Michigan Tech Huskies are on the road to hockey’s Frozen Four

Michigan-Tech-Hockey

Michigan Tech vs Minnesota State, photo by Michigan Tech Huskies

There’s just one Michigan team that will compete for a chance to appear in the NCAA hockey Frozen Four, and it’s a perennial hockey power that you may not know about: the Michigan Tech Huskies.

Tech has won three national titles in 1962, 1965 and 1972, and the Huskies (29-9-2) are currently ranked 5th in the nation and tied for most wins in the country this year. They received an at large bid to the tourney and take the ice as the #2 seed in the West region this Friday at 4:30 PM vs St. Cloud State. (details)

Here’s the beginning of a really excellent New York Times feature from last December entitled Stirring Passions in Hockey Hotbed:

Hockey rules this remote part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where it is played by everyone from children to those in their 70s and 80s. All through the long winter it is always game on — in modern arenas, outside (into the wee hours of the night) and in two of the oldest hockey rinks in the world.

Professional hockey was born here in Copper Country in 1902, 15 years before the N.H.L. was formed. Even before that, the game was king in Houghton, Hancock, Calumet and nearby towns when they were at the center of a mining boom.

The mining is gone, the woods dotted with abandoned buildings and ghost towns. Only about 44,000 live in the area now, but the love affair with hockey endures. And the Michigan Tech Huskies are winning again, at last.

Tech’s hockey tradition stretches back 95 years and includes three N.C.A.A. Division I titles, in the 1960s and ’70s, but the Huskies have finished above .500 only once since 1993.

This season, though, they opened with 10 straight victories, their best start in history, and achieved their first No. 1 ranking. Now 13-3-0, Tech is ranked No. 5, having split a two-game series with No. 7 Minnesota-Duluth last week.

I really recommend that you click to read on at the Times for a great feel of the rich history of hockey in the Copper Country. If you want a lot more MTU hockey history, check out Copper Country Hockey History. Their compendium of Michigan Tech Hockey History begins with MTU’s crushing 30-0 destruction of Eagle River that still stands as the record for most goals in a game and rolls through nearly 100 years of hockey.

The photo above was taken during the WCHA Tournament Championship game on Saturday which the Huskies lost 5-2 to tourney top seed Minnesota State. View it and more in their gallery, get lots more at michigantechhuskies.com and be sure to follow them on Facebook & Twitter.

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