12B The Michigan Daily - F W '99 -Thursday, Octbe 4
The Michigan aily - Faceoff '99-
If you take 12th Avenue past
Cornwall Street and Victoria Park,
youll see it. The large square build-
ing rises out of the landscape much the
way all of Regina, Saskatchewan fits
oddly against its prairie background.
Its tough to imagine now, but in many
respects the foundations of a legendary
Michigan hockey legacy were planted
here at the Regina Public Library 40
years ago. It may be a bit simplistic, but
arguably this was the point where
Michigan first beckoned to a young
And the self-described prairie kid has
been answering that call for four
First guiding the Wolverines to
national prominence as a player while
resisting the lure of a professional
career, then catapulting the Michigan
hockey program into the national spot-
light as a coach, western Canada native
Red Berenson has become a Michigan
But it was a journey that began not in
a rink, but in a library.
HOME ON THE RANGE
On this day a blue hat all but covers
the hair that gave Gordon "Red"
Berenson his nickname. A wealth of
plaques and trophies all but covers the
quiet room he sits in, testaments to what
the coffee-sipping general has orches-
trated since becoming Michigan's
eighth head coach 15 years ago.
But these things haven't always been
there - and despite his unparalleled
commitment to Michigan hockey -
neither has Berenson. There was a time
when Berenson couldnt find Michigan
on a map. That was until former
Michigan coach Al Renfrew recruited
What Berenson, an academic stand-
out did know was that he could find out
more about the school at the library. So
with his parents in tow, Berenson went
to the big building by Victoria Park.
What he found on 12th Avenue in
5z ri:s..- ,. 4
MARKS HICKS/Special to the Daily
From his own playing days at Michigan, to his years as an NHL star before taking over as Michigan's coach, Red Berenson
has enjoyed a life in like few others. This season Berenson enters his sixteenth year as the Michigan general 40 years after
first playing hockey for the Wolverines in I
Regina that day put him on State Street
in Ann Arbor the next fall
"The thing that impressed me most
was the academic strength of the
school," Berenson said. "My parents
and I looked up the credibility of the
schools that were interested in me.
Michigan was at the top academically."
PRAIRIES FOR PUCKs
So the kid who grew up playing vir-
tually all sports enrolled as an engineer-
ing student to pursue the one he loved
the most - hockey. And while the aca-
demic strength of.Michigan impressed
Berenson, what he discovered when he
visited Ann Arbor sold him on the
"I came down here, and immediately
I could sense that this was a big-time
university. I liked that," Berenson said.
"I also liked the fact that Ann Arbor was
close to Detroit, where I could go see an
Berenson saw his first NHL game
that fall of his freshman year in 1,959
when the Detroit Red Wings 'played
host to the Montreal Canadiens. Little
could he have imagined that he would
go on to play for both teams.
But not before skating his way to All-
America honors his junior and senior
years at Michigan while staking his
claim as one of the Wolverines finest
players of all time, leading them to a
third-place NCAA finish his senior
"We didn't win the national champi-
onship, although we could have and
maybe should have," Berenson said.
"But we were a real good team, and I
felt good with the progress in the pro-
gram. I felt good with being able to
Though his teams never reached the
NCAA pinnacle, Berenson marshaled
the Michigan squad to within two wins
FASTEST SER VICE!
* 1002 PONTIAC TR.
of the title in 1962. scoring 43 goals in
just 28 games that year - a Michigan
record that stands to this day. While he
shares the record for goals in a season
with Dave Debol, consider that
Berenson scored his in 28 games, Debol
But for Berenson, personal success
and athletic accolades paled in compar-
ison with what he worked to achieve off
the ice. Berenson switched from engi-
neering when he was accepted to the
business school, where he earned his
degree in 1962.
"We had some good seasons, as a
team and individually," Berenson said.
"But the thing that Im most proud of is
that while I was here I was a serious stu-
dent as well as a serious player. To suc-
ceed at both makes me very proud."
FROM AWESTRUCK TO AWESOME
These days the fabled Boston Garden
is just a memory. The old fieldhouse, a
shrine to the six-team NHL, seems best
remembered as a part of the bygone era
of professional hockey's more formida-
ble years. Into this setting a much
younger Berenson walked before lacing
up his skates to play his first NHL game
alongside boyhood idols. Even now,
more than 35 years after that night,
Berenson calls it the most exciting
moment of his NHL career.
The story surrounding Berenson's
entrance into the professional ranks in
1962, seems to read like a film script.
After seeing his Wolverine squad to a
third place finish in the NCAA
Championships in Utica, New York,
Berenson was driven to Boston where
the next day he suited up with the sto-
ried Montreal Canadiens at Boston
Garden, becoming the first player to
ever jump directly from college to the
If the mere jump alone wasn't
already impressive, consider the
resilience of Berenson who had told the
Canadiens, arguably the best team in
the game, that he wouldn't leave school
to play despite being courted by the
squad since first coming to Michigan.
Interestingly, Berenson managed to fin-
ish classes supporting a wife and two
children in a small apartment rather
than opt for a chance at a lucrative
Maybe it was the wait that made that
night so special, or maybe not. What is
certain though is that the moment
affected Berenson like none other in his
"It was unbelievable," Berenson
explains with a smile and a shake of the
head. "That is what I would call the
biggest thrill of my career, that night in
"Just looking around the lockerroom
and seeing the guys that I had just wor-
shipped as a younger player was incred-
ible,' Berenson says, the smile sneaking
across his face slowly as he names a
litany of the games greats that wel-
comed him to the NHL that night.
