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Copper Country Hockey Legends last name beginning with ...


Bob Rangus, born 1979 in Laurium, played hockey with Calumet High School, leading Calumet to the 1998 B-C-D State Championship Title. After that season, Bob was honored as Michigan's Mr. Hockey and still has the honor of being the only UP player to ever receive that award!   Bob played with the Soo Indians 2 seasons 1998-00 in the North American Junior A Hockey league, where he was named to the HAHL All Star Team in 1999-2000. Bob then played hockey 2 seasons for Michigan Tech 2000-02, where he scored a goal against Denver on his first collegiate shot and was later in the season named WCHA Rookie of the Week. He played for the local Finlandia University Hockey Team 2002-03 where he was among the leading scorers, and in 2003-04 played with Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL) and Knoxville Ice Bears (SEHL) and Rio Grande (CHL). Rangus is currently living in the Copper Country, playing for the Calumet Wolverines.
UP's First Mr. Hockey!!

In 1998, Bob Rangus from Calumet High School, was chosen as
Michigan's Mr. Hockey.
He is the only Upper Peninsula
 player to ever receive that award.


Bob Rangus
RangusBobMrHockey_s.jpg (74147 bytes)

Besides Bob Rangas, there has only been one other
non-metropolitan Detroit High School player to win this award (Justin Abdelkader from Muskegon in 2004.)



Brian Rangus, born 19-- in -- a Calumet High School hockey player, plays for the local Finlandia University Hockey Team 2002-.

  Lloyd Rautiola, born 19-- in -- a Hancock native and local junior hockey player played hockey with Michigan Tech varsity 4 years 1950-53, and was Tech's team Captain in 1953, then played with the Portage Lake Pioneers in 1954.

Brien Ricci, born 19-- in --, was an outstanding athlete from Hancock HS, playing on the Hancock hockey team from 1974-76 (and being unbeaten in high school hurdles). He went on to referring WCHA & NCAA hockey for many years from 19-- to currently. Brien has refereed some NHL San Jose Sharks games in the 1990s.  

Brien Ricci

need pic of him in uniform here

Joe Ricci, born 19-- in -- a Houghton native, played football and hockey for Michigan Tech 1948-50. He also played hockey with the Portage Lake Pioneers, the Marquette Sentinels, and helped the Escanaba Hawks win the Gibson Cup in 1954. He was also a baseball player, earning the Copper Country Senior baseball league MVP honors in 1948, and with Escanaba Harnishchfeger won the Class A State fast pitch softball championship in 1954. Joe was inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.  need pic etc here

John "Topper" Ricci, born 19-- in Hancock, he is regarded as one of the premier hockey officials in the country, working 1,300 games including more than 600 NCAA hockey games. Refereed five NCAA hockey championship tournaments and the WCHA playoffs for 15 years. He played with the Portage Lake Pioneers 1960-61. On "November 19-20, 1982 John Ricci and his son Brian are the first father-son tandem to officiate a CCHA game. The Hancock, Mich., natives work the Illinois-Chicago at Northern Michigan series." Topper still lives in Hancock and was inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. need a picture here...

Bob Richards, born 19-- in -- , a player in Calumet, played for Helena (AWHL), Wayne State and Salem State. ... need a picture and more info here...

Jasen Rintala, born 19-- in Calumet, played 2 seasons with Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL 1992-94, then 4 years with Mankato State, WCHA, 1994-98, Nashville Ice Flyers (CHL), Oklahoma City Blazers (CHL), Fayetteville Force (CHL), Greensboro Generals (ECHL), Cape Fear (Fayetteville, NC) Fire Antz (ACHL). need picture and more info here.

Rich Rippi, born 19-- in -- from Houghton, played 1970-71  with UW-Superior. need a picture and more info here...

