The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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OCTOBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 63 HOCKEY PREVIEW Looking back on what he's already accomplished, Kile fondly remembers his first collegiate goal (at Yost Ice Arena against Niagara), his hat trick against Minnesota last season (especially noteworthy since it came in U-M's first win at Minnesota since 2008) and the annual Great Lakes Invitational (GLI), which the Wolverines have won the past two years. "I enjoy winning the GLI more than a Big Ten championship," he said. "Growing up, I always went to those. Joe Louis Arena is sold out — that doesn't even happen for Red Wings games that often anymore." The 6-0, 193-pounder seems like a natural winger on the first line this season, though determining his linemates at this point is more difficult. Any combo of last year 's third line — junior Tony Calderone and sophomores Cooper Marody and Brendan Warren — could make the jump, and junior Dexter Dancs and seniors Evan Allen and Max Shuart are in the mix as well. If Kile had his wish, he'd play with Marody, another player he borrows from. "He'll be one of the better players in the Big Ten this year," Kile said. "We recognize each other's strengths and how to help each other. We always talk about being on a line this year and what we want to do." Unlike many of his current and former teammates, Kile was not chosen for the United States National Team Development Program or drafted by an NHL team. The latter has served as motivation, and Kile still wants to sign a free agent contract after this season. "I'm in a good enough position where if I can play my game, there's no doubt that I will sign," he said. If that doesn't work out, the sports management major would still like to work in the league, preferably in a front office. No matter what happens, it's safe to say his high school baseball coach was wrong when he told Kile he'd made a mistake in choosing hockey over baseball. Before he leaves Ann Arbor, Kile, a team leader and potential captain, is determined to finish his career with a second straight NCAA Tournament bid. Last season ended one game short of the Frozen Four, with a loss to eventual national champion North Dakota. The Wolverines thought they'd win it all. "That's how positive we were and how good we were," Kile said. The postgame vibe was different than the previous two years, which ended without an NCAA Tournament invite, partly because Kile knew several of his teammates would leave school early. "I knew nothing would ever be the same," he noted. "A lot of those guys were in my class and I developed really close relationships with them. It kind of sucked having them leave." On top of that, North Dakota's goalie, Cam Johnson, was Kile's childhood best friend, making the game extra emotional. A photographer snapped a shot of the two hugging on the ice right after the game, and Kile got it framed. What Kile-related moments will be captured this year? A 25-goal season? A second straight Big Ten Tournament title? A return to the Frozen Four after a five-year absence? With U-M's significant departures and the resulting 11-player freshman class, Kile knows there is a heavy burden on his shoulders. For a player who Berenson said arrived on campus "under the radar," the spotlight will find him this year on opening night. After a recent practice, Kile left Yost and hopped on the back of a teammate's moped. Once the season starts, Michigan fans hope he won't take a backseat to anyone. ❏ 2016-17 MICHIGAN ICE HOCKEY SCHEDULE Date Opponent Oct. 2 Windsor# Oct. 7 Union (N.Y) Oct. 8 Union (N.Y.) Oct. 15 at Ferris State Oct. 21 Michigan Tech Oct. 22 Michigan Tech Oct. 28 at Vermont Oct. 29 at Dartmouth Nov. 4 at Arizona State Nov. 11 Boston University Nov. 12 Boston University Nov. 18 U.S. NTDP U-18# Nov. 25 Lake Superior State Nov. 26 Lake Superior State Dec. 1 at Penn State* Dec. 2 at Penn State* Dec. 9 Wisconsin* Dec. 10 Wisconsin* Dec. 29 vs. Michigan Tech^ Dec. 30 vs. Michigan State or Western Michigan^ Jan. 13 at Minnesota* Jan. 14 at Minnesota* Jan. 20 Michigan State* Jan. 21 at Michigan State* Feb. 3 Ohio State* Feb. 4 Ohio State* Feb. 10 vs. Michigan State*! Feb. 11 Michigan State* Feb. 17 at Wisconsin* Feb. 18 at Wisconsin* Feb. 24 at Ohio State* Feb. 25 at Ohio State* Mar. 3 Minnesota* Mar. 4 Minnesota* March 10 Penn State* Mar. 11 Penn State* Mar. 16-18 Big Ten Tournament! Mar. 24-26 NCAA Regionals& Apr. 6 NCAA Semifinals% Apr. 8 NCAA Final% Note: All start times TBA # Exhibition; * Big Ten Conference game; ^ 52nd annual Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit; ! at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit; & at various sites; % at United Center in Chicago Head coach Red Berenson on Kile "He's a game-breaker type player. One of the few we have now."

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