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March 28, 2011 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-03-28

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4R - Marrh R 9n1

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

INVESTIGATING THE UNIQUE PIPELINE BETWEEN
MICHIGAN AND ST. MICHAEL'S COLLEGE SCHOOL
BY STEPHEN J. NESBITT

BOB WATT DAVID HARLOCK

BOB SCHILLER 57

The first thing you notice is the last
thingyou'd expect.
In the center of the locker room at
St. Michael's College School Arena lies
a dark blue block 'M.' Seven feet above
it and just beneath the low-lying ceil-
ing, a pair of white L-shaped heating
ducts converge in the center of the
room. On both sides of the duct, names
are scrawled in precise, capitalized
black lettering.
Beside each name, a system tracks
each player's progress: one dot if draft-
ed, three for playing in the NHL. Each
name is followed by the university that
the player attended.
Here, in the heart of hockey country,
lies a true anomaly.
At St. Michael's College School, a
program renown for producing nearly
300 NHLers and 14 Hall of Famers, the
names most prominent in the locker
room are college players - those who
spurned the money of professional
hockey for an education.
For Canadian players, going to the
OHL is the rule. St. Mike's is the excep-
tion.
"They've always been known for
sending people to college," Michigan
senior and 2007 St. Mike's graduate
Louie Caporusso said. "They take a lot
of pride in that. I feel like people get a
lot more respect in Toronto for goingto
St. Mike's rather than the (OHL)."
And no program has benefited from
St. Mike's unique dedication to col-
lege hockey more than the Michigan
hockey program. Six All-Americans
and more than 25 players have made
the trek from Toronto to Ann Arbor in
the last 60 years.
The duct in the locker room at St.
Mike's isn't just a heating vent - it's an

idyllic representation of the unwritten
pipeline binding two hockey main-
stays: St. Mike's andMichigan.
Just around the corner in the St.
Mike's locker room, a plaque sits at eye-
level on the wall.
It's the only plaque in the room dedi-
cated to a single player. It's for the son
of St. Mike's - the one who did it right.
That son is Andrew Cogliano.
Cogliano, a Toronto native, came to
St. Mike's in seventh grade and played
for every possible St. Mike's-affiliated
team from the under-14 team to the
Double Blues high school team to the
Buzzers, an Ontario Provincial Junior
'A' team, until he left to become a Wol-
verine in 2005.
The plaque remembers him, and
so does the duct. The plaque shows
Cogliano at center ice at the "Barn
on Bathurst Street," and details the
accomplishments of his last year as a
Buzzer.
66 assists (St. Mike's record)
102 points (St. Mike's record)
6-3-goal games
1- 4-goal game
But Cogliano is the program's post-
er-child not because of these accom-
plishments, but what he did after St.
Mike's.
Though everyone in the land knew
Cogliano would end up in the NHL -
where he is today, as a fifth-year player
for the Edmonton Oilers - he didn't
take the fast track.
He traded his light blue St. Mike's
No. 7 sweater for No. 9 as a Wolverine,
and never regretted it.
"Michigan was kind of the one team
that I grew up watching," Cogliano
said Thursday. "The idea of going to
college and playing there and going to
school, it seemed like the right place to
be."
Cogliano was drafted 25th overall
by Edmonton in the 2005 NHL Entry
Draft, but he made his way to Ann
Arbor anyway.
"It gave me a chance to develop,"
Cogliano said. "I didn't rush in juniors
or in college; I took my time. Playing
for both schools got me ready in the
sense of making me mature, growing
up as a man and be ready for the pro-
fessional life and the life of an NHL
hockey player."
Under Michigan coach Red Beren-
son's watchful eye, Cogliano flourished
at Michigan, earning more than a point
per game in his two seasons. After his
sophomore year, Cogliano punched his

CAPORUSSO

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