At 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, forward Jason Ryznar brings an imposing presence to Michigan. Using his size and strength, the Anchorage, Alaska, native adds a dimension of muscle to Michigan’s offensive attack. Unfortunately for the Wolverines (1-1 CCHA, 2-1 overall), this massive power forward has been taking up more space on the bench than on the ice. Ryznar bruised his right shoulder in an exhibition against York on Oct. 3 and has not played since. Ryznar will miss this weekend’s action against Quinnipiac (3-0).
“I think everybody’s got to step up a little bit (to fill in for Ryznar),” coach Red Berenson said. “If you ask me, our juniors definitely have to, and they will. They’re working hard, trying, and I think they will start emerging as a bigger contributor than they have been.”
Ryznar missed time last season due to injuries to both shoulders, but says that this year’s injury is unrelated.
“It’s a similar injury to last year, but I don’t think it’s related to last year’s injury,” Ryznar said. “It’s a little sore when I shoot, but every day it’s feeling a little bit better.”
The junior – who has been skating alone at practice – hopes to play next weekend against Northern Michigan.
“It’s extremely frustrating (not being able to play), but there’s nothing you can do other than just put your head down and keep working, and eventually you’re going to get healthy again.
Special Attention: The Wolverines are still working on their special teams (powerplay and powerplay kill).
“That’s what this time of the year is for,” Berenson said. “We have players who have experience in those positions in past years and how well they execute this year is important.”
Michigan’s penalty kill suffered last Friday against Miami (Ohio), as the Redhawks converted four of five powerplay opportunities. But the Wolverines adjusted, shutting out Miami on all nine of its powerplays the following night.
“Obviously we were embarrassed by what had happened on Friday, so I thought we did a better job,” Berenson said. “Penalty killing is a tough job, and you have to work at it. There’s five guys out there, and they all need to be sharp. If one of them breaks down, there’s going to be a big scoring chance.”
C’ya!: Berenson said that he will address the Michigan crowd before tonight’s game and ask that the student body refrain from doing its infamous cheer when an opposing player enters the penalty box.
“We’re concerned with the recent chants, and one in particular that we think is really obscene and in bad taste,” Berenson said. “It’s not something that I want to hear, not something that our fans want to hear.”