Today, a Michigan athletic representative said Michigan senior captain Mark Mitera will be out for an extended period of time due to the injury he sustained in last night’s game against St. Lawrence. Surgery is a definite possibility, but the decision won’t be made until Mitera’s family and doctors discuss options.

With 38.8 seconds remaining in the first period of Michigan season’s opening game yesterday, Mitera left the ice and didn’t return.

Mitera and St. Lawrence junior forward Augie DiMarzo collided and lay on the ice entangled for a moment. Two teammates helped a limping Mitera back to the Michigan bench.

Mitera did not return after the first intermission, and junior alternate captain Chris Summers replaced him on defense, playing with sophomore Scooter Vaughan.

Michigan coach Red Berenson appeared worried about the health of his captain.

“Mitera is getting an MRI as we speak, so I don’t know the outcome but I can tell you it’s going to be serious,” Berenson said at last night’s post-game press conference.

Sophomore forward Matt Rust described Mitera’s injury as “kind of a fluke play.” Rust said DiMarzo slid into Mitera’s knee and both went down.

“You know it’s serious, too, because (Mitera) doesn’t go down for nothing,” senior forward Tim Miller said. “When I saw his face as he limped off the ice, it scared me.”

Summers, who had been playing forward in practice so far this season, played defense in the second and third periods. Berenson said if the Mitera injury is serious, he would consider moving Summers back to defense permanently.

With two other defensemen injured last week, the defense was depleted before last night’s game. Losing Mitera, team captain and last year’s Inside College Hockey Defenseman of the Year, could be a major setback for the Wolverines this season.

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