As the 2021 college hockey season winds down with the Frozen Four coming up, we have a local throwback sports memory to look over today.
On this day 30 years ago, the Northern Michigan University Wildcats celebrated their first (and only) Men’s Hockey National Championship with a 8-7 victory in triple overtime over the Boston University Terriers.
The 1990-91 season was a magical season for the Wildcats, and the team was loaded with coaching and talent through their lineups.
Led by former head coach Rick Comley and notable players in Bill Pye, Darryl Plandowski, Brad Werenka, and the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player (MOP) in Scott Beattie, NMU soared to new heights as they finished with a 38-5-4 record, clinching both WCHA regular season and tournament championships.
Since the championship, a few NMU alumni players have received success in the pro hockey ranks. Former defenseman Dallas Drake played 17 seasons in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008, while forward Jim Hiller is currently an assistant coach with the NHL’s New York Islanders.
Nowadays, the Wildcats have found newfound success under their current head coach Grant Potulny. Under his guidance, his teams have finished second place in the conference standings during his tenure and made the WCHA Finals twice, losing both appearances to Michigan Tech and most recently, Lake Superior State.
Though they have not gotten a conference or tournament title since the 1991 and 1992 seasons, NMU looks to recreate some of that magic back as they head to the newly-reformed CCHA. Their season will begin play in the 2021-2022 season.