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April 06, 1998 - Image 15

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-06

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Champio s!

The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 6, 1998 - Ill

RIO
3

lerenson wins on many different levels, still
"etains classic flavor of college hockey coach

4'
*Key play:
At 17:51 ini overtime, Michigan for-.
ward Josh Langfeld took a pass from
defenseman Chris Fox along Boston
College's left goal line. Langfeld-
skated in, by the left faceoff dot and
fired a shot past Boston College
goaltender Scott Clemmensen stick-
side for the goal - and the national
championship.

SbrisFarah
Sports Editor
BOSTON - Michigan coach Red Berenson
is done a lot of winning in a lot of different
ays.
As a player at Michigan, Berenson earned a
putation as one of the greatest Wolverines of all
ne. In 1962, his senior year, Berenson led the
'CHA - Michigan's conference at the time -
ith 41 points, including 24 goals and 17 assists.
is 43 goals and nine hat tricks in his last year as
lverine are still Michigan records.
The success didn't stop there. Berenson went
i to a career in the NHL, and won the Stanley
up with the Montreal Canadiens in 1962 - a
ort time after his last game as a Wolverine. As
e coach of the St. Louis Blues in 1981,
erenson won the NHL coach of the year award
ler leading his team to a record of 45-18-17 -v
e best in Blues history.
But all those awards, all those victories and
nors in all the different phases of his life, don't
h Berenson's championship wins as a col-
coach for Michigan. Berenson took over as
ad coach at Michigan in 1984, and since then
s experienced some of his finest hockey
>ments.
In a sense, Saturday's NCAA championship is
st one of those experiences. But in another way,
turday's victory over Boston College is special
it represents everything Berenson loves about
llege sports.
"I tried to tell myself, 'Try to enjoy this,"'
Pnson said about his composure during the
me. "This is a great, great environment. You
n't get this in pro hockey. You don't get this
vironment - the enthusiasm from the fans
>m both teams.
"Our kids will never have anything like this
ppen to them. Even if they win a Stanley Cup
believe me, it won't be the same as this kind
experience. "
If anyone can judge the value of college hock-
it's Berenson. His numbers as a college coach
Snstrate some of his greatness - two nation-
ampionships, eight consecutive appearances
the NCAA Tournament, five final fours in the
st seven seasons ... the list goes on and on.
But statistics can't really capture what makes
renson a model of college coaching. Berenson
emplifies what a coach is supposed to be - he

fits all the cliches, automatically making him
unique.
He cares about hockey, but he values education
first.
He demands the respect of everyone around
him without ever seeming to try.
He seems to have a magical effect on his play-
ers - very few of whom ever leave college early
to try their hands at pros, even with the pressures
of agents and scouts.
Michigan assistant coach Billy Powers played
under Berenson as a Wolverine during the late
'80s, and returned a few years after graduating to
help on the bench. The native of Sommerville,
Mass., represents just one of the reasons
Berenson loves to coach - he loves to watch oth-
ers succeed.
"For (Powers) to come back to his home city
and win a national championship in front of
18,000 people, does it get any better than that?"
Berenson said. "That's what makes me feel good,
when I see other people enjoy this."
More than anything else, he appreciates the
purity of sports. He believes in facing opponents
straight up, man-to-man, which is why he detests
the neutral-zone trap, a technique that takes the
edge off the action of a game.
It's almost as if Berenson came to life out of a
movie - a character who would be played per-
fectly by Paul Newman: The wise, weathered
coach who's still in such good shape that he's
probably better than a lot of his players; who
remembers the past with fondness, but embraces
life in the present.
Somehow, NCAA Tournament hockey makes
all those qualities come out even more. But the
NCAAs haven't always been kind to Berenson.
He's' experienced a great deal of success, but
Michigan hasn't always managed to win when
expected in years past.
That makes this year's national title - when
the Wolverines weren't expected to do much of
anything in the tourney - all the more important
for Berenson. Even considering all the other hon-
ors Berenson has earned over the years, this one
was different.
"Like I said, the best team may not win it, but
it meant so much to our program, because we had
gone so long with a great team, and we'd been in
a number of final fours," Berenson said. "We got
knocked off in some great college hockey playoff

""'""uua"' 1 - -t w f
Michigan 0 1 1 1- 3
Boston College 1 1 0 0- 2
First period -1. BC, Caulfield 9 (Mottau), 4:19,
Penalties - M, Berenzweig (tripping), :28: UM,
Matzka (high sticking), 16:31; BC, Caulfield (cross-
checking),18:36. Second period --1. UM, Kosick 13
(Berenzweig, Crozier), 7:42; 2. BC, Lephart (Farkas,
Allen), 18:38, pp. Penalties - BC, O'Leary (slash-
ing), :51; UM, Hayes (holding), 11:29; BC, Hemenway
(cross-checking). 11:29; UM, Herr (hitting from
behind), 17:26.Third period -2. UM, Kosick 14
(Muckalt, Fox), 13:58. Penalties - BC, Hemenway
(holding stick), 1:58; UM, Langfeld (hooking), 2:54;
BC, Bellefeuille (hooking), 4:15; BC, O'Leary (inter-
ference), 9:55. Overtime - UM Langfeld 19 (Fox,
Matzka), 17:51..
Shots on goal - UM, 7-810-10 - 35; BC, 11-7-9-3
-30
Power'Plays - UM, 0 of 5; BC, 1 of 4.
Sves -UMTurco 10.69-3 - 28; BC, Clemmensen
7-7.9.9 - 32,
Referee - Mike Schmitt
Unesmen - Randy Schmidt, Jones Jonalvy
At: FleetCenter, Boston; A: 18, 276

