March 20, 2018, Vol. 24, No. 14

Tales of Tech Hockey

Dear Calvin:

Congratulations on the great team and the high ranking in the league.

Liked the ‘drop the puck and kick it back up’ movement by Heinonen.

Elwin “Doc” Romnes used to show us that move after he replaced Eddie Maki as the Tech Coach. He used the move when he was with the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals and my memory seems to tell me that it was the winning goal. However, old stories grow like the fish we caught when we were kids.

Tech did not have a hockey team during the war years and Doc used to promote “pee wee” hockey. He worked with local enthusiasts to develop a bunch of kids’ teams, such as the Healy Comets from Houghton, the Emma Street Rangers from Hancock, and the Ripley Midgets. His basic job, with no college team, was to run the Amphidrome and oversee the public skating and some ice hockey games.  There was private skating and intermural hockey with the large military contingents that trained at Tech during the war years.

Robert E. (Bob) Brown ‘53
Forward by Calvin Larson ‘10


I became a fan of Michigan Tech hockey at a young age. My dad used to take us to watch them play at Yost Arena on the U of M Campus when Tech would come down to play the Wolverines. The guys had to come down from upstairs back then at the Yost—I loved the black and gold sweaters, and the guys seemed larger than life as they came lumbering down the steps. I can remember them being great to kids like me waiting along the walkway, with kind words and high-fives. My dad grew up in Chassell and we all played youth hockey, so he took us to the GLI each Christmas as it was a great thing to do over the holiday break and it was always such a great tournament. Detroit area Huskies fans saw many great teams in the late 70s under Coach MacInnes, and the Huskies were really rolling back then, winning eight championships in an eleven-year stretch, 1970–1980.

One GLI tournament that I remember well was back in 1978 when I was six years old. The goaltender for Michigan Tech back then was Hall of Famer John Rockwell. I remember him having an unbelievable two games and leading us to the championship that year. John was the clear MVP of the tournament, and my memory is of a performance that was similar to the one that Pheonix Copley put on two years ago when the McNaughton Cup came back to Houghton. I remember all of Joe Louis Arena chanting “Rockwell, Rockwell” after many big saves, and the moment when he was awarded the Most Valuable Player trophy.

I hope that the current players understand the impact they can have on future generations of not only hockey players, but also potential students in the crowd with their parents. It is such a great showcase for our University and for college hockey, and a great opportunity to put our stamp on young minds in the metro Detroit area.

It is great to see Coach Pearson and the team having such a great year, and I hope that we can have another great showing this year and a chance to win the 2014 championship. Regardless of how we do, you can be sure that there will be lots of potential future Huskies watching every second. If you are planning on attending this year’s tournament, I will hope to see you down there.

My brothers and I played a lot of basement and pond hockey growing up, and if we were in the net back then—we were always John Rockwell :) .  Go Huskies!

Ben Larson ‘94


I remember going to what I believe was the first GLI at the Olympia on Grand River in Detroit in 1965. There were only about fifty fans cheering for Tech. How times have changed.

Elaine Siponen Crouter ‘65


Scored some front row seats one year, which was great, except they were in the University of Michigan’s alumni section. And a bunch of our starters were benched leading to a shellacking (13-0, 14-0, something like that). Makes seeing the team’s success now that much sweeter.

Eric Laverty ‘96