The Wolverine

December 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 73 of 91

MICHIGAN HOCKEY Michigan Looking For A Winning Identity M ber since going 7-9-0 in 1987-88, but the Wolverines entered their Nov. 30 matchup at Ferris State with no way to avoid equaling that distinction af- ter losing to Cornell 5-1 Nov. 24 to fall to 5-7-1 on the year. It has not been an ideal start to ichigan has not finished with a losing record through Novem- the season for the Maize and Blue, who were ranked No. 3 in the two preseason polls and were even the projected No. 1 team by The Hockey News. "We're a long ways off from where a Michigan team could and should be, but this is our team and this is our schedule, and we're giving it our best," said head coach Red Berenson, attempting to boost his team's mo- Great Game Performances T.J. Hensick Helps End A Winless Streak Against MSU When Michigan met Michigan State in a home-and-home series Nov. 9-10, it represented the earliest the in-state ri- vals had played during a season since 2006-07, when they squared off Nov. 3-4. On opening night that year, in East Lansing, MSU bested the Maize and Blue 7-4, dropping U-M to 0-4-5 in its last nine meetings with the Spartans. Finally, on Nov. 4, that streak came to an end thanks to an impressive individual effort from senior center T.J. Hensick. The Howell, Mich., native was a scorer. He tallied 75 mark- ers in his career, twice eclipsing the 20-goal standard (23 in 2005 and 23 in 2007), but more than hitting the back of the net himself he was a playmaker for his teammates, recording 147 assists in four seasons. In lifting Michigan to a 6-2 win over the Green and White rale. "Right now they're just trying to survive. They're trying to play better. I'm not happy with a lot of our indi- vidual efforts and our performances, but as a team we're not that far off." U-M's poorest start in the past two decades occurred in 2009-10, when it went 7-7-0 through November en route to a seventh-place regular-sea- son finish. The Wolverines began the conference tournament needing to win the whole thing to earn a NCAA bid, and they would, but they don't want to have to rely on another mi- raculous late-season run to reach the NCAA Tournament. "It's a matter of finding our iden- tity and once we get that, everything will start clicking and we'll start go- ing," junior defenseman Mac Bennett For the first time in 25 years, a Red Berenson- coached U-M team finished the month of November with a losing record. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN in front of a raucous Yost Ice Arena crowd, Hensick did it all, contributing a goal and three helpers. He put U-M on the scoreboard when he redirected a Kevin Porter shot on the opening shift of the game, staking the Maize and Blue to a 1-0 lead just 17 seconds in. Michigan State tied the game at 1-1, but Hensick set up Porter for a perfect one-timer late in the period, sending the Wolverines into the intermission up 2-1. He added a second assist on a Porter power-play goal during the second, and helped cap the scoring with an assist on defender Jack Johnson's marker — part of a four-goal outburst during the second period. "We came out in the second period and took control of the game, hard we worked. 74 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2012 Hensick tallied a goal and three assists to lead the Wolverines to a 6-2 victory over the Spartans in November 2006, which snapped a It was great to win at home and get that win out of the way. Now the next time we play them they have to worry about a winless streak. "As a team that was the best win we put together thus far. " Hensick said. "Things went our way because of how State, including another win at home over MSU, en route to a second-place CCHA finish in 2007. Hensick, who had a four-point game eight times in his career, led the Maize and Blue in points, finishing with 69 (23 goals and 46 assists). — Michael Spath Michigan would win six straight after it finally vanquished " nine-game winless streak against their archrivals. PHOTO BY WOLVERINE PHOTO

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