Don’t take anything for granted.

That’s sound advice to live by. The Michigan hockey team sure learned it this season when it went from a preseason top-five team to being on the brink of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years.

Junior forward Louie Caporusso said that in his first two years he just expected to make the tournament, but not this time around. The Wolverines had to work for it, obviously, by winning the CCHA Tournament.

The marathon Michigan sprinted to make the tournament was lined with maize and blue supporters passing out paper cups of water along the way. The Wolverine faithful have been fantastic throughout the team’s improbable run.

Don’t stop now. Get to Fort Wayne, Ind. this Saturday no matter what it takes.

I know it’s expensive, especially for poor college students, to travel more than two hours and stay overnight in Indiana to support the Michigan hockey team. But it will be worth it, I promise.

The waves of fans who lined the rafters of Joe Louis Arena last weekend know what it was like to sing “The Victors” and watch junior goaltender Shawn Hunwick get mobbed by his ecstatic teammates. The group of optimistic fans who traveled to Munn Ice Arena in the CCHA quarterfinals against Michigan State — turning the venue into a virtual home atmosphere for Michigan — were rewarded with a sweep over the Wolverines’ rival.

It’s a two-way street: the fans see great hockey and the players feed off of the fans.

Michigan coach Red Berenson was sincere when he told all of Joe Louis Arena and reporters alike that the Wolverines wouldn’t have gotten as far as they have without their fans.

Don’t get me wrong, the play on the ice has improved from what fans have seen in Yost Ice Arena for most of the season. But the fans are factoring into Michigan’s run, and this weekend is do or die once again for the Wolverines.

You may be asking yourself, who the hell is Bemidji State? But the Beavers shocked the hockey world last postseason, defeating Notre Dame and Cornell on their way to the Frozen Four. This isn’t going to be a walk in the park. You should take the line that Berenson and his players have taken since the matchup was announced on Sunday — they’re not looking past Bemidji. They’re not taking anything, or anyone, for granted.

Seniors, with the state of the remaining Michigan sports, this might be the last time that you can see an actual NCAA Tournament game featuring the Wolverines. And for the rest of the student body, this could be history in the making. If the Michigan hockey team hasn’t taught you enough in the past three weeks, then listen to me. This team is in the middle of accomplishing something special — but it needs your support.

You’ve been there all along. Don’t let anything get in the way of possibly witnessing this year’s saving grace for Michigan sports. And if you’re one of those people saying, “Well I’ll just wait until they get to Ford Field,” guess what, you probably haven’t been paying attention to me or the Wolverines.

Nothing is guaranteed. There is only one game that is absolutely going to happen and that’s the one Michigan is playing this Saturday night.

Every Wolverine knows the impact of the fans on the game and throughout the run. They’ve all had nothing but positive things to say about the support.

“We have the best fans in the world,” Caporusso said. “I love Michigan fans, they get me up for every game. Without them, I don’t think I’d be the player, or I don’t think that we’d be the team that we can be. I can’t thank them enough. It would mean so much for us to have them in Fort Wayne with us. I feel like, even when they chant my name sometimes, even when I’m not playing my best, it still shows their support in me, and the team — and I just love them.”

How could you not go to Fort Wayne after Louie said that? Are you buying your tickets yet?

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