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Notre Dame's Jeff Jackson, Michigan's Red Berenson share their thoughts on the end of the CCHA
March 24, 2013 - Matt Wellens
DETROIT — Sunday's final CCHA Championship game at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit featured two coached in Michigan's Red Berenson and Notre Dame's Jeff Jackson, who combined have won 16 CCHA tournament championships.
Berenson's nine have all come with the Wolverines while Jackson won four with Lake Superior State in a five-year span from 1991-1995 and not three since 2005 at Notre Dame.
In comparison, Ron Mason won 13 league tournament titles with Bowling Green State and Michigan State.
Following the Irish's 3-1 win on Sunday, here is what Berenson and Jackson had to say about the league coming to a close after 42 seasons.
"I think it will take awhile before the smoke clears but its been the only college league that I've coached in. When I played at Michigan, I played in the WCHA when Michigan was in that conference. That's before Wisconsin even had a program and most of these other schools. The CCHA can be proud of all the team members and all the championships and all the great events they've had at the Fox Theatre; the great players they produced and the great people they produced as student athletes, not just NHL players. It's been a great league. They have nothing to apologize for. It's just too bad its over."
"This one is extra special to me because the first team I ever coached as a coach in college hockey in 1991 won this tournament. This will be the last opportunity to win one of these tournaments. I've said many times over the last couple months when people ask me that there was a day when this thing meant more than being in the NCAA tournament. I mean, it was a jammed-packed house all the time. It was an exciting place to come. Everybody looked forward of going to The Joe. The NCAA tournament was just kind of gravy. Unfortunately we've become more about, like basketball, where the NCAA tournament is the only thing that matters. Obviously we all want to play for a national championship, but winning a conference championship should be special. I think that the CCHA has done a great job in making this event special. It's been a hard draw over recent years for whatever reasons, but it's a great venue for college hockey. It's a great city for college hockey. I know they will probably continue with the Big 10, but it will be disappointing to not be able to come back here in the future."
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