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NCAA Update

Long-time coach Wright has AIC on the right track

Wednesday, 12.15.2010 / 11:00 AM / NCAA Update

Bob Snow - Correspondent

The coach is tied for second place with legendary Michigan coach Red Berenson at 27 consecutive years behind their respective bench, trailing only Boston University's Jack Parker.

The team's four wins in Atlantic League play surpass perennial powers Cornell, Vermont and St. Cloud in their respective leagues.

The program, however, is without a .500-plus season since joining an NCAA Division I conference in 1998, and never has advanced in postseason play in its 60-year history.  

Sit down with American International College coach Gary Wright in his non-descript office in the western Massachusetts city of Springfield --with Ebbie, his black lab, by his side -- and you have a blend of the Berenson/Parker dedication to a program, and a strong sense of purpose about the future of his Yellow Jackets.

Record crowd watches Michigan win "Big Chill"

Saturday, 12.11.2010 / 8:22 PM / NCAA Update

The "Big Chill in the Big House" was a big win for the home side.

A world-record hockey crowd of 113,411 packed Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday to watch the Wolverines roll to a 5-0 victory against archrival Michigan State.

The turnout smashed the previous hockey record of 77,803 set at last the International Ice Hockey Federation world championships in Germany this spring. It's the largest crowd in the history of the venerable stadium, which routinely draws more than 100,000 fans for football.

"Any time you looked away from the game and look at the environment and the surroundings, it was definitely surreal," Michigan coach Red Berenson said.

Michigan 'Cold War' special to Blackhawks' Keith

Friday, 12.10.2010 / 11:47 AM / NCAA Update

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

"It was kind of a crazy way to start your college career. It was exciting, but I was just a young guy going in there. You better believe I was nervous."
-- Duncan Keith

Duncan Keith usually gets nervous before he plays, but probably not like the butterflies he felt nine years ago in East Lansing, Mich.
That's because on Oct. 6, 2001, Keith began his college career at Michigan State. It was more than that for Keith, though. Before going on to win a Norris Trophy, Olympic gold medal and Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks defenseman had another big reason to be nervous.
His first game for Michigan State University came against arch-rival Michigan in a game dubbed "The Cold War," played in front of 75,000 people at Michigan State's Spartan Stadium. It was also an unseasonably cold night with temperatures in the low 30s, but Keith was feeling cold sweats before the game regardless.

Wolverines, Spartans ready to head back outdoors

Thursday, 12.09.2010 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

James Murphy - Correspondent

Following his team's 3-3 tie with Michigan State in "The Cold War" at Spartan Stadium at East Lansing, Mich., on Oct. 6, 2001, Michigan head coach Red Berenson forecasted the future of outdoor hockey over the last nine years:

"I thought I'd seen everything in hockey," Berenson said. "This couldn't have turned out better. I think it's pretty obvious that (playing outdoors) is something people are going to look at in the future for their big games."

Boy, was Berenson right! Since then, he has participated in another outdoor game and the hockey world has seen seven major outdoor hockey games, including three Winter Classics and then the World Championship in Germany when the USA played Germany in front of 77,803 fans at Veltins Arena last May.

NCAA PRO-file with Marty Reasoner

Thursday, 12.02.2010 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

Bob Snow - Correspondent

The Boston College Eagles played for the national championship in 1949, taking out Dartmouth, 4-3, for the school's first-ever title.

It would be three decades later before a second opportunity, a 5-3 loss to archrival Boston University in 1978.

Since 1998, however, no program except Michigan in the '40s and '50s comes remotely close to Eagle supremacy in Frozen Four and championship-game appearances.

Last April, the Eagles won their fourth title and third since 2001 in a remarkable seven title-game appearances since the gut-wrenching 3-2 overtime loss to -- ironically -- Michigan at the TD Garden in Boston in 1998.

Top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth hoping to make history

Thursday, 11.25.2010 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

James Murphy - Correspondent

Minnesota-Duluth last played for an NCAA championship in 1984, losing a 5-4 four-overtime heartbreaker in what remains the longest championship game in NCAA history. The following season, the Bulldogs lost in overtime in the Frozen Four semifinals to RPI, and since then has made the Frozen Four just once, losing to Denver in 2004.

Despite sending numerous players to the NHL and having nine seasons of at least 20 wins, Minnesota-Duluth has yet to win an NCAA title.

But with the Bulldogs entering Thanksgiving break as the NCAA's top-ranked team for the second-straight week, there is a growing buzz surrounding the program that maybe this could be the season.

NCAA tournament chase is on at RPI

Thursday, 11.18.2010 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

Bob Snow - Correspondent

In terms of history and tradition, not just any men's hockey program can compete with that of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers.

Only 13 other colleges are charter members of the NCAA since 1948.

"We're one of those programs to win multiple titles," said fifth-year coach Seth Appert about RPI's national championships in 1954 over Minnesota, 5-4 in OT, and in 1985 over Providence, 2-1.

"What drew me here [from assistant coach in Denver, which won the 2004 and 2005 national championships] was not only the great education but also the hockey history. We brought back the '85 team last year to connect with this team."

Leadership front and center in Miami's success

Thursday, 11.11.2010 / 10:08 AM / NCAA Update

James Murphy - Correspondent

The Miami RedHawks are once again a favorite to challenge for the national championship this season, with a dynamic duo leading the way on and off the ice. Senior captain Carter Camper (9 goals, 24 points) and alternate captain Andy Miele (6 goals, 19 points) are ranked first and second in the nation in scoring heading into weekend play and have the RedHawks off to a 5-2-3 (3-1-2-1 CCHA) start, ranked fourth in the latest poll (below).

But while Camper, who was named the Commissioner's Player of the Month for October, and Miele obviously help their team with their skills, the true measure of their impact can be measured in the way they lead in practice and off the ice. Both players live up to not only their star potential but also more importantly the "C" and "A" on their shoulders.

Berenson has built Michigan into an NCAA elite

Thursday, 11.04.2010 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

Bob Snow - Correspondent

It's Oct. 15 in Durham, N.H., 24 hours removed from a top-10 matchup between Michigan and the UNH Wildcats in the fourth game of his 27th season behind the Wolverines bench. 

At 70 years young, Gordon "Red" Berenson ambles down the hallway to the visitor's locker room in the Whittemore Center, leading yet another group of young charges aiming for two major goals come March and April -- a 21st-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and a 10th NCAA title for his alma mater.

The 20 and nine are the two most impressive records in NCAA hockey history.

His 700th career coaching win a week before put him at No. 6 all-time, and second only to Boston University's Jack Parker for wins at one school.

Much work to be done for four new NCAA coaches

Thursday, 10.28.2010 / 8:58 AM / NCAA Update

James Murphy - Correspondent

There are four new coaches in Division I NCAA hockey this season, with three of the new coaches in the CCHA -- Jeff Blashill takes over at Western Michigan, Mark Osiecki at Ohio State and Chris Bergeron at Bowling Green. The other new coach is Chris Luongo at independent Alabama-Huntsville. On Campus recently chatted with all four new coaches to learn what they hope to bring to and achieve with their new teams.

Chris Luongo, Alabama-Huntsville -- After two seasons as an assistant to Danton Cole at Alabama-Huntsville, Luongo takes over as coach for the Chargers. Luongo, a former NHL player who also spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Wayne State, is looking to lead the Chargers to their first winning season since 2005-06, though they have made the NCAA Tournament twice after winning the now defunct CHA. To do so, Luongo plans to tweak things for sure, but also continue the culture of consistency he helped try to build working alongside Cole. He believes that having been in Huntsville for two seasons gives him an edge in doing so.

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