Playing the Frozen Four in the Xcel Energy Center is a bit of a homecoming for the seniors on this Michigan team. Louie Caporusso, Carl Hagelin, Chad Langlais, Tristin Llewellyn, Matt Rust, Scooter Vaughan and Ben Winnett were freshmen when UM played in the 2007 Ice Breaker Invitational.

“It is interesting that this senior class played their first-ever college game in this building in that Ice Breaker tournament when we played against Boston College and Minnesota,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “I don’t know if there’s any karma there, but it’s interesting.”

Michigan beat BC, 4-3, in overtime Oct. 12 to open the 2007-08 season before losing to Minnesota the following night, 4-3.

“It’s great being back here in Minnesota,” said Caporusso. “I remember it like it was yesterday, being here for our first games against BC. It’s gone by so fast. We’re really excited to be back here and we have a big job ahead of us.”

In that win over Boston College, Hagelin scored the first goal of the season for Michigan — the first of his collegiate career — assisted by Caporusso. Caporusso scored the OT winner, unassisted.

In the loss to Minnesota, Rust scored twice.

  • Painter

    What about Ill, Iowa, and Prudue step out of the shadows of club sport and into the big leagues. Even if the Big Ten helps out with loans to get the clubs into Div 1.

  • AnOn

    How is it that they are signing players but dont have a coach?

  • Benny

    As I read on another blog, in the Big Ten, as hard as it is to say, Hockey is 3rd fiddle in Big Ten schools, behind Football and Basketball, despite how successful a Hockey Program may or may not be. Now a Big Ten Hockey Conference with just 6 teams, who in the Big Ten will be running this? And will Hockey be treated as 3rd Fiddle behind Football and Basketball, when it comes to decision making, scheduling, tournaments,etc? (maybe even 4th behind Women’s basketball too).

    As other conferences adjust, (maybe grow), and teams shift around, all around them, the Big Ten will be locked into a 6 team league for the unforeseeable future, stagnant and unable to grow or expand. And probably treated as a 2nd class citizens by the Big Ten Hierarchy. It would be years before any other Big Ten school adds the expensive sport of Hockey, and if they do, it will be years before they will be competitive.

    The WCHA and CCHA are Hockey Conferences run by Hockey People, concerned about Hockey. Can the same be said about the BigTen? Again who will be running it, and who do they answer to? Probably non-hockey people in the Big Ten, because they are concerned about Football and Basketball. And the Big Ten Hockey Teams will suffer, stuck in a 6 team conference, unable to grow, and run by a conference where Football and Basketball are Kings..

  • Paul

    First Jim Delaney gives away our football rivalries in Iowa and Minnesota. Now he wants to dump our hockey rivals, too. Any Barry just sits around and smiles. Can’t we just have a Big Ten Hockey Tournament sometime during the year and leave it at that and stay in the WCHA?

  • GopherFan83

    The Big Ten Hockey Conference will not affect the east coast schools, and will have a negligible affect on the WCHA and CCHA. The WCHA will be strong with ten teams, and Minnesota and Wisconsin will still play most WCHA teams at least once a year, probably alternating years for home series or in Minnesota’s case, doing home-and-home’s with UMD, SCSU, and Mankato.
    Denver and CC have strong hockey programs that will not suffer from Minnesota and Wisconsin leaving. I would guess that they’d fly to Colorado once a year or every other year to play both teams.
    The CCHA will be more competitive, could lead to a school like Notre Dame becoming a hockey powerhouse, which would be good for college hockey. Similar to the WCHA, the remaining CCHA teams will still play Michigan, MSU, and OSU almost as much as they do now.
    The Big Ten adding hockey has spurred interest from other Big Ten schools in adding programs. I don’t think anyone sees a problem with more Division 1 programs. Eventually the conference landscapes could shift if schools like USC, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, and Texas add programs, but they will grow the sport, not detract from established programs.

    • Gfkbob

      Do you seriously think Notre Dame is going to remain in the CCHA after the other “big schools” leave. Your dreaming!

