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October 26, 2012The Michigan hockey team begins CCHA play tonight when it hosts Miami (Ohio) for a pair of games at Yost Ice Arena. They are the first of nine conference contests the next five weeks and while the race for the league title won't heat up for months, U-M's performance in October and November is crucial.
Over the past 23 seasons, Michigan has won 11 CCHA regular-season titles and never had a losing record during the first two months of play in those campaigns. In fact, U-M has boasted better than a .700 winning percentage in nine of those 11 crown-wearing seasons, going 5-3-1 (.611) in 2002 and 5-3-0 (.625) in 2004 as the two exceptions.
Only twice in the last 23 years has Michigan finished the first two months with a losing record in conference play, in 2010 when it would finish seventh in the CCHA, and in 2012, when it rebounded to place second.
"You want to win your games in October just as much as you want to win in February," sophomore forward Alex Guptill said. "Every win matters and so we know we need to get off to a good start."
Tonight's game can be seen on Comcast Channel 900 beginning at 7:30.