Bruce Riutta, born 1944 in Hancock  played on the Dollar Bay VFW team that won the National Midget title in Colorado Springs, at the Broadmoor.  They beat a team from the greater Boston area (population 3+Million people) in the championship game. The team was coached by Earl Gorman and Andy Wiitanen from Dollar Bay. Bruce went on to play 3 seasons of hockey for Michigan Tech 1964-67, and was a two-time hockey All-American, in both the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons. He played hockey with the Huskies when NHL great, Tony Esposito, played in goal at Michigan Tech. Riutta also received All-WCHA honors in 1965-66 and was a second team All-WCHA selection in 1966-67 and Honorable Mention in 1964-65. Riutta continued his hockey career after graduating, playing on the 1968 U.S. Olympic Team in Grenoble, France, and the U.S. National Team for three years, 1969-71. He also played for the semi-pro Green Bay Bobcats from 1968-75. He has been active in the Ashwaubenon (Wisconsin) Youth Hockey Association; coaching for over 25 years, and coached the high school team. Bruce was inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1987 and was inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. Bruce is the son of Michigan Tech player (1930s) Emil Riutta, and the father of Michigan Tech player (1981-85) Barry Riutta (born the same day as his Grandpa Emil!).

Michigan Tech University 1964-65
MTU1964-65team.jpg (151429 bytes)

Seated L-Rt: Rick Best, Bruce Riutta, Terry Ryan, Pete Leiman, Al Holm, Rick Yeo, Dennis Huculak, Fred Dart, Tony Esposito.
Middle Row: Assistant Coach Bill Lucier, Gary Milroy, Bob Wilson, Bob Toothill, Bob Brooks, Tom Steele, Roy Heino, Wayne Weller, Head Coach John MacInnes.
Back Row: Trainer Brad Taylor, Dave Confrey, Colin Patterson, Mike Gorman, Joe Galetto, Ed Caterer, Steve Yoshino, Manager W. Reid

Bruce Riutta

MTU All American

Team USA 1968 Olympics

Back Row L to R: Larry Stordahl, Ron Naslund, Bob Paradise, Bob Gaudreau, Larry Pleau, Doug Vollmer
Middle Row L to R: Murray Williamson, Coach/General Manager, Doc Rose, Trainer, Len Lilyholm, Craig Falkman, Paul Hurley, Don Ross, Jack Morrison, Bruce Riutta, Don Niederkorn
Front Row L to R: Jim Logue, John Cunniff, Herb Brooks, Lou Nanne, Tom Hurley, Pat Rupp
Not Pictured: Jack Dale, Jerry York

USA National Team 1969

Back Row L to Rt: Jim Vanessen, Mike Curran, Peter Buckman, Larry Stordahl, Jim Branch, John Mayasich, Bob Paradise, Jerry Lackey, Gary Gambucci, Larry Skime, Bill Reichert, Bud Dornack
Front Row Kneeling L to Rt: Keith Christensen, Bruce Riutta, Tim Sheehy, Larry Pleau, Paul Coppo, Carl Lackey, Ron Naslund, Peter Markle, John Lothrop.

USA National Team 1970

Back Row L to R: Doc Nogabods, Len Lilyholm, Bob Lindberg, Craig Patrick, Jim McElmury, Herb Brooks, Don Ross, Charlie Brown, Peter Markle, Bruce Riutta, Romanian Interpreter, George Konik, Doc Rose
Front Row L to R: Carl Wetzel, Larry Stordahl, Huffer Christianson, Gary Gambucci, Hal Trumble, Mgr, Murray Williamson, Coach, Bryan Grand, Ozzie O'Neill, Henry Boucha, Gary Johnson
Not Pictured: Bob Fleming, Chairman

USA National Team 1971

Back Row L to R: Pete Fichuk, Len Lilyholm, Dick Toomey, Kevin Ahearn, Huffer Christianson
Middle Row L to R: Doc Nogabods, Dick McGlynn, Tom Mellor, Jim McElmury, Tim Sheehy, Henry Boucha, Bruce Riutta, Craig Falkman, Craig Patrick, Paul Schilling, Bob Lindberg Don Niederkorn.
Front Row L to R: Carl Wetzel, Dick Tomasoni, Don Ross, Murray Williamson, Coach, Hal Trumble, Mgr, Gary Gambucci, George Konik, Mike Curran
Not Pictured: Bob Fleming