    • Ring_of_Fire


      With the rodent schools leaving, the WCHA loses its flagship television market (Minneapolis), it’s two largest member institutions, and a great deal of clout on the national stage. Additionally, with the BTHC’s scheduling demands, Minny and Wisco will not be free to schedule all of these crazy out-of-conference games you’re suggesting. All of the remaining schools will lose big attendance weekends and North Dakota will lose Minnesota as a conference rival (yes, they’ll still play, but it won’t have anywhere NEAR the meaning). The effects, my friend, will not be “negligible”.

      More troubling is the fact that the CCHA’s reign as a “power conference” will not survive the loss of Michigan and Michigan State. Notre Dame, with all of the money it has invested in its program in recent years, will not be content to play in a watered-down version of the CCHA and is likely to bolt to the WCHA as soon as the paperwork can be drawn up…leaving Miami as the flagship program of the conference. However, it will be a conference of small schools with small budgets. It will be Atlantic Hockey…but in the Midwest.

      This is greed on the part of the Big Ten. Pure, simple greed. Penn State could have joined the CCHA and made it a 12 team league again, keeping the rest of the college hockey landscape intact. Instead, the Big Ten had to flex its network muscle in the name of having something to show on TV on Friday nights and, in the process, destroy one hockey league and seriously weaken another.

      No. Really. Good job, Big Ten. Way to do what’s best for college sports.

      • Harrischips

        Good points and I was hoping for the same, PSU to CCHA, make it 12 teams keep conferences intact. Why there could not be some kind of compromise with BTN and have a few Big 10 showcases just like Mich/MSU vs Minn/Wisc does each year early in the season. When will ND new arena be built/finished?

      • Joe

        You hit the nail on the head. This is not about giving a rats a$$ about college hockey. Its is all about dollars, and having something to put on their network. Thanks BIG 10! Thanks Penn State! I really hope you all fall on your faces!

  • Gophers4Life

    this is why Minnesota didn’t want the Big Ten hockey conference to come into existence, because of the problems it raises. Wisconsin has wanted it for years and Minnesota kept saying no, even a couple months ago they opposed it. I guess the money was just to good for them to pass up

    • Ring_of_Fire

      They don’t have a choice. Once the Big Ten said, “go”, Minnesota had to join in hockey or drop in everything…and they can’t afford to do that.

      The Big Ten has an “all or nothing” policy. If you want to be in the Big Ten, you’re join in ALL sports….or you don’t join. There is no middle ground and there are no associate memberships.

      Minny has to put the best face possible on this, but internally, I’d imagine some teeth are gnashing.

  • TerrierFan

    This article’s suggestion that Notre Dame and Miami joining Hockey East is ridiculous. Hockey East is perfectly content being a New England conference. Miami, and especially Notre Dame, are too far away.

  • Oshie’s Jock

    This might allow North Dakota State or UM-Moorhead to add a hockey program. Fargo has this big new arena being used by a mere junior team. They weren’t ready during the WCHA expansion in the last few years. By 2013, they might be. The Gophers and the Sioux will be sorry if they don’t continue their rivalry. Yeah, I always hear from the media that the UW and UM rivalry is soooo intense. I’ve seen their games and they don’t hold a candle to the pure hate that the Sioux and Gophers save for each other. College hockey will really be missing its greatest rivalry if UM allows those games to become rare.

    • B.D.

      Could happen but will take a few years to properly gel.

  • Yer Killing Me Smalls

    I read these posts. While I appreciate the passion of the fanbases and enjoyment of college hockey, I feel that people are missing the point of what’s going on here – Schools with BCS money vs. Schools without BCS money.

    It is college hockey, but the programs that are part of the BCS conferences, and major Division One schools have more money to spend. I read all these things about “travel expenses” and “not having the money” etc. etc. What people do not realize is that the TV contracts negotiated by conferences and the money of college bowl games and college basketball games are parceled out to each school in a conference equally (or Notre Dame from NBC) and that money does not just go to fund the football and basketball teams. That money funds most of the athletic department activities at each institution.

    Michigan can finish 1-11 in football and get the same amount of money as an undefeated Ohio State. That’s how the contracts are negotiated. “Travel Costs” are incredibly miniscule!

    Case in point – When Boston College left the Big East to go to the ACC what happened? Why they currently make 30-40% more money a year as an athletic program despite increased “travel costs.”

