Following Michigan’s first Frozen Four practice Wednesday afternoon, the Wolverines were loose enough to provide a few laughs for the press, some of them unintentional.
When coach Red Berenson was asked about the status of defenseman Brandon Burlon, who has been out of the lineup with esophagitis since mid-March, Berenson’s answer had his own players snickering.
“Burlon, who’s missed three-and-a-half weeks with a strange disease or whatever,” said Berenson. “Anyway, he’s trying to get his weight back on. We’ll decide tomorrow whether he plays or not.”
Then there was the running theme of concurrence. After Carl Hagelin talked about the differences between this Michigan team and the one that made a trip to the Frozen Four in 2008, Louie Caporusso was prompted to answer as well.
“I concur,” said Caporusso.
Later, after Caporusso had answered a question about the Wolverines playing in front of a crowd that will undoubtedly be pro-North Dakota, Matt Rust said, “I think Louie said most of it, so I concur.”
Rust talked about potentially facing off against his brother, Notre Dame freshman Bryan Rust. “I’m happy for him, but at the end of the day I’m going to take my time here and be a little bit selfish. I think this is my time,” said Rust, emphasizing my time, “and hopefully my brother can respect that and we can go on our separate ways.”
That drew the biggest laugh from the crowd.
Forward David Wohlberg, out of the lineup since breaking his collarbone March 11, was on the ice in practice today but is nowhere near being ready to play.
Said Berenson, “It’s been four weeks since his injury and his collarbone was broken — and it wasn’t just broken, it was displaced and he’s got a plate on it now. There’s no chance he can play. He’s skating now, but he can’t take contact.”
A bit of trivia
Berenson also revealed an interesting personal connection to North Dakota. “I nearly went to North Dakota as a high school graduate, and I ended up at Michigan.”
Makes you wonder how much the history of college hockey itself was affected by Berenson’s decision.