The Huskies last played a hockey game on March 18th, 2016. While it feels like an eternity, my sources assure me that it has simply been 189 days. 189 days since the Huskies, hot off of bringing home the MacInnes Cup, lost a nail-biter conference semifinal to Ferris State. While it may have been an abrupt end to what we all thought could be a serious run up to and through the NCAA tournament, it had to end eventually.
Since that time, winter gave way back to summer, and the neighborhood kids traded in their ice skates for roller blades and their ice rinks for cul-de-sacs. It's not entirely a secret that most of the THG staff no longer has the privilege of living in Houghton, and I can say that here in Minnesota, just two weeks into what all of the local media expect to be a historic football season, I hear a lot of people asking when Zach Parise and the Wild will start up again at the Xcel Center. All of my friends from Tech are posting on social media about their Red Wings ticket packages and sharing pictures of Jamie Philips coming out on the ice to represent the Winnipeg Jets at the YoungStars Classic. And, of course, I'm psyching myself up for the inevitability of explaining offsides to my dad for the n+1th time as we watch the Blackhawks over a deep dish pizza when I go to visit.
If the dust didn't collect on our servers too much over the offseason, then this should get posted at the minute of the autumn equinox. At the exact moment of the equinox, the center of the sun is directly on the plane of the equator, and summer turns to autumn. At that moment, all is equal. Last year, the Huskies won the cup and formally established themselves as a serious program for serious players. At this moment, though, the team is 0-0: no losses, but no wins either. The Boys in Black and Gold are once again on equal footing with not just every other team in the conference, but with every single one of the 59 other NCAA Division I hockey programs in the country.
The Huskies will play their first games of the 2016-17 season in Duluth on the first weekend of October. Surely this team gives us a lot to look forward to in the coming months. Just as they are preparing to bring you the on-ice action, we are getting ready to tell you all about it. In the next week, we'll have your series preview from Dave Heiden and Rob Gilreath is going to bring you a piece on the Midwest HS Elite Hockey league.