    A Big 10 hockey conference will get revenue from the Big Ten Network. Not only that, but it will encourage other Big Ten schools to make a jump to Division I hockey – because instead of trying to fit into the WCHA, or CCHA, and make things unbalanced they now have a soft landing spot.

    I predict that before the start of the 2013-2014 season two more Big Ten schools will announce plans to join the conference and add hockey as a Varsity sport.

    Notre Dame will make overtures at joining the Big Ten Conference in hockey because they have more in common with the Big Ten schools than they do with the CCHA members, and who says that because they’re not “in every Big Ten Sport” they cannot be allowed to join? If the money is there (and it will be) the Big Ten Conference would greedily pick up Notre Dame for hockey even on a temporary basis to fill out the conference and numbers. Or is there some rule that Providence and UConn have to be in the same conference? Northeastern broke from the America East yet is still in Hockey East, but speaking of that conference:

    Which team in the past decade has had a meteoric rise from there? Which just happens to coincide with the big contracts in football and basketball? So the one school that has the athletic resources that double the rest of the conference just happens to be winning conference and National Titles?

    The pattern is in the data children. The Big Ten knows what it’s doing. It will be unwieldy at first but expect the conference to grow in leaps and bounds.

    Why? Because throwing 15% of it’s BCS revenue at hockey is still more money than a non-BCS school throwing half it’s budget at hockey. Just more cash to play with. Depending on the deal with the BTN – attendance figures and money could just be icing on an already fattened and iced cake.

    • Ring_of_Fire

      Though well written and eloquent, your post strikes me as not being very well thought out at all.

      I point to the following issues:

      1) Your assumption that the Big Ten will take Notre Dame if it doesn’t bring its football team or its basketball team.

      Big Ten bylaws specifically prohibit associate memberships. If you want to be a Big Ten member, you have to join in all sports the conference sponsors.

      Now, would they make an exception for Notre Dame? Possibly. But for a non-revenue sport like hockey? Unlikely. While Jim Deleany is president? No freaking way. He still hates Notre Dame for publicly embarrassing him and the conference in the late 90s when he all but promised The Irish’s delivery into the Big Ten.

      If Notre Dame goes anywhere, it will be to the WCHA. That way it can keep its football independence and its basketball affiliation with the Big East…which is, incidentally, a better top-to-bottom hoops conference than the Big Ten.

      2) Your assumption that other schools in the Big Ten will be clamoring to sign up for new hockey programs.

      Hockey is ungodly expensive, particularly on the Division I level. Penn State needed an $88,000,000 donation to get it off the ground, and that was with an incredibly high amount of institutional support and a great club team. Other Big Ten schools don’t have either. The closest two are Illinois and Indiana…but both have their issues. Illinois’ club team is good, but their facility is terrible, with no plans to build a new one. Indiana is years away on their new building…and, with budget squeezing, it is looking increasingly unlikely that it will have the capability to make ice. Iowa? Their rink is in a shopping mall for God’s sake.

      You are right about one thing though…the BTHC will have money.

    • wellduh

      Big ten schools do not throw money at Hockey. Hockey in MN is a revenue sport and is counted on to provide money for non revenue sports.

  • Da Dutch

    This is an important announcement that has nice sized implications for the Big 10.

    1. It gives them a bunch of programming for their TV network.

    2. As the AD’s noted, alums will find it more easy to follow the sport – the ones that do not, I mean.

    3. It is clear that the goal is to grow the league to at least 10 teams, and I am sure that by making the sport officially part of the conference this process is now much easier for existing member schools on a lot of levels. For example, I can see Illinois having a much easier time generating interest and $$ from alums to join the Big 10 vs. CCHA. Alums of these schools are hyper competitive and if 6 of the members have a team I am sure many of the other schools will want one too – after all, hockey is great, right?

    4. Who cares if all the other conferences have to scramble if the outcome is a more stable, sound environment? The sport is currently littered with no name schools – its only good for the sport, imo, if some larger “brands” get involved. Who knows? Maybe a stronger US college hockey could start to pull players away from Canadian juniors and to these schools – even for a time….

    • paula please quit now.

      Your “No Name Schools” that litter college hockey enjoy tremendous success. More than the schools you’d find listed as BCS or College Basketball elite. Do you follow hockey?

