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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Michigan Wolverines Season Preview

By Matt Mackinder/Michigan Beat Writer

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

Head coach: Red Berenson (26th season)

Home arena: Yost Ice Arena (6,637)

Last season: 29-12-0 overall, 20-8-0 CCHA (T-2nd), lost in CCHA finals to Notre Dame, lost in NCAA regionals to Air Force

Returning for the Wolverines:
Goaltenders: JR Bryan Hogan, JR Shawn Hunwick
Forwards: JR Louie Caporusso, SR Anthony Ciraulo, SO Robbie Czarnik, SO Luke Glendening, JR Carl Hagelin, SR Brian Lebler, JR Matt Rust, JR Scooter Vaughan (played defense last year), JR Ben Winnett, SO David Wohlberg
Defensemen: SO Brandon Burlon, SR Eric Elmblad, SR Steve Kampfer, JR Chad Langlais, JR Tristin Llewellyn, SO Greg Pateryn, SR Chris Summers (captain)

No longer sporting the Maize & Blue:
Goaltender: Billy Sauer
Forwards: Danny Fardig, Tim Miller, Brandon Naurato, Aaron Palushaj (signed with St. Louis), Travis Turnbull (signed with Buffalo organization)
Defenseman: Mark Mitera (signed with Anaheim)

New to the Wolverines:
Goaltender: Patrick Summers (Lincoln-Milan HS)
Forwards: Chris Brown (U.S. NTDP), Kevin Lynch (U.S. NTDP), Jeff Rohrkemper (Sioux Falls, USHL), Lindsay Sparks (Oakville, OJHL), A.J. Treais (U.S. NTDP)
Defenseman: Lee Moffie (Waterloo, USHL)

NHL draft picks: 12 (Pateryn, Summers, Kampfer, Burlon, Brown, Lynch, Hagelin, Winnett, Rust, Wohlberg, Czarnik, Caporusso)

Outlook: Michigan cruised through the regular season in 2008-09, but lost their last two games of the season – the CCHA finals and their first game of the NCAA tournament.

The good thing is the Wolverines didn’t graduate a ton of firepower and lost just one underclassman in Aaron Palushaj, who signed with St. Louis.

Michigan head coach Red Berenson is banking on junior goalie Bryan Hogan and junior forward Louie Caporusso to give the Wolverines a chance to win each and every night.

“We brought Bryan Hogan here to be a No. 1 goalie,” Berenson said. “I think he had a lot of growth last year and gained a lot of confidence and experience. He got a feel for college hockey when he played in the CCHA playoffs and in the NCAA tournament.

“I think (Caporusso) has a knack for scoring. He just needs to focus on being a solid two-way player and take advantage of his offensive chances. He will do what it takes to have a great year this year.”

Michigan will also be in the national spotlight when it will play Wisconsin outdoors at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., on Feb. 6, 2010 in a game that is already sold-out and being hyped heavily.

“I think any time D-I can play an outdoor hockey game in a big stadium it is great for the game and certainly great for the participants,” Berenson said. “We were fortunate enough to play in the game at Spartan Stadium in 2001 and that was a tremendous experience and a tremendous success. I am looking forward to it, being an outdoor ice person. It’s what I grew up playing on.”

The Wolverines open the regular season this Friday in Anchorage, Ak., at the Kendall Hockey Classic, and then start their home schedule on Thurs. Oct. 22 against Niagara University from the last-year CHA.

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