TechAlum News

January 23, 2006 (Vol. 12, No. 33)

A weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University

Edited by Dennis Walikainen (MS ’92), Director, Web Development, University Marketing and Communications

For past issues, see our archives.

In this issue:

One 2-2 Tie X 2 Nights=2 Points

It might seem that tying Alaska-Anchorage at home two nights in a row by 2-2 scores wasn't a good thing. That might seem especially true after blowing a 2-0 lead on Friday night. But, it could have been worse. The Huskies Chris Connor scored with 23 seconds left in regulation Saturday night, with a pulled goalie and six attackers, or it would have been a one-point weekend.

To be fair, the Huskies were victims of some funny officiating. Friday night they scored a goal that was disallowed, and everyone who witnessed it said it was a bad call. They would have won that game. Saturday night they received a bizarre slashing the goalie call, when he was barely touched (it happened right in front of me). That resulted in a 5-on-3 power play and the goal that made it 2-1.

And to be even more fair, they had sloppy spells at home: the second period Friday night; off and on Saturday night. Also, the defense had trouble at times. And, while I'm playing armchair coach, they had problems advancing the puck, and they also missed some open nets.

But, there are bright spots: freshman goalie Michael-Lee Teslak is outstanding, senior wing Chris Conner is the most exciting player I've seen at Tech or anywhere for a long time, and senior wing Brandon Schwartz makes things happen and can mix it up.

More importantly, the Huskies, who don't play this weekend, are only two points out of sixth place in the WCHA. That might seem like aiming low, but they are moving in the right direction. And, with two games at Minnesota State-Mankato the next weekend, they could get closer still to the upper-half of the league. And, we've all been waiting for that for a while.

Snowfall Update
As of January 21, 2006

Snowfall to Date, On the Ground

This Week: 133"     22 "

Last Week: 118 "     10 "

Last Year: 92.13 "     35.5 "

ALUMNI BULLETIN BOARD: Remember the alumni bulletin board for you to use for discussions related to this newsletter, Tech sports, or anything else: <>

At Tech

STUDENTS SEEK TO BREAK WORLD RECORDS: Winter Carnival has long been famous for elaborate sculptures crafted from snow and ice. This year, students are putting the university's copious snowfall to a different use. In a single day, they hope to break the world records for the largest snowball, the biggest snowball fight, and the highest number of snow angels made in a single event. It all happens on Friday, February 10. Michigan Tech students will roll up a six-foot snowball in the morning. Then, in the afternoon, they are inviting the general public, including area schoolchildren in grades four and up, to come to Sherman Field. They will line up in two teams for the snowball fight and then drop to the ground and make snow angels. Students have contacted Guinness World Records and are working to get their anticipated three-record feat included in its roster. A crowd of more than 3,100 will be needed for the snowball fight and the group snow-angel fest. Everyone is invited to participate. Registration is set for noon-12:45 p.m. at Sherman Field, with the snowball fight and snow-angel event scheduled for 1:00 p.m. For more information, contact Travis Pierce, 906-487-3056, tlpierce(at)

TECH HOSTING SNOWMOBILE CHALLENGE AGAIN: "Beat the Standards" is the theme for the seventh annual SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge, hosted for the fourth year in a row by Michigan Tech. Sixteen teams from across North America and their reengineered snowmobiles will compete head-to-head in efforts to build greener machines and beat the 2012 federal emissions standards. The competition will be held March 13-18, at Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Research Center. The competition is hosted by both the Keweenaw Research Center and the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is the Society of Automotive Engineers' newest collegiate design competition. Teams of engineering students from participating schools take a stock snowmobile and then reengineer it to reduce emissions and noise while maintaining or improving performance. Three new challengers have entered into the competition, including the University of New Hampshire, the University of Minnesota Duluth and Clarkson University's zero-emissions entry (in addition to their conventional entry). Other entries include Ecole De Technologie Superieure in Montreal, Kettering University in Flint, McGill University in Montreal, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State University at Mankato, State University of New York at Buffalo, the University of Idaho, the University of Maine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Utah State University.

ALUMNAE FEATURED IN CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Cally Furton '87, was featured in the January 19, 2006, Chicago Tribune story about hockey moms. The online synopsis: "[Cally Furton], Patty Talbot and [their] teammates are a group of stay-at-home moms, business executives, and Sunday school teachers who have taken up ice hockey. The players put on plenty of padding before they pursue their 'kinder and gentler' brand of hockey. The group is open to all levels of skill. Good manners are encouraged." The hockey takes place at the Watts Ice Center in Glencoe.