    • Ring_of_Fire

      1 & 2: Yep. Agreed wholeheartedly.

      3: Good luck. It will take more than the $88,000,000 Penn State got to start a program at Illinois, Indiana, or anywhere else in the Big Ten. If the appetite for that kind of fund raising is there (particularly given state higher education budgets right now), then I’d be amazed.

      4: This is the height of arrogance. Who cares if the conferences have to scramble…littered with no-name schools? Are you for real?

  • Anonymous

    Forgot to add this but Big 10 Conference Tourney in Grand Rapids, VanAndel Arena home ice to GR Griffins AHL Affliliate to Detroit Red Wings. Numerous times hosting West Regional (back in 2 region NCAA’s) and Midwest Regionals of NCAAs. Great downtown area, plenty of quality lodging, nite life, skywalk to arena from many of these locations. Gerald R Ford Airport is very accessable. Central located to all 6 schools. Realize it the advantage of UM/MSU but still more neutral than some others like St Paul or Milwaukee plus would not compete with NCAA basketball venue in Chicago. Grand Rapids would embrace this completely.

  • mdb24

    Big Ten Hockey = death of atlantic hockey, which may not be a bad thing, hear me out.
    CCHA candidates: RIT, Mercyhurst, Niagra, Robert Morse, maybe even Canisus.
    WCHA should get Air Force – they don’t belong in AH other than wanting to be in the same conference with Army, but i guess rivalvies will go out the window when NoDak and Minn are split up.
    Sacred Heart, AIC, and Bentley are at risk of losing their programs and it may not be bad thing. A decade of D-1 hockey and still no increased investment in the programs – it’s ridiculous. Invest some money or get ou tof D-1. Facilities are key, case in point, Quinnipiac.
    That leaves UConn, Holy Cross, and Army. Does Hockey East have room for UConn and HC? UConn makes sense, large new england state school. But they have to invest big time in their program and that is something the school does not appear likely to do right now. Football is a top priority, and when that program is squared away, then hockey may receive some attention. As for Holy Cross, a new building will do the program wonders and it is very necessary. Geographically the school fits. Academically and school size, it is more in line with Ivy/ECAC. The reality of HE is that the big four always find their way to the top 5 or 6. BU, BC, UNH, and Maine are always among the top. Occasionally Northeaster, Umass, UVM, (or even Merrimack), find their way to the top, but year after year, the big four find themselves with more teams behind them than in front (yes, Maine and BU have had down years). Holy Cross joining HE is a dangerous venture. If it is done, it must be done with a lot of money and full commitment of the school. Otherwise the school will be a sacrificial lamb. It will never be consistently at the top like the big 4, but the school is capable of competing if given the resources. I have doubts as to whether this will happen though – the athletic department has suspect leadership.
    That leaves Army – can they convince ECAC to go to 13? Will ECAC go to 14 and pick up URI? URI has decent facilities and may be able to raise funds to improve them. ECAC has a presence in southern New England, so this would make sense.

    Alabama-Huntsville is on the outside looking in. It is only a matter of time for that program if it remains independent.


    • Styles9002

      I could see Holy Cross being invited to join Hockey East IF they wanted to go to 12 teams. This would mean they would need another invitee, perhaps UConn, which would allow HE to be remain all New England conference and minimize intra-conference travel.

      BC and the Cross are both Jesuit institutions and thus share many mutual links while Providence and Merrimack, as Catholic colleges also, would most likely support the Cross’s inclusion if HE wanted to expand. I have read 12 teams is an ideal conference size so on the surface this makes sense. Absent other information to the contrary, I think it is feasible.

  • Charlie Katzman

    like the ccha-wcha super conference, opens up another at large tourney bid as well

  • Follow the Cash Flow

    “Big programs like Wisconsin and Minnesota need to have 20 home games per season to make the financials work.” – Todd D. Milewski • Executive Editor, USCHO • Monday, March 21, 2011

    Really! I guess lesser programs should lose money! Makes me think they’ll need to take their talents to $outh Beach.

  • Puck169

    Which Big Ten schools will add women’s hockey so there can be Big Ten women’s hockey too?

    Will Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State start playing real hockey instead of clutch-and-grab-hook-and-hold CCHA hockey?

