Blue Ice relates the tale of the University of Michigan's hockey program--from its fight to become a varsity sport in the 1920s to its 1996 and 1998 NCAA national championships.
This history of the hockey program profiles the personalities who shaped the program--athletic directors, coaches, and players. From Fielding Yost, who made the decision to build the team a rink with artificial ice before the Depression (which ensured hockey would be played during those lean years), to coaches Joseph Barss, who survived World War I and the ghastly Halifax explosion before becoming the program's first coach, to Red Berenson, who struggled to return his alma mater's hockey team to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s. Players from Eddie Kahn, who scored Michigan's first goal in 1923, to Brendan Morrison, who upon winning the 1996 national championship with his goal said, "This is for all the [Michigan] guys who never had a chance to win it."
Blue Ice also explores the players' exotic backgrounds, from Calumet in the Upper Peninsula to Minnesota's Iron Range to Regina, Saskatchewan; how coach Vic Heygliger launched the NCAA tournament at the glamorous Broadmoor Hotel; and how commissioner Bill Beagan transformed the country's premier hockey conference.
In Blue Ice, fans of hockey will learn the stories behind the curse of the Boston University Terriers, the hockey team's use of the winged helmet, and the unlikely success of Ann Arbor's home-grown talent.
Unlike other sports at the collegiate level, the hockey players at Michigan haven't been motivated by fame or fortune; rather, they came to Michigan get an education and to play the game they loved.
John U. Bacon has won numerous national writing awards and now freelances for Sports Illustrated, Time, ESPN Magazine,and the New York Times, among others.