WARREN ZINN/Daily
Michigan coach Red Berenson develops a strong rapport with his players. Berenson helped convince for-
ward Bill Muckalt to return to Michigan for his senior year.

games.... We finally won it (in 1996) and it was
a great, great feeling."
"This game, we shouldn't have been here, we
shouldn't have won it, and yet we did. And it's
even a greater feeling."
Berenson is in love with the game, which
makes it difficult to ever imagine him retiring -
although even he has to remind himself every
now and then why he does what he does.
"I have enjoyed it, I really have, and yet it kills
me sometimes," Berenson said. "I think, 'Why
am I doing this? It's not worth it.' But it really is

worth it."
After all these years, why is it worth it? What
makes an NCAA championship so memorable?
For the same reason that Berenson is one of col-
lege hockey's coaching greats. His highest prior-
ity is his players - their education, their growth,
and their success.
"That's the one thing I've learned in college
coaching - never think you know everything
about these kids," Berenson said. "Because kids
will surprise you. And they surprised me again
this year and this week."

Young guns fire away at Eagles
Freshmen Kosick, Langfeld score all three goals in championship game

By Shamat Raju
Daily Sports Editor
BOSTON - It's going to be all downhill now for the freshmen.
After winning an NCAA championship, the remainder of their
careers might be anti-climactic. But for now, the nine freshmen who
have grown up and lived together for an entire season can revel in their
most recent accomplishment - the national title.
"I'm so happy," freshman forward Mark Kosick said. "When I came
down here I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know one player on
the whole team. I met all the freshmen and they're all my best friends.
"I have friends at home, but these are all my best friends now."
The Wolverines, stacked with nine freshmen this season, appeared
to be skating on thin ice. And when the postseason started, it seemed
logical that Michigan would be led by its battle-tested seniors. Logic
doesn't always work in sports, however. All three Michigan goals in
the championship game were scored by freshmen. Mark Kosick
recorded the two regulation goals and Josh Langfeld netted the game
winner in overtime.
"I just shot it low, it went into the net - and we're national cham-
pions," Langfeld said.
All season, the freshmen have grown and built themselves into
strong players. The upperclassmen have often said that during the sea-
son they were no longer freshmen, that they were playing with a matu-
rity beyond their years.
Langfeld, who started the season as one of the marquee newcomers,
was in somewhat of a slump in the second half of the season. The big
forward recorded 19 goals and 18 assists and was named to the all-
CCHA second team. Although only making the second team upset the
Coon Rapids, Minn., native, Langfeld got his redemption with
Saturday's game winner.
Other freshmen came up big in the championship game as well,
especially on the defensive end. Defenseman Dave Huntzicker has

been a force all season, playing on the first line with Bubba
Berenzweig. On numerous occasions, the Ann Arbor native was the
lone defender in the Michigan zone and refused to get beat, keeping
himself between Boston College's forwards and his own net.
"We've played these kind of games all year," Huntzicker said.
"They had us on our heels a little bit, but we knew that all it takes is
one shot to win it."
Two other freshmen defensemen, Mike Van Ryn and Scott
Crawford, also played significant roles on defense. Van Ryn, arguably
the best offensive defensemen (with apologies to Berenzweig), con-
tinued his strong play until sustaining a concussion late in Saturday's
game. The all-CCHA rookie team selection recorded 18 points on the
season along with scoring five assists in a single game, against
Colgate back on Oct. 18.
And when Van Ryn went down with the concussion, the little-used
Crawford stepped up and filled his shoes during the overtime.
While the freshmen blueliners were the biggest question marks
heading into the season, the forwards weren't necessarily a sure thing
either. But as the season developed, the coaches soon found out that
Kosick, Geoff Koch and Scott Matzka were each scoring threats, along
with Kosick and Langfeld. Koch, Langfeld and Matzka - the fresh-
man line - proved to be invaluable to coach Red Berenson.
"I didn't feel uncomfortable playing them against (Boston College
forward Marty) Reasoner's line, which might be one of the best ... lines
in the country," Berenson said. "But that line can skate."
As outstanding as the freshmen have played this season, the coach-
es attribute much of their success to the more experienced Wolverines.
"I think our upperclassmen did a great job of taking them under
their wing, as well as coach Berenson," Michigan assistant coach Mel
Pearson said. "I'm just happy for them. We keep talking how it could
be anybody and that we're a chain-link. You're only as strong as your
weakest links are."

:i

MARGARL MYtRS/)aily
an freshman center Scott Matzka played against Boston
ge's top-scoring line, despite his youth.

)eja vu all over again for Blue

OINCIDENCE
stinued from Page I
e.
e hero in 1996 was, of course, No.
3rendan Morrison, who scored the
ne winner.
[his season, the hero was No. 9
rk Kosick, who scored Michigan's
it two goals.

cussion toward the end of regulation,
Berenson had no choice but to put
Crawford in the game.
And despite playing just a couple of
shifts in each of the past three games,
Crawford played a regular shift in over-
time and played well.
"You've got to keep your head in the
game no matter what," Crawford said.
"You don't know what's oinu to han-

Muckalt and Matt Herr thought that the
hockey team's title was a little more
impressive.
"For the football guys, I'm just kid-
ding, but we're one up on you right
now," Muckalt said.
"We don't have to share it with
Nebraska," Herr said.
WHAT RULE?: This season a new
NCAA rule went into effect that nro-

As one of the
most improved
players on the
e 2 team, Michigan
Sdefenseman
Bubba
b Berenzweig
exemplified the
hard work dis-
played by the
Whivr.ar ns

,~

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