Michigan Hockey: Starts Anew; Big Ten Inaugural Season Commences — Preview — Part II
Coach Red Berenson begins his 30th season behind the bench on October 6th buoyed by the excitement of a new group of freshmen and a new conference. The Wolverines will attempt to rebound from an up and down 2012-12 campaign where they finished 18-19-3 and saw their 22 year NCAA tournament string snapped in the final CCHA Conference Championship game. Here is a look at the 2013-14 Wolverines along with a projection on the schedule and their B1G Ten opponents. Part I examines the returnees, while Part II looks at the freshmen and Part III will review the 2013-14 conference /schedule.
The Freshmen: Part I
Ten freshmen will join the program this season, highlighted by four NHL draftees. It is a mix of high end skill and depth “grinders” that are a necessity for the right blend and chemistry on any roster.
#2 Spencer Hyman. If the name sounds familiar, it is… as “The Bus” joins big brother Zach on the roster. Hyman is a rough and tumble stay at home defenseman that spent four seasons with the Hamilton (Ont.) Junior Red Wings tallying 2-10-12 in 2012-13. He is most likely going to rotate in and out of the lineup as the 6th or 7th defenseman on the bench.
#5 Mike Downing. The big defenseman from Canton, Mi/ Detroit CC is a Florida Panthers draftee. Downing spent three seasons with the defending USHL champion Dubuque Fighting Saints where he contributed 3-20-23 in 52 games last season. He will most likely lock down a top six position on the blue line.
#14 Tyler Motte. The St. Clair, Mi. product toiled with the USNDT program in 2012-13. The talented forward tallied 25-16-41 in 53 games and is a Blackhawk draftee. Motte is a smooth skater with a nose for the net. He is considered small, but quick and brings a ton of energy. Look for Motte to garner considerable ice time anchoring what I project as a second liner. Motte, Evan Allen and J.T. Compher all earned silver at the 2012 World Junior Tournament. Motte’s older brother, C J, is an outstanding goaltender for Ferris State University.
#15 Evan Allen. Another USNDT member in 2012-13, Allen produced 23-25-48 in 67 games alongside Motte and J.T. Compher. The Sterling Heights, Mi. native also has a mean streak, particularly in the corners. Look for Allen to be paired with Motte and/or Compher.
#17 J.T. Compher. The third member of the USNDT that joined the Wolverines hails from suburban Chicago. Compher scored 18-32-50 in 52 games last season. Buffalo selected Compher in the NHL draft. Compher is expected to be an instant contributor.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Yostmeister
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