The Wolverine

June-July 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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lore, defensemen Jacob Trouba and Connor Carrick and goalie Jared Rut- ledge celebrated Team USA's gold- medal victory at the 2012 Under-18 World Championships April 29. It proved to be a fitting finale to storied National Team Development Pro- gram careers that began when they were 16 years old. And it also offered a glimpse into what the three, along with four classmates arriving in the class of 2012, hope to achieve in four seasons at Michigan. T hrowing their hands into the air, gloves sailing in all directions, helmets littering the ice, and with hugs ga- BY MICHAEL SPATH responsibility to earn whatever ice time they get." Michigan's seven-man class in- cludes just about everything — a pair of netminders set to compete for the starting job, two potential first-round picks in Trouba (a likely top-10 se- lection) and Nieves, another rising star (Carrick), and versatile forwards (Milne and Selman). A Little Bit Of EVERYTHING Class Offers Star Power, Depth And Two Goalies To Fill U-M's Needs Ice Hockey's Incoming Freshman medal with those guys," Trouba said, "and you think it's probably sort of how it would feel to win a national title, which is one of the reasons I'm going to Michigan." Trouba, Carrick and Rutledge "It was a lot of fun to win the gold will be joined by forwards Cristoval Nieves, Justin Selman and Daniel Milne, and goalie Steve Racine, in September, when the school year be- gins. The seven will fill roster spots vacated by four seniors and early departure Chris Brown, and will one day occupy important roles with the Maize and Blue. "Obviously, we like their skill, ing, and the presence of defenseman Greg Pateryn. At goalie, U-M doesn't have that luxury, though. Rising junior Adam Janecyk and redshirt sophomore Luke Dwyer, both walk-ons, are sec- ond-string talents. Of course, so too was Shawn Hunwick before emerg- ing as a three-year starter for the Maize and Blue. However, Rutledge and Racine, in that pecking order, will be given the opportunity to succeed Hunwick. "Rutledge should be our starting we like their talent, their character, their potential or we wouldn't have recruited them, but it's up to them to earn ice time, whether it's on our first line, our third line, the power play, the penalty kill," U-M head coach Red Berenson said. "It is their Jacob Trouba, a 6-2, 196-pound defense- man, spent his entire senior year with the U.S. Under-18 team, and he scored nine goals with 23 assists in 54 games. PHOTO COURTESY TOM SORENSEN/USA HOCKEY goalie next year," Berenson said. "I like the depth there, but we don't have a starter coming back. This is Rutledge's job to lose. We recruited him on that basis." Berenson cannot comment publicly on Racine because he is a preferred walk-on that has not signed a letter of intent, but the 6-3, 190-pounder expects to compete with Rutledge to fill Hunwick's void. "I have always worked for every- thing I've earned, and I definitely have confidence in myself that I can compete at that level," Racine said. coming freshmen to fill the roles of Michigan's graduating class. Instead, he expects his returning veterans to replace the production of forwards David Wohlberg and Luke Glenden- Berenson doesn't expect his in- INTO THE GREAT ABYSS went 15-0-0 with a with a 1.66 goals- against average and .938 save per- centage for the Georgetown Raiders of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2012. He was also 9-5-0 with a 2.06 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in the postseason. "He played very well for us down A late-season acquisition, Racine the stretch," Raiders coach Greg Wal- ters said. "He's a big guy, very com- petitive, moves well in the net. He needs to improve his puck touches outside of the crease, but he's a kid that knows how to work. "He's a bit of a late bloomer, but he was drawing a lot of Division I interest and chose Michigan because of the opportunity to go there and compete, learn from one of the best coaching staffs in the country, get a great education, and prove he be- longs at a program with Michigan's reputation." Rutledge, though, will be given first crack at replacing Hunwick. In fact, that assurance helped land him. "They offered me the chance to start as long as I do what I need to do," he said. "Michigan is a great program, but that opportunity really made it so appealing. "Obviously, there will be competi- tion. I'm not the only goalie on the team, but my focus is on winning a national title next year. My focus is on beating the goalie across the ice from me every game." The 5-11, 176-pounder has spent each of the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team. This past year, with the Under-18 squad, he went 16- 8-1 with a .902 save percentage during the regular season. He saw action in just one of Team USA's six games at the World Championships, however, when coach Danton Cole went with Collin Olson instead. But that setback will not impede his rookie season. "He's a very confident kid, like a goalie has to be, and if he is upset about not playing, I think he'll turn it into a positive pretty quickly, and use it as motivation," U-M assistant coach Billy Powers said. "Jared has had two years of training in the U.S. hockey program. He's faced college competi- tion, has some international experi- ence. And he's faced some adversity, which can sometimes be good. "He has a better understanding of what it takes to compete at a high level." JUNE/JULY 2012 THE WOLVERINE 43

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