and he's ready. We'll see what happens for the next game." Unfortunately for the Hawks, something did happen in Friday's game against San Jose when Eager partially dislocated his right shoulder in the first period on a hit by a Kyle McLaren in the neutral zone. Nice touch: Former public address announcer Harvey Wittenberg returned to handle the duties Friday for one night as part of the festivities for Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. Since you asked: Bobby Hull wasn't offering advice to general manager Dale Tallon, but since he was asked what he thought the Hawks needed to improve, he answered. "Some seasoned players wouldn't hurt, a couple big defensemen and maybe a big centerman always helps," Hull said. "I'm a big believer of strength down the middle." Finally, it's just like old times That unmistakable voice boomed in the Blackhawks dressing room following Friday's morning skate. "Let's go get 'em tonight, . boys," Bobby ' Hull said. On Friday, all was right again with the Hawks. Hull and Stan Mikita were back in the family, the Tim Sassone United Center Ohhockey , was J am , 7,'=^=^=!= 'packed for a meaningful .game in March, the rotting of the franchise for much of the last decade a thing of the past. It has been a stunning turn- DAILY HERALD REACTION around for an organization that had become insignificant around the NHL and in its own city. As recently as last fall, the scene in the United Center on Friday night couldn't have been imagined in anyone's wildest dreams. Hawks coach Denis Savard made sure his players knew what they have helped accomplish in a season already a rousing success even if the playoffs don't happen. "I told them, 'You guys created this, this atmosphere going on, the buzz,'" Savard said. "They created all of that and they want to continue it, I can tell you that." It was only fitting that the San Jose Sharks were Friday's opponent, allowing former great Hawks Doug Wilson and Jeremy Roenick to be part of festivities. "I've been looking forward to this game for a long time," Roenick said. 'A packed United Center—it's like old times." Mikita was Wilson's first roommate as a Hawks rookie, and he wouldn't have missed this night. "He's a special guy, like a second father'to me," Wilson,, said. "He called about a week ago and asked ifj'clcome in and, have dinner last night. Whatever Stanley wants, he gets." The revival of the Hawks does Wilson's heart good even as general manager of the Sharks. "Seeing this organization struggle, for all of us who used to play here, was tough to watch," Wilson said. "But it's back, and if they keep doing what they're doing they will be a force hi this league. I think any of us that played here, we want to see great success here because the city deserves it." On one hand, it's a shame a Anight like Friday was needed f 6 repair much of the damage done over the years by those formerly in charge. But as ,muph''a^"it'ferrundedus'dfhpw bad things were, the promise 'that matters now! tsassone@dailyherald.com Welcome: Continued from Page 1 above center ice as it reran an old clip of him thundering over the blue line. "He shoots, he scores," one of the chefs yelled in sync with the highlight, eliciting smiles from the two Hawks greats and easing some of the tension of the moment. If that didn't completely do the trick for the dynamic duo, the thunderous reception they got a few minutes later sure did. It was easy to see how much both appreciated the warm welcome and the words of Wirtz and team president John McDonough. "You guys were larger than life because you played larger than life," Wirtz said. "Today you're working with us to link the proud history of our past to our promising future." Welcome home Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita," McDonough added. Standing in front of a group of former Hawks players — including Doug Wilson and Grant Mulvey, in addition to Kevin Magnuson, the son of former Hawks defenseman Keith Magnuson — Hull was the first to speak. "In 1972,1 left this wonderful city thinking I'd never again be a part of this wonderful Blackhawk family," he said with a smile. "It just shows you that you cannot only have one kick at the cat, but if you hang around long enough, you'ttget a second kick at it." Mikita skipped the kicking, preferring instead to simply soak in the moment. "I spent so many years proud of the Indian head sweater, but tonight I'm even more proud to be welcomed back to this great franchise," he said. "Seeing my old teammates, this place packed to the rafters and being able to share this with my friends and my family is something I surely won't forget for a long, long time. He then turned to the Hawks' bench and offered a few words of encouragement to the 2008 edition. "To the young Blackhawks, our new motto is: We are with you win... or tie." What Mikita didn't have to say, what is now implied under the new Blackhawks regime, the motto to all former Hawks players has become simply: Welcome back. Hawks: Continued from Ftige 1 19 shots on goal. "It was a frustrating game for us tonight," Bourque said. "We didn't play like we have been for the last few weeks. Our forecheck wasn't there tonight and we didn't spend a lot of time in their end. We're not going to score goals if we don't." The Hawks rode the momentum from a stirring pregame ceremony for Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita and took a 1-0 lead 3:35 into the first period on a power-play goal by Seabrook. However, the Sharks responded and tied it 17 seconds later when Jonathan Cheechoo scored off a pass from Joe Thornton, slipping the puck through goalie Patrick Lalime. San Jose went ahead 2-1 at 12:45 when the Hawks let Thornton set up shop behind the net and spot Kyle McLaren cutting down the slot for the shot past