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.
Marquette was buzzing on Saturday. The sun was shining, the temperature was pushing fifty degrees, it was Saint Patrick’s Day (no snowstorms, however), and a town full of anticipation for the WCHA Championship between the Michigan Tech Huskies and Northern Michigan Wildcats.
It was the most anticipated game rivals had ever played against each one another, and it was the Huskies who would walk away with the inaugural presentation of the Jeff Sauer trophy.
Recently, we were fortunate to catch up with Weldy Olson, a Marquette native who was a member of the USA gold medal winning team at the 1960 Winter Olympics. Before we share a little more about Weldy (gotta love that nickname!), let’s take a brief look at some hockey history in the Upper Peninsula.
Hockey is a long standing tradition in the Upper Peninsula. A tradition rich in history, and the birthplace of professional hockey in the United States, that started in 1903 with the Portage Lakers.
There are few rivalries in sports that date back as far as the Calumet Wolverines and Portage Lake Pioneers. The claim has been made that it’s the oldest rivalry in hockey, and we’re sticking to that belief. That rivalry is so old that it existed before there was a place to play hockey indoors. Local hockey legends have made their mark. Countless teeth have been lost. And there have likely been as many Gordie Howe hat tricks as scoring hatt ricks.
[View full size](https://upsco.imgix.net/upsco/ys/uploads/2009/02/statue-1.jpg) Michigan Tech University’s annual Winter Carnival wrapped up this weekend. This year’s theme was “A Frigid Place Gets a Blast from Space”.
As always it was another exciting week of events including a beard competition, broomball, crowning of the queen, curling, human dog sled races, ice fishing, ice bowling, snowshoe races, snow volleyball, Stage Revue, tug-o-war in the snow, and of course all the traditional winter festivities.
You may have seen a few color changes lately.
On Tuesday night the great hockey rivalry was ignited once again between the Michigan Tech Huskies and the Northern Michigan Wildcats.
Before the game we thought it was fitting to have a makeover for the rest of February based on whichever teams win. As you may have guessed, MTU won that game. They won 8-2 which is their biggest win against NMU in the history of their rivalry.
The Detroit Red Wings are 2008 Stanley Cup Champions!
Two weeks ago we featured a blog post about Northern Michigan University alumni Dallas Drake. After over 1,000 games in 16 career seasons in the National Hockey League the NMU alum has won his first Stanley Cup.
As tradition has it the captain, Nick Lidstrom, received the Stanley Cup first. And in case you didn’t watch it, before the cup was handed to any of the all stars, the starting players, the famous names, it was handed to role player Dallas Drake first.
As commented in an earlier post about Jeff Finger, Corey suggested that Dallas Drake should be considered an Honorary Yooper. We couldn’t agree more!
he will be playing in the Stanley Cup finals. Drake, who is from Trail, British Comlumbia, played his college hockey at Northern Michigan University from 1988 through 1992. Under longtime coach Rick Comley (another honorary Yooper) Dallas Drake and the Wildcats went on to win the 1991 NCAA National Hockey Championship.
A few weeks ago we posted a blog entry about Jeff Finger, and our knowledge of him being the only Yooper to play in the NHL. We stand corrected! Since the NHL season is coming to a close soon we wanted to give you another Upper Peninsula hockey update. Here are six more Yooper NHL players, old-timers from the 1920-60s. And please if you know of more, let us know. Thanks Paul, for the tip on these NHL Yooper alums.
Photo by [sophnsoph9 on Flickr](http://www.flickr.com/photos/sophnsoph9/4573883162/ "2010.05.02 Red Wings at Sharks by sophnsoph9, on Flickr")It was difficult to see my beloved Red Wings get thumped by the San Jose Sharks in the playoffs this year. During game 2 of the series, however, I found a wonderful consolation prize if the wings weren’t going to pull off the series. That’s when I realized that [Dwight Helminen](http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8470131&view=stats "Dwight Helminen San Jose Sharks"), a native of Hancock, was playing for the San Jose Sharks.
On the night that my beloved Red Wings could sweep the Colorado Avalanche, the last thing that I want to do is feature a post that’s all about a player on the Avalanche. Hockey has an enormous presence in the Upper Peninsula, from youth hockey, to adult leagues, and NCAA National Hockey Championships for MTU, NMU, and LSSU. Pretty impressive. And although many players from the universities have gone on to play professionally, and many locals have gone on to successful hockey careers, I only know of one Yooper, born and raised, to play in the NHL.
Tonight after someone mentioned all of the guys named Ryan (six of them total) on the USA Olympic hockey team it reminded me of when the team was announced and I was impressed that there were five guys on the roster that were born in Michigan.
So it inspired me tonight to do some research on all the Olympians with Michigan connections. There are a lot of them! It’s great to see so many from Michigan and who have came to Michigan to train, thanks in part to the United States Olympic Education Center in Marquette.
Out of the 600+ players in the NHL, there is only one who was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula, Jeff Finger. Born and raised in Houghton, Finger was selected in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
And the winner is…..
Ben B. of Grand Haven And of course you’re still welcome to sign up for our RSS feed on the right hand column. And look for more giveaways to come.
Yooper Steez is now fully restocked Thank you both customers and readers who have been patient with us. It took longer than we expected to get restocked with shirts. But we’re back in full throttle. Order yours today or sign up for a chance to win a free shirt. We currently have red, blue, green, and black in sizes XXS throuh XXL.
Houghton native Jeff Finger traded to Maple Leafs We have mentioned Jeff Finger in several previous posts with our talks about hockey.
8 OT hockey game sees no losers and breaks record for longest game in michigan high school hockey history The Marquette Redmen and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Eagles played in the second longest game in United States high school hockey history. After playing 8 overtimes in the Division 1 state championship game the Michigan High School Athletic Association called the game, and it finished in a 1-1 tie and a shared state championship.