Red Berenson ranks fifth all-time in college hockey coaching wins with 770. (John T. Greilick / Detroit News)
Ann Arbor -- Two of the most respected and winningest coaches in college hockey will be behind their benches Thursday night at Yost Arena when Michigan hosts Boston College in the season opener.
Boston College coach Jerry York has a record 935 wins, surpassing the mark of 924 held by former Michigan State coach Ron Mason last season. He is in his 20th year at BC, where he has guided the Eagles to 468 victories. BC has played in the national title game in five of the last eight years, winning championships in 2008, 2010 (Ford Field) and 2012. He also won a national title in 2001 with BC and 1984 at Bowling Green.
Red Berenson is in his 30th season at Michigan with 770 wins under his belt. He led the Wolverines to national championships in 1996 and 1998, defeating York's BC team in the '98 title game at Boston. The Wolverines advanced to the national title game in 2011, losing to Minnesota-Duluth.
The game will be a homecoming for Bloomfield Hills native Patrick Brown (five goals, 11 points), a senior forward who played at Cranbrook-Kingswood. Brown is team captain and son of former NHL player Doug Brown, who played on consecutive Stanley Cup champion teams with the Red Wings in 1997 and '98.
The Wolverines finished a disappointing 18-19-3 last season, falling to Notre Dame in the CCHA tournament title game to have their run of 22 straight trips to the NCAA tourney come to an end. BC finished 22-12-4.
"It's a different kind of excitement," said Berenson of starting his 30th year as head coach at Michigan. "I know a lot more about what to expect than I did when I started, for sure. And it's different now, the coaching is different. We've got a lot more, whether it's video information, technology. We just put in a big 90-inch TV in the locker room for our video stuff. We have the smart boards in the coach's office. It's amazing. From our end, a lot of the on-ice is similar, but the off-ice stuff has changed.
"We have a power-play meeting, a penalty-kill meeting. We never had any of that stuff 30 years ago. We had a team meeting. It's crazy now. Our players can watch the games on their phones and iPads when they walk to the rink now."
Still, Berenson has the same passion at age 73 as he did 30 years ago and is looking forward to the inaugural Big Ten League season.
"The bottom line is I still have the competitive fire to want to do well and a lot more experience as to what to expect from young players -- and how some of them develop quickly and some that don't can still become good players down the road," Berenson said.
Berenson will be interested to see which young players make an impact this season, pointing to freshmen forwards JT Compher, Tyler Motte and Evan Allen as possibilities.
Berenson also knows if a player develops early, he may also leave early -- and that was the case last season when the Wolverines lost a pair of star defensemen, Jacob Trouba and Jon Merrill, to the NHL.
Boston College at Michigan
When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Where: Yost Arena, Ann Arbor
Notable: Senior forward Kevin Hayes, a 2010 first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, is among the stars for BC.