If you’ve heard anything about Michigan Tech Hockey in the last few days, you are no doubt aware that last Saturday night the Huskies secured the MacNaughton Cup, which they shared with Minnesota State, as part of their seventh WCHA Championship.The last time the Huskies won the MacNaughton as WCHA regular season champions, it was 1976 and I was taking my first steps. When I arrived at Michigan Tech in the Fall of 1992, the Huskies were a reasonably competitive team in the WCHA and that very year, Tech hosted a first round WCHA playoff series. Little did I know at that time how long it would be before that would happen again.
A long list of notable names would represent the Huskies as players or coaches (in some cases both) before Tech would host their next WCHA playoff games following the 2014-15 season and finally bring the MacNaughton Cup back to Houghton as the 2015-16 regular season co-champions. Players such as Jamie Ram, Jamie Russell, Pat Mikesch, Colin Murphy, Tim Watters, Chris Conner, Andy Sutton, Mike Sertich, Brett Engelhardt, John Scott, Mel Pearson, David Weninger, Tanner Kero, Alex Petan and hundreds of others wore the silver, black and gold for the Huskies, all striving to achieve those very same goals.
The closest any of those players have been since 1976 were Mel Pearson's senior year, the 1980-81 season, when the Huskies finished 6 points behind Minnesota and last year when the WCHA MVP, Tanner Kero, and Michigan Tech finished 1 point behind Minnesota State.
To put this in historical perspective, let’s take a look back at the last forty years and remember what has transpired since Tech last hoisted the MacNaughton Cup in 1976.
- Apple Computer founded
- Head Coach, Mel Pearson graduates High School
- Star Wars released
- Wayne Gretzky makes his debut with the Edmonton Oilers
- Space shuttle program begins
- Sony Walkman cassette player introduced
- Michael Jackson releases Thriller
- New Coke hits the market
- Steve Yzerman signed by the Red Wings
- Wreck of the Titanic discovered
- Berlin Wall falls
- World Wide Web is invented (not by Al Gore)
- Nelson Mandela freed
- Jaromir Jagr’s rookie season with Penquins
- Founding of Ebay
- Princess Diana dies in a tragic car crash
- Gretzky retires
- Fear of Y2K grips the world
- September 11th terror attacks on US soil
- Saddam Hussein captured by US forces
- Steve Yzerman retires
- Osama bin Laden killed by US special forces
- Space Shuttle program ends
- Boston Marathon bombing
- Michigan Tech hosts Alabama-Huntsville for WCHA playoffs, including the longest game in Tech history
- Michigan Tech Huskies win the MacNaughton Cup
- Jaromir Jagr still playing