Emil Riutta, (1908-1987) born in Hancock, was playing hockey for the Portage Lake Cubs in 1927-28 when they won the U.P Championship. He played hockey for Michigan Tech in the 1927-28 season. Emil was the first of 3 generations to play hockey for Michigan Tech; son Bruce and grandson Barry played for Michigan Tech. Emil's brother, Arne, also played local senior hockey, but not for the college.

Emil Riutta
Portage Lake Cubs

Michigan College of Mines

Back Row L-Rt: Coach Haug, Doug Tesen, Tubba Gilles, Paul Pesonen -capt, Nick Kaiser, "Cop" Emil Riutta.
Front Row L-Rt: Bill Karvela, Homer Humphrey -Trainer, "Curley" Ray Kolehmainen, Burr Collins -Mgr, Peg Ollila.
Slip on MCM jersey vests missing.
Picture in the New Amphidrome rebuilt in 1927.

Photo courtesy of Kolehmainen family.

Joe Romano, born 19-- in --, played high school hockey for Painesdale Jeffers 3 seasons, 1975-1978, he is the ref at many of our local games including Division I Michigan Tech in the WCHA, and DIII Finlandia University, and for USA hockey at National Championship games. ..... need info and picture of Joe in uniform here

Stanley Cup Winner ! Stanley Cup Winner ! Elwyn Nelson Romnes (1907-1984) was born in White Bear Lake, Mn. "Doc" as he was called through out his career, played hockey at St. Thomas University in St Paul, then with the St Paul Saints of the AHL 1927-30. He then broke into the NHL when there were only 2 other American born players in the league to play 9 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks 1930-39 and the following year with the Toronto Maple Leafs then the New York Americans. He played in the the Stanley Cup finals 4 different years: 1931, 1934, 1938 with Chicago and 1939 with Toronto: winning the Stanley Cup in 1934 and 1938.   In 1936, he was the first American born player to win the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded for "sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability" since it was first awarded in 1925. In 1940, he retired from his professional career, having played in 403 games and only accumulating 46 penalty minutes! Doc then became the head coach of the Michigan Tech University Hockey team two seasons. 1941-43; the following year, MTU did not have varsity sports during the war. Romnes helped start the Copper Country Junior Hockey program while he was here. In 1946, he coached the Kansas City Pla Mors,  in the USHL, to League and Playoff Championships. He then coached the University of Minnesota Hockey team 1947-52. Every year the Gophers honor one of their hockey player with the Doc Romnes Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.  In 1973, Romnes was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame.

Doc Romnes

Chicago Blackhawks
Stanley Cup Winners 1934

L-R: Leroy Goldsworthy, Roger Jenkins, Chuck Gardiner, Taffy Abel, Louis Trudel.
Center: Doc Romnes.

Photo courtesy of Robert Kokko.

Nicole Ropiak, born 19-- in -- , played with the local 19U Girls K-Wings team (1996-?); she is now playing hockey at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. need more info here...

Nicole Ropiak
Nicole_Ropiak.jpg (16302 bytes)

Dan Rouleau, born 19-- in --  played Hancock High School hockey 1978-81, and was All Conference pick. From 1995 to 2004, he was Assistant Coach for the Hancock HS hockey team; he then became the Head Coach for Hancock High School hockey team.

need more info and pictures here!

