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Hockey Update

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It's nearly August first, and if you haven't been following Michigan Hockey over the summer, there are some updates you need to be aware of.

-2006-2007 Schedule released
The schedule for the 06-07 season has been released by the hockey offices, and is rather disappointing. The non-conference schedule is weak, featuring home games against the CHA's Alabama Hunstville, Atlantic Hockey's Connecticut, and Hockey East doormat Northeastern. Michigan will face Michigan Tech in the first round of the GLI, and will face either Michigan State or Harvard in the second game. The Wolverines will once again take part in the College Hockey Showcase over Thanksgiving with tough tests at Wisconsin and Minnesota. This weekend is the saving grace of an otherwise weak non-conference schedule. Last year's home game against Boston College seemed to be a step in the right direction in terms of scheduling tougher, more intriguing match-ups. Playing big games against powerhouse programs is a staple of Michigan Hockey, so why dodge these games year after year in the regular season?

The CCHA side of things has Michigan clustered with Ferris State, Western Michigan, and Michigan State. The conference schedule features a January trip to face Alaska Fairbanks, and 6 tough road games to finish the regular season. Michigan fans will be disappointed to see only 6 home games during the second semester.

-Lewis Bolts for Kings
The most touted member of Michigan's incoming recruiting class signed a professional contract with the L.A. Kings, and will forgo his commitment to attend Michigan in the fall. Lewis was selected 17th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. His entry level contract will place him in the Kings' minor league system. Lewis was a highly touted college recruit after a breakout year with the USHL's Des Moines Bucaneers. His departure is disappointing to a team that lacked a stand out goal scoring forward, a staple of Michigan Hockey teams over the past 15 years. It is believed that his scolarship has not been filled, and that the coaching staff is pursuing U.S. Under 17 Team standout Patrick Kane. Kane will play for the U.S. Under 18 Team this year while he finishes high school a semester early. If Kane chooses to play college hockey, he will be able to start school for the second semester. Michigan is battling Jack Parker and BU for Kane's services in the NCAA, while Kane considers whether Canadian Junior hockey will better suit his development.

-Alumni Showcase to Feature 1996 National Championship Reunion
The 1996 National Championship team will reunite in Ann Arbor on Friday, August 4th. The festivites start at 4:30 with a game between alumni ages 35-50. The 50+ alumni game begins at 5:30, and the featured game between the 1996 team and the recent graduates will begin at 7pm. Nearly all of the members of the '96 team will return (including Harold Shock, Bobby Hayes, Marty Turco, Blake Sloan, Greg Crozier), and will face some of the more notable alumni of recent seasons (including Andy Hilbert, Jed Ortmeyer, and Brandon Rogers). Yes, Brendan Morrison will be in attendance, coaching the '96 team with Jason Botterill. If you are in the area, turn out and witness some of the greatest players in Michigan history as they lace the skates up for what is sure to be a fun filled evening.

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