The Wolverine

June-July 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 21 of 75

22 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2017 exit the stage quietly. But in Michigan's case, there was no need to worry. Despite any recent drop-off in the on-ice product, the program is still in good shape. The cupboard is stocked with multiple NHL Draft picks and another strong recruiting class is on its way. There is a strong support system in place, led by an athletics director who under- stands the tradition of the program. And Berenson himself was not the type to overextend his responsibilities in the coaching search. As a special advisor to Manuel, his only hope was that the next coach would have some sort of connection to the school like he once did. "I hope there's some Michigan awareness or Michigan connection for a coach that will feel the right way about what a Michigan man should be like or what a Michigan team should be like," Berenson said. "… I'm sure Warde will make the right decision. It might be an easy decision, it might not be. We're going to get a lot of people interested." Berenson's wish came true when his longtime assistant coach and right- hand man Mel Pearson was named his successor two weeks after his re- tirement. Pearson isn't just a qualified replacement in his own right, having rebuilt Michigan Tech into a tourna- ment contender. He is also a Michi- gan Man through and through, the most qualified member of Berenson's coaching tree. Manuel's selection of Pearson is yet another testament to the impact that Berenson has had on this program. The leaves will change color, the weather will turn cold and Michigan will be led onto the ice next season by someone other than Red Berenson for the first time in over three decades. Yet despite his absence, his influence will remain wherever one may look. The trophies and banners that adorn Yost Ice Arena: he helped earn those. The young men on the ice: they were recruited to come to Ann Arbor by him. The next head coach, in charge of continuing Michigan's tradition of winning and molding boys into men: he himself was molded by Berenson. It is an undeniable truth — Beren- son left an imprint on this program that will last forever, and Michigan is all the better for it. ❏ 1. Center Brendan Morrison (1993-97) Capping his career in 1997 by winning the Hobey Baker Award, emblematic of college hockey's most valuable player, Morrison amassed impressive scoring marks throughout his Michigan career. While leading the Wolverines in scoring for his final three seasons, Morrison holds Michigan records for career points, with 284, and career assists, with 182. His overtime marker in the 1996 title game earned Michigan head coach Red Berenson the first of his two national cham- pionships. Morrison also holds Michigan's single-season assist record, with 57 in 1996-97. 2. Goalie Marty Turco (1994-98) Turco holds the NCAA record for career wins in goal, estab- lished while he posted the top three single-season win totals for Michigan from 1995-96 through 1997-98. His 15 shutouts are still a Wolverine career record, and he also tops all Wolverine netminders with 165 games played. Turco was a key performer in Michigan's national champion- ship runs in 1996 and 1998, earning the tourney's Most Out- standing Player award in 1998. 3. Center Kevin Porter (2004-08) Berenson's second Hobey Baker-winning player, Porter was recognized for his all-around combination of offensive and de- fensive prowess, as well as his leadership skills. Porter chipped in 85 goals among his 183 career points as a Wolverine. Porter consistently posted top plus/minus totals, as well as achieving high scoring marks. 4. Right Wing Bill Muckalt (1994-98) Another of Berenson's seemingly endless string of top recruits from British Columbia, Muckalt led the Wolverines in scoring during Michigan's national championship season in 1998 with 67 points (32 goals and 35 assists) en route to first-team All- America honors. Michigan's seventh overall leading career point producer with 226 and sixth leading career goal scorer with 105, Muckalt joined Turco as the common denominators in Berenson's two national championship titles. 5. Right Wing Denny Felsner (1988-92) Felsner was the key offensive cog on the Berenson teams that helped establish Michigan as a recognized national power, scoring a team-leading 42 goals in 1992, Berenson's first Frozen Four appearance as Michigan's coach. Felsner is U-M's career goal leader with 139 and second to only Morrison with 261 career points. A native Michigander, Felsner was named a second-team All- American in his junior season and a first-team All-American in his senior campaign. — Bob Miller Berenson was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 after leading Michigan to its NCAA-best 36th all-time NCAA appearance and the 23rd under his watch (Minnesota now holds the record with 37). PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS The Top Five Players Of The Berenson Era

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