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Almost every aspect of this season's Michigan hockey team is different. Except for in net, the
Wolverines will have to find themselves after the departure of nine storied seniors.
Muckalt, Herr needed to fill
void left by departed superstars
By Pranay Reddy
Daily Sports Writer
Excellence - a trademark of the
Michigan hockey team for the past
The same could be said for its for-
wards - consistently excellent.
However, with the departure of
superstars like Brendan Morrison
and Jason Botterill, there are chinks
in the armor of the mighty
Wolverines. Now, coach Red
Berenson is simply hoping for one of
the two qualities his departed class
displayed - consistency.
"We are going to look for combi-
nations of players that play well with
one another," Berenson said. "We
Dale Rominski and the rest of the Michigan offense will need to pick up the scor-
ing after the graduation of mainstays like Brendan Morrison and Jason Botterill.
Startng age -
don't have a lot of players returning
that I know play really well with cer-
tain other players.
"If you're not scoring, you can still
work hard and play good defense,
and that is going to be the main
emphasis for the first half of the
Not the most enthusiastic words,
but what else can be expected with
the departure of such a talented class
This is not to say that this year's
version of the front lines are sub par
by any stretch of the imagination.
Rather, they are solid - but for a
team used to brilliance, this is quite a
Captain Matt Herr
is the second lead-
ing returing scorer
for the Wolverines.
Nevertheless, no team in the
CCHA could complain with an
offensive unit led by Michigan cap-
tain Matt Herr and assistant captain
Both players are dominant on the
offensive front, with strong defen-
sive skills as well. Muckalt was the
second-leading scorer on last year's
team with 64 points, while Herr was
third in goal scoring, tallying 29.
Muckalt's numbers are even more
impressive league-wide, considering
he is the leading active point- and
goal-scorer in the CCHA.
Despite the success of both
Muckalt and Herr, there is still a
considerable drop-off from the lines
of the past to this year's group.
Berenson understands this and
remains unfazed by the challenge of
the upcoming season.
"There are a lot of unknowns as
far as what our lines are going to be,"
Berenson said. "I don't even know
what our lines are going to be in
November, but I know what they are
"We may have more changes in
our lines this year than we have in
the last four years put together - or
we may not."
The uncertainty felt by Berenson
is brought on more by the lack of
real-game experience of his young
forwards rather than lack of talent.
Therefore, in a sort of trial by fire,
Berenson is tentatively inserting
freshman center Mark Kosick into a
line with right wing Muckalt and left
wing Greg Crozier.
"The biggest concern is that they
haven't played a lot together,"
Berenson said. "It's going to take
them some game situations to get
See FORWARDS, Page 9C
Colgate may be part of the ECAC, but
the Red Raiders are facing a theme all
too familiar to many teams in the
CCHA, including Michigan.
Colgate lost 50 percent of its total
scoring from last season, including sec-
ond team All-American and Hobey
Baker finalist Mike Harder, who left the
team as the Raiders' all-time leading
Colgate coach Don Vaughan, tak-
ing a page out of the books of nearly
every other coach who's ever been in
his position, said the uncertainty that
surrounds the Raiders this season
should be a source of excitement, not
"We've lost some marquee names,
but it allows some other guys who have
been playing in the shadows to finally
get their chance," Vaughan said. "As a
coach, it's always fun to see who'll step
Aside from the eight untested fresh-
men, there are plenty of returning play-
ers willing to increase their contribu-
tions and to prevent Colgate from expe-
riencing its first losing season in three
Seniors Rob Mara and Tim
Loftsgard are the top two returning
scorers for the Raiders. The pair tied
for third in scoring on the team last
year with 33 points, good enough to
share the ] 3th position among all scor-
ers in the ECAC.
Anchoring the Raiders' defense will
be juniors Mark Holdridge and Ryan
Faubert. Holdridge played in 29 games
last year, while Faubert played in 25.
The Raiders will face Michigan in
their first two games of the season Oct.
17 and 18. Vaughan said the games
should provide Colgate with a strong
"It is great for our program to face a
team that was the national champion in
1996 and a national semifinalist last
year," Vaughan said.
- Chris Farah
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