1947–48 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey season

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1947–48 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey season
1947–48 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey team.jpg
National Champion
1948 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, Champion
Home ice Weinberg Coliseum
Record
Overall 20–2–1
Coaches and Captains
Head Coach Vic Heyliger
Captain(s) Connie Hill
Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey seasons
« 1946–47 1948–49 »

The 1947–48 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey team represented the University of Michigan in college ice hockey. In its fourth year under head coach Vic Heyliger, the team compiled a 20–2–1 record, outscored its opponents 141 to 63, and won the first 1948 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament held in March 1948 at the Broadmoor Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Gordon McMillan was the team scoring leader for four consecutive years from 1945 to 1949. During the 1947–48 season, he appeared in 21 games and had career highs in goals (32) and total points (62). In February 1948, McMillan passed his coach, Vic Heyliger (who played at Michigan 1935-37), to become the all-time points leader in Michigan hockey history. Connie Hill, a defenseman from Copper Cliff, Ontario, was the team's captain for the third consecutive year.

Season overview[edit]

The 1947–48 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey team compiled a 20–2–1 record, outscored its opponents 141 to 63, and won the first NCAA Frozen Four at Colorado Springs, Colorado. In winning the 1948 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, the Wolverines went to overtime to defeat Boston College by a 6–4 score in the NCAA Semifinal Game and defeated Dartmouth College 8–4 in the NCAA Championship Game.[1]

Vic Heyliger was in his fourth year as the Wolverines' head coach. Heyliger coached the team for 13 years from 1944 to 1957, won six national championships, and compiled an overall record of 228–61–13 (.776).[2]

For the third consecutive year, defenseman Connie Hill from Copper Cliff, Ontario, was selected as the team captain.[3] Hill and two other players, forwards Wally Gacek and Wally Grant, were selected as All-American for the 1947–48 season.[4]

Gordon McMillan was the team scoring leader for four consecutive years from 1945 to 1949. During the 1947–48 season, he appeared in 21 games and had career highs in goals (32) and total points (62).[5]

Six members of the 1947–48 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey have been inducted into the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor. They are head coach Vic Heyliger (1980), Connie Hill (1985), Al Renfrew (1986), Wally Grant (1987), Gordon McMillan (1992), and Wally Gacek (2007).[6]

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent Score Result Location
Dec. 6, 1947 McMaster 13–1 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Dec. 12, 1947 Windsor Spitfires 4–3 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor
Dec. 18, 1947 Toronto 3–2 Win Chicago Stadium
Chicago, Ill.
Dec. 19, 1947 Toronto 4–4 Tie Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Jan. 9, 1948 North Dakota 5–6 Loss Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Jan. 10, 1948 North Dakota 5–2 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Jan. 16, 1948 Minnesota 3–2 Win Minneapolis, MN
Jan. 17, 1948 Minnesota 5–1 Win Minneapolis, MN
Jan. 31, 1948 Michigan Tech 9–8 Win Houghton, MI
Feb. 2, 1948 Michigan Tech 4–0 Win Houghton, MI
Feb. 6, 1948 Yale 6–1 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Feb. 7, 1948 Yale 7–3 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Feb. 13, 1948 Minnesota 6–2 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Feb. 14, 1948 Minnesota 4–5 Loss Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Feb. 16, 1948 California 11–2 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Feb. 17, 1948 California 4–2 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Feb. 21, 1948 Western Ontario 12–0 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Feb. 27, 1948 Colorado College 3–1 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Feb. 28, 1948 Colorado College 6–1 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Mar. 5, 1948 Michigan Tech 6–5 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Mar. 6, 1948 Michigan Tech 7–4 Win Weinberg Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
NCAA TOURNAMENT
Mar. 19, 1948 Boston College 6–4 OT Win Broadmoor Arena
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Mar. 20, 1948 Dartmouth 8–4 Win Broadmoor Arena
Colorado Springs, Colo.
141–63 20–2–1

Roster and scoring statistics[edit]

Fourteen players received varsity letters for their on the 1947–48 Michigan hockey team. Those 14 players are listed in bold below. Brook Hill Snow received the Manager's Award. John T. Griffin and Paul Milanowski received secondary awards.[7]

No Name Position Year Hometown Goals Assists Pts
1 John T. Griffin D Soph. Scarsdale, New York
2 Richard B. "Dick" Starrak D Jr. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan[8]
3 Connie Hill D Jr. Copper Cliff, Ontario
4 Leonard Brumm F Soph. Marquette, Michigan[9]
5 Wally Gacek F Jr. Winnipeg, Manitoba
6 Owen E. McArdle F Soph. Arlington, Massachusetts
7 Gordon McMillan F Jr. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan 32 30 62
8 William N. "Bill" Jacobson F Sr. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
9 Al Renfrew F Jr. Toronto, Ontario 25[10]
10 Edward "Ted" Greer F Sr. Wayzata, Minnesota[11] 23
11 Herbert Upton D/F Ann Arbor, Michigan
Edmonton, Alberta[12]
12 Paul Milanowski G Soph. Detroit, Michigan
13 Samuel Stedman F Jr. Winnipeg, Manitoba
14 David Ross Smith D/F Jr. Toronto, Ontario
15 Al Nadeau F
16 Paul Fontana F
17 John "Black Jack" McDonald G Jr. Eveleth, Minnesota
17 Wally Grant F Soph. Eveleth, Minnesota
18 Bob Marshall D
Bill Pritula D Sr. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Clement Cossalter Soph. Eveleth, Minnesota
141

