ST. PAUL, Minn. - Red Berenson's ability to recall details after 27 seasons as Michigan's coach is as sharp as ever.
Whether goal totals of his current players or final scores of games past, Berenson sat calmly at a podium the day before the Wolverines play for a national championship and recited statistics and anecdotes like he was reading from a book.
There are many interesting chapters in his story, starting as a player for Michigan in the early 1960s, spanning two decades in the NHL and continuing into his 70s as the stone-faced, raspy-voiced, tough-minded bench boss for his alma mater.
The Wolverines meet Minnesota-Duluth tonight for the NCAA title.
After Michigan stopped star-studded North Dakota, the top-ranked team in the country, in the semifinals on Thursday night, Berenson spoke of the Fighting Sioux's advantage in depth, talent and experience while espousing the old best-team-doesn't-always-win theory.
Told of that description of the Wolverines as overmatched, UMD coach Scott Sandelin smiled.
"Red's been around a long time. He knows what to say," Sandelin said.
Meaning this: Michigan, owner of the most championships (nine), Frozen Four trips (24) and consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament (21), can't realistically be construed as an underdog.
The Bulldogs, who have never won a national title, ought to be in that role.
"We've kind of gone under the radar a little bit," Sandelin said.
UMD (25-10-6) beat Notre Dame in the semifinals with a relentless power play and good goaltending and has arrived in the title game for just the second time in school history. The Bulldogs lost to Bowling Green for the championship in 1984.
• Miami (Ohio) forward Andy Miele won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top player in college hockey.
Miele topped the nation in scoring with 71 points - 24 goals and 47 assists - in 39 games. His points total was 11 more than any other player and the most in Division I since 2002-03.
Miele signed a free agent entry-level deal with the Phoenix Coyotes.
• What: Minnesota Duluth (25-10-6) vs. Michigan (29-10-4)
• When: 4 p.m.
• TV: ESPN