Peterson: MTU now dominates NMU

It was one of the more memorable sports events I can remember from my younger days.

In the winter of 1964, the Michigan Tech men’s basketball team (there were no girls sports then) upset Northern Michigan University at Sherman Gym.

What made the 85-82 win so special was that it came against a Northern team that had often dominated the Huskies over the years.

Under coach Verdie Cox, the Tech cagers had struggled to reach the .500 mark.

The 1962-63 season was a notable exception when a team led by Doug Schueneman and future NFL player Bob Lurtsema, the team went 17-6 and won the NIC.

NMUin contrast, had a program that sometimes played Division I schools, including Michigan State, whom it had beaten in 1961 in the opening game at C.B. Hedgcock Fieldhouse.

Back in those days, Tech played second fiddle against the Wildcats.

NMU wouldn’t start a hockey program until the late 1970s, so there was no comparison on the ice. But the NMU football team also pounded lumps on Tech — a streak that wouldn’t end until the late 1990s.

You couldn’t tell today that it was that difficult for MTU to get the upper hand.

Take this past season for example.

The Huskies men’s and women’s basketball teams swept their Upper Peninsula rivals.

While there was no 2020 football season for either school because of the pandemic, MTU has dominated that series for a number of years.

But it was in hockey that the Huskies totally controlled the Wildcats.

They beat their rivals no less than six straight times, something never done before in the series.

And in most of those games, the scores were lopsided.

I know that Northern is not up to its usual standards on the ice and a long way from the glory days of Rick Comley.

But to lose six games in a row to your chief rival in almost unheard off.

Obviously, Northern Michigan has some problems in its athletic program.


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