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October 14, 1996 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-14

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20B The Michigarr Daily - FRoff '96 - Monday, October 10"1996


Monday, 0der 14, 1996-

-- - V f "

ichigan against the nation

Michigan hockey recaps


Maine's stars leave program in
wake of NCAA postseason ban

Long history demonstrates shades of Red: Berenson, Wing

Remember when Maine broke the
Wolverines' hearts in triple-overtime of
the 1995 NCAA semifinal? Well, that is
the last pleasant memory for anyone
associated with Black Bears hockey.
As of now, pending the result of an
appeal, Maine will not be allowed to

compete in this season's NCAA tourna-
ment. Several top players have left the
university as a result of the problems and
uncertainty in the program.
Last December, Maine reported viola-
tions to the NCAA and penalize itself by
suspending hockey coach Shawn Walsh
for one year, reducing its number of ath-
letic scholarships and barring itself from
the 1996 NCAA tournament.
In June, the NCAA Committee on
Infractions found Maine violated rules in
several areas, including extra benefits,
recruiting, eligibility, financial aid and
personnel. Examples of infractions
include improperly received free meals,
lodging, use of a car and skybox seats at
a Boston Red Sox game.
The committee further penalized the
university by extending the hockey
team's ban from postseason play to
include this season and taking away 13
football scholarships.
Maine, while agreeing with virtually
all of the NCAA's findings, including the
lack of sufficient institutional control at
the university from the mid-1980s until
1994, has appealed both penalties, argu-
ing that the sanctions failed to reflect the

university's cooperation, self-investiga-
tion and corrective measures. The results
of the appeal will not be known until
The effects of the infractions will be
felt greatly on the ice, as five seniors and
one sophomore have chosen to pursue
other options.
Defenseman Jeff Tory and goaltender
Blair Allison, both former All-
Americans, will both forgo their senior
years to play for the Canadian national
Allison played in 31 games last sea-
son, maintaining a 3.11 goals-against
average, while Tory led the squad with
37 assists.
Center Tim Lovell and right-wings
Brad Mahoney and Jamie Thompson
will play their senior years elsewhere
after transferring over the summer.
Lovell, an All-Hockey East selection last
season, has left for Massachusetts, while
Mahoney transferred to Northeastern.
Thompson left to pursue professional
Defenseman Brett Clark, the youngest
of the departees, was a Hockey East All-
rookie selection last season. Clark has

Maine's triple-overtime victory over the Wolverines in 1995 was the last great -
moment for the Black Bears, as NCAA sanctions have since depleted the program.

also joined the Canadian national team.
He was also a sixth-round draft choice of
the Montreal Canadiens this year.
At this point, you might be wondering
who's left.
Maine still has some offensive punch,
with its two top goal-scorers, junior
Shawn Wansborough (27-16-43) and
senior Dan Shermerhorn (20-23-43)
returning. Senior center Trevor Roenick
(7-15-22) should also make up for
some of the lost senior leadership.
In net, freshman Alfie Michaud will

take on the difficult task of replacing
Allison. Michaud is the only recruited
goalie on the team.
Maine has many holes on defense.
Senior Jason Mansoff is the top returner
after his eight-goal, nine-assist season.
At 6-feet-4, 215 pounds, freshman
Robert Ek's size could make an immedi-
ate impact.
Greg Cronin will coach the Black
Bears until the suspension of Walsh
expires in late December.
- Dan Stillman

