Berenson all business after NCAA selection

March, 18, 2012
3/18/12
3:03
PM ET
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After picking up the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA hockey Tournament, Michigan coach Red Berenson couldn’t have been more even keeled.

There wasn't any excitement. No yelling coming from the players, not so much as a smile from the coach. He sat, in front of a room of reporters, holding his mug of coffee. For the coach who is about to lead his team to its 22nd straight NCAA berth, Sunday was business as usual in Yost Ice Arena.

"We've been through this a lot," Berenson said. "There weren't any surprises this year. It seems like a lot of years we get thrown some kind of a twister or a haymaker surprise, but I think it pretty much went down as expected."


The Wolverines will face Cornell at 8 p.m. (CDT) Friday at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.

[+] EnlargeShawn Hunwick
Elsa/Getty ImagesMichigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick said the loss in the CCHA final will be forgotten quickly.
The only common opponent on the year for the teams is Union College, which picked up the top seed in the East Region. The Dutchmen handled the Wolverines earlier this season, 6-3. They played Cornell twice this season, once tying 4-4 and then dropping a game 3-2 just three weeks later.

Players will watch film on the Big Red on Monday and other than Union College, the Wolverines have very few ties to the team.

"Anyone you play in the NCAA tournament is exciting," senior captain Luke Glendening said. "You can't dwell on exactly who you play, they're in a different conference and all that. They're a good team and you know that, but you just have to play your game."

The Wolverines are coming off a disappointing loss to Western Michigan in the CCHA tournament final. Slow starts plagued Michigan all weekend, first allowing Bowling Green to get a 2-0 start before coming back to win it 3-2 and then allowing the Broncos to mount a 3-0 lead before Michigan made its big push.

But fifth-year senior goalie Shawn Hunwick said the team was over that game last night, because they need to move on to the rest of their season, knowing that it’s one and done now.

"This is the next week, this could be our last week of hockey at Michigan, so you don’t want to worry about anything that doesn’t really matter in the future," Hunwick said.

The Broncos picked up a No. 4 seed in the West Regional. In total, there are five CCHA teams competing in the NCAA tournament.

"I think all our teams will compete well," Berenson said. "We play that style of hockey in this league all year. I think any one of the five CCHA teams could win in their region. … I can't tell you what the hockey is like in some of those other conferences, but our teams usually do pretty well."

The Wolverines could face a fellow CCHA team in the second round of the tournament (if Ferris State defeats Denver), and after that Michigan could see Michigan State in the semifinals.

Berenson and players said it isn't an advantage to know more or less about an opponent at this stage in the game because tournament one-and-done play is so much different than the series play during the conference schedule.

"Everyone is trying to make a new story from here on out," junior Chris Brown said. "It's the same thing we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make our team memorable by winning a national championship."

Chantel Jennings | email

Oregon/Pac-12 reporter

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