More than just a chronological rehashing of Michigan's biggest games and stars, Blue Ice paints vivid portraits of Michigan's coaches, from Joseph Barss, who survived World War I, the ghastly Halifax Explosion and Michigan's demanding medical school, to Red Berenson, who struggled for years to return his alma mater to the top. It also takes a few delightful detours to describe some of the lesser-known players who made important contributions to the program, right up to the class of 2001. And it explores the players' unlikely backgrounds, from the Keweenaw Peninsula's Copper Country to Minnesota's Iron Range to Regina, Saskatchewan's rich vein of hockey talent.
Blue Ice mines the most exciting moments in Michigan hockey history, including the Wolverines' upset victory for their first NCAA title in 1948, their heartbreaking loss to Wisconsin in the 1977 finals, and their stirring overtime triumph in 1996, after which Brendan Morrison said, "This is for all the guys who never had a chance to win it"—bringing many of them to tears. It explains how coach Vic Heyliger launched the NCAA tournament at the glamorous Broadmoor Hotel, how Mel Wakabayashi rose from a Japanese internment camp to become an All-American, and how commissioner Bill Beagan transformed the second-rate CCHA into the country's premier hockey conference. Blue Ice also tells the stories behind Boston University's "Terrier curse," the players' off-ice triumphs and tribulations, and the surprising success of Ann Arbor's homegrown players.
This is the story of Michigan hockey.
Copyright © 2001, John U. Bacon. All rights reserved.