The University Record, April 8, 1998

Hockey team wins 9th national championship

By Jane R. Elgass

When Tom Goss asked U-M hockey coach Red Berenson last fall how the hockey team would do this year, Berenson said, 'This is a rebuilding year. But I can guarantee one thing--they will play hard.' They played hard, they worked together as a team and Saturday they celebrated the ninth national championship for U-M hockey. Photo by Bob Kalmbach

"You can talk about the tradition of Michigan hockey, about games, goals, points, but to me it's the University of Michigan and the people who surround it that matter," said captain and senior Matt Herr at a Sunday evening rally to celebrate the team's ninth NCAA title.

Thanking the fans, the Hockey Pep Band and his teammates, Herr said, "The greatest honor of my life is to be part of such a great bunch of guys. I'm proud to be a Wolverine. Go Blue!" The team and its coaching and support staff were honored at Yost Field House by some 2,500 fans for their 3-2 win over Boston College in sudden-death overtime with 2 minutes and 9 seconds remaining. The winning goal was made by freshman Josh Langfeld before 18,276 people the night before in Boston.

Prior to introducing Coach Red Berenson, Tom Goss reminisced a bit, recalling a conversation with the coach last fall. Asked by Goss, "How good are we going to be?" the coach replied, "Well, this is a rebuilding year. But I can guarantee one thing--they will play hard."

And they did play hard, with an overall finish of 30-11-1, and a CCHA record of 24-9-1. Noting that he and the other seniors will miss wearing their jerseys, Marty Turco said, "This has been the most fun, the most rewarding as a player and a person. When we win, we celebrate. The best part is a hug from teammates. That's what makes it special for me."

"It's always fun when you win," Berenson told the crowd. "When you win, you learn to not like to lose," he added. "They won because they came together as a team.

"We knew we were going to win and they found a way to do it. I'm so proud. It makes me feel I've got the best job in the country."

Team members skated onto the ice at the start of the program to be thanked by Goss and President Lee C. Bollinger, who said "It is a great honor on behalf of the University to congratulate this team as national champions.

"There is something about athletics, the effort, the talent, the skill, the fortuity. It's not always clear what will come out. It worked out this time, but remember sometimes it doesn't. You achieved in just the right way. This is a moment worthy of a great university."