The Michigqn Daily-Thursday, April 9, 1981-Page 9
From Blue to Blues,
Berenson has success
By LARRY MISHKIN
Standing behind the bench last night
at the St. Louis Blues' opening game of
the National Hockey League playoffs,
ex-Michigan hockey star Gordon
"Red" Berenson began his second
quest for a Stanley Cup.
Before Berenson assumed the
coaching reins in the middle of last
season, the Blues' record stood at 7-14-
3. After the transition, St. Louis became
the most improved team in the league,
playing 27-20-9 hockey the rest of the
way to finish 34-34-9 and earning a spot
in the playoffs.
AND THIS YEAR, when most "ex-
perts" called last year's improvement
a fluke and picked the Blues to be one of
only five NHL teams to miss the playof-
tionately called by the St. Louis fans
during his playing days with the Blues,
played for two years, 1960-62, on the
Michigan hockey team and is 15th on
day after his last college game.
In a way Berenson was lucky to be
drafted because, as he pointed out,
when he played at Michigan, college
'Going to college hurt me only
because it took me out of the
mainstream of the hockey scouts.
College was a distant land and
very few players went from
college to the pros. '
regularly and maybe improve his talen-
ts enough to then be drafted."
After leaving Michigan, Berenson
played with Montreal through the 1965
season before being traded to the New
York Rangers. He stayed with New
York until the beginning of the 1968
season when he came to St. Louis and
became an instant favorite of the fans.
HIS POPULARITY was guaranteed'
when he tied an NHL record held by Sid
Howe and Darryl Sittler by scoring six
goals in one game, against Philadelphia
in November of 1968. Berenson called
that performance his most memorable
individual moment as a pro, saying that
it was "one of those nights where you
may have played better, but everything
goes into the net."
In an unpopular move with both
cities, Berenson was traded to Detroit
in 1970 for Gary Unger, but eventually
came back to the Blues in 1975 and
retired at the end of the 1977 season
with a career total of 209 goals and 312
assists for 521 points.
Berenson then became an assistant to
Blues coach Barcley Plager and when
Plager became sick during the 'early
part of last year, Berenson took over.
HOW DID BERENSON feel about the Y
possibility of him losing his popularity'
with the fans because of the Blues'
inability to win?
"That's a chance I had to take whenI_-
became coach," he said. "I was never
really intending to coach, but when-
Plager got sick I took over. It kind of
caught me off balance."
Everything worked out well for
Berenson, though, as his team is now
considered to be a serious contender for
the title. If things go well for them, the
"Red Baron" and Co. may finally give
St. Louis the Stanley Cup that it has
waited so long for.
.fs, Berenson's squad went out and com-
piled a 45-19-17 record, good for second
place overall in the NHL.
"We were the most improved team
last year and just started out on the
right foot this year," Berenson said.
"Many people picked us to be one of the
five bottom teams, but here we are, the
most improved team again."
Throughout the Blues' amazing tur-
naround (they only won 18 games three
years ago), the least surprised person
is Berenson himself.
"I WAS NOT as surprised as others
because I had played with some of the
guys on the team so I knew the players
well," he said. "I had a feeling for what
they could do."
The "Red Baron," as he was affec-
Michigan's all-time scoring list with 78
goals and 59 assists for 137 points. He
led the Wolverines in scoring both of his
seasons and during the second season
led the WCHA in scoring as well,
racking up 65 points and being named
the league's MVP.
Berenson was twice named to the All-
American team and the 61-62 team that
he captained won the Big Ten title as
well as finishing third overall in the
NCAA tournament. He also shares the
Michigan record for most goals scored
in a season (43) with Dave Debol.
DESPITE HIS numerous accom-
plishments, Berenson couldn't single
one out as being his biggest, but he did
say that he got a thrill from playing
professional hockey for Montreal the
hockey players were not often scouted
by the pros.
. "Going to college hurt me only
because it took me out of the main-
stream of the hockey scouts," he said.
"College was a distant land and very
few players went from college to the
NOW, HOWEVER, Berenson says
that the situation has changed and
players who want an education can go
to college without hurting their chances
of being drafted.
"I would recommend college for the
player who also wants to get an
education," Berenson said. "We
regularly scout the colleges and a
player who doesn't get drafted out of
junior hockey can go to college and play
Swingin 'in the season t
Sparky Anderson hustles his Tiger infielders through their workout in
preparation for today's season opener with the Toronto Blue Jays. The
baseball season officially began yesterday as the Cincinatti Reds came from
behind to defeat the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies,
Puhl: a rare out-of-stater
By JIM DWORMAN
Recruiting can be ,a very difficult
task when a coach is unable to visit,
make a phone call, or offer a scholar-
ship to a high school athlete. A limited
budget and AIAW regulations have for-
aced this hardship upon the coaches of
omen's athletics at Michigan, and it
has created a tremendous roadblock to
out-of-state women athletes who want
to join the Wolverines.
