DETROIT — Wednesday afternoon, the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs met in an outdoor hockey game at Michigan Stadium. But a day before, a Michigan man was reliving his glory days as a professional hockey player.
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Tuesday afternoon, Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson participated in the first of two alumni games at Comerica Park in Motor City for the Detroit Red Wings, competing as the oldest player. Seventy-four years young, Berenson participated in the ceremonial faceoff and impressed younger skaters with his abilities. The Red Wings defeated the Maple Leafs, 5-4.
Berenson played for the University in the 1950s before embarking on a professional career in 1961. After being traded by the St. Louis Blues, he played for Red Wings from 1970 to 1975 before retiring from the NHL in 1978. He became the University’s hockey coach in 1984.
The Winter Classic will mark the end of several days of festivities in Ann Arbor and Detroit, which included the Great Lakes Invitational. Berenson — who played nearly 1,000 games in the NHL — played five seasons with the Red Wings starting in 1970-71.
“I just feel honored to be able to play in this event with guys that are a little younger than me and not hurt the team,” Berenson told reporters on Tuesday. “It was really fun.”