Dan Rouleau
DanRouleau.jpg (61110 bytes)

Photo courtesy of HCS

Peter Michael Rouleau, born 1983 in Marquette, Michigan, played center and left wing at Hancock High School, and is the career point leader at Hancock High School with 264 points. While at Hancock High, he was the most valuable player of the Lake Superior Conference three years in a row and All-State his junior and senior years. In 2002, he scored 5 goals in a 10-0 win over Negaunee HS. During the 2000-2001 season, Rouleau was Runner-Up for the Mr. Hockey Award. He also was on the 1998-99 State High School Championship team and the 1999-2000 State Runner-Up team. He played a few games with the Springfield Spirit, NAHL in 2001-02. Rouleau played 2002-03 for the Green Bay Gamblers, a Junior A team in the United States Hockey League and a season for Finlandia University in Hancock. He went on to play 3 seasons with D1 Michigan Tech University 2005-08. He played a few games with the Idaho Steelheads and the Pensacola Ice Pilots in the ECHL in 2007-08 and the Texas Brahmas, CHL 2008-09. need pic of Pete in uniform here...

Michigan Tech University 2007-08

Front Row (L to R): Assistant Coach Chris Tok, Assistant Coach Pat Mikesch, Peter Rouleau, Jordan Foote, John Schwarz, Jimmy Kerr, Tyler Shelast, Mark Malekoff, Jake Wilkens, Head Coach Jamie Russell, Volunteer Assistant Coach Randy McKay; Middle Row: Trainer Chris Ipson, Student Manager Shawn Doll, Rob Nolan, Geoff Kinrade, Alex Gagne, Michael-Lee Teslak, Malcolm Gwilliam, Justin St. Louis, Mike VanWagner, Derek Kitti, Alex Lord, Ryan Angelow, Strength and Conditioning Coach Kyle Bangen; Back Row: Student Manager Corey Rastello, Jordan Baker, Eli Vlaisavljevich, Deron Cousens, Eric Kattelus, Ryan Bunger, Bennett Royer, Drew Dobson, John Kivisto, Kevin Hachey, Video Coordinator Jonathan Hamilton.
Photo courtesy of MTU

Pete Rouleau
RouleauPete.jpg (99298 bytes)

Photo courtesy of HCS

  Ross Rouleau, born 1988 in Hancock? played hockey at Hancock High School.  He then played 2 seasons with Finlandia University 2006-08. Ross then played a few games with the Texas Brahmas, CHL in 2008-09. need pic in uniform and info here....

Ken A. Rowe, Jr born 1964 in Calumet played High School Hockey for Calumet, he then played two years of Jr. A USHL in Dubuque, Iowa and two years Division I hockey at Northern Michigan University 1981-82.

Ken Rowe, Jr

Captain of the Calumet High School Copper Kings

William George Rowe, Bill was born 1937 in Kirkland Lake, Ont, he played goalie with Michigan Tech Univ 3 seasons, 1958-61, then played for the Quebec senior league on the St. Hyancinthe team, then the Marquette Iron Rangers one season, 1964-65, and the Green Bay Bobcats one season 1965-66 then retired as a player. He then was a goalie coach where he was living:  for University of Michigan for 2 seasons 1975-76, 76-77, Michigan Tech Univ 3 seasons 1977-78, 78-79, 79-80  and again 4 seasons from 1982-86, and for Northern Michigan Univ 2 seasons 1980-81, 81-82 then back to NMU off and on from 1988-96. Bill was the goalie coach for a NAHL Jr A team for Head Coach Brian Hannon in Springfield, Mo 2 seasons 2001-2003.  He is now retired and living in Houghton..