Berenson's entry into the league may
have been the stuff that dreams are
made of, but it was his return to
CCHA Rank - Media Poll
Miami enters the 1999-2000 season
with a new optimism fueled by first
year head coach Enrico Blasi. Blasi,
who played for the Red Hawks from
1990 to 1994 ranks 14th on the school's
all-time scoring list. Blasi looks to
bring Miami back to the postseason
after last year's team missed the CCHA
playoffs for the first time since 1990.
"We've been working hard to change
the attitude at Miami," Blasi said. "We
return 19 letterwinners. I believe that
we understand after the year that we
had last year that it takes a great effort
every night to be successful in such a
The Red Hawks will look to junior
forward Jason Deskins to provide the
scoring punch this season. Deskins led
the team with 40 points last season
including a CCHA best 26 goals.
Deskins isn't the only returning
starter on offense either. The Red
Hawks welcome back 73-percent of
their offense from last season. Deskins
along with senior Mark Shalawylo and
Pat Leahy should provide a pretty
descent 1-2-3 punch for Miami.
The Redhawks will also have the lux-
ury of returning two senior goaltenders
in Ian Olsen and Andy Marsch, who
will have one of the most improved
defensive units in the conference in
front of them.
- Chris Grandstaff
Strong- veterans to lea(
tLast year's overall record: 11-20-5
Last year's CCHA record: 9-17-4
Last year's results vs. Michigan
Dec. 4 Mich. 1, Miami 0
Feb. 26 Mich. 6,Miami 1
Nebraska joins CCHA
CCHA Rank - Media Poll
Recruiting in college hockey is tough.
With so many attractive opportunities
that often provide direct routes to the
NHL, college programs often have to
fight to get high quality players.
So, with little more than three hours of
daylight in the winter months acting as a
counter-incentive, recruiting is a tough
chore for Alaska-Fairbanks.
Yet, Fairbanks' first-year head coach
Guy Gadowsky doesn't believe that his
team is disadvantaged when it comes to
drawing players in.
"There are a lot of beautiful things in
Alaska," Gadowsky said. "It has some of
the best fishing and hunting in the world.
Hockey players are many different types
"Alaska is the best place for some
people and there are those who say
Fairbanks, Alaska is the greatest place in
The primary difference between this
year's and last year's team will be the
presence of Gadowsky who took over
the team from Dave Laurion.
The Nanooks returns 12 of their top
15 scorers from last season as well as 20
letter-winners. They are also counting on
key performances from seniors Kerry
Hafele and Sjon Wynia who led the team
in scoring last year.
But the strength of the Nanooks roster
is the defense. By returning six of their
top seven blueliners from last year, the
team is fielding its strongest lineup ever.
The defense may be required to hold
down the fort in their own zone as the
Nanooks will alternate redshirt freshman
Nathan Wheeler and true freshman
Lance Mayes between the pipes.
CCHA Rank - Media Poll
New Bronco headman Jim Culhane
is bringing more than just a new face to
Kalamazoo - he's instilling a new sys-
tem. Culhane and his coaching staff
want to turn things around for the
Broncos this season. In fact, they've
been challenging the team since the
spring with a focus on off ice condi-
Culhane intends to develop the
Broncos into a "run and gun" team that
gets off a lot of shots and puts pressure
on the opposition both offensively and
defensively. Center David Gove and left
wing Jason Redenius are the teams',top
returning scorers. Both have excellent
speed and should fit perfectly into
Culhane's new system.
Western Michigan will also get some
needed firepower back with the return
of junior Brett Mills. Mills missed last
season due to a medical redshirt, but
should be a key contributor for the
Broncos this season.
"We should be an exciting team this
year," Culhane said. "I really want to
emphasize defense and putting pressure
on the puck. If we can do that then
maybe we can make it back to Joe
If the Broncos plan on making their
first appearance at the Joe in four sea-
sons they'll need to make one major
- Chris Grandstaff
CCHA Rank - Media Poll
No, it's not a misprint. This season
the CCHA welcomes the University of
Nebraska-Omaha, as it's 12th member.
In only their third year as a program,
the Mavericks join one of the top con-
ferences in college hockey.
"We're extremely thrilled to be
aligned in such a prestigious confer-
ence," coach Mike Kemp said. "We feel
that our dreams were realized and met
last June when we were accepted into
Those dreams will likely transform
into a nightmarish first season in the
league for Kemp and the Mavericks,
who only registered 11 wins last sea-
son. Despite their record the Mavericks
have registered big wins in their short
history over such programs as Maine
and Denver - -wins that have Kemp
expecting big things from his squad.
"Obviously we want to finish first,
but realistically our goal is to make the
playoffs," Kemp said. "Our short term
goal is to unveil ourselves to the CCHA
in a much better fashion than the
Cleveland Browns did in the NFL"
- Chris Grandstaff
New system for Broncos
Players to watch
Mike Kemp, third season
Notable: This is Nebraska's first sea-
son in the CCHA and third overall
season. They've beaten Maine,
Denver, and Massachusettes just to
name a few..
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