The Wolverine

October 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2011-12 hockey preview ������ michigan hockey U-M Will Face Rival OSU In Outdoor Game Last season, Michigan hosted Michigan State in The Big Chill at The Big House (above), and this season U-M will face Ohio State outdoors at Progressive Field in Cleveland. W hen the Wolverines meet rival Ohio State in an outdoor hockey game Jan. 15, 2012, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, they will have already played in front of 242,996 fans to have braved the elements during a trio of outdoor contests Michigan has participated in since 2001. Although this will be their third winter classic in as many years, the Maize and Blue are giddily anticipating another great opportunity. ���We���re definitely spoiled because there are only a handful of college hockey teams that have played in one outdoor game, and we���re not taking that for granted,��� senior forward David Wohlberg said. ���I think we keep getting asked because it���s a respect factor. We���ve won more national championships than anyone else, have been to more NCAA Tournaments, and I think we���re a draw.��� Michigan played each of its first three photo by per kjeldsen outdoor games on a football field ��� at Michigan State in October 2001, at Wisconsin in February 2010 and at Michigan Stadium in December 2010 ��� but this year���s game will add a new element when U-M meets OSU on a baseball diamond, the home of the Cleveland Indians. When the puck drops, though, the environment will slip into the background. ���Before the game and after the game you notice your surroundings, but it won���t make a difference during the game,��� Wohlberg said. With discussions heating up in the offseason, head coach Red Berenson embraced the idea of playing in another outdoor game, declaring Michigan will never turn an opportunity down. ���I can���t see us playing in a game every year, but this will be another unique game, and we���re excited to be playing this game,��� he said. ���I think all of these events have a positive impact on college hockey. I don���t think anything will touch what we did last year, The Big Chill, but that doesn���t mean we should retire from doing outdoor games.��� Wolverines Aren���t Worried About Runner-Up Hangover In the 2010 NCAA championship game, Boston College devastated Wisconsin in a 5-0 victory. Badgers nation still hasn���t forgotten, in part because UW did not return to the NCAA Tournament in 2011, leaving the one-sided shutout the most recent postseason memory for the program. Michigan, which has qualified for an NCAA-record 21 consecutive national tournaments, is determined not to follow in Wisconsin���s footsteps, promising last year���s runner-up finish will not affect its play this season. ���It���s done,��� head coach Red Berenson said, firmly. ���We had a Cinderella finish and maybe didn���t win, but we were as good as anybody in the country at that point. We beat the best team in the semifinals [North Dakota]. ���We didn���t win it all, but it���s not like I���ve had a disappointing summer. I was inspired by our team. I think our team was inspired by what they did, and that should carry forward. ���It might take a few weeks of practice for this team to leave everything behind, but when you start looking around a locker room and there���s no Carl Hagelin or Matt Rust or Louie Caporusso, it starts sinking in that last year was last year and this is this year.��� Since 2000, only two runner-up teams did not qualify for NCAA Tournament the following year ��� Wisconsin in 2011 and North Dakota in 2002. If there���s a model to follow, Boston College fell in the 2000 and 2006 national championship games but won the title the next season. ���Guys still joke a little bit about last year because it still hurts, but once the season gets going our entire focus will shift,��� senior forward David Wohlberg said. ���Our goal is to win the national championship this season, and there is no reason we can���t accomplish that.��� Conference Realignment Rocks College Hockey On March 21, few may have realized the first ripple in college hockey would cause a tidal wave reaction, but that is what occurred over the summer after the October 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 59

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