The Wolverine

November 2015

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 163 of 193

V oted the preseason No. 1 team in the Big Ten by the league's six coaches, No. 11 Michigan was off to the best start in the conference through the first two weekends of college hockey action, going unde‑ feated in two games Oct. 16‑18. Picked to finish second, Minnesota was struggling terribly early this year, going 0‑3‑0 in its first three con‑ tests while surrendering nine goals and scoring just one. Wisconsin (0‑2‑2) and Ohio State (0‑4‑0) were also winless through Oct. 20, while Michigan State was 1‑2‑1 and Penn State 2‑1‑0. Combined Big Ten teams are 5‑12‑3 in non‑con‑ ference action, likely already doing considerable damage to the league's RPI. Michigan, which hasn't won the Big Ten in the league's first two sea‑ sons, should have its best chance to claim the conference crown. "We definitely should be in the hunt," head coach Red Berenson said. "If, if, if, if. We have the same challenges that we've had every year. Questions about goalie, questions about our team defense … our over‑ all goals against has to come down. I've been saying that the last three years. "It was too many bad goals, too many turnovers, poor defensive zone coverage. We want to be the best team we can be defensively, and we want to give our team a chance to do what it's good at offensively." "I think this is our year," senior goalie Steve Racine added. "Every‑ one in that locker room has finally bought into the team concept, and I don't think we have any weaknesses this year. "We have four skilled lines, we have eight strong defensemen, and in net we have two to three guys that can play every night." ❏   MICHIGAN HOCKEY Big Ten Favorite Michigan Off To Best Start Michigan head coach Red Berenson and the Wolverines, the preseason No. 1 team in the Big Ten, started the season 2-0 while other conference teams struggled. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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