HOUGHTON — It had been decades since Michigan Tech hockey standout Bill Terry had been back to his alma mater.
Add to that, 10 years since the Michigan Tech Sports’ Hall of Fame member had been on ice skates. However, it didn’t take much for the early 1980s to come flooding back as Terry laced up his skates and stepped onto the ice on Saturday night for Michigan Tech’s 100-Year Hockey Reunion celebration at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
The teams, Cream against Black, played to a 10-10 tie after a pair of 25-minute periods.
The reunion weekend finally took place after being delayed since 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I had tears in my eyes as I looked up and took it all in,” said Terry, who played hockey for Tech from 1980-84. “I had goosebumps as I could almost hear the band cranking out the fight song.”
Terry was one of nearly 30 hockey alumni to play.
Between the two squads, it was a mix of recent alums and old-timers with a handful of former NHLers in the mix.
Among the former NHL players was Tech hockey legend Mike Zuke (1972-76). The former St. Louis Blues and Hartford Whalers center still holds the Tech records for goals scored (135), assists (177) and total points (310). He was also a member of Tech’s last NCAA Division I National Championship team in 1975.
While he didn’t get a goal Saturday night, he said that was okay. In his opinion, the whole weekend was just awesome.
“The hockey community here is wonderful,” the 68-year-old shared. “I need to get up here more often. Tech means everything to me. It brings back a lot of memories.”
On the other side of the blue line was Hancock native and Dallas Stars forward Tanner Kero. Kero, who wore a Huskies cream jersey Saturday, was an All-American during his 2011-15 Huskies career. He scored four goals Saturday night.
“It was awesome to be on the ice with all these guys I had heard about and seen come through this program as I was growing up,” Kero said. “It was great to talk to them and hear their stories in the locker room this weekend and then to be on the ice with them was pretty special.”
Bob Mihos was one of several alumni goalies who took a stint between the pipes on Saturday. While he played for just one season (1973-74) for John MacInnes, he said that the friendships he formed here through hockey are as strong as they were more than forty years ago.
“This place is sacred and an important part of all of our lives,” he said. “The hockey was fun but even better was all of us smiling and having a great time. The camaraderie that was created here is still strong as ever.”
The decade of the 90’s was best represented on the ice with around a third of the alumni having played during that 10-year span.
Among them was Hancock native Jeff Mikesch (1993-97).
“This is such a fun group,” Mikesch said. “We’ve been waiting two years to put this game together. We have a lot of great people back from Michigan Tech hockey here. I mean I grew up hearing stories about Mike Zuke and Bill Terry. As well it was nice to have some of my generation here and see their families and kids. It has been a special weekend by father.”