Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Berenson Wins NCAA Coach of the Year

The post-season accolades keep rolling in. It was announced today that Red Berenson won the Spencer Penrose Award as NCAA Coach of the Year in college hockey. It's the first time Berenson has won the award in his career, though he was named NHL Coach of the Year in 1981.

Other stuff going on:
Chad Kolarik and Kevin Porter have both signed contracts with the Phoenix Coyotes and will join the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL as they begin their playoff run tomorrow. Ex-Michigan goalie Al Montoya may be between the pipes for San Antonio as well. He's been splitting time, so we'll see if he gets the start or not.

I nabbed a copy of this at the Frozen Four, but it's nice to see an online version: Letsplayhockey.com has compiled a list (PDF link) of every ex-college player to play in the NHL this season. There were 252 NCAA players that saw time in The Show this year. Michigan put the most players into the league, with 22. Wisconsin was next with 19, most of whom seem to play for Chicago. (HT: Western College Hockey for finding the link)

Red thinks a question at the Frozen Four press conference might have shaken Billy up. If that's really the case: 1) They need to get him to a sports psychologist ASAP; 2) You can decrease the chances that he ever plays in the NHL to 0%.

I don't remember where I saw the article, so I'm sorry for the lack of a link (I think it came from USCHO) but Billy had some very classy things to say after the game. He backed Red 100% on the decision to yank him and even said he thought it was a good move. I also loved Kolarik's quote about how he just thanked Hogan for giving the seniors a chance to possibly extend their careers. There will probably be a Coyotes jersey in my closet at some point, with either Porter or Kolarik on the back. If Chad makes the league, it's gonna be his.

Stuff from the Michigan Blogosphere about the loss to Notre Dame:
MVictors--agreed that it took some major stones for Hogan to play the way he did. I'm also with him about the third goal. I know at least one commenter said it was a great shot--and it was--but he had nowhere else to go with that puck. It's inexcusable to leave the short side open in that situation. Yes the Michigan defenseman (I believe it was Kampfer) got beat, but it was still an extremely low percentage chance and Billy just didn't cover his post.

Maize and Blog has the video of Porter's Hobey acceptance speech, including his hilarious slip up at the end. This wasn't "Sometimes the best team doesn't always win", but it was pretty great. The look on Porter's face when he realizes what he said? Priceless.

Maize n Brew sums things up pretty nicely with their headline. Good article as well.

MHNet wraps things up. I was feeling pretty good about the potential of a Summers return--truth be told, I actually didn't think there was a chance he'd leave--until I saw the quote in MHNet's article from the Coyotes GM. I'm more optimistic about our chances for next season. I realize there are a pair of huge holes (on-ice and off) with Kolarik and Porter gone, but we've got good players coming in, and we've got some excellent freshmen that have a year of experience.

MGoBlog takes a look ahead to next year and a look back at the loss to Notre Dame. No clue what the NCAA was thinking by the placement of the pep bands. It didn't make any sense whatsoever. I completely agree about how cool it was to see the jerseys from all around the college hockey world. My favorites: A UNH Mark Mowers jersey and a Mercyhurst jersey with "Hiscock" on the back. Make your own joke.

I enjoy seeing Brian's projected lines, since I'm terrible at doing them myself. We're still loaded at center, but I don't know who I'd put on the top line. Hagelin was amazing there when he got a chance. Rust was arguably our best player not named Kolarik against ND. Caporusso scored some huge goals and I think he is primed for a huge sophomore season.

As for the comments about the rest of the conference: I definitely think Northern Michigan will be in the mix for a bye in the first round next year. They are clearly the team with the best chance to crack the top 4. One thing about Miami: It's not even that their backup was Hogan to Zatkoff's Sauer last year, it's that he is gone too. So they'll be starting a freshman out of the NAHL next year.

On tap:
Going Upstairs on the Notre Dame game when I have the heart to do it (This depends on how much actually got recorded...I heard we had reception problems during the game)
A player-by-player review of the expectations I had, what they accomplished, and a grade for the season
Updates on all the commits

Before summer gets here and some people take a break from hockey, I would like to thank everyone who reads this site. Traffic doubled in the last quarter and I really appreciate everyone who has read/commented for their support. It really blew my mind how many people knew who I was this weekend. If anyone has any suggestions about things that they would like to see in the future or ways that I could improve existing features, leave a comment or shoot me an email. I'm definitely open to ideas.


Anonymous said...

Get Billy to a sports psychologist ASAP? He already IS seeing a psychologist. From one article I came across, "Sauer credits his improved confidence to time spent with team psychologist Dr. Hugh Bray." I wonder if Dr. Bray didn't go to Denver.

Packer487 said...

Well crap. At least we don't play at the Pepsi Center next year, eh?

Anonymous said...

thanking readers? uuuhhhh we should be thanking you. it's the best stop for M Hockey info. suggestions? it always takes me 1/2 the season to get to know the new Freshmen. a one-click, concise recruiting board (sort of like Mgoblog football, but only w/ commits & serious prospects). the expectations for the new guys is a great idea... i think colin did that at some point last .

Unknown said...

I'm pretty sure that Hiscock played for Mercyhurst back when we were in the same NCAA Regional with them in Grand Rapids in 2001.

Also, thanks for all the great posts this season!

Anonymous said...

In goalie-coach speak, Billy was not square to the puck on the third goal. It looks like (to me) he was cheating to the middle because he probably thought Thang would take that puck to the middle (from his backhand to his forehand) since he had beaten the defenceman.

The second goal was the worst for sure, but I can't figure out how that puck got through Sauer's arm. There was no visible hole there. It just disappeared into his Maize jersey and reappeared in the net. Luck of the Irish, I guess.

First goal was a good shot on a tough play. Sauer looked startled that it went in - he might have been a half-step behind the play since it came quickly out of a screen, but he tracked the puck well regardless. I thought that was a good sign, even though it went in. Guess not...

As for Hogan, he looks very poised. Keep in mind he was in a low-pressure situation. It's easier to play in relief like that than it is to start a big game (trust me). When you start, you have lots of time to think about things...which is often bad. When you're backing up and coach calls your name, sometimes you don't even realize what happened until the game is over.

I would say that Notre Dame's 4th goal was on par with their 3rd goal. Great play by the forward, bad play by the D, misplay by the goalie. That's hockey, boys.

5th goal was just a good, solid, garbage goal. Typical playoff OT winner - nothing Hogan could have done about it.

Pearce didn't show much at the other end, but he got the W anyway.

On an unrelated note - Muse for BC saw so few scoring chances this postseason I think he still qualifies as a rookie next year. Ha. ha.

Congrats to BC, ND, UM and UND on great seasons.

Becky said...

Oh, good for Berenson! That makes me happy.

Now that the pain from the ND loss has subsided, I can kind of appreciate what a fun and unexpected ride this season was.