Softballer Diane Puhl ignored the ob-
PUHL, A FRESHMAN outfielder, is
one of two non-Michiganders on the sof-
tball team, the other being New Ham-
pshire native Diane Hatch. Puhl chose
to attend Michigan even though she was
neither visited nor offered a scholar-
ship by then-softball coach Gloria Soluk.
"Last April, I came to Ann Arbor for
a tryout . .. I didn't get a scholarship,
but coach Soluk said there'd be a place
for me on the team if I wanted it," said
the psychology major.
A tryout is usual softball recruiting
procedure, explained coach Bob
DeCarolis. "Since our bpdget is so
limited we can't get out and recruit out-
of-state kids," he said. "It's not un-
common for them to contact a coach
and set up a tryout. It's very unusual
for a person like Diane to come from
out-of-state without a scholarship."
HAILING FROM Attleboro, Mass.,
Puhl chose Michigan over nearby New
Hampshire and Connecticut because
she "wanted to go to a big-name
school, athletically and academically."
One thing that has surprised Puhl
about Michigan is the small budget of
the softball team. "I thought they'd be
giving more money to women's spor-
ts," she remarked. "1P thought the
school had a lot of money, but it sure
Puhl has found softball at Michigan
to be much more competitive than it
was in high school. "In high school we
LOW COST FLIGHTS
Center for Student Travel
New York, N.Y. 10001
(212) 689-8980 800-223-7676
"OUR 8th YEAR
started practicing two weeks before the
season began. When we lost a game, it
was usually because of the coaching,"
said Puhl. "Here, 'we've been prac-
ticing since Christmas."
AFTER LEADING HER high school
team in batting and stolen bases and
being named the All-Around All-Star
for Division I of the Southeastern
Massachusetts Conference, the jump to
college-level competition has apparen-
tly been a difficult one for Diane. Puhl
was batting only .154.
"I think she has to develop a con-
sistency," commented DeCarolis.
"Right now, it's either all or nothing -
an extra-base hit or a strikeout. She has
to be more selective with the pitches
she swings at."
Another factor which may be affec-
ting Puhl's performance at the plate is
her adjustment to the designated hitter
position. It's difficult for a player to
concentrate at the plate after sitting on
the bench watching teammates play the
When Puhl has hit the ball, indeed it
has been "all." Out of Diane's four hits,
two have been for home runs and 'a
third for a triple.
DESPITE HER personal and the
team's recent slump (the softballers
have lost seven of their last ten games),
Puhl is optimistic about the season.
"We have a good team . . . It's just a
matter of time," she said.
While she feels that Michigan will win
the state playoffs, Puhl's personal goal
for the season is "just to help the
According to DeCarolis, Puhl will
help the team. "I think she's going to
play a lot more in the future, if she con-
tinues to improve the way she has, she
may even earn a scholarship."
SOFT AND HARD,*
CONTACT LENSES $210.00
includes all fees.
includes a second pair of hard lenses
Dr. Paul C. Uslan, Optometrist
545 Church Street
kDs iscount Recods
Adv. tickets at Schol in An, Arbor & Ypsi
Where Hous RecsiAnoutlets'-
& all Hudos& T
DOORS OPEN 1!2 HOU R BE FOR E SHOWTIMES.,NU
FOR MOR E INFORMA TION CALL 90 - MUSIC."
..._...,. A March 20 thru April17
Involving every item in our store
Special prices on calculators.
At PUNDE"' .
and Salad Bar
... team HR leader
Minnesota 5 Boston 4 (OT)
(Minnesota leads series, 1-0)
Islanders 9, Toronto 2
(Islanders lead series, 1-0)
Edmonton 6, Montreal 3
San Antonio 125, Houston 113
(series tied, 1-1)
Sale Ends Saturday, April 11th
Alarm & Travel Clocks
And Other Useful Things
20% OFF Prints and Frames
FOR A LIMITED TIME... enjoy allthefish
filets and all the salad you can eat. Dinner
also includes baked potato and warm roll
Size 8x10 to 24x36
Ready -Made Frames
Size 8x10 to 24x30
Oak, Walnut, Fruitwood