The Wolverine

October 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2011-12 hockey preview nity to contribute more, players in our program take advantage of it.��� For this U-M team to reach its offensive potential there are three levels of players that must step up ��� the bigname talents, the hit-or-miss contributors and the freshmen. The defenders are an additional fourth element, but they won���t occupy the spotlight equally. The Big-Name Talents At the season���s start, Wohlberg, Brown, Treais and Lynch fit this bill. Wohlberg has scored between 10-15 goals in each of his three years and will likely do the same, though he could approach 20 markers if he hits a hot streak. Lynch is, perhaps, the best two-way forward on the team and might end up centering U-M���s top line. He had 11 goals and five assists last season and should approach 30 points this year. Brown and Treais stand to make the biggest jumps. Two seasons ago, Brown was a finalist for CCHA Rookie of the Year honors ��� and he earned All-Rookie Team notice ��� after posting 13 goals and 15 assists. He saw ice time at right wing often on Michigan���s top line with Rust and Hagelin. He bounced around lines last year, trying to find the right chemistry, and tallied just nine goals, though he became a better defensive forward, finishing with a plus/minus of plus-16. An early second-round pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, Brown has the potential to hit the back of the net 20 times with the right center. ���It will be difficult to put up 25 goals, but I���m going to strive for it,��� the Flower Mound, Texas, native said. ���That���s something I���ve been looking forward to this year ��� trying to be a go-to guy and wanting every time Coach looks down the bench in a key spot to say, ���Let���s put Brown out there.��� That���s something I want to put on myself. I want to be one of those guys, and I���m trying to be one of those guys.��� A 5-8, 163-pound centerman, Treais may possess the greatest natural offensive skill on the team. Though not quite as dynamic as a T.J. Hensick, who had 75 goals and 147 assists from 2004-07, Treais could score 15 goals and lead the Wolverines in assists, in the 30-plus range. ���I fully expect A.J. Treais to have a Junior forward Chris Brown, a finalist for the CCHA Rookie of the Year award two seasons ago, has posted career numbers of 22 goals and 29 assists for 51 points. photo by per kjeldsen breakout year,��� fifth-year senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick said. ���If you watch him in practice, he probably has more offensive talent than any senior we lost. If he can put it together in a game, put it together in back-to-back weekends, in a season from beginning to end, we���ll be just fine offensively.��� Hit-Or-Miss Contributors Scan through the archives of championship teams, in any sport, and there tend to be a few players that experienced career years when far less was expected of them that season. In Michigan���s run to a spot in the 2011 NCAA title game, Vaughan scored 14 goals and played his way onto the top line after hitting the back of the net just twice in his previous 93 contests (though he spent two seasons a defenseman). Glendening also continues to surprise. U-M���s captain, the Grand Rapids, Mich., native walked on to the team and was given one task ��� to be a great defensive forward. He has excelled in that role in each of his three seasons, while adding unexpected offense, with six goals in his rookie year, seven as a sophomore and eight markers in 2010-11. Michigan is not counting on Glendening to hit double digits this year but does need him to score some. In the same vein, the Wolverines are counting on greater production from juniors Lindsay Sparks and Jeff Rohrkemper, and sophomores Luke Moffatt and Derek DeBlois. Combined the four forwards had 13 goals and 16 assists while each struggled to earn a consistent spot in the nightly lineup. Moffatt saw the most action, appearing in 36 of 44 games, with DeBlois lacing up in 27 contests, Sparks in 17 and Rohrkemper in 13. At different times, they all contributed, but not with the regularity needed this season. ���The best teams are not just one- or two-line teams,��� Rohrkemper said. ���If our third- and fourth-line guys aren���t scoring and helping every game, we���re not going to win many games. ���For Sparks and I, especially, we haven���t had the opportunity to be in there every night. That���s an opportunity we have to earn by our play in practice, and then what we do on game night. I know both of us feel like this is a make-or-break year for us, and we���re both eager to get off to good starts and show our coaches we deserve to stick in the lineup. I���m really eager for this chance, and I know Sparks is too.��� The Freshmen It���s been nine years since a rookie scored 20 goals for the Wolverines (Jeff Tambellini in 2002-03), while the last freshman class to make a major impact offensively occurred in 2007-08. Each of the past three first-year classes have made marginal contributions to the bottom line ��� three forwards from 2008-09 hit the back of the net 26 times, five forwards in 2009-10 scored 31 markers, and three forwards in 201011 posted seven goals; the six forwards in 2007-08 had 66 goals. This season, U-M welcomes five forwards, including high-end talents Zach Hyman, Phil Di Giuseppe and Alex Guptill, and each rookie will have the chance to earn a spot in the lineup. Hyman has the skill to be a No. 1 center, Berenson noted, though he shouldn���t have to be. ���I think we���ve got a couple freshmen that could be big contributors,��� Berenson said. ���When Louie, Carl and Rust came in, we only had two seniors in Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik, and there was a lot of opportunity. This year there is opportunity, but it���s not as wide open. ���I think our freshmen will contribute ��� we need them to ��� but they October 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 55

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