The Wolverine

May 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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will understand they have more re- sponsibility now," Pateryn said. The 6-3, 206-pound Merrill, who may flirt with the idea of signing a professional contract this summer, is the natural heir to Pateryn as the leader and shutdown defenseman of the blue line, though he does not play with the physicality exerted by the 6-3, 216-pound Pateryn. Neither does senior Lee Moffie (6-1, 205) nor junior Mac Bennett (5-11, 185 pounds). The three are talented of- fensive defensemen that rely more on their skating, positioning, stick work and high hockey IQs to diffuse scor- ing opportunities. "Replacing Greg won't be easy, but you can't try to be something you're not," Merrill said. "With the experi- ence of the guys we have coming back, Lee, Mac, [sophomore] Kevin Clare, we're all going to take a step, contribute more as leaders, and it will be on us to really set the tone." a long reach and above-average of- fensive skill, Wohlberg scored 10 or more goals in each of his four seasons and finished with 56 markers and 55 assists for 111 points, with a plus/ minus of plus-41. Glendening was recognized this TO RELOAD AT FORWARD A talented two-way forward with MICHIGAN FORCED season as the CCHA's Best Defensive Forward and, while not the best of- fensive talent, the three-time captain contributed 31 goals and 39 assists and was plus-56 in his career. Creating an unexpected absence, the rugged Brown had 34 goals and 46 helpers in his three seasons. Combined, the three scored 38 goals and chipped in with 45 assists this past year. Each a strong defen- sive forward also, they leave three gaping holes among Michigan's top six forwards. Going into next season, plenty Di Giuseppe that are proven scorers, and then you get some unexpected contributions, they'll be just fine." Treais (15 goals and 17 assists) and will ask if the Maize and Blue have the able bodies to replace that much production, but the same question was being asked earlier this year af- ter four of U-M's top-six forwards — Carl Hagelin (18 goals), Scooter Vaughan (14), Louie Caporusso (11) and Matt Rust (five) — graduated in 2011. Even without those four, Michi- gan ranked 10th nationally with 3.22 goals per game, just a shade below the 3.32 it averaged with Hagelin and Co. The Wolverines cannot afford any more departures, though (and there could be more, see sidebar). "We heard all last summer and in the preseason and even the first weeks of the year: would we score? How would we replace those guys? But people find ways to step up," Glendening said. "It's the cycle of college sports that good players are going to leave, but if you look at the guys coming back, like A.J. Treais, [senior] Kevin Lynch, [sophomore] Alex Guptill, and [sophomore] Phil Di Giuseppe (11 goals and 15 assists) played together often in 2012 and could be two-thirds of U-M's No. 1 line in 2013. Guptill also occupied a role on the top two lines while Lynch was, arguably, Michigan's best player in the final month of the season, skat- ing with an intensity on both ends of the ice that only Glendening could match. Blois and Luke Moffatt, and sopho- more Zach Hyman, will have to raise their output dramatically — the three combined for just 14 goals — as they fill roles on the first, second and third lines, while a trio of incoming fresh- men, including highly touted Boo Nieves, will also be counted on to plug some gaps. "With the guys we have coming Players such as juniors Derek De- back, if everyone makes that jump they're capable of, we'll have some- thing special next year," Di Giuseppe said. "We've got a strong class com- ing in, too, and we're going to wel- come them like our seniors did with us because when you feel like a team you play like a team." turning the reins of the program over to soon-to-be seniors Treais, Lynch, Moffie and forwards Jeff Rohrkem- per and Lindsay Sparks. Treais is tasked with wearing the 'C' on his chest while Moffie and Bennett are alternate captains, but regardless of the anointed team leaders, the goal will remain the same. It never changes in Ann Arbor. "Players come here because every Michigan hockey is moving on, AND THE BEAT GOES ON year Michigan has a chance to win its conference, make the NCAA Tourna- ment and play for a national title," Pateryn said. "I'm proud to say I was part of a class that kept that legacy going for four years, and it's the re- sponsibility of each senior class to make that push to the NCAA Tourna- ment a reality. "The guys that will be seniors next Rising senior forward A.J. Treais, who compiled 15 goals and 17 assists in 2011-12, was 62 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2012 voted team captain by his teammates and is expect to anchor U-M's No. 1 line next season. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN year, and even the juniors and sopho- mores, and the next class of fresh- men, understand what makes this place special, and they're going to do everything they can to add another year to this program's tradition." ❏

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