By Matt Mackinder/MiCHO Managing Editor
The Michigan Wolverines are ready for the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.
The two teams' Frozen Four semifinal goes down tomorrow night in Minneapolis and Michigan head coach Red Berenson has his squad ready to play two more games this season.
"It is interesting that this senior class played their first ever college game in this building (Xcel Energy Center)," said Berenson. "We are proud to be here and we want to put our best foot forward in this tournament. Our program has been in this tournament since I have been here 11 times, only getting to the championship twice."
As for playing in front of a hostile crowd, the Wolverines know what they're in for against North Dakota.
"North Dakota is going to have a lot of fans here, but we’re not concerned about the rink or who is coming, we are just concerned with how we are going to play," senior forward Louie Caporusso said. "We have played in these types of atmospheres before where the other team is bringing a lot of noise. I don’t think it has affected us before. We like playing on the road, so if it’s a hostile atmosphere, so be it."
The seniors played against Boston College in Minneapolis in the season-opening game of the 2007-2008 season and have come full circle by playing the last games of their careers this weekend.
"Our freshman year was a different story (and) I don’t think anyone really knew what our team was going to do that year with 12 freshmen," senior forward Matt Rust said. "That was pretty much considered Kevin Porter’s team. I think starting off the season with a senior class that we have had, being such a tight-knit group that we are, I think we had one goal in mind and that was getting here, but none of us are truly satisfied with just getting here. My freshman year, there is still a bitter taste in my mouth just coming so close and losing in overtime, but other than the team, there really isn’t anything different."
Senior captain Carl Hagelin has led the Wolverines since September and plans on doing more of that against the Sioux.
"We all want to be here, so it doesn’t matter where we play," Hagelin said. "We just focus on our task and our task is to win that game tomorrow. Every guy on the team is excited. We don’t know if we will have more fans than them or not, but we will just go out and play our game."