Sweaters and Jerseys

Michigan Tech alumnus and dedicated fan Ryan Johnson of Johnson’s Jerseys put together his feature on the history of the Michigan Tech jersey .

For a team that has played ice hockey since 1920, for better or for worse, the jersey designs of the Huskies have changed very little. Early designs while the school existed under the name Michigan College of Mines featured elaborate “MCM” letters intertwined on the jerseys. Many years later “Michigan Tech” began to appear on the jerseys. But it was not until the name “Huskies” was adopted by the nickname for the sports teams that the jerseys evolved into their familiar style with the script “Huskies” across the front. This jersey design would become a staple of the Michigan Tech hockey program for more than 50 years. What follows are some of the major changes in styles for the uniforms worn by the Michigan Tech Huskies over the last 40 years.

The Huskies jerseys for several decades were very similar to this one from the early 1970s. The script “Huskies” graced the front of the jerseys and at times the player’s number was also on the front as well. While the jersey materials changed and evolved from wool to dureen to nylon mesh to nylon knit, the general style remain largely unchanged as can be seen in the following examples from the 1980s and early 1990s.

One unique variation to the uniform appeared very briefly in the early 1980s when players began to wear Cooperall long pants and not the traditional shorter, “breezers” that players had worn for decades. With the long pants came very tight-fitting jerseys which were stylized to go with the look of the long pants. They went away just as quickly as they arrived as the trend quickly shifted away from this “radical” change in equipment and uniform design.

The early 1990s season signaled the end of an era as it would be many years before the traditional “Huskies” crest would again grace the front of Michigan Tech hockey uniforms. In keeping with trends of the time, black was popular and so MTU’s two main jersey colors became gold for home and black on the road.

The first radical change to the uniforms arrived in 1993 with what has become known as the “Husky Head” or “Piano Dog” crest on the front of the jerseys. Maybe believe this design was a variation of the Pittsburgh Penguins logo from that era, but whatever the source of inspiration it certainly divided MTU fans into two camps – those that loved the “new look” Huskies and those who hated it. Regardless of the fans’ feelings, this logo would stay as the primary crest for more than a decade.

Right on the heels of the home and road jersey redesign came an alternate throwback design as well. This jersey was worn for the US Hockey Hall of Fame Game versus the University of Minnesota, who also wore throwbacks, to kick off the 1993-94 season.

Not wanting to lose touch with their history, or maybe to simply help silence those that opposed the new logos, the “Huskies” crest was brought back as a third / alternate jersey design to help celebrate the team’s 75th season. What was old, was new again.

As the Husky Head jerseys began to evolve, the now defunct two-color “MichiganTech” logo was added to the jerseys starting in 1999, and was last used in 2004. It was initially worn on the front but eventually made its way to the back of the jerseys under the player numbers.

Shortly afterwards appeared a one-time design which featured an arched “Michigan Tech” over the script crest. It too was quickly swept into the history of Michigan Tech hockey.

In recent years, the jersey designs have once again stabilized with the return to the scripted “Huskies” crest and the team wearing three color variations with a home white, road black and gold alternate all constructed of a lightweight “dazzle” material. The Piano Dog continues to live on, but now only as an alternate logo on the shoulders. One minor change which has happened over the years is that the “Huskies” crest seems to rotate clockwise as the years go by with the most recent set of black jerseys almost starting to slant in the opposite direction.

With the leadership of the program going through major changes, maybe more new designs will be on the horizon for the Huskies as they look to once again put Houghton in the national spotlight as a division I hockey power house.