Game summaries[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Detroit Red Wings: Nov. 28, 1947[edit]

Forward Al Renfrew coached the team from 1957-1973.
Defenseman Ross Smith

On November 28, 1947, Michigan played an exhibition contest against the Detroit Red Wings at the Coliseum in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The contest the second annual meeting between the teams arranged between Michigan coach Vic Heyliger and Detroit manager Jack Adams.[13] The Wolverines won the game 9–7 in front of a capacity crowd of 1,300 spectators. Wally Gacek scored two goals for the Wolverines. Sid Abel of Detroit scored three goals in the game.[14]

As the game was for exhibition purposes only, Michigan and Detroit players switched sides throughout the game. The Michigan Alumnus noted: "A wholesale interchange of players beteween the two squads made the final outcome meaningless, but the Wolverines performed creditably against the pros and added a couple of valuable chapters to their book of experiences."[15]

After the game, Red Wings manager Jack Adams praised the Wolverines: "The team is very much improved over last year's squad, and I was especially impressed with the fine defensive work of Ross Smith and Bob Marshall. The offensive lines were good and Bill Jacobson certainly proved himself a very able college player."[14]

McMaster: Dec. 6, 1947[edit]

On December 6, 1947, Michigan opened its regular season with a 13–1 victory over McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) in front of a capacity crowd of 1,300 at the Coliseum in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines had established a hockey rivalry with McMasters dating back to 1936. In eight games from 1936 to 1946, Michigan had compiled a record of 5–1–2.[16] The Wolverines set a school record in the game by scoring three goals, two of them by Ted Greer, in the span of 95 seconds. Greer and Gordon McMillan each tallied three goals for hat tricks in the game. Wally Gacek also scored twice.[17]

Windsor Spitfires: Dec. 12, 1947[edit]

On December 12, 1947, the Wolverines defeated the Windsor Spitfires by a 4–3 score in front of a third consecutive capacity crowd of 1,300 at the Coliseum in Ann Arbor.[18] The Spitfires were a farm club of the Detroit Red Wings.[19] On a pass from Connie Hill, Gordon McMillan broke a 3–3 tie and scored the winning goal with 26 second remaining in the game. McMillan also had three assists in the game. Al Renfrew scored two goals.[18]

After watching the Wolverines defeat the Spitfires, two Red Wings players praised the Wolverines. Gordie Howe noted: "[Michigan forward] Bill Jacobson and I used to play hockey together when we were kids back in Saskatoon (Sask.). I used to look up to him and I watched him carefully in hopes of learning a few tricks."[20] Ted Lindsay added: "This Michigan team is a rough bunch. I don't think I could last much more than a year in this league, especially if I kept getting hit by a boy of Bob Marshall's size."[20]

Toronto: Dec. 18-19, 1947[edit]

On Thursday, December 18, 1947, the Wolverines defeated the team from the University of Toronto by a 3–2 score in a charity game played at Chicago Stadium to raise funds for the Mercy Hospital to be built in Chicago.[21] Michigan and Toronto had played nine prior games dating back to 1937. The Toronto Blues had won all nine of the previous games.[22][23] Al Renfrew scored the first goal of the game at the 7:03 mark after stealing the puck at Michigan's blue line and outracing a Toronto defender. Michigan's second goal came on a long pass from Connie Hill to Bill Jacobson at center ice. Jacobson passed to Ted Greer who shot the puck past the Toronto goalie at the 11:50 mark. Wally Gacek scored Michigan's final goal at 4:11 of the second period. Neither team scored in the third period.[21]

On Friday, December 19, 1947, Michigan and Toronto played to a 4–4 tie in front of the fourth consecuive capacity crowd of 1,300 at the Michigan Coliseum in Ann Arbor.[24]

After the first four games of the season, the Wolverines were undefeated. Gordon McMillan was the team's scoring leader with five goals, seven assists, and 12 points. Al Renfrew was second with five goals, three assists, and eight points. Ted Greer was third with five goals, one assist, and six points.[25]

North Dakota: Jan. 9-10, 1948[edit]

On Thursday, January 9, 1948, Michigan lost its first game of the season, falling to North Dakota by a 6–5 score before the fifth consecutive capacity crowd of 1,300 at the Coliseum in Ann Arbor. Michigan scored first at the 5:59 mark of the first period on a goal by Connie Hill with assists by Bill Greer and Ted Jacobson. In the second period, Wally Gacek scored an unassisted goal at the 2:56 mark, and Hill scored his second goal (unassisted) at the 4:59 mark. Gordon McMillan scored at the 18:32 mark, and Michigan led 4–3 at the end of the second period. Gacek scored again in the third period (assist from McMillan), but North Dakota scored three times in the period. John Noah scored the winning goal for North Dakota at the 19:19 mark of the third period.[26]

