The Detroit Red Wings currently enjoy the best home record in
the NHL. The Michigan hockey team hopes that it can also take
advantage of the benefits of Joe Louis Arena as the team prepares
for next week’s Super Six Championship.

Julie Pannuto
Junior David Moss and the Wolverines have already played three games at Joe Louis Arena this season, and hope to play there again next weekend at the CCHA Super Six Tournament. (TONY DING/Daily)

The Wolverines are no strangers to playing in Hockeytown, as
Michigan played its 100th game at “the Joe” earlier
this season over Thanksgiving weekend. Since Michigan played its
first game in the arena against Michigan State in 1979, it has
played several regular season games at Joe Louis in preparation for
the CCHA Tournament, which is also played in the arena.

“We’ve played some great games at Joe Louis and
we’ve had some great experiences,” Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. “For the most part, it’s a big-game
environment. You’re not going to get anything better than
that.”

Berenson always tries to schedule multiple games in the regular
season at Joe Louis to prepare his team for postseason play. Thus
far this season, Michigan has played three games in Detroit —
two in the Great Lakes Invitational and one this past Saturday (a
1-0 loss) against Michigan State. Since the arena seats more than
20,000, it can be an intimidating place for a first-time
participant.

“The atmosphere was insane at Joe Louis and the boys
seemed really up for it,” said freshman Tim Cook, who played
in the GLI. “It was exactly what it was built up to be.
(Saturday’s) game was more exciting than watching a pro
game.”

But for some of the upperclassmen, it is just another day at the
office.

“After the first few times, it’s just another
game,” junior David Moss said. “It’s pretty much
the same environment (as any other arena in the CCHA).”

Michigan has fared well at Joe Louis over the years, totaling a
65-34-2 record, including a 16-8 record in the CCHA Tournament. But
before returning to their “home away from home,” the
Wolverines will need to take care of No. 12 seed Nebraska-Omaha in
the first round of the CCHA Tournament this weekend at Yost Ice
Arena. Earlier this season, Michigan couldn’t sweep the
Mavericks in Omaha. They won the Friday game 2-1, but had to battle
back from a 3-1 deficit to escape with a 3-3 tie the next
night.

“I thought Omaha matched up well against us,”
Berenson said. “We felt fortunate to tie the game on Saturday
night. They’re a more dangerous team than their record would
indicate. The pressure is on the first-place team — the
last-place team has nothing to lose, and they’re going to
play that way.”

Turco returns to Yost: Before Friday night’s game
against Nebraska-Omaha, the first 500 fans will receive a coupon
for a Marty Turco bobblehead. An additional 750 bobbleheads will be
available for purchase at the M-Den at Yost Ice Arena. This will be
the first in a series of bobbleheads with a new player to be
released every season.

Turco, currently a member of the NHL’s Dallas Stars,
played at Michigan from 1994-98, and won two national
championships. He holds the NHL record for lowest goals-against
average in the modern era at 1.72.

Rookies of the Year: Two members of Michigan’s
solid freshman class were named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team
yesterday — center T.J. Hensick and defenseman Matt Hunwick.
There has been a Wolverine on this All-Rookie Team in 12 of the
past 18 seasons. Hensick led the team in scoring, while Hunwick led
the team in plus/minus.

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