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February 05, 1960 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1960-02-05

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by Jim Rena gh, Sports Editor



Michigan Icers Face Rugged Trip

-j .



MICHIGAN'S brightest newcomer in the school's colorful hockey
history will carry the Maize and Blue and pressure of the big
reputation on the Minnesota ice tonight in a long-awaited moment
for coach Al Renfrew and Wolverine backers.
"I'm not worried about it, though," says man-on-the-spot Gor-
Bere son, a sturdily-built Canadian who has just become a first-
semester sophomore.
Berenson, a 20-year-old who's carried the name "Red" with him
most of his life, has psyched himself up to meet the expectations of
him which are based on 13 years of superb amateur hockey. The only
thing that bothers Red is that he worries about how his teammates
will react to his tremendous advance billing.
"But how else can you describe a guy with all that potential?"
questions Renfrew, one of his biggest supporters.
"Red has more potential than any kid I've ever coached," he
added, after quickly recalling his nine years of teaching hockey at
North Dakota, Michigan Tech and Michigan - a trio of college
hockey hotbeds.
Renfrew, using a typical coaches' caution, emphasizes that the
Redhead still has to prove himself in a game but points out that the
ace center's talent, size and speed (he's 6'0" and 185) and that extra
special "tremendous amount of desire" that leads to greatness.
The coach is quick to mention thta Red Ls very coachable, even
though the rookie is better than the coach ever was.
AS FOR PROVING himself, Red has a fine background already.
He began playing hockey at seven for the Montreal Canadien's
system in hometown Regina, Sask., and has been under their rights
ever since.
He advanced fast and finally reached the Regina Pats, a highly-
regarded outfit that was runnerup to an Ottawa team (which has
sent National Hockey League rookie-of-the-year Ralph Backstrom,
Bruce Gamble and John Trembley to the majors) for the 1958 Cana-
dian junior championship. Berenson and NHL star Bill Hickey were
the two top scorers on that team.
Last year, Red dropped out of spring semester to join a Cana-
dian team which won the world amateur tournament. Red led all
pointmakers with 10 goals and two assists in eight games.
That's when the pressure came: "Should I return to school or
concentrtae on the pros?" pondered the serious Berenson. Fortunate-
ly for Michigan, he decided on the former.
It meant turning down a possible $10,000 a year contract for
each of the next two years for a boy who just gets room and rent
in "the cheapest Ann Arbor apartment" for himself and his wife of
five months, tuition and books. Montreal asked him to join its
Rochester club after the world tourney.
It also meant hampering his professional career, since college
hockey - to Red - is played without the tough body checks and
with fewer games than the pros can offer.
But Red has figured that a college education is worth more than
pro hockey in the long run. He backed up his talk with his tran-
script, which showed a 3.0 average for the past semester.
However, he knows that the "pro money comes fast" and liopes
to get a share of it upon graduation as a petroleum geologist. To
improve himself, he stays out with the freshmen after varsity prac-
tice is over to try new tricks and perfect old ones.
Until that pro money comes, the Redhead will have to prove
himself in college. The recent surge of Billy Hay with the Chicago
Black Hawks has been encouraging, though. Hay, a potential NFL
1960 rookie of the year, is a former Colorado College ace who was
the first collegian to star in the majors.
Only the next three years, which begin for Red at Minneapolis
onight, will tell.
Ready for the New Year.
Get Your 1960
Calendars & Appointment Books
314 South State
(Giving Morrill Support For 50 Years)

TO SEE FIRST ACTION-Red Berenson, Michigan's newly eligi- Now, withekl
ble center, will be first seen on Coliseum ice a week from Tuesday behind them, Renfrew's charge
against Michigan State. Berenson came to Michigan via the are faced with a grueling schedule
Regina Pat Junior "A" championship team of 1958, and saw of six games in the next 12 days
action last winter with the Canadian national team in Europe. the first five on the road.
Former Teammates Aid Wolvernes;
Regina Pats Lead 'M' Resurgence

The final buzzer sounded and
the blue-shirted team skated off
the ice 4-0 victors.
The roster of this winning team
included such names as Joe Lung-
hammer, Gerry Kolb, Bill Kelly,
John Palenstein and Red Beren-
son. A close follower of the Michi-
gan hockey team might recognize
the names and think he was read-
ing of another Wolverine win.
But he's be wrong.
Win Western Canada Title
The time was March, 1958, the
scene was Regena, Sasketchewan,
and the Regina Pats had just won
the Western Canadian Junior "A"
championship from the St. Boni-
face (Winnepeg) Canadians.
Today, less than two years later,
the nucleus of one of Canada's
finest Junior "A" teams has be-
come the key to the Wolverines'
current success and future hopes.
And the strangest part of the
story is that in a period in which
extensive recruiting is engaged in
and accepted by all American col-
leges, this sophomore quintet of
icers were not approached by Wol-
verine mentor Al Renfrew, but
came to him instead.
Top Team
That this team was among the
best junior teams collected in re-
cent years can be best demon-
strated by tracing a few of its
players that have scattered
through the hockey world.
Among the leading Pat gradu-
ates who played with the five now
wearing the Maize and Blue are
Bill Hickey (Montreal Canadians),
Aut Erickson (Boston Bruins) and
Dave Balone (just moved from the
minors up to the Toronto Maple
Supplies Colleges
Surprisingly enough, that same
team has had 13 players move into
American college ranks. This is
despite the fact that Canada's
Junior "A" teams are primarily
designed to feed players into the
National Hockey League.
In fact each team is considered

coaches are eager to see players
get to college, Junior "A" coaches
offer no assistance to their charges
in contacting schools.
Says Lunghammer, "They're in
business to get players for the
major league clubs and don't want
to send anyone to school if they
can help it."
But in spite of this, Michigan
now has five of the Pats, Denver
has five, Michigan Tech has one,
and one matriculated briefly at
North Dakota.
Led Pats
The first line for the champion-
ship Pat team of 1958 included
Lunghammer, Berenson and Hick-
ey, who is now with Montreal in
the NHL. Kolb played on a line
with two of the current aggrega-
tion, and Kelly's linemates went
to Denver and North Dakota.
The five Wolverines from Regina
have become good-will agents for
Michigan and are currently trying
to attract Kolb's linemates to Ann
Arbor. One of these, Gord Wilkie,
is now the second highest scorer
in the league.
Another player that Lungham-

Ili' %/%

~~D a

S A T I S F I E S . . S


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