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SportsMonday Column: For Michigan hockey, time to wake up and smell the coffee

By Stephen J. Nesbitt, Daily Sports Editor
Published February 10, 2013

There are some reassuring signs yet, since half of this roster has the experience of seeing the mountaintop of college hockey. Less than two years ago, these juniors and seniors were staring blankly at the white-washed walls of a locker room inside Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Their tear-stained faces told the story of an overtime game that just happened to go the other way, a finish that gave Minnesota-Duluth the national championship. These players wiped away their tears and promised they’d be back.

Now, for many of them, they’ve got one last chance. And it’s nothing like they imagined.

Berenson sat down in the big, blue chair outside his office a few weeks back and looked around at the reporters in the room. Holding his favorite mug in his right hand, he asked if they were enjoying covering this team.

They nodded, mostly. In truth, though, it’s been a hard season to watch. It’s been hard to watch the greatest program in the land plummet from invincible to inferior.

How will this chapter close? It’s not written by those reporters. It’s written by the 26 names that line the Michigan roster, the players that carry the pride of a program and the legacy of one legendary coach. This ending, for better or worse, is on them.

— Nesbitt can be reached at and on Twitter: @stephenjnesbitt.