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NCAA Update

Record crowd watches Michigan win "Big Chill"

Saturday, 12.11.2010 / 8:22 PM / NCAA Update

NHL.com

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.
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Michigan 'Cold War' special to Blackhawks' Keith

Friday, 12.10.2010 / 11:47 AM / NCAA Update

Brian Hedger - NHL.com 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.
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Wolverines, Spartans ready to head back outdoors

Thursday, 12.09.2010 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

James Murphy - NHL.com 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.
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NCAA PRO-file with Marty Reasoner

Thursday, 12.02.2010 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

Bob Snow - NHL.com 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.

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Top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth hoping to make history

Thursday, 11.25.2010 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

James Murphy - NHL.com 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.

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NCAA tournament chase is on at RPI

Thursday, 11.18.2010 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

Bob Snow - NHL.com 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."

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Leadership front and center in Miami's success

Thursday, 11.11.2010 / 10:08 AM / NCAA Update

James Murphy - NHL.com 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 NHL.com 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.
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Berenson has built Michigan into an NCAA elite

Thursday, 11.04.2010 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

Bob Snow - NHL.com 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.

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Much work to be done for four new NCAA coaches

Thursday, 10.28.2010 / 8:58 AM / NCAA Update

James Murphy - NHL.com 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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Bemidji State, Nebraska-Omaha join WCHA

Thursday, 10.21.2010 / 9:08 AM / NCAA Update

Bob Snow - NHL.com Correspondent

It was a no-brainer given geography, history and budgets for both teams.

With the dissolution of the four-team College Hockey America League, effective the end of last season, the Bemidji State Beavers in Minnesota were quickly granted admission by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association as that league's 11th team.

Shortly after Bemidji's move, the CCHA's Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks petitioned the WCHA for a transfer to become the 12th team.

Permission granted. 

A combination of major factors brought the CHA demise: Findlay and Wayne State had dropped men's hockey; significant travel costs and loss of class time for Bemidji State (Minnesota), Niagara University (upstate New York), Robert Morris University (Pennsylvania), and Alabama-Huntsville; the undercurrent of dissatisfaction across the other leagues that one team in a four-team league automatically qualifies for the 16-team NCAA tournament by winning the two-day CHA tournament. 
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Quote of the Day

I'm here to develop a winning culture and a winning team. There is a bright future ahead of this team.  A lot of young, great hockey players here and on the way … a fan base that's passionate about the game of hockey.

— Dan Bylsma after being introduced as new coach of the Buffalo Sabres