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Writer
The numbers are impressive. A
NCAA-record eight national champi-
onships. A .576 all-time winning per-
centage. Over 1,100 victories in 74 sea-
But numbers alone do not tell the
story of Michigan's rich hockey history.
From the first day of varsity hockey
tryouts on Jan. 7, 1923, the team began
to make its mark in Ann Arbor. Thirty-
five men showed up for the initial prac-
tice led by Joseph Barss.
As the first Michigan varsity coach,
it was up to Barss to establish tradition
and set the standard for the years to
come. Barss, who had played on the
team at McGill while a student, used his
hockey background to quickly gauge
the talent level on the ice.
The largest asset the coach brought to
the program, however, was his experi-
ence. Having been around college
hockey, he knew what was necessary to
build a solid foundation.
Beginning in its initial campaign,
Michigan played at the Weinberg
Coliseum, where the team remained
until 1948, when it moved into the
Michigan Coliseum.
The Weinberg Coliseum was a build-
ing that required immediate renovations
before accepting its primary tenant.
While today's rinks are surrounded by
plexiglass and entirely enclosed,
Michigan's home actually was con-
cerned with installing dasher boards
around the entire playing surface.
Fans received their first chance at
luxury when the Athletic Department
placed seats surrounding the rink. Until
the renovations, fans were forced to
stand for the duration of each game.
Improvements to the Weinberg
Coliseum made it "the finest hockey
rink in this part of the country," accord-
ing an Athletic Department document
from 1923.
Michigan quickly established its win-
ning tradition with a victory in its first
game, a 2-1 overtime thriller over
In the 17 years of the Edward Lowrey
coaching tenure, which began in 1927,
Michigan was an average team. The
years were marked by the only sub-.500
coaching record in school history.
Years of mediocrity created the need
for improvement in the program, and a
coaching change turned out to make a
significant difference.

The arrival of coach Vic Heyliger
created a resurgence of hockey spirit in
Ann Arbor, and Michigan began a
stretch unmatched in college hockey
The Wolverines won their first
NCAA championship in 1948 behind
the G-line of Wally Gacek, Wally
Grant and Ted Greer. It was
Gacek's six-point perfor-
mance in the champi-
onship game against y
Dartmouth that
proved to be the
While win-
ning nearly 80
percent of its
contests dur-
ing Heyliger's
13 years,
attitude was
changed by
Heyliger as
well. Among the
brought to the
Weinberg Coliseum
were exhibition
games against the
Detroit Red Wings.
The Wings used the new
Michigan Coliseum to practice in
1948 when the Ice Follies were using
Olympia Stadium downtown. And in
return, the Wolverines got a chance to
faceoff against the NHL giants.
"It was nerve-wracking," former
Wolverine Wally Grant said. "Me play-
ing against Gordie Howe? That was a
big thing. It was fun."
That fun began to turn into blowouts
and something had to be done to
increase competitiveness. So the teams
started trading.
"We used to switch lines," Grant said.
"One of their lines would put on a
Michigan jersey and one of ours would
wear Wing (sweaters)."
In the 1948 contest, Red Wings
goalie Harry Lumley, began in the
Michigan goal and was facing shots
from his own teammates.
Once Detroit felt secure after the first
period of the 1957 game, it decided that
professional goalies were too tough for
the collegians.
When the second frame began, the
Red Wings' trainer was between the
pipes. To add insult to the comical
atmosphere of the game, he was wear-

ing a 10-gallon hat and smoking a cigar
while in goal.
Those exhibitions were terminated
upon the NCAA's request, so Michigan
had to look elsewhere for additional
c ommpeti-

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551 3 UDt i lit

Showcase Showdown at 'the Joe'

The College Hockey Showcase moves
to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit for the first
time this season.
And, for the fourth time in three years,
Michigan will face hockey powers
Minnesota and Wisconsin. Michigan
State will also take part in the Nov.29-30
weekend of college hockey at the Joe.
While Michigan fans may remember
Minnesota as that team the Mike Legg
scored the "Goal of the Year" on in the
NCAA quarterfinals, there is nothing
trivial about the Golden Gophers.

