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Copper Country Hockey History, choose time...
1972 Inaugural year for the local Jeffers-Adams Township High School Hockey Team. Their first coach was Rod Paavola, followed by Roy Wakeham, Dave Witting, Jim Kneebone, Terry LaJeunesse and now Joe Pyykkonen. Their home practice ice was the Dee Stadium with games played at Michigan Tech ice; then by the late 1980's, they practiced and played exclusively at the Dee; since about the mid 1990's, their home ice for practice and games is the Michigan Tech ice rink. Beginning with the 1988-89 season, hockey players from Chassell High School skate for the Jeffers Jets hockey team.
1972 The final MTU game played at Dee Stadium was on January 13, 1972; their next game was played at the newly constructed John MacInnes Student Ice Arena at Michigan Tech. The Dee ice surface was 185 feet by 80 feet wide, the building 37,700 square feet with 2 locker rooms. Michigan Tech had been the owner of the Dee since they purchased the "Amphidrome" rink in 1943 and renamed it the James R. Dee ice rink.
1972 January 14, 1972 the New John MacInnes Student Ice Arena was dedicated with Lou Angotti (Michigan Tech 1959-1962, Chicago Black Hawks 1962-) giving the main address along with Senator Joseph Mack and Representative Russell Hellman, MTU President Raymond L. Smith, Director of Athletics Al J. Bovard and Husky hockey coach John MacInnes. The new building was built at a cost of $2.8 million by Herman Gundlach, Inc of Houghton. The ice surface is 200 feet by 85 feet wide with shatterproof glass and froze by Freon 22 in 51,000 feet of 1/4 inch piping. This new arena was the only one in the league with players' benches on opposite sides of the ice. Both benches have direct access to their respective team's locker rooms. The building measures 78,000 square feet in outside dimensions with 4 locker rooms, 2 first aid rooms, 6 restrooms, 5 concession stands and parking for 800 cars and auditorium type seats and uses a Zamboni ice resurfacer.
1972 The Michigan Tech Hockey Development Center (HDC) for players ages 7 to 17 years old, began in 1972, directed by MTU former assistant hockey coach, Dan Farrel. The Michigan Tech HDC has instructed over 1,000 players each summer from all over the Nation for the past three decades.
1972-75 The USHL Copper Country Chiefs played three seasons at the
Calumet Armory and MTU. In those days, the USHL was a semi pro league that saw a
few local players advance to the NHL and WHA, most notably the Marquette Iron
Rangers Steve, Jack and Jeff Carlson, who were the real life "Hanson Brothers" of
the hit movie "Slap Shot" fame.
Other teams in the league included Green Bay Bobcats with local player/coach
Paul Coppo, the Thunder Bay Twins, Milwaukee Admirals (forerunner of today's AHL
franchise), Central Wisconsin (Mosinee) Flyers and Chicago Americans. The Chiefs
players were paid anywhere from $25 to $100 per game depending on ability and if
they were local or from out of town. (Local players were paid less because they
didn't have to rent an apartment or house like their out of town teammates.) Players
included Calumet High School coach Jim Crawford, ex-MTU Player Graham Wise, and
locals Rich Riipi, Bruce Coppo, Leo Durocher, and Dave Witting. Also, Ken Ruohonen,
Rod Paavola and Dave Witting were locals who coached the Chiefs during
those years. Paul Lehto was the general manager throughout the Chiefs brief
history. (Jim Crawford came from Lindsey, Ontario to play for the Chiefs and has
stayed here ever since; marrying a local girl. Jim has coached the Calumet
Copper Kings High School team for over 21 years.) The Copper Country Chiefs team
in December 1975 due to financial problems, despite the efforts of the fans "SOCK" (save our
Chiefs Club) movement.
In the three USHL seasons, the Chiefs compiled a record of:
United States Hockey League GP W
L T Pts GF GA
1972-73 Copper Country Chiefs (contact webmaster if you have 72-73 stats)
1973-74 Copper Country Chiefs 48 15 32 1 31 161 258
1974-75 Copper Country Chiefs 48 21 25 2 44 262 281
Artificial ice surface was dedicated at the Dee Stadium.
1973 Inaugural year for the local women's Houghton Angles Hockey Team. Their first coach was .... Their home ice was... The team consisted of girls age ? to ? from Houghton, Hancock, Chassell, South Range, Dollar Bay. They played for ? seasons 1973-?? against local women's teams from Calumet, Pelkie and L'Anse as well as teams from .... The Houghton Angels girls hockey team won a state championship one season and were runner-up one other time at the club level: Houghton Angels took home the first trophy in 19?? in the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association - State Competition, Michigan 'Teen B' Division - State 'Runner Up'. They also took runner up in McDonalds of Canada - Sudberry, Ontario - Tournament 'Runner -Ups'; and in 19?? they took Runner Up in the State Championship game, loosing in the last second of the game.
1974 Inaugural year for the Lake Linden High School Club Team, coached by Fred Sterk. The school was admitted into the Lake Superior High School Hockey League in 1977 with head coach Jeff Kangas. The last team entered in the league was the 98-99 team coached by Mike Trezona. The best record was the 95-96 team which finished with a 13-10 record, coached by Mike Usitalo.
City of Houghton signs a 99 year lease with MTU for the Dee Stadium
Houghton County Arena Ice Rink was built. Please contact webmaster if you have a better copy of
1978 Hancock won the Lake Superior Conference Championship.
Members of this team were: Top Row Lt to Rt: Kraig Koski, Mark Grandelis, David Kiiskila, Steve Koski, Dan Rouleau.
Middle Row: Coach Doug Hembroff, Mrg Kevin Story, Scott Mikesch, Kevin Lassila, Jeff Rouleau -Captain, Mike Brusorio, Boyd Paavola -Asst Cpt, Mgr Eric Wisti, Coach Paul Heinonen.
Seated: Mark Thompson, Mike Aldrich, Dave Norkol, Gino Gemignani, Steve Vial, Russ Kyllonen -Captain, Gary Gaffney.
1975? Houghton County Arena Ice Rink was built.
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