The Oral History of Yost in the 1990s, Part 3: One Goal Lead

The Oral History of Yost in the 1990s, Part 3: One Goal Lead

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on August 16th, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Previously: Part One, Part Two


[Yost in the late ‘90s/Kalmbach via Bentley Historical Library]

Michigan’s heralded 1993 and 1994 recruiting classes began paying dividends immediately. The 1993-94 Wolverines had three winning streaks of seven games or longer in just a 41-game season, the longest of which reached 11 games. The 1994-95 team took something of a step back—their longest winning streak was only nine games—while still winning 30 games and finishing first in the CCHA.

The most dominant streak of the decade dovetailed with the vaunted recruits becoming upperclassmen. The nature of collegiate hockey scheduling left its mark on previous winning streaks; many took place across multiple road series with neutral-site games sprinkled in. In 1995-96, however, Michigan’s offense hit its stride just as the Wolverines returned home for a six-game homestand at the beginning of January. Their eight-game winning streak started with a GLI title that they took by a combined score of 9-2. They put up even gaudier numbers in front of their own crowd, averaging 9.6 goals per game over six home contests.

The season ended with Michigan’s first national championship in 32 years; before they got there, goalies were pulled, the wooden bleachers creaked and swayed, the crowd beyond the students got involved, and for opponents, the ghosts of Yost were growing louder.


Brendan Morrison, forward (1993-97): That was an incredible stretch. I think we averaged that month or six weeks or whatever it was, we averaged something ridiculous like 8.7 goals a game or something like that. [Ed. A—They averaged 7.6 goals per game over the ten games from the GLI at the end of December through the end of January and the aforementioned 9.6 goals per game counting just the six-game January homestand.] Just absurd. I know every single home game we played, the other team’s goalie was pulled at some point. I don’t think it was a very fun place for other teams to come in and play. They knew they were walking into kind of the lion’s den there; we were rolling and scoring a bunch of goals. It was intimidating. I remember other programs coming out and verbalizing that it was a tough place to play. It was difficult. It’s almost like with our fans and playing in that arena, it was like you were up 1-0 or 2-0 before the game even started.

Marty Turco, goaltender (1994-98): For me, having us rolling teams, you look at the scores and you’re like rolling teams, yeah, 8-3, 7-2, 10-4. You’re like, Alright. Everybody else was happy except for Red because Red was like, “No one cares because we won and we dominated but how about those two you let in there?” I might not have been needed as much to have the game on the line early and mid-year, but he wanted to make sure I was the guy he thought I was at the end of the year. So it wasn’t all hunky-dory during that year [1995-96] for me in particular but it was huge in terms of growth.

Tim Carmody, student season ticket holder: It was exciting. It was definitely very relevant. People would go all the time. People would show up a little bit later for parties on hockey nights.

[After THE JUMP: the crowd’s creativity, the environment’s advantage, and the quirks of an old barn]

Wiseman In, Powers Out

Wiseman In, Powers Out

Submitted by Brian on May 5th, 2017 at 1:46 PM


Wiseman will stay behind Michigan's bench

Per George Sipple of the Detroit News, Brian Wiseman will continue in his capacity as a Michigan assistant coach under Mel Pearson. Billy Powers will not. FWIW, I've heard from various sources that Wiseman was doing yeoman work in a difficult recruiting situation the last few years; he's probably a good guy to keep around. I have not confirmed but suspect that he was the driving force behind Michigan's brilliant 2015-16 umbrella power play, as well.

Sipple has a list of potential second assistants for Pearson:

Madden is unlikely since he is an AHL coach who has a good shot at moving up to the NHL ranks in the near future. As previously mentioned, Muckalt is a USHL head coach/GM; I have no idea whether being an assistant at Michigan is a move up or down in terms of status. Some guy who seems to know what he's talking about on the USCHO message boards asserted that someone in Muckalt's role is probably pulling down 90-100k a year; Powers made 138k this year. Michigan can offer a major salary bump for him. Sipple had previously asserted that unless Muckalt was the new head coach at Tech he expected him behind Michigan's bench.

Tamer and Komisarek are both former Michigan defensemen who had long NHL careers. Tamer is currently an assistant for the USA women's team. Komisarek just retired from the NHL in 2014 and returned to Michigan to complete his undergrad degree; he was working with the team as a student assistant. Neither has the resume of Muckalt but both are very familiar with Pearson.

I'd imagine Steve Shields would stay on as the volunteer goalie coach since he goes way back with Mel and did great work this year with not one not two but three goalies.

As for Powers, this would seem to be a natural fit:

That might not be as much of a recruiting boon as it seems. Most NTDP guys are already committed to a college by the time they join the program. Having Danton Cole around certainly didn't help MSU's recruiting efforts. But it can't hurt.

Unverified Voracity Boggles At The Cameron Lazies

Unverified Voracity Boggles At The Cameron Lazies

Submitted by Brian on January 26th, 2012 at 3:31 PM

I still can't believe it's called "The Journey," which should by rights be a Hallmark Channel series about entering puberty. But it's talking Michigan-Michigan State. Cazzie Russell gets his eyebrow on and Novak rains threes in Breslin:

The Aneurysm of Leadership is discussed. 