BREWERY TOUR AND TASTING EVENT: The Detroit Alumni Chapter is hosting the event Saturday, February 11, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Arbor Brewing Company. 114 E. Washington Street in downtown Ann Arbor, just off of Main Street. Cost is $25 for adults; children under 12 FREE includes appetizer buffet, beers distributed across tasting stations, and programs with descriptions of all the products from the professional staff of the brewery. (Root beer also available.) They'll also have Michigan Tech trivia for prizes, pickled eggs, raffles, and activities for the kids. All proceeds from this event will support student scholarships at Michigan Tech. Please RSVP. Money will be collected at the door. Reserve your spot by sending your name, address, email and phone number, by February 4, 2006, to: Cynthia Hodges 4020 E Loch Alpine Drive Ann Arbor, MI  48103, Telephone: 734-426-4940

Tech Sports

MEN'S HOOPS ON SEVEN-GAME WIN STREAK: Victories over Wisconsin-Superior, Wayne State and Hillsdale last week ran Michigan Tech's winning streak to seven! That's the longest streak for the Huskies since the 2003-04 squad opened the year 8-0. Tech is now 10-8 overall and 6-3 in the GLIAC.

SIEJA NOTCHES 1,000TH POINT AND 500TH REBOUND IN SAME GAME! Center Amanda Sieja recorded 14 points and seven rebounds vs. Wayne State last Thursday to go over the 1,000-point and 500-rebound plateaus in the same game. Her 1,000th point came just three minutes into the contest when she made a lay-up. Sieja is the fifteenth player in school history to score 1,000 points. She now owns 1,021 points and 506 rebounds in 93 career games. Remarkably, she's accomplished those feats with only four career twenty-plus point games and never more than eleven rebounds in a contest.

HOCKEY TIED FOR SEVENTH IN WCHA STANDINGS AFTER PAIR OF STALEMATES: The Michigan Tech hockey team earned a pair of 2-2 ties against Alaska Anchorage this past weekend at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Nick Anderson (1-1--2), Chris Conner (2-0--2), Lars Helminen (0-2--2) and Brandon Schwartz (1-1--2) each recorded two points during the series. Netminder Michael-Lee Teslak made 29 and 41 saves, respectively. Michigan Tech is in the midst of a four-game unbeaten streak, its longest such streak since the 1997-98 campaign. From February 20, 1998, through February 28, 1998, the Huskies went 3-0-1. During that stretch, Tech swept Wisconsin, 4-2, 4-2, and took three points from Minnesota State-Mankato, with a 4-2 win and 4-4 tie. The Huskies are off until February 3-4, when they travel to Mankato for a pivotal WCHA series against Minnesota State.

LADIES WIN IN TWO OVERTIMES: The Michigan Tech women's basketball team survived double overtime with Hillsdale last Saturday to come away with a 62-56 victory. Senior Sarah Magee tallied a career-high 21 points in the win, including two clutch free throws to force a second OT. The two-overtime contest was the first for the Huskies since March 6, 1998, when it defeated Southern Indiana, 94-92, in two extra sessions in the NCAA Regionals. Michigan Tech, at 12-4 overall and 8-1 in GLIAC play, has the best record in the conference. The Huskies are also 6-0 at home.

OWEN AND WALCZAK LEAD NORDIC SKIERS IN MINNESOTA: Kristina Owen ranked thirteenth in the ten-kilometer freestyle race (29:02.9) and twelfth in the ten-kilometer classic race (32:37.1) to pace the Michigan Tech Nordic skiing team at the Mt. Itasca NorAm SuperTour stop in Coleraine, Minn., over the weekend. Assistant coach Karl Walczak turned in an eighteenth-place finish in the ten-kilometer freestyle race (24:35.1) and a nineteenth-place performance in the ten-kilometer classic race (28:39.4) on the men's side.


Men's Ice Hockey (6-17-3, 5-10-3 WCHA)

Jan. 20: at Michigan Tech 2, Alaska Anchorage 2, OT
Jan. 21: at Michigan Tech 2, Alaska Anchorage 2, OT

Women's Basketball (12-4, 8-1 GLIAC)

Jan. 19: at Michigan Tech 69, Wayne State 54
Jan. 21: at Michigan Tech 62, Hillsdale 56, 2 OT

Men's Basketball (10-8, 6-3 GLIAC)

Jan. 16: at Michigan Tech 75, Wisconsin-Superior 46
Jan. 19: at Michigan Tech 59, Wayne State 56
Jan. 21: at Michigan Tech 54, Hillsdale 44

Nordic Skiing

Jan. 21-22: at Mt. Itasca Nor-Am SuperTour (Coleraine, Minn.)


