Just as Tech Hockey Guide has undertaken a new look for the 2017-18, the Huskies hockey team has done the same. Or, should we say, an old look? The Huskies dug 85 years into their past to find inspiration for this year’s black jerseys. But before we take a closer look at this new look for the Huskies, a little background on why this jersey design may have been created.

Michigan Tech was selected to open the 1993-94 season against the University of Minnesota as part of the US Hockey Hall of Fame game which was played that year at the then-new Mariucci arena (the US Hockey Hall of Fame being located just under 200 miles north of the Twin Cities in Eveleth, Minn.), a game Tech won 5-4. This season, Michigan Tech has again been selected to take part in this game on the first official day of the 2017-18 season against the Wisconsin Badgers. In 1993, the Huskies also designed and wore throwback jerseys for the HoF game, so it is not too surprising that Tech has returned to historical design cues as they take the ice for this season-opening tradition once again.

Michigan Tech’s throwback jersey style (front) from the 1993-94 season originally issued to defenseman Jason Wright (Credit: Ryan Johnson).
Michigan Tech’s throwback jersey style (back) from the 1993-94 season originally issued to defenseman Jason Wright (Credit: Ryan Johnson).

The 2017-18 black jerseys are based on an actual game jersey from the 1932-33 season attributed to Paul Swift which is on display on the upper level of the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena, behind the suites. While the color selections and striping patterns are nearly identical to that jersey, the Huskies give this version a modern twist by adding their new Husky logo as an embroidered patch on the right shoulder. Similar to the last couple sets of jerseys, the left shoulder carries an embroidered patch of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with a star denoting the location of Houghton.

Husky logo patch on right shoulder of the new jerseys (still image from university’s video).

The sleeves retain the three-color, sewn twill numbers in the familiar Boston Bruins font. However the back numbers have been changed to black-white-black, two-color sewn twill in keeping with the overall vintage look of the jersey. Another old school touch is the placement of the player name below the numbers. The single color, sewn twill name on a contrasting color nameplate in this location was very common decades ago, however in the modern era they will give the Huskies a very unique look on the ice.

Nameplate from rear of new jerseys (still image from university’s video).

Moving to the front of the jersey, the right chest of the jersey displays the WCHA logo and the jerseys are now branded as CCM on the exterior below the neckline. The cresting follows the original design with single-color twill “Michigan Tech” boldly sewn across the front.

Brent Baltus models the front of the new jersey (still image from university’s video).

Overall, the Huskies far exceeded expectations with their new (old) design. In the opinion of the author, the only way Tech could have improved this jersey would have been to go with felt lettering and numbers similar to those used in the 1930s and that a few other teams are now using on their throwback jerseys. However player comfort on the ice must be considered as well. There is good reason that vintage hockey uniforms were called sweaters. In addition to being heavy, knit uniforms, in most cases they kept the players quite warm as well—feature which is not as desirable in today’s era of artificial ice and 60-70 degree rink temperatures. Hopefully college hockey fans everywhere will get to see the new look Huskies on the ice in the near future.

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Ryan graduated from Michigan Tech just before the turn of the century (BSME 1998). After many years in the Huskies Pep Band drumline, Ryan eventually found his way to Denver, CO where he is currently a sales engineer in the construction industry. When not busy adding to his collection of 700+ collegiate and professional game-worn hockey jerseys, he serves as a road game photographer for Tech Hockey Guide, as well as contributing the occasional off-beat editorial piece.