Bill Rowe
need picture

Leo H. Roy (1908-1968) born in Houghton, played hockey for Houghton High School three seasons1923-1925; he was the captain for part of the last 2 years. Roy played for Michigan Tech 1926-27, which were the Mid-Western Intercollegiate Hockey Champions that season.  He played for the Portage Lake Cubs hockey team in 1927-28 when they won the U.P. Championship. He refereed for several years in the Michigan-Wisconsin league.
Roy donated a gold watch charm to be presented to the most outstanding MTU football and hockey players as chosen by their teammates following the last game of their respective seasons. He also donated a Silver Cup Trophy to the Portage Lake Intermediate Hockey league consisting at the time of Hubbell, Dollar Bay, Hancock Rangers, West Houghton AC, Dodgeville and South Range. "The Cup is an artistic creation of silver, with a gold lining. It stands 13 inches in height and is mounted on a black metal base, on which is a silver band for the engraved name of the winning team...." see Daily Mining Gazette article to the right. Roy also donated a MVP trophy to the senior League that was to be presented year after year, but was last presented to Connie Pleban of the Eagle River team at the end of the 1937-38 season (perhaps it was not returned, as the MVP the following season received a trophy donated by local businesses.) If you know the where-abouts of these trophies, please contact the webmaster so we can take a picture of it.
Roy was very active in the community and went on to be a 5 term State Senator for the 32 District until he retired in 1959. During his 10 years in the Senate, he was co-sponsor of the Mackinac Bridge project and got funding for the artificial ice plant for the Dee Stadium among many other state and local programs he was able to get funded. He sponsored a Hockey Trophy called .... that was given to the winner of... annually.

Leo H. Roy
Portage Lake Cubs 1928

Roy donates Hockey Cup and Awards:
RoyLeoDonate_s.jpg (86939 bytes)

Leo H. Roy
State Senator
LeoHRoys.jpg (36842 bytes)


1927-28 Michigan College of Mines (Michigan Tech)
MCM1927team_s.jpg (93039 bytes)
Top Row L-R: MCM Coach Carlos Haug, Douglas Tesen, Ted Nelson, Curly Kolehmainen, Jack Crawford, Paul Pesonen, Hank Latva, Bill Mason, Edward Gillis, Albin Sippola.
Kneeling L-R: Peg Ollila, Leo Roy.


Bernard Edward Ruelle (1919-1995) was born in Houghton. At the age of 20,  Bernie left here for Detroit in 1939 to play for the Holzbaugh team. Ruelle played minor pro hockey off and on from 1939-1947; he also served 2 years in the service during that time.  The year after the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup, he played 2 games with the Detroit Red Wings in 1943-44 and scored one goal. He was injured in a car accident and finished the season with the Indianapolis Capitals.  From 1944-46 he was in the service, on his return, he played hockey in the Pacific Coast League in Tacoma, Wa with the Tacoma Rockets and later in the season with the Fresno Falcons during the 1946-47 season. He returned home and played many years with the Portage Lake team; he was part of the brother combinations of the Ruelle's, Bernie and Jackie, and the Bukovich's that dominated 1940s-1950s.

IndianapolisCapitals1943-44.jpg (160152 bytes)
Indianapolis Capitals 1943-44

Fresno Falcons? 1947?
TeamUnk14isB_Ruelle_s.jpg (92170 bytes)
# 14 is Bernie Ruelle 
contact webmaster
if you know this team & date

Bernie Ruelle

RuelleBernie.jpg (45606 bytes)

Need picture of the
Detroit Red Wings Hockey Team

Emery Ruelle, born 19-- in Hancock, played in the USHL from 1961-1976 on such teams as the Des Moines Oak Leafs, Waterloo Black Hawks, Marquette Iron Rangers and Green Bay Bobcats. In the 1965-66 season, he played on the US National Team. A Business graduate of Northern Michigan University, he played on the Portage Lake team for a number of years.  

Emery Ruelle

Emery as a youth
EmeryRuelle_s.jpg (34681 bytes)

Francis Ruelle, born 191- in Houghton, went to Detroit to play hockey in 1938. He played with Detroit Holzbaugh and Detroit McLean Pontiacs 3 seasons from 1938-41, in 1943-44 he played with the Toledo Bombers and then with the Detroit Auto Club 3 seasons from 1945-48. Francis "Pea Soup" and his brother Bernie were a powerhouse line for the Portage Lake Pioneers through out the 1950's.