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cager Club Luncheon, 12 noon (Memorial Union Peninsula Room A)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Huskies Drive Time, 7:30-8:00 a.m. on WKMJ, 93.5 FM

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Women's Basketball hosts Saginaw Valley State, 5:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Men's Basketball hosts Saginaw Valley State, 7:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Nordic Skiing at Nor-Am Series (Cable, Wis.), TBA

Women's Basketball hosts Northwood, 1 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Men's Basketball hosts Northwood, 3 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Nordic Skiing at Nor-Am Series (Cable, Wis.), TBA

All Times are Eastern

Around Town

NATIONAL GUARD COMING HOME: The soldiers in Company A of the 107th Engineering Battalion are going to have one big homecoming bash. They just don't know where or when. About fifty-five members of the Calumet- and Baraga-based National Guard company arrived in Camp Atterbury, Ind. Friday, said Staff Sgt. Clint Kupari in Baraga. Although the exact length of deployment varied, the average soldier had been away for about fifteen months, a year of which was spent in Iraq, Kupari said. Soldiers had been deployed to a variety of sites within Iraq, including Camp Anaconda and the Abu Ghraib prison. The company men are now in out-processing, the length of which Kupari said is tough to predict. "I've seen it last two days, I've seen it last six weeks," Kupari said. Once an arrival date has been determined, Kupari said, notice would be sent out to local fire and police departments and the media.

LOCAL TOURISM HANGING TOUGH: It's been a relatively mild winter in the Copper Country so far, but some area businesses that typically depend on winter tourists dollars to keep them going are doing well while others may be feeling a financial pinch. Nick Sirdenis, general manager of Mont Ripley, said the lack of snow in the area hasn't hurt attendance there at all. "Even though we have diminished snow, we're doing pretty good," Sirdenis said. The number of people using Mont Ripley's twenty-four slopes is actually up from this time last year, mostly because of attendance by ski racers and ski camps, Sirdenis said. Season passes for Michigan Tech students are up 16 percent over the same time last year. Some of the people who have been using the slopes actually came to the area for another reason, Sirdenis said. "It seems like we had a lot of snowmobilers who were unhappy with the conditions of the trails," he said. Sirdenis said Mont Ripley has snow-making machines so despite the low snowfall in the area, there's plenty on the slopes. "Our snowmaking is going every moment that weather allows," he said. Brian Waters, general manager of the Best Western Franklin Square Inn in Houghton, said the number of winter tourists there is up from the same time last year despite the relatively small snowfall amounts. "We've seen a significant increase in snowmobile traffic so far," Waters said. "It's because the areas to the south don't have enough snow."

HOUGHTON LITTLE CAESARS ROBBED AT GUNPOINT: Officers from the Houghton Police Department are investigating a Tuesday night armed robbery at Little Caesars Pizza, on the corner of Bridge Street and Montezuma Avenue. No injuries were reported. A male suspect entered the rear service door at 11:30 p.m., showed a small handgun and demanded money from the three staff workers who were cleaning, according to Sgt. Jim Raffaelli of the Houghton Police Department. "He put one of the employees in a headlock and put a gun to his temple," said Little Caesars employee Matt Boersma.

From the E-mailbag


Sorry to here about the State's waste of Money concerning the M-26 road destruction. Being an avid Motorcyclist, straighter is not better. I've always looked forward to that mile of curves between SR & Trimountain on my visits back to Houghton in the summer on my bikes. Couldn't the 3.6 Million have been used for a worthy cause . . .maybe the Michigan Tech budget? What will be next . . .the curves and the "tunnel of trees" on the last 10 miles to Copper Harbor?

Bob Alexander (Rocker) - 1976

PS- Hope it wasn't a Civil Eng. from Tech that made the decision.


Hi Dennis,

Your story about "White Gold" reminded me of a friend of mine that worked at

the water company and they used to call the rain "pennies from heaven". Same idea. Your newsletter has been great. My husband Dave (Tech Alum 1991) and I really enjoy your stories and you've put a nice touch on it.

Keep up the good work.

All the best,
Cynthia Bessonen (Santa Rosa, CA)

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Alumni Association Programs

CHAPTER EVENTS: For more information on alumni chapter events,
e-mail mtu_alumni at or see the alumni chapter site on the web.

January 23 Tucson: Presidential Reception

January 24 Phoenix: Presidential Reception

January 29 Grand Rapids: Alumni Sunday Brunch at Marie Catrib's

February 1 Minneapolis: Presidential Reception

February 2 Chicago: Presidential Reception

February 8-12 Winter Carnival: Michigan Tech vs. Minnesota Hockey

February 11 Ann Arbor: Brew Tasting, Arbor Brewing Co.

February 12 Atlanta: National College Fair

February 15 Cincinnati: Presidential Reception

February 16 Atlanta: Presidential Reception

February 16 Grand Rapids: Men's/Women's B-Ball vs. GVSU

February 23-24 Pittsburgh: National College Fair

February 27 Tampa: Presidential Reception

February 28 Orlando: Presidential Reception

Job Opportunities This Week

ON CAMPUS: Complete job descriptions are available by e-mailing jobs at

Coordinator of Library Instruction--J. Robert Van Pelt Library

OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site (