Senior defenseman Greg Pateryn has been working hard this season to bring certain trophies back to Yost Ice Arena.

December saw the return of the Great Lakes Invitational’s MacInnes trophy to its familiar perch on a table outside of Michigan coach Red Berenson’s office. A month later, it was joined by a 40-pound figure of a hockey player from the Wolverines’ victory at the Frozen Diamond Faceoff.

But on Thursday, Pateryn brought a different trophy out of hibernation. A Michigan hockey helmet set on a wooden platform left its usual home on top of a refrigerator in Yost and saw ice for the first time in a couple years.

This week saw the Michigan hockey team pitted against each other as White versus Blue in a weeklong battle of three-on-three games that culminated in a skills competition.

This year, the Blue team — under the direction of Pateryn — won the contest and brought the unnamed trophy out of the case.

“(The trophy) started years ago,” Berenson said. “We used to have a time when we had a week off. We decided to have a three-on-three trophy. It’s been around for a long time.”

Though the competition isn’t a staple event for the Wolverines, they’re currently on a bye week, Berenson thought a friendly challenge would give the team a little fun while still staying focused on upcoming games.

Michigan started playing its three-on-three games on Tuesday, with the points adding onto each other as the days progressed.

Though the bulk of the week’s practice focused on improving some of the Wolverines’ lackluster units — notably the power play — the scrimmages allowed for a little bit of experimentation on Berenson’s end. Berenson specifically divided the teams by matching players who don’t normally skate together.

“You’ll see us do three-on-threes early in the week sometimes, especially for players that don’t play a lot,” Berenson said. “They get a chance to get in a good competitive situation.”

The skills-based portion of the competition saw the lighter side of the Wolverines’ practice, which started off with a radar gun measuring the team’s hardest shooter.

“Two years ago one of the baseball kids brought a handheld gun out there,” Pateryn said. “I got a 96 (mph).”

How much of an improvement did Pateryn see Thursday? Enough to win him the title of Michigan’s strongest shooter.

“Today, I finally got the 100.”

Other skill-based drills included breakaway simulations, accuracy tests and agility relays. Berenson tried to highlight each player in areas where he thought they’d best excel.

Though the Blue team ultimately walked away from the week victorious — freshman forward Alex Guptill marked the occasion by mimicking a celebrational photo shoot with the trophy —the contest was closely contested.

Though the White team led in the three-on-three, its Blue counterpart snuck ahead to seize the win with victories in the skills categories.

In fact, Berenson compared the end result to a situation the Wolverines have become quite familiar with this season.

“It’s like a shootout,” he said. “The one team might have been the better team, but the other team wins in the shootout.”

NOTE: Senior forward David Wohlberg collided with a teammate at the beginning of practice on Thursday. He wore a sling on his left arm, as a precaution for an upper-body injury.

Berenson doesn’t expect Wohlberg to skate with the team for Saturday morning’s practice, but anticipates a more extensive prognosis by Monday afternoon.

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