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Posted on Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 12:56 a.m.

Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson on officiating: 'I can't tell you what I really think'

By Freelance Journalist


Minnesota-Duluth defenseman Chad Huttel, left, and goalie Kenny Reiter celebrate the school's first national championships moments after Kyle Schmidt's goal beat Michigan in overtime Saturday night.

Getty Images


ST. PAUL, Minn. - Red Berenson tried to show restraint. The Michigan hockey coach tried not to talk about the officiating of Saturday’s national championship game.
But he didn’t do that great of a job of hiding his thoughts.

After all, Minnesota-Duluth had nine power plays during its 3-2 overtime victory over Michigan while the Wolverines ended up with four. While the Bulldogs scored only one power-play goal, the time spent playing short-handed seemed to impact Michigan’s offensive flow.

“Were they good penalties?” Berenson asked. “I can’t tell you what I really think. I mean, you can’t talk about refereeing and penalties, but when one team gets nine (power plays) and the other four, it doesn’t add up.”

He wasn’t done.

“We’re not out there to take penalties,” he said. “So every time a player falls down, it shouldn’t be a penalty, not in NCAA championship hockey.”

The goal that wasn't

Michigan had an early goal waved off. After Mac Bennett made an initial shot from the top of the right circle, Carl Hagelin eventually jammed in the puck past UMD’s Kenny Reiter just 4:20 into the game.

The goal was waved off immediately on the ice and then confirmed by video review. It was announced that a whistle had been blown - presumably because Reiter had frozen the puck - before the puck went in the net.

“The ref said he blew the whistle before I hit the puck,” Hagelin said. “That was the explanation.

All-Frozen Four team

Michigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick, forward Ben Winnett and defenseman Jon Merrill were named to the Frozen Four All-Tournament team. The other three members of the team were all from Minnesota-Duluth: Defenseman Justin Faulk and wings J.T. Brown and Kyle Schmidt. Brown was named the Most Oustanding Player.


Berenson had led Michigan to a pair of victories in the national title game. Both of those were 3-2 overtime victories. In 1996, Brendan Morrison’s goal gave the Wolverines a 3-2 victory over Colorado College. Two years later, Josh Langfeld’s goal allowed Michigan to beat Boston College by an identical score.

Because of those two games, Berenson understands how important this night was to UMD coach Scott Sandelin.

“He’ll remember it the rest of his life, he doesn’t know it now, it takes a while to sink in,” Berenson said. “Good for Minnesota-Duluth. It’s been a long time coming for them and they’ve got a good coaching staff and they’ve got a good team. They’re a better team than we thought they were during the year. … I just wish we could have given them a better game.”

A birthday game

In addition to being the day of the national championship game, Saturday was Hunwick’s 24th birthday. Hunwick was again very solid for Michigan. He stopped 35 UMD shots and 75 shots on the weekend.

Before UMD’s Max Tardy scored at 1:39 of the second period, Hunwick had gone 85:14 without giving up a goal. He gave up only one goal in a span of 193:21 dating back to the first period of Michigan’s first-round NCAA tournament victory over Nebraska-Omaha.

Slap shots

While Saturday was Ben Winnett’s 155th game for Michigan, he had never previously scored goals in consecutive games. Winnett scored the first goal in Both Frozen Four games for the Wolverines. … This was the first time since 2006 that a WCHA team won the national title. …

UMD became the 18th different school to win a men’s hockey title. The Bulldogs became the first first-time winner since Maine won the 1993 title. …

The game’s ceremonial puck was dropped by Minnesota hockey legend Neal Broten, the only player who has won a NCAA championship, an Olympic gold medal and a Stanley Cup. …

This was the 14th championship game that went to overtime. … This isn’t the only national championship for UMD during this academic year. In December, the Bulldogs defeated Delta State, 20-17, to win the Division II football title and complete a 15-0 season.



Mon, Apr 11, 2011 : 8:37 a.m.

Hey "local" thanks for your reply but I played hockey for 16 years and have coached for 6 years. Thanks for asking though! i also know enough that when a team is on its heels and not moving their feet they are going to be playing defensively and taking the final goal in OT and see how many players for us are moving their feet, I have watched a dozen times in's always easy to blame the refs rather then seeing the root of the problem..Just one persons thought.


