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Legends: Haug an early Copper Country hockey Pioneer

HOUGHTON — Carlos “Cub” Haug may not be a name familiar to many modern hockey fans.

But the Houghton native put together a career that was notable for two things: He often practiced with the world championship Portage Lake Pioneers and later played for them; and he later became the first hockey coach at the Michigan College of Engineering (later Michigan Tech).

Late Mining Gazette reporter Earl Gagnon said Haug played a big role among early hockey pioneers.

“(Haug) was involved in every facet of the game of hockey,” Gagnon said in a 1973 interview. “He just loved the game of hockey.”

The 1903-04 Pioneers particularly caught his interest.

While just a freshman in high school, he followed the exploits of Fred “Cyclone” Taylor, the star forward for the team.

“Cyclone could skate faster backward than most players could forward,” he said. “His control on the ice was just amazing.”

But he also carefully studied PL golatender Riley Hern, a perennial all star.

After starring for the Houghton High hockey team, he earned a spot on the 1914-15 Portage Lake team as a goaltender.

His play in the nets led to him gaining all-league laurels and he helped the Pioneers defeat the defending United States Amatueur champion Cleveland Barons.

In a three-game series, Haug allowed just six goals in four games and impressed all the media covering the event.

“(Haug) was the obvious difference in the series,” wrote a Cleveland newspaper reporter. “He made saves of all varieties against Cleveland.”

Haug was also a track standout, setting records at Houghton High that lasted for years.

After a stint in the Army during World War I, he returned home and officiated hockey for a time.

He also played Portage Lake until 1922.

He helped the team win another league title in his second year with the club.

Duluth Tribune sports reporter John Armstrong called him “the quickest goaltender I’ve ever seen.”

When MCM started a hockey program in 1927, Haug was the first person they looked to.

He guided the team to a 10-2 record in his first two years, notching upsets over Notre Dame University and Marquette University in that period.

Some of his first players included Paul Pesonen, “Dago” Roy and “Curly” Kohlemainen.

A local jeweler, he remained active on the local sports scene, helping to organize junior baseball and hockey leagues. Haug died in 1982.

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