On Friday, January 10, 1948, Michigan defeated North Dakota 5–2 front of the sixth consecutive capacity crowd of 1,300 at the Coliseum in Ann Arbor. Michigan took a 3–1 lead in the first period. Al Renfrew scored the Wolverines' first goal (assist by Hill) at 4:12 of the first period. Bob Marshall added a goal (assist by Bill Jacobson) at 11:07, and Gordon McMillan added a goal (assist by Wally Gacek) at 17:57. Ted Greer added a goal in the second period (assist by Jacobson) and another in the third period (assists by Marshall and Renfrew).[27]

at Minnesota: Jan. 16-17, 1948[edit]

On January 16 and 17, 1948, the team travelled to Minneapolis for a two-game, Friday and Saturday series against Minnesota. The Wolverines swept the series, winning on Friday night by a 3–2 score and winning the Saturday game 5–1.[1] The Wolverines had not defeated the Golden Gophers twice on Minnesota home ice since 1931. In the Friday game, Gordon McMillan scored the first goal after back-flipping a pass from Connie Hill. Al Renfrew scored Michigan's second goal (assist from McMillan), and McMillan scored the third (assist from Wally Gacek).[28]

In the Saturday night game, the Wolverins scored four goals in the second period and one in the third period. Gordon McMillan scored three goals for a hat trick and added an assist for a total of seven points in the two-game series. Gacek had a goal and two assists in the Saturday night game, and Ted Greer also scored a goal.[28]

at Michigan Tech.: Jan. 31/Feb. 2, 1948[edit]

On January 31 and February 2, 1948, Michigan played a two-game series against Michigan Tech in Houghton, Michigan. The Wolverines swept the series, winning the Saturday game, 9–8, and the Monday game, 4–0.[1] In the Monday game, Michigan scored twice in the second period and two more times in the third period. An Associated Press report stated that the Wolverines "clicked smoothly" in sweeping the two-game series.[29]

Gordon McMillan broke Vic Heyliger's career scoring record in the series against Michigan Tech. Heyliger totaled 116 points in his Michigan hockey career from 1935 to 1937. By the conclusion of the Yale series the following week, McMillan's career total stood at 127 points.[30]

Yale: Feb. 6-7, 1948[edit]

On February 6 and 7, 1948, the Wolverines swept a two-game, Friday and Saturday series against Yale at the Coliseum in Ann Arbor. Michigan won the Friday night game, 6–1, and the Saturday game, 7–3.[1] Al Renfrew scored a goal in the first game that gave him his 100th career point with Michigan. He joined Gordon McMillan and Vic Heyliger as the third 100-point man in Michigan hockey history. Michigan's defense limited Yale to four shots on goal in the game, and Yale's lone goal came at 17:29 of the third period.[31]

Minnesota: Feb. 13-14, 1948[edit]

On February 13 and 14, 1948, the Wolverines split a two-game, Friday and Saturday series with Minnesota. The Wolverines won the Friday night game, 6–2, but suffered their second loss of the season on Saturday, losing to the Golden Gophers by a 5–4 score.[1]

California: Feb. 16-17, 1948[edit]

On February 16 and 17, 1948, the Wolverines played a two-game series against the University of California on a Monday and Tuesday night at the Coliseum in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines won the first game, 11–2, and the second game, 4–2.[32]

Western Ontario: Feb. 21, 1948[edit]

On Saturday, February 21, 1948, Michigan defeated Western Ontario by a 12–0 score at the Coliseum in Ann Arbor.[1]

Colorado College: Feb. 27-28, 1948[edit]

On February 27 and 28, 1948, Michigan swept a two-game, Friday and Saturday series against Colorado College at the Coliseum in Ann Arbor. Michigan won the Friday night game, 3–1, and the Saturday game, 6–1.[1]

Michigan Tech.: March 5–6, 1948[edit]

On March 5 and 6, 1948, Michigan swept a two-game, Friday and Saturday series against Michigan Tech at the Coliseum in Ann Arbor. Michigan won the Friday night game, 6–5, and the Saturday game, 7–4. With the victories, Michigan closed out its regular season with a record of 20–2–1.[1]

Frozen Four[edit]

Semifinal vs. Boston College[edit]

On March 19, 1948, Michigan defeated Boston College in overtime by a score of 6–4 in the semifinal game of the first NCAA Frozen Four collegiate ice hockey tournament. The game was played in front of a capacity crowd of 2,500 at the Broadmoor Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Boston College took a 3–1 lead in the second period. Halfway through the third period, Michigan took a 4–3 lead. During the final minute of the third period, Boston College pulled its goalie, and Jim Fitzgerald scored to send the game to overtime. Only 