Just two weeks after breaking a finger on his right hand, Michigan senior Jason Ryznar had a hockey stick in his hand, and it felt “pretty good.” Skating on Monday with a handful of his teammates, Ryznar occasionally grimaced, but, for the most, the Anchorage, Aka., native looked comfortable.
Ryznar is just skating right now as the hand heals; he can’t shoot, pass or even touch the puck.
“It’s not 100 percent yet,” Ryznar said. “But it should be in a couple of weeks. So I will be ready to play when I come back.”
During the surgery two week ago, doctors put five screws and a metal plate in the forward’s hand. But Ryznar hasn’t had to wear a cast, which has afforded him the opportunity to skate. Under his usual blue glove, Ryznar is sporting a sheath that covers stitches just above the knuckle on his pointer finger.
“The nice thing for him is he’s going to be able to skate,” associate head coach Mel Pearson said. “So when he gets back into playing, he should be in at least decent skating shape.”
Ryznar injured the hand blocking a shot against Northern Michigan on Jan. 30. If all goes according to plan, the coaching staff hopes to give Ryznar some ice time in the final regular season series with Bowling Green on March 4-5.
But in the interim, Ryznar is focusing on keeping himself ready for any scenario that comes his way.
“I’m really taking it day-by-day,” he said. “(I’m) just trying to get my range of motion back. I won’t know for at least another week (exactly when I can come back).”
Berenson ties MacInnis: With a 4-3 win over Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday, Michigan coach Red Berenson tied former Michigan Tech coach John MacInnis on the all-time wins list. His 555th career win, all with Michigan, ties Berenson for eighth amongst all NCAA hockey coaches.
“(Red) has proven over the long haul that he knows what it takes to win,” Pearson said, “And that, if (a player) comes to Michigan, their going to have a chance to win on any given night.”
Pearson has a unique perspective on the tie between two of the top coaches in college hockey history. During his collegiate career from 1977-81, Pearson skated for the Huskies under the tutelage of MacInnis. The biggest similarity Pearson sees between the two comes from their devotion to the product, not only on the ice, but off it as well.
“They are similar, especially in the discipline and the expectations they have for their players,” Pearson said. “(They’re) big in the academics. It’s just as important as the hockey.”
Quick hits: Michigan freshman forward Chad Kolarik netted his first CCHA Rookie of the Week award thanks to a four-point weekend against Nebraska-Omaha. Kolarik had a goal and three assists against the Mavericks. … Former Wolverines Andy Hilbert and Mike Cammalleri started in this weekend’s AHL All-Star game. Hilbert, playing for PlanetUSA, scored a goal while Cammalleri, who suited up for the Canadian All-Stars, tallied an assist on the game’s first goal.