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Posted on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 5:30 a.m.

Michigan hockey team on track for worst season in Red Berenson era

By Pete Cunningham


Michigan senior defenseman Lee Moffie, left, fights for a puck against Michigan Tech during the Great Lakes Invitational back in December.

Daniel Brenner | file photo

To say the Michigan hockey team is having a disappointing season would be like saying Usain Bolt is pretty fast.

A gross understatement.

The Wolverines started the year as the No. 3 team in the country, but with just six guaranteed games remaining, it’s entirely possible that the 10-18-2 Wolverines could finish with the worst record for a Michigan team since Red Berenson became head coach in 1984.

Michigan won 13, 12 and 14 games in Berenson’s first three seasons at the helm, but haven’t won less than 22 games in a season since.

Michigan needs to win the CCHA Tournament and secure the conference’s automatic NCAA tournament bid to avoid missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1990.

Sitting just three points above last place Michigan State in the conference standings, Michigan will have to overcome a low seed in the CCHA Tournament to keep the 22-year streak, an NCAA record, alive.

“We’re pretty aware of the standings I think we’re just focusing on four games left,” said senior forward Kevin Lynch. “We’re worried pretty much about the CCHA Tournament and winning that.”

Lynch said the team needs to get some momentum going in the final two series of the year if it hopes to have postseason success. Michigan takes on Ohio State on Friday (6:35 p.m., Big Ten Network) and Saturday (7:05 p.m.) and hosts Ferris State at Yost Ice Arena next weekend.

“We’ve gotta do better than we’ve done whether its on the road or at home, whether it’s offensively or defensively,” Berenson said. “We need to have a turning point and hopefully these games can be a turning point.”

Berenson said the bye week was productive for the Wolverines, but said there wasn’t anything drastic changed outside of minor tweaks to the lines.

One of those tweaks is pairing defensemen Jon Merrill and Lee Moffie on the same line.

Moffie said any hope the Wolverines have the rest of the way will start with complete commitment from every player.

“We’re going to need everyone bought in is the biggest thing,” Moffie said . “We just gotta get it done. Gotta start doing it. No more talking, gotta get it done on the ice.”

Michigan Super Fan Mike Nichols to be honored

The CCHA will honor Michigan hocey fan Mike Nicholls as its official Michigan “Super Fan” at the CCHA Tournament at Joe Louis Arena according to a Michigan Daily report.

Nicholls has been to every Michigan game home and away since 2004 - even in Alaska - and earlier this year attended his 400th straight game.

Nicholls, an Allen Park resident and 15-year season ticket holder, told the Daily the league is giving him free tickets to the semifinals and finals and putting him up in Detroit.

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.



Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 5:40 p.m.

Tough season all around, but Coach Berenson has had this program at an elite level for years. In every sport, teams are going to have a down year here or there. My hope is that they can recruit a solid goaltender (which in my opinion has been the biggest issue this year) and build on some of the freshman and sophomore they have this year. I expect Michigan to be back towards the top next year. In a few years, Red will step down, but he won't until the program is back on more solid footing.