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October 9, 2012The Michigan hockey team will play host to Windsor tonight in exhibition action, with goalies Jared Rutledge, Steve Racine and Adam Janecyk all expected to play as they vie for the starting job.
"Right now the plan is to play Rutledge the first period, Racine the second period and Janecyk the third period," said head coach Red Berenson, who has had just two full practices with his team.
Rutledge is still expected to start for the Maize and Blue when they open the season Thursday and Friday against Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The freshman netminder missed some preseason practices while dealing with an eye problem, but returned to the ice last Thursday and was able to suit up during Michigan's Alumni Game over the weekend.
"Once he got back out there and got a few days ... he was on the ice Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and he felt fine," Berenson said. "I don't know if he's 100 percent on every shot but he got in there and got some work, and the more shots he gets every day in practice and in game situations - that's a good chance to test your reflexes and see if you can really see. And he was fine."
U-M didn't keep official goaltending stats for the preseason game, but Rutledge and Racine played well.
"I thought they looked fine," Berenson said. "It's good for them just to get in the net, in this building with any kind of crowd, in game situations. They haven't had that before. Janecyk has had it, but I thought all three of them played well. Racine looked quick and comfortable."
Berenson doesn't want to place too much emphasis on a single game, especially with his netminders only playing one period apiece but admitted their performance tonight could determine who starts against RIT.
"That could be a factor definitely," he said. "You want to put your best foot forward and show everyone how ready they are, and that's what this game [tonight] will do, I hope."
Likewise on the blue line, senior Lee Moffie and junior Mac Bennett will not play, giving sophomore defensemen Michael Szuma and Mike Chiasson an opportunity to show what they can do.