Mon, Apr 11, 2011 : 3:09 a.m.

In a game this close, anything can make a difference. There's no point in blaming the refs for a questionable call here and there ... your job is to play better and not let the outcome depend on a fluke play or the refs. While I think Michigan is, in general, the better team, they didn't play better last night. Oh, and I don't think Red is really being a sore loser. He's just sticking up for a bunch of kids he loves.


Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

A tough ending to an outstanding seasson for one of college hockey's elite programs. It was a very good game between the nation's two best teams...unfortunately UM lost in OT. Nothing to hang their heads about, they represented UM like true Wolverines.


Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 5:06 p.m.

I love the hockey team as I had season tickets for 15 years but Michigan took stupid penalties.A lot of them were from our young defenceman.Plus sometimes Michigan was flat footed and didnt move enough.The better team won but Haiglan and Cappuruso were invisable most of the time the last two games.I dont see how Matt Rust didnt make the all tourney team.He was everywhere and won a lot of face offs


Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 3:54 p.m.

Other than the last penalty, none of the calls were questionable. When you pull back defensively like Michigan did, you are going to take a lot of penalties. Michigan had a great run, and should be proud of what they accomplished. Too bad the coach of this team can't lose with class and dignity.


Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

Sad ending to a very good season, goodbye Seniors, we love you officials???? "I can't tell you what I really think" ditto


Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 11:46 a.m.

I have long been a fan of all U of M sports but the officiating was NOT the difference in that game...I was there...the better team that night won...plain and simple...they moved their feet...we at times did not...we seemed to be always on the defensive when it mattered...even at full strength...we concentrated on stopping their potent first line but couldn't match up with the others...let's call a spade a spade and not make excuses...Congrats to a fine Duluth team who won their first national hockey title.


Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 8:49 p.m.

Hey "local" thanks for your reply but I played hockey for 16 years and have coached for 6 years. Thanks for asking though! i also know enough that when a team is on its heels and not moving their feet they are going to be playing defensively and taking the final goal in OT and see how many players for us are moving their feet, I have watched a dozen times in's always easy to blame the refs rather then seeing the root of the problem..Just one persons thought.


Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 3 p.m.

Whether you were there is irrelevant, but I would agree the faster team won, but better? It's hard to say who is better with the numerous bad penalty called on Michigan (Maybe you couldn't tell in person, but with the replays on TV, clearly at least four bad calls from the ref). I felt like I was watching soccer the way UM-D collapsed and held their heads after merely being brushed by a Michigan player. Good acting on their part, it's the refs that should have wised up. Near the end, it was hilarious listening to Barry Melrose try to explain the unexplainable penalties. Great year, Wolverines. Go Blue

dirty irish

Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

michigan had too many turnovers in the defensive zone. their defense was flat and their offense anemic. they were out hustled and out muscled the entire game. this was the cause in the disparity in the number of powerplays. i don't think they even won a faceoff the entire 3rd period. outstanding goaltending got them much farther in the tournament than anyone predicted, but they were just hands down beat by a better UMD team.


Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

Yet through all that the Wolverines STILL scored more goals in regulation. The whistle is CLEARLY after the shot when in the net. The fact that the official was blowing the whistle anyway shows a sign of a poor official. His job is to see the puck and just because he can not see it does not mean the goalie "froze" the puck. I am not going to get into they lost because of officiating, but Michigan had ZERO power plays against North Dakota to 4 for them, and last night it was 9-4. This officiating was as bad as the mens basketball officials who can not count to 5 and do not know the over and back rule.


Sun, Apr 10, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.

Marco, have u played or coached hockey before? If so, you should realize that when you spend almost 1/3 of the game killing penalties you will be back on your heals. You aren't able to get any offensive flow because of the choppiness of the game. Then to add TV timeouts as well, it is tough. Clearly UMD is a good team, they won. However, someone who has been around hockey both as a player and coach, the only thing offensive last night was the officiating. UMD playing at home was enough of an advantage, they didn't need a 9 to 4 advantage in power plays as well. Just one persons thoughts.