It's the… uh… economy? This is unbelievable:

Once regularly an asylum for 1,200 Crazies, Section 17 at Cameron Indoor Stadium now rarely plays host to a student-only crowd.

Student attendance at men’s basketball games has fallen consistently over the last five years, even dropping after Duke won its fourth national championship in 2010. This season, approximately 650 undergraduates have attended each game, 150 fewer than during the 2008-09 season. As a result, Duke Athletics has begun to sell an increasing number of general admission tickets in the student section on a regular basis.

“It has nothing to do with the revenue. We just want it to be full,” Director of Marketing and Relations Mike Forman said. “If there were 1,200 students every game we would love it.”

I've given Michigan students crap for late/spotty attendance at football and hockey (basketball seems immune for some reason) but, like… Jebus. If Duke can't sell out their student tickets it is a nationwide epidemic.

The article goes on to describe a couple of reasons for the decline: the prevalence of online streaming (which seems ludicrous since I'm sure all Duke games are televised in Durham) and "the students' misconception of the time commitment involved." Apparently it's first-come, first-serve and you show up for a game sans ticket and hope to get in. That's a little nuts.

Even if Duke is too far at one end of the scale, Michigan could slide closer to them without incurring the same effect. Offer incentives for having your tickets scanned on time or early and revoke student ticket privileges for people who don't bother to show up.

Attacking the symptom. Bowls are out of control but this does not attack the matter at its heart:

There is "growing support" among conference commissioners, athletic directors and bowl officials to increase the difficulty of becoming bowl eligible by requiring teams to have seven victories, or a winning record, when the new BCS cycle begins in 2014, multiple sources have told The seven-win requirement would also mean a handful of bowls likely would be discontinued because there would not be enough eligible teams to fill all of the current 70 berths. In the past two years alone, 27 teams with 6-6 records were needed to fill all the bowl slots, meaning nearly 20 percent of the bowl field didn't have a winning record.

That would hack out about seven of the existing bowls, none of which would be missed in the slightest. It would still allow a dozen or more bowls that are net negatives to exist. The way to fix the current system is to get rid of ticket and hotel guarantees and let the bowls, not the schools, assume the risk of a crappy matchup.

Slicing out the bottom of the barrel is better than nothing, I guess. And at least athletic directors and presidents are getting wise to the scam:

"The 7-5 proposal is getting serious support," a non-BCS bowl official said. "They're telling a coach [that] 6-6 doesn't cut it, but then the coach gets a $50,000 or $100,000 bonus for a bowl game that none of the fan base wants to see. Athletic directors feel like they're pouring money down a hole and they're getting frustrated with it. The only people making out on 6-6 bowl games are the coaches."

…and the dudes in blazers, of course.

Burn. The Daily profiles Brian Wiseman by featuring his ridiculous peewee campaign:

You’ve probably heard about Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson’s phenomenal six-goal game with the St. Louis Blues in 1968. But what about the record-breaking season of one of his assistants, who averaged over five goals per game en route to a 413-goal campaign?

“They didn’t even keep those stats when I was a kid,” Berenson said.

Alex Guptill says no sale.

@_BrianWiseman I've seen this guys wrist shot, there is no way he scored 413 goals... #allstar

Wiseman can only say "keep scoring" at the moment, but don't find yourself in a drought, Alex.

I'll take f-bombs for 1000. David Molk is interviewed by Kyle Mienke:

He's certain of one thing, though: He has doubters. And he knows exactly where they can go.

"It's just, stuff like that pisses me off," Molk said, voice rising. "Any scout who denies me pisses me off. 'Oh, this is what you got. You’re not good enough.'

"Well, (to hell with) you, let me show you what I got."

For the record, I have never doubted Molk and move around constantly so my location cannot be pinned down. Also, Molk's Sugar Bowl injury was a severed tendon. Competition for center of the 2010s is now closed.

Surprise unwarranted. After the Purdue game I noted that Michigan's bench was a nonfactor this year. A UMHoops mailbag points out that is no outlier:

Here are the statistics for the percentage of minutes played by the bench (Bench Minutes/Total minutes) under John Beilein since 2005:

Year Bench % Rk
2012 22.3% 327
2011 19.3% 337
2010 22.1% 327
2009 35.6% 66
2008 31.6% 147
2007 24.7% 282
2006 20.0% n/a
2005 31.2% n/a
Average 25.9%  

Beilein has high expectations and he’s going to play who he trusts at any given time.

The last three years Michigan has been incredibly thin. I'm hoping that changes next year. Michigan's not going to shoot up into Arkansas territory but if they can get into the middle of the pack injuries get a lot less frightening and players having off nights can spend more of them on the bench.

Etc.: Martin pwns Brewster at the Senior Bowl. Penn State flips a QB commit from… Rice. Scout folks say Diamond, Grant to M, Garnett to Stanford, Kozan to Iowa, and punt on Reeves.