Lalime. Thornton finished with 2 assists. "He's a great player, about as good as they come," Savard said. Moments later, the Hawks had a two-man advantage for 56 seconds but came up empty. It was their seventh consecutive failed 5-on-3. The Hawks did make it 2-2 before the end of the first period on Jonathan Toews' 19th goal at 18:09. San Jose got the only goal in a mostly even second period when Patrick Marleau got free and beat Lalime with a hard wrist shot from the left side. "On their first 2 goals, we had possession of the puck," Savard said. "We battled with them and just didn't get the result." With spark lit, Kreps explodes Freshman guard uses mtivcttimjnm Collins and takes it out on Loyola BY DAVID WOODS Special to the Daily Herald INDIANAPOLIS — Robert Kreps acknowledged Illinois- Chicago coach Jimmy Collins has been chiding him in practice. Not because Kreps can't come through. Collins was on his case because the freshman guard can. Josh Mayo scored 17 points and Kreps 14 as the fourth- seeded Flames beat No. 8 seed Loyola 60-49 Friday night in the quarterfinal round of the Horizon League tournament. The victory advanced UIC (18-14) into tonight's semifinals against top-seeded Butler (27-3). The other semifinal matches No. 2 seed Cleveland State (20-11) and No. 6 Valparaiso (21-12). The Flames sank all 20 of their free throws in the second half, including 4 by Kreps. His 14 points were 2 more than he had scored in the previous five games combined. "I came out and tried to be aggressive and play within myself," Kreps said. Collins said he told Kreps he was no longer a freshman, could skip "sophomore-itis" and go straight to junior year. "He's a guy who knows how to play basketball. And sometimes he gives the torch to other guys when actually, he UIC 60, Loyola 49 could be doing a little bit more to help us," Collins said. "It's fortunate he realized that tonight." Kreps kriows how to win, having led tiny Maroa-Forsyth High School to state championships in basketball and football. He was runner-up in voting for Mr. Basketball last year. Kreps scored on what turned out to be the most important possession of the game. After Loyola's Ross Forman sank a 3-pointer to trim the Flames' lead to 35-33, Kreps responded nine seconds later with his own 3 on an assist by Mayo. "Josh got the ball and just ran down the court," Kreps said. "He saw me, and I just let it fly, and it went in." Mayo scored on a drive soon thereafter to make it 40-33, and Loyola never recovered. Scott Vandermeer added 9 points and Tori Boyd 8 (all on free throws) for UIC. Tracy Robinson, a senior, completed his college career by scoring 15 for Loyola (1219). Forman and Andy Polka scored 10 each. "The last 10 minutes, we just couldn't get baskets," Loyola coach Jim Whitesell said. "Their zone bothered us." Illini women upset top-seeded Ohio St. Associated Press Illinois never considered itself the underdog against Ohio State. Never mind ,t:fie Buckeyes' (22-8) top seed, or No. 22 national ranking. The Fighting,, Illini fully expected to win their Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game Friday night in Indianapolis. Rebecca Harris scored 22 points, and Illinois beat the Buckeyes 64-58. Lori Bjork scored 14 points and Jenna Smith added 13 for the ninth- seeded Illini (18-13), who reached the semifinals for the first time since 2001. "The seeding means nothing to us," Harris said. "We know we can beat any of these teams because we've seen them already. If we were the underdog, then I guess it was an upset." Illinois gained confidence by beating the Buckeyes 68-64 on Jan. 31 to split the regular- season series. The Illini have won three in a row under first-year coach Jolette Law, but they need 2 more victories to clinch their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2003. "I tried to mute my celebration a little bit, trying to save energy for the next two games," Bjork said, Tennessee 92, Florida 61: Candace Parker scored 26 points and No. 3 Tennessee (28-2) beat visiting Florida (18-13) to reach the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament. Shannon Bobbitt scored 22 points for Tennessee. College roundup Men (MVC quarters) L;.>!>. iY> 1*. •* . uuu' Illinois St 63, Missouri St. 58: , Bop,..Richardson.scpje^ 14 points and Osiris Eldridge added 13 to lead Illinois State past Missouri State (17-16) in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis. Second-seeded Illinois State (23-8) faces either Northern Iowa in a semifinal contest today. The Redbirds outscored Missouri State 16-7 over the final 6:26. N. Iowa 54, S. Illinois 49: Matt Shaw scored 22 points and had 9 rebounds but it wasn't enough for Southern Illinois (17-14) in a loss to Northern Iowa (18-13). Drake 68, Indiana St. 46: Adam Emmenecker had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, and No. 20 Drake (26-4) beat Indiana State (15-16). Leonard Houston scored all of his 16 points, including three 3-pointers, in the second half for the Bulldogs. Drake will play Creighton in the semifinals. Creighton 74, Bradley 70: Creighton (21-9) led by as many as 18 points in the first half, but Bradley rallied before faling short. Theron Wilson scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half for Bradley (17-15), I AVJ BtC OME. A MLMBliK CJI II! I: ROYAL HAWK'S DtAl OK No l)i Al Ml. MBLKSHIP BY HAYING ANY PORTION Gl YOU K' I N I 1 IA I ION I LI. i Koivi $1 ,OOO TO nit I ULL $15.00O. ONCL WL tin OUK ML M bLKSHIP GGAl YOU MUbl MAKt A DECISION. Di:Al OK NO Dl At All MEMBERS ARE GUARANTEED A MINIMUM Oh I WO Yl AKS Or IviLhIBt KSHIP AT I'llL CLUB. FOK FUKIHEK DLI/Uts PI EASE i ON i AC i NANCY AI 63O--584-4OOO LAI 2'\ \ \ wt.t. KUAYS i & A T 6 3 0 - 7 4 0 - 3084 ( w E E K t. NI ) S ) .

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