Francis Ruelle
need picture

John "Jack" Ruelle, (1923-2009) was born in Houghton; he served in WWII where his plane was shot down over Germany just a year after he graduated from high school; he was held prisoner until the end of the war. Ruelle played briefly for Michigan Tech circa 1947, and then joined the Portage Lake Pioneers in 1947; he helped win the Gibson Cup 3 times with the Portage Lake team: 1947-48, 1951-52, 1955-56 when they also won the States and went on to win the Senior Nationals in 1956. In 1954, he lead the league in scoring. He was still on the team when they won the Whittaker Cup in 1957-58. His favorite offensive weapon was the "sausage play"; what we now call the wraparound. He was part of the Pioneer's power play that featured Jackie and his brother Bernie, and the three Bukovich brothers (Tony, Joe and Mike). Jack later coached in youth hockey circles in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan and on August 2, 1980, the city declared it "Jack Ruelle Day" in the Soo in honor of all the work he did with the local youth hockey programs.

Jack Ruelle

Need better copy of 1947-48 PL team

Jack Ruelle honored by town:
Jack Ruelle Day!
RuelleJack1980News_s.jpg (156639 bytes)
Soo Evening News Aug 2, 1980

Jim Ruhl, born 19-- in -- a Houghton native, played hockey for Michigan Tech 1946-50.  In a weekend series of Michigan Tech vs MSU, Jim scored 8 goals (Jan. 12-13, 1950); a record that still stands at Michigan State Univ. today, over 50 years later. Amo Bessone, former MTU hockey coach, has been quoted as saying the line of Jim Ruhl and Ted and Marc Olson was one of the best lines he has ever coached in college.

Ken Ruohonen, "Kenner" (1933 -19--) born in Houghton, played on the 1951-53 Portage Lake Pioneers teams starting when he was only 16 years old. In 1952, he entered the US Army and played on the Armed Forces team in West Germany for 2 seasons, then one year with the Detroit City League and returned to the Copper Country and played with Portage Lake 1955-56 season.  In 1959, he moved to Green Bay and played one year in the Breen Bay City League then joined the Green Bay Bobcats, USHL, coached by Tony Bukovich. He scored 251 goals in 11 years 1958-69 with the Green Bay Bobcats, the first pro hockey team in Green Bay. In 1965, the Bobcats won the National US Senior Tournament in Boston where Kenner was voted the MVP. After being named MVP, he was asked to join the United States Senior team where he made a two week tour of Europe, playing in Moscow, Kiev, Geneva, Paris, Prague and Switzerland.  Kenner moved back again to the Copper Country in July 1970 and played with the Calumet Wolverines and then the a year with the Portage Lake Flyers then joined the Calumet Chiefs as player/director, helping them win the Gibson Cup in 1972-73. The covered ice rink in Oscar, Michigan is named after Ken.  add pic of rink here..
Ken Ruohonen
KenRuohonen.jpg (73997 bytes)

KenRuohonen onBench.jpg (99662 bytes)

Bobcats vs Chicago Blackhawks
Ken Ruohonen_VS_BobbyHull_PierrePilote_Doug Jarrett s.jpg (129527 bytes)
Ken Ruohonen top right
 Bobby Hull "A"
& Pierre Pilote #3
& Doug Jarrett #20
& Glenn Hall #1
This was an exhibition game to encourage Pro hockey in Green Bay:
The Bobcats scored first, but went on to loose 1-11

 Jamie Russell, born 19-- a native of Kamloops, British Columbia, Jamie is the current coach of the Michigan Tech University Hockey Team. He played defense at Michigan Tech 1987-89 and was the Assistant Captain both seasons. He played for Larjevellan, Sweden in 1989 and was second in league scoring. In 1990, he played for Winston-Salmen (ECHL), and was the Team Captain; in 1991, he played for Binghamton (AHL). He went on to be the Assist. Coach at Ferris State (CCHA) for 5 seasons (1994-99) then he went to Cornell University (ECAC) for 4 seasons as their lead Assist. Coach (1999-03) when Cornell was the top-ranked team in the country in the final regular-season poll. He was announced as Michigan Tech's Head Coach in May 2003.  need pics here


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