Complete History of the MTU/NMU Hockey Rivalry

Since 1979, there have been 174 hockey games played between Michigan Tech University and Northern Michigan University, making it one of the most storied rivalries in college hockey.

For much of their history, Tech and Northern were in different conferences. Tech has long been in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Northern on the other hand has predominantly played in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).

During these years the teams would play during the regular season and did not have the opportunity to play each other in the playoffs. After the 2012-13 season, the CCHA disbanded and the Big Ten hockey conference was created and for the first time since 1997 Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan were playing in the same conference.

However, there have been a few notable exceptions to regular season play. The teams have met three times in the annual Great Lakes Invitational (GLI), in 1989, 1995, and 1998. Michigan Tech won two of the three meetings, none of which were played for the GLI Championship. On four occasions they met in early rounds of the WCHA Tournament, and twice in the CCHA Tournament.

In order of importance, this leads us to the 1981 NCAA Frozen Four tournament. This was the first and only time the Huskies and Wildcats met in the NCAA tournament, where they each reached the semifinals. Had they won, they would have competed against each other for the national championship. However, they were each dealt hefty losses. Wisconsin beat NMU 5-1, while Minnesota beat MTU 7-2.

The highest profile game the two have played to date, was Mar 28, 1981, for the 3rd place game in the NCAA tournament. Playing in Duluth, the Huskies went on to win that game by a score of 5-2.

Michigan Tech vs Northern Michigan Hockey

Complete Series History

As the record stands today, the Wildcats hold the slimmest of margins with 77 wins to the Huskies’ 76 wins.

Total meetings174
Total goals scored1,149
Total goals for NMU594
Total goals for MTU555
Average goals per game6.60
All-time seriesMTU leads, 81-79-14
First meetingMTU 3, NMU 2 – Nov 23, 1979
Last meetingNMU 4, MTU 0 – Mar 11, 2023
Largest victoryNMU 9, MTU 0 – Oct 8, 1999
Highest scoring gameNMU 10, MTU 7 – Jan 26, 1990
Longest win streakMTU, 8 games (2020-21)
Longest unbeaten streakNMU, 10 games (1998-2000)
Last 10 gamesMTU Leads 7-3
Current win streakNMU, 1 game (2023)

This excludes an exhibition game played Oct 2, 2021, which ended in a 4-4 tie.

* NCAA Frozen Four
^ CCHA Tournament Quarterfinal
# Great Lakes Invitational
+ WCHA Playoff First Round
WCHA Playoff Quarterfinal
$ WCHA Playoff Championship

Records compiled with information from Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan sports information offices.