Coach Doug Woog has led the
Gophers to the NCAA tournament in
each of his 11 seasons. The one thing
missing from Woog's resume - a
national championship.
And despite losing the 1996 Hobey
Baker Award winner, forward Brian
Bonin, one of Minnesota's top goal-
tenders ever, Jeff Moen, and a top
defender from last season, Dan Trebil, to
graduation, confidence is running high
in Minneapolis for a run at the title.
Four of Minnesota's top-five scoring
forwards from last season return in '96.
Among them, sophomorewmg Erik


Enter the Russians. The Soviet Union
came to Detroit for a single game
against the collegians in 1959.
Michigan allied itself with Michigan
State for the exhibition, but that was not
much help. The combined collegiate
squad fell to the Soviets, 7-3.
"In Russia, we have no student teams
which can compare to this one" Soviet
coach Anatoli Tarasov said after the
game. "It was the roughest game we
have played in this country.'
The Russians were not the only team
to fear Michigan in the '50s. With five
national championships between 1951-
56, Michigan established itself as the
team to beat. The successive titles were
a run of dominance which no college
team can match - before or since.
"Heyliger started us on the upward
trend," Grant said. "National champi-
onships didn't have all the teams (com-
peting) that there are now, but it was
still very exciting."
But Heyliger, himself a player in the
'30s, saw the need for a change. And his
prodigy, Al Renfrew, took over the
Michigan helm.
Although following Michigan's most
successful coach was quite a task,
Renfrew was up to the challenge.
In 1964, his team brought home
Michigan's seventh title - and its last
for 32 years.
One man was the tie-in between the
two championships, and his name
remains the foremost in Michigan
hockey - Red Berenson.
His arrival was eagerly anticipated
midway through the 1960 season and

immediately expectations were high.
Just prior to Berenson's first seas
Renfrew suggested that Berenson w
talented enough to play pro hock
without college.
Fortunately for Michigan, Berens
had done his homework about t
"(1) went to the library and fou
the best school (academical]
that had hockey," Berens
Fortunately f
Michigan, Berenson n
only remained in A
Arbor to get his degri
he rewrote t
Michigan recc
Berenson left w
his name on t
Michigan marks
. goals in a season (
and total points
one year (72).
Berenson v
Michigan's M
Valuable Player t
times, and in 1962, g
nered the same award for
Western Collegiate Hoc
"It was a huge thrill for me
year we played in the NCAA (tour
ment)," Berenson said. "We lost, but
should have won (that game)."
In the years following the 19
championship, the program took a ti
for the worse.
Renfrew departed in 1973, and ui
1984, Michigan lost more games tha
Fan support dwindled, despite
move from the Michigan Coliseum
Yost Ice Arena in 1974, and interest v
at a lull.
While in the 1950s and 60s f
would line up down the street fo:
chance to get into the 2,000-s
Michigan Coliseum, during the folk
ing two decades fans couldn't give a
a ticket.
A single semifinals appearance
1977 interrupted the longest string
mediocrity in Michigan hockey hist<
There was little interest in the hol
program, and Yost had poor facili
for modern hockey.
Michigan, after a 40-year accord v
the WCHA, joined the Cent
Collegiate Hockey Association for
1981-82 season. That began a string
changes for Michigan.
So Michigan searched for a co
who could bring the program back to
glory days when Berenson led on the
and Renfrew stood behind the bench.
And, as with the successful Michil
coaches of the past, it was a fori
Wolverine who resurrected the progr
It was Berenson. The most fami
name in Michigan hockey returned
Ann Arbor to share his experience a
more importantly, to restore the pr
that was once felt for hockey on c

Rasmussen, taken by Buttalo as tne sev-
enth overall pick in this year's NHL
A key player in one of the top defens-
es in the nation last year heads into this
season as one of the pre-season favorites
See SHOWCASE. Page 22B
2 11 . I N S I.9 9 - 1
211 N. MAIN ST. 995-1366

1220 South Gniversity 665-7777

I didn't know what I was getting
into regarding the state of the
program ...But I believed in college
hockey, and I believed in Michigan."
- Red Berenson
Michigan hockey coach

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