Michigan Tech Huskies
The Michigan Tech Huskies hockey team has a long and rich history, filled with memorable moments and surprising upsets. From their early beginnings in the 1920s to their current success, the Huskies have made a name for themselves in the world of college hockey. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and relive some of the most unforgettable moments in Michigan Tech Huskies history.
The Beginning Years
Michigan Tech University, located in Houghton, Michigan, began its hockey program in 1921. The team was known then as the Hilltoppers, and they played in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). In their debut season, the Hilltoppers had an impressive record of 13-1-1, including a win over their rival Michigan State University.
However, it wasn’t until the early 1950s that the team truly made their mark in the college hockey world. Under the guidance of coach John MacInnes, the Hilltoppers became the Michigan Tech Huskies in 1956. That same year, they joined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), a conference that would become known as the Big Ten of college hockey. This move proved to be a turning point for the Huskies, as they went on to win their first WCHA Championship in 1962.
The Dream Team of 1975
In the 1974-1975 season, the Michigan Tech Huskies dominated the WCHA with a record of 19-3-2. Led by head coach John MacInnes, the team was often referred to as the Dream Team due to their exceptional talent and chemistry on the ice. They had the highest goals per game average in the nation and were named the top team in the country by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA).
The Huskies went on to win their second WCHA Championship that season, with a memorable 6-1 victory over their archrival University of Michigan Wolverines. This win not only solidified their dominance in the conference but also earned them a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in their history.
Upset Over Minnesota in 2015
In 2015, the Michigan Tech Huskies made a historic upset in the WCHA playoffs when they defeated the top-seeded University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in a thrilling three-game series. The Huskies won the first game 3-2 in overtime, with a game-winning goal by captain Tanner Kero. In the second game, they were down 2-0 but managed to come back and tie the game, with an equalizing goal by captain Blake Pietila, who would later score the game-winning goal in overtime.
The Huskies’ unexpected victory in the WCHA playoffs not only shocked the college hockey world but also earned them a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 34 years. Although they ultimately lost in the regional final to St. Cloud State, the Huskies proved that they were a force to be reckoned with and had solidified their spot among the top teams in college hockey.
A New Era of Success
In recent years, the Michigan Tech Huskies have continued to make their mark in the college hockey world, with back-to-back WCHA Championships in 2017 and 2018. Head coach Joe Shawhan, who took over in 2017, has led the team to new heights, earning the program’s first-ever top-five ranking in the national polls in the 2018-2019 season.
The 2019-2020 season also marked a special moment in Michigan Tech Huskies history when they hosted the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. This was the first time the GLI was held outside of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and it was a great opportunity for the Huskies to showcase their talent on a bigger stage.
Looking to the Future
As we look to the future, the Michigan Tech Huskies hockey team continues to build upon their rich history and strive for success. From their beginnings as the Hilltoppers to their current status as a respected college hockey program, the Huskies have proven time and time again that they have what it takes to compete with the best.
It’s easy to get caught up in the current state of sports, but it’s important to take a step back and appreciate the history and memorable moments that have shaped our favorite teams. And for the fans of the Michigan Tech Huskies, there’s no shortage of historic wins and upsets to look back on with pride and excitement.