Travel day should give No. 4-ranked Michigan a better chance against No. 3 Boston
WHAT: No. 4 Michigan (2-1) at No. 3 Boston University (0-2).
WHEN: 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Agganis Arena, Boston.
LAST MEETING: Boston defeated Michigan, 7-2, on Oct. 25, 2008. Michigan is 13-9 in the all-time series.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Television: None. Radio: 1050-AM (WTKA).
RUNDOWN: The last time the University of Michigan hockey team played at Boston University, the Wolverines were not competitive. Boston, the defending national champion, defeated Michigan, 7-2, last October.
The Wolverines played on weary legs, though, showing up for a Saturday game after having played a Friday night game in Ann Arbor. Michigan took its first step toward reversing its fortunes against Boston during the off-season, when the Wolverines scheduled a travel day before this year's game at Boston.
"We've kind of built that in, because we know BU is a tough team at home, and we got spanked pretty good there last year," Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "We didn't schedule those games to go there and hand them two points. We wanted to give ourselves a chance at least this year to be able to compete at a good level."
Both teams are coming off lackluster performances. Boston on Tuesday lost, 3-0, to Notre Dame, and Michigan on Thursday defeated Niagara, 3-2, in what Berenson described as a sloppy win.
But both Boston and Michigan will be more focused for this game, a battle between two top-five teams in the country.
"You know they're gonna be fired up to play their best, and we have to play better," Berenson said.
Michigan's returning players also view Saturday's game as a chance to finally put behind them an embarrassing loss, junior forward Carl Hagelin said.
"That was our worst game of all last year," he said. "Sure, we had a couple guys injured, but still. We want to go up there again; we want to show the country we can play with those guys."
While Michigan-Boston isn't quite a natural geographical rivalry, sophomore forward Robbie Czarnik said players on both teams know one another well enough to make it an intense game.
"We all know a bunch of guys on that team, so it's kind of a rivalry," Czarnik said. "After they beat us like that, I want to get out there and beat them this year."