OXFORD Nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche believed that the “will to power” was the catalyst for human behavior and struggle. He believed that people strive to become the master of their space and to extend their force over all that resists its extension.
It is highly unlikely that Michigan junior Mike Cammalleri had Nietzche in mind when he stepped onto the ice for overtime Friday night against Miami. But the alternate captain perfectly executed the philosopher”s principles on the “will to power,” demonstrating why he is the top player in college hockey.
Determined to end the game on his own terms, Cammalleri received a breakout pass from sophomore defenseman Andy Burnes at center ice and brought the puck up the ice with one Miami defenseman to beat.
He curled towards the top of the circle after crossing the Miami blue line and, using the helpless defenseman as a screen, released a sniper-like wrist shot that ripped into the net 57 seconds into overtime. It happened so quickly that neither Miami goalie David Burleigh nor the Miami defender had any time to react. After the goal, the Michigan junior didn”t jump around, but merely raised one arm in celebration. He had done only what he expected to do score the game-winning goal in dramatic fashion while making it look easy.
“In overtime, I guess it is a matter of will,” Cammalleri said after scoring his third game-winning goal in the past three games. “It comes down to having played three periods and one team wanting it more than the other.”
It seems that when you have that level of skill you not only get to pick your spots, but you are also able to execute in those spots.
The goal did not come without help though. After the game, a modest Cammalleri gave credit for the since to former administrative assistant, Brian Wiseman. Prior to the game, Wiseman told Cammalleri to shoot high on Burleigh because he tends to lower his glove when he goes down.
These performances have not been out of the ordinary for the Wolverines” top playmaker.
At Ferris State last weekend, with the score tied at four and just over one minute to play in the third, Cammalleri pulled another game-winning goal out of his bag of tricks.
“It is nice to see that the skilled players can score big goals,” coach Red Berenson said of Cammalleri”s recent efforts. “Some guys score a lot of goals and some guys score clutch goals and Mike Cammalleri has been (doing both) for us. If we have a guy that is a clutch player right now it is Cammalleri.”
When asked if their was any way to stop the center, fellow junior John Shouneyia shook his head and smiled, adding that it is not a job he envies.
Said Shouneyia: “He”s definitely the best player in the league, there”s no question about it. When he wants to, he can take the puck end to end and make something happen. When we need a goal, he makes something happen. He can control the game.
“I don”t think you can shut him down really. Some players are just too good, and he”s too good. (Shutting down) players like (him) … good luck.”
Unfortunately for many of the Michigan hockey fans, plays like these haven”t yet occurred at Yost Ice Arena. But with the majority of Michigan”s remaining games are to be played at home, clutch goals may soon become a familiar site to the Yost faithful.