Michigan coach Red Berenson announced yesterday that his top center, Mike Cammalleri, will miss tomorrow”s home game against Michigan State. Blood tests taken yesterday afternoon revealed that the junior has mononucleosis.
He is out indefinitely.
The loss comes at a particularly bad time as Michigan is preparing to play its biggest home game of the year against Michigan State. As the Wolverines” leading goal scorer (15-11-26), Cammalleri would have helped greatly against the defensive-minded Spartans.
“He”s one of our top players, and we wish him well and a speedy recovery and we just have to have guys step up,” Michigan captain Jed Ortmeyer said. “We know we can win without him, we proved that over Christmas break and now we just have to go out and prove it.”
Making the loss even harder on Michigan is Cammalleri”s tendency to play his best in important games. The junior scored two goals and tallied three points in Michigan”s only game against Michigan State this season at the “Cold War” on October 6.
The first sign that things were amiss with Cammalleri”s health came Tuesday, when he missed the team”s first practice of the week. At the time, Berenson said Cammalleri exhibited flu-like symptoms. Cammalleri then skated for the first part of Wednesday”s practice but left the ice early.
“All week in practice he seemed tired and wasn”t as outgoing. We usually mess around a little bit after practice, he”s always kind of jogging and ready to get off, so I knew something was wrong,” Ortmeyer said. “It”s the worse-case scenario, but hopefully he”ll recover.”
This will be the second game this season the team plays with only Cammalleri absent. The other time was a 3-3 tie against Harvard the week before the winter break.
Cammalleri missed five games during break to play in the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic, where he earned Best Forward honors en route to a silver medal with Team Canada.
“The positive side (of missing Cammalleri) is that we”ve gone through this before and our team has survived it,” Berenson said. “We have to suck it up and fill the gap, and everyone”s got to pick up the slack. And it starts with the game on Saturday.”
Cammalleri is the second member of the team to come down with mononucleosis. Sophomore David Wyzgowski had the virus at the beginning of the season, and he was sidelined for a month.