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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2010

SPORTS

KALAMAZOO GAZETTE

COLLEGE BOWL SEASON KICKS OFF, B3

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The following events ended too late for this edition:

Osgood's road to 400 wins has been bumpy

Goalie has played majority of 17-year career with Red Wings

BY ANSAR KHAN

GAZETTE NEWS SERVICE

WMU HOCKEY: Broncos vs. Union College K-WINGS: Kalamazoo vs. Reading HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Kalamazoo Central at Rockford

For results, check out mlive.com/ sports/kalamazoo

DETROIT -- Chris Osgood was one month shy of his 21st birthday when the Detroit Red Wings promoted him from the minors and put him in net at Maple Leafs Gardens in Toronto. He was pulled midway through that first NHL start, a 6-3 loss on Oct. 15, 1993.

It could have dama ge d h i s p syc h e . Instead, it built his resolve. "After that I sat on the bench and Scotty (coach Bowman) came up to me and said, `Don't worry, you'll be Chris here for a long time,'" Osgood Osgood said. "That day I realized I could make it in the NHL, and be pretty good at it.'' He has won no individual trophies. He has played in only two All-Star games. He seldom is mentioned in a conversation about the league's best

goaltenders. But in 17 years, OsDallas Stars at good has piled up a lot Detroit Red of wins. Now he is one Wings, 5:30 p.m. victory away from betoday on FSD coming the 10th goalie to win 400 games. His first attempt at the milestone will be today against the Dallas Stars at Joe Louis Arena. It's an important number to Osgood, one he expected to pass comfortably last season. But after experiencing his worst season, the milestone was delayed. "Now that I'm at 399, it's not a

ON THE AIR

BY THE NUMBERS The NHL's top 10 winningest goaltenders:

1. MARTIN BRODEUR 2. PATRICK ROY 3. ED BELFOUR 4. CURTIS JOSEPH 5. TERRY SAWCHUK 6. JACQUES PLANTE 7. TONY ESPOSITO 8. GLEN HALL 9. GRANT FUHR 10. CHRIS OSGOOD 607 551 484 454 447 437 423 407 403 399

SEE OSGOOD, B4

IN BRIEF

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo served a one-game suspension and Durrell Summers scored a seasonhigh 25, leading the No. 14 Spartans to a 90-51 win Saturday night over Prairie View A&M. Izzo watched the game on TV from home. The NCAA forced Izzo to miss a game because the school employed someone associated with a potential recruit during a basketball camp in June. The person was paid $475 for five days to work with middle schoolaged campers. No one with ties to Izzo recalls him missing a Michigan State game since Jud Heathcote hired Izzo as a part-time assistant in 1983. Associate head coach Mark Montgomery led the team in Izzo's absence. Draymond Green scored 11, Kalin Lucas had 10 points and a seasonhigh eight assists for the Spartans (8-3). Trant Simpson scored 17 for the Panthers (2-10).

MSU wins without Izzo on sideline

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Big leads don't mean Jack

BRONCOS KNOCK OFF JACKRABBITS, MASTER ART OF WINNING CLOSE GAMES

BY GRAHAM COUCH

KALAMAZOO GAZETTE

Linebacker Greg Jones has been named Michigan State's most valuable player. He received the honor at the team's annual banquet Saturday. The All-American received the Governor's Award after leading the seventhranked Spartans to a share of the Big Ten championship. They will play 15th-ranked Alabama in the Capital One Bowl. Offensive tackle D.J. Young and safety Marcus Hyde received the President's Awards for perseverance, and fullback Josh Rouse earned the Biggie Munn Award as the team's most inspirational player.

Jones is Spartans MVP

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

KALAMAZOO -- There is joy in winning close games. And value in knowing how to do it consistently. But, in the case of Western Michigan University's men's basketball team, there's a bit of concern that winning any other way simply isn't an option right now. The Broncos were at their best and worst Saturday against South Dakota State, playing the sort of game that has defined them, to a new extreme, in a 77-74 win at University Arena. Ahead 19, then down seven, then somehow MORE walking off the court Broncos happy. "I told the players Replay, B2 (Friday) night, `Let's put together 40 minutes and if we put together 40 minutes, we can win by 15,' " WMU coach Steve Hawkins said. " `Let's do that once.' And I thought we were on the way to doing that. And then we had a little lapse, they came back. But we never got rattled." Hawkins' mind-numbing crew won its third straight game by three points or less, pushing WMU (5-4) above .500 for the first time this season. "We've got some tough kids," continued Hawkins, whose team has played five games decided by one possession. "This is our team, though. This is it. What you saw today, this is the Bronco basketball team. We are capable of getting a 19-point lead and we are capable of throwing that thing all over the gym. We're working toward eliminating that." The Broncos' gritty junior class saved them again Friday, with Flenard Whitfield and Demetrius Ward

SEE BRONCOS, B2

AP PHOTO

Up in the air: Oakland's Keith Benson, left, tries to steal the ball from Michigan guard Zack Novak in the second half.

U-M handles Benson, Oakland

BY MICHAEL ROTHSTEIN

GAZETTE NEWS SERVICE

UPDATE Western Michigan 77, South Dakota State 74

Next game: WMU vs. Troy, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday What: First of three games at World Vision Invitational in Logan, Utah Records: WMU 5-4, Troy 1-9 Radio: WZKO-FM (96.5)

Brett Favre won't play in Minnesota's game Monday against Chicago. Favre didn't participate in Saturday's practice, and Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said the 41-year-old quarterback won't play against the Bears. Favre's NFL-record streak of 297 consecutive starts ended last Monday when the Vikings played the New York Giants. He said this week his sprained throwing shoulder is still bothering him and he's also still experiencing numbness in his hand.

Favre ruled out

NFL

GAZETTE PHOTO/ERIK HOLLADAY

Elevating: Western Michigan's Flenard Whitfield scores over South Dakota State's Griffan Callahan. Whitfield had 18 points.

ANN ARBOR -- Hidden in the back of Evan Smotrycz's locker hung a grey T-shirt. The blue lettering framed a picture of Crisler Arena with three simple words: "Guard Your Yard." Winning at home has been a theme for Michi- THE SCORE gan basketball this season. In the Wolverines' 69-51 win against Oakland on Saturday afternoon, they did that against their Michigan 69 best interior opponent to date. Facing future NBA draft pick Keith Benson, Michigan forced the fifthyear senior into his worst Oakland 51 game of the season. While doing so, the Wolverines learned something about themselves. They are a pretty good defensive team. "They are very much like a Big Ten team, big perimeter, big bigs, tough down low and shooting from

SEE MICHIGAN, B2

Does anyone care about UConn's streak?

Huskies could surpass UCLA's record of 88 straight wins

GAZETTE NEWS SERVICE

DAVID

FACT SHEET

OPINION

Some of the facts and figures from UConn's winning streak

Out of 3,480 minutes played during its 87-game win streak, Connecticut has trailed for 132:08. Of that, the Huskies trailed for 13:21 in second halves. The Huskies' 65-64 win Nov. 16 over Baylor was the second time during the streak that an opponent played within a single-digit margin. The other was Stanford, in last year's national championship game (53-47). Connecticut has held the record for longest Division I women's win streak for several years, dating back to its 70-game streak of 200103, which is the second-longest ever. The next-longest streaks are 54 wins by Louisiana Tech from 1980-82, and 46 wins by Tennessee from 1996-98. Connecticut is 16-0 against top10 opponents during the streak, and has won those games by an average of 23.5 points. Connecticut is 29-0 against AP Top 25 teams during the streak, and has won those games by an average of 24.6 points. Connecticut is ranked No. 1 in the AP poll for the 49th consecutive week, the longest such run ever. The second-longest streak was 36 weeks by Louisiana Tech from 1980-82. Connecticut's average margin of victory during its 87-game win streak is 33.3 points.

MAYO

Domination at work

Chris Pronger had surgery on his right foot Friday and could miss up to six weeks, depriving the Philadelphia Flyers of their star defenseman. Pronger broke the first metatarsal on Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens. The injury was discovered after an X-ray and CT scan on Thursday. -- Gazette wire service

Pronger has surgery

NHL

ne of sports' great streaks is in imminent danger, and not Brett Favre's streak of quarterback starts, which received more attention when it ON THE AIR ended last week than the University No. 1 UConn of Connecticut's 88vs. No. 11 Ohio game win streak in State, 2:30 today women's basketball on ESPNU has received. If this were Cal Ripken's consecutive-games streak, or Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak, or even Oklahoma's record for consecutive major-college football victories, the media drone would have reached anticlimax by

O

now. Hundreds of media would converge upon tiny Storrs, Conn. Maya Moore, who merely is the best player in program history, on the most dominant women's team ever, would spend an afternoon with Oprah. Geno Auriemma's face would be on every news magazine cover in the country, and Morley Safer would return to reprise and update his 60 Minutes feature on the coach. In every promo for every sportscast, a tease about Connecticut's women. Film at 11. The feat would make front pages, not sports pages. And, in fact, if there is any

SEE MAYO, B2

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