    Will the Big Ten inherit the horrible CCHA referees?

  • Gophers4Life

    haha wow, some of you are really pissed off these teams are leaving. Minnesota didn’t want to leave at all, i even have a personal e-mail from their athletic director to me saying that, it says that with 6 teams from the Big Ten conference they are required to do it if the Big Ten wants to since they are a member of the conference. He told me that Minnesota is actually going to lose money doing this but there’s nothing that he can do about it. If you want to blame anyone blame Barry Alvarez (Wisco’s AD, and Terry Pegula, Sabres owner and man who gave the donation to Penn State). Alvarez has been trying his hardest to get a BTHC for a long time and Pegula gave the donation so the same thing could happen. It is sad for us Minnesota fans as well, none of us want this to happen, and to say its a weak conference is wrong, its a small conference for sure, but in the last 12 years 4 Big Ten schools have won 5 National Titles. That’s more than any other conference if you take the Big Ten ones from their current conferences. the other 2 teams, Ohio State just doesn’t care about hockey and Penn State is a new program that will still be better than Michigan Tech.

    I don’t want this to happen but it’s going to, and the rivalries will continue. I’m not sure about MN and NoDak since MN can’t play native american named opponents outside of conference play, but the rest will continue and in 10 years this will all seem normal. Notice most of the fans pissed off on here are NoDak fans because they know without having that Minnesota game the season isn’t the same for them, they will lose that happiness during the regular season. For Minnesota it sucks but its not a big deal since they had so many huge rivals from the state of MN.

    Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Northwestern all want to add DI hockey, whether they can afford it or not is the question. So this move could add more teams to college hockey which is always a plus

    • turn about fair play

      I would disagree with Barry Alvarez comment. As a season ticket holder for 3 Badger sports Barry doesn’t give a poo about the hockey program. His baby is football and B-ball rains in the cash. He has alienated hockey fans and hockey alumni for years.

      This conference has started to grow on me. Big time television exposure nationwide. What a recruiting tool. “hey son you want to play at North Dakota? yea middle of nowhere or for a Big Ten school that on TV all the time? No brainer!

      • B.D.

        Actually, it has been “Hey kid, wanna play at UND where you will be scouted more than any other school and will be trained to play as a pro? Or would you rather go to a big impersonal school that will not allow you the best chance?”

        The kids are voting – with their feet…
        Note the following list of young men who have committed to attending UND and playing for the Sioux (hat tip to Brad Elliott Schlossman of the GF Herald.

        Committed recruits
        Brendan O’Donnell, F
        Mike Parks, F
        Colten St. Clair, F
        Mark MacMillan, F
        Rocco Grimaldi, F
        J.T. Miller, F
        Jack Rowe, F
        Miles Koules, F
        Stefan Matteau, F
        Nick Mattson, D
        Andrew Panzarella, D
        Jordan Schmaltz, D
        Charlie Pelnik, D
        Zane Gothberg, G

        Some of these men will not be Freshmen for two years. THey are declaring themselves far earlier than I have ever seen just to go to UND.
        Is there any other schools who will comprise the BigTen who have such a list?

        • wellduh

          Um, I’m pretty sure that every school has a list of kids who committed for the next 2 years. If you want to brag list the kids acomplishments.

        • Ooh, I got one . ..
          Hey kid,
          Do you want to play in the most gorgeous hockey arena ever built in front of 10,000+ fans every weekend, while competing week in and week out with the best teams in the country. Meanwhile, you can party everyday for the first half of the season and be the biggest rockstars within 300 miles. Did I fail to mention that you WILL be in the most coveted conference tournament and you WILL be pretty much guaranteed a ticket to the big dance and you WILL be playing a style of hockey that’ll prepare you for the next level. . . .and yes you’re games are on TV (I live in Ohio and have watched 1 UND game a weekend for the majority of the year.)

    • Cmdrsils

      “I’m not sure about MN and NoDak since MN can’t play native american named opponents outside of conference play,”

      Then it’s a good thing Sue won’t be Sue anymore and this point is moot!

  • Anonymous

    That right there is what college hockey is all about… inspiring kids that they can do anything. Shows a LOT of heart from the Broncos team. NCAA should make an award for a team that is outstanding off the ice for their community service and heartfelt inspiration of youth.

  • Bucky

    Class act all the way!

  • Tim

    Thats why hockey players are the finest athletes…….always keeping it real! Ct now roots for the Broncos!

  • KzooHockeyMom

    As a Western Alum, I am very proud of these boys and the way they have adopted the Schripsema Family. What a statement of this fantastic sport and the athletes involved. I am also a Hockey Mom of a 12 yo boy – it warms my heart to see him watching these young men go above and beyond the call of duty and want to be like them. Go Broncos!!!!

  • EngineerHockey

    THAT is what college sports is all about! From an RPI and college hockey fan I say well done Broncos. That was truly amazing!

  • East Coast Bias

    The BIG 10 is not the worst 6-team league that could arise for the WCHA:

    A 6 team Ivy League would be arguably worse.

    A hypothetical (some realistic, most not):

    Noticing the success and ease with which the Big 10 forms its own 6 team league from a rump of members, and recognizing that hockey is the only sport in which the Ivies participate in a league comprising schools beyond the ancient 8, the 6 hockey-playing Ivy league schools withdraw from the ECAC to play as a conference. The residual 6 teams (Colgate, Union, RPI, St. Lawrence, Clarkson and Quinnipiac) maintain the original ECAC banner. This comprises a logical conference of NY state teams plus Q-pac.

    For ease of scheduling, and to honor the historic legacy and link of the conferences, they maintain the same travel partner relationship for half the regular season, playing each member of the other conference once, then playing 2 game series within league for the last 5 weeks of the regular season. This results in 15 game league schedules in both conferences, with 6 non-conference games with legacy conference members (total 21, versus 22 ECAC league games at present).

    The schedule works as a seamless transition from the old ECAC schedule, and goes off without a hitch. 2 leagues, 2 league tourneys, 2 auto bids. The ECAC championship returns to Albany, where bragging rights to New York produces huge crowds. Going one better, the Ivy league Championship sells out Madison Square Garden (heck, if BU-Cornell can sell out, why not Harvard-Yale-Princeton-Cornell in a winner take all weekend with a NCAA berth at stake??).

    2014: A perfect storm.
    Yale once again is near the top of the PWR, as is Union. Despite a first round loss to Harvard, Dartmouth has pieced together a strong enough year to lock in at #13 in the PWR. Colgate makes another run in the ECAC, this time claiming the championship despite entering the tourney in last place, and Cornell takes the Ivy league championship in a shocker. 5 members of the old ECAC qualify for the NCAA Tourney. Half of Grand Forks presents to the ER with chest pain. Others take notice.

    Then things get crazy….

    2016: Frustrated by years of bottom dwelling performances, the periphery of Hockey East (Maine, Vermont, UMass Amherst, Providence) Plus Connecticut and Holy Cross form the New England Hockey Conference. In year one, Maine finally returns to the NCAA Tourney. Hockey East remains a powerful, 6 team Boston-centric conference (BU, BC, UNH, UM-Lowell, Merrimack, Northeastern)….

    2017: Exodus. RIT and Niagara join St. Lawrence, Clarkson, Plattsburg (moving up from D3) and Colgate to form the Southern Tier conference. RPI, Union and Quinnipiac join the three military academies (Navy adds hockey), now misnamed the ECAC. Atlantic hockey survives with 6 lousy teams, now buoyed by the widespread flexibility of scheduling on the east coast with all the small conferences (much easier to schedule out of conference with the rump conference schedules). They still get an auto bid, as do all of the 9 conferences that now comprise the NCAA (up from 5 just 4 years prior).

    2018: North Dakota loses in the WCHA quarters in a stunning upset. Despite a PWR of 9 (and a ranking of #4 in the coaches poll, and #1 among internet blog postings), the Sioux fail to get an NCAA bid. The senior senator from North Dakota holds a senate hearing…

  • Really?????

    Wow does anyone have any other useless facts I didnt realize Bob Uker was a blogger.
    And dont forget that these seniors also have never lost an afternoon game, in a dome, while playing a team who has white in their jerseys, before labor day.

    • Paula Weston

      The post-practice blogging is just about tidbits from the post-practice pressers. Nothing more. Nothing less.