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August 06, 2001 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2001-08-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8- The Michigan Daily - Monday, August 6. 2001

W - - - -, .# - - l' - -0 -, - - -I

All in the
Michigan hockey celebrates itself
with its annual alumni weekend
By Seth Klempner * Daily Sports Editor

The sign read "Michigan Hock-
ey Reunion" but it would have
been more appropriate had it
said, "Michigan Hockey Family
Reunion." There were kids running
around, wives talking about the family,
bands of brothers laughing together,
drinks, food-a-plenty, raffles, shirts
bearing the family name and the patri-
arch orchestrating the entire event.
Teammates are so close that they
consider each other brothers, not for-
mer linemates. And they all looked up
to Michigan hockey coach Red Beren-
son like a father from the time they
were at Michigan. Upon seeing each
other, it was as if the miles and years
that separated former teammates were
washed away and they were living
together in a house on Packard again.
"I know our class," Berenson said.
"The class of '62 has remained close.
We call each other and you set the clock
back 40 years (when) we were still
great friends. I thought that is the way it
should be with all these guys and that is
what we are trying to do here."
Part of what makes this gathering
special is its inclusiveness. Even moth-
ers and fathers of former players are
brought back into the family along with
any friend that a player might bring
with them to Ann Arbor.

"This is absolutely phenomenal,"
Sharon Sacka said. Sacka is the mother
of Ron Sacka, who graduated from
Michigan in 1995. "There isn't any-
thing like it. When I come back they are
still friendly, they greet you, I can't say
enough about them. Parents, coaching
... I think that is what has shaped them
into who they are."
It is those factors that have helped
shape the individuals and program into
what itis, and why despite being
removed from the program people are
always welcomed back into it. Like a
family, regardless of how long you are
removed from it, you can always come
back and depend on its members.
Nor do the fans forget, as the more
than 1,000 fans and band members in
attendance for Friday's alumni game
took the time sing "Happy Birthday" to
Sacka, who turned 30, during a break in
play. It is these fans who make players
feel welcomed when they first get to
Michigan, and are so responsive to the
dedication and camaraderie of the team
and its players that they would remem-
ber the birthday of a player who gradu-
ated more than six years ago, or invite a
player's parents into their home for din-
ner and make them feel welcomed.
"For all of us it is a time to get
together with friends and remember

The oldtimers were the first to hit the ice Friday evening in a series of games between different aged Michigan hockey alumni.

what we went through to become the
people that we are today," two-time
national title goaltender and Michigan
career wins leader Marty Turco said.
Turco graduated with the class of 1998.
"Michigan helped shape us and the
influence of Red and the history of
Michigan hockey."
It is this shared experience, which
creates a desire amongst players to will-
ingly come back to Ann Arbor for the
reunion and relive old experiences and
retell old stories.
Turco, despite his success playing
goal tender for the Dallas Stars, has not
become so big that he can't return to
play some pick-up hockey with old col-

lege friends.
"(Ann Arbor) is a special place and it
holds a special place in our hearts,"
Turco said.
Andy Hilbert, who played in the
Under-35 game on Friday, pointed out
that all over the NHL there are former
Wolverines. It creates a common bond
whether people played together or not
and knowing that people came from the
same place helps to reaffirm that bond.
"Everyone wants to come back. It is
not something that you are forced to do
- it is something you really enjoy, with
great company and see the little ones
running around," Columbus Bluejacket
Blake Sloan (a 1998 graduate) said.
The desire to come back is also part
of what allows generations of players
and varying types of personalities to
join each other in such a loose family
atmosphere. Much of this attitude can
be credited to Berenson, who has made
it his desire to make the Michigan
hockey program into a family.
"The Michigan hockey family is a
close group and I think Red and his
staff have done a good job of bringing it
back together," Dan Farrell said. Farrell
coached Michigan from 1973-80. This
is a great outing. "Everybody-is having
a good time and it is great for Michigan

Wally Grant, who graduated from
Michigan in 1950 served on the M
Club, a board made up of all the athlet-
ic programs at Michigan, pointed out
that hockey, for the longest time, was
the only sport to have a reunion outside
of a football weekend.
"This is about tradition," Athleti
Director Bill Martin said. "I think it's
just wonderful what Red has done here
with this program."
Martin added that the reunion was
still growing and that every year more
people want to come back.
Berenson has established the idea
that once you are a Michigan hockey
player or hockey parent or wife, you
will always be involved in that family
and community. What aids the popular-M
ity of the reunion for these former pla
ers is not merely the chance to play gold
with friends, but also the chance to get
out on the ice and play pick-up hockey
with people whom they haven't played
with since leaving Michigan.
But the Michigan hockey family
does not limit itself to people directly
connected to the program. David Bro-
phy, a professor of finance at the Busi-
ness School, played for Ohio State fron
1961 to 1965 and was invited to play in
the over-50 game and later to the golf

iN aticrnwide
After graduating from Michigan, many players persue dreams with NHL team and dis-
perse themselves throughout North America. Here are some of the Michigan alumns
and thier NHL city.

David Oliver, Ottawa

Mike Comri

Brendan Morrison, Vancouver

e, Edmonton

John Madde
Aaron Ward,
D tit

en, New Jersey
Mike Knuble, Boston


,tj )9Fi 5f SCOTIA
y £ Bill
A N J New Yok
i DE Islanders
Blake Sloan,
Ii. Columbus
A - Steve Halko, Carolina
c T r l
. David Harlock and
Chris Tamer, Atlanta
)Bubba Berenzweig, Yil
NashvillerCam Stewart, Florida

O' Captain My Captain
About to ester into the 17th year of his
coaching career at Michigan, Red
Berenson has returned the Michigan ~£ z , -
hockey program to the upper echelon of
college hockey. In doing so, Berenson
has guided the Wolverines to two NCAA-
Championshps in 1996 and 1998. He
has also won four CCHA Tournament
championships in the past eight years
and has brought Michigan to the NCAA
Tournament in each of the previous 11
seasons - currently the longest such inFE996 erenson brought theirst
streak in college hockey. NCAA c ampionship back to Michi-
A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, he gan in 32 years.
became one of the first NHL prospects to pass up the NHL for the chance to
receive an education, of which he received both his bachelors and masters
degree from the Michigan School of Business Administration.
While at Michigan, Berenson earned All-America and team MVP honors in
both his junior and senior seasons and set a Michigan record with 70 points
in 28 games. After graduating in 1962, Berenson joined the Montreal Canadi-
He would play for 17 seasons and accumulate 261 goals and 397 assists, the
most by any Michigan hockey alum.

Jeff Norton
and Steve
Shields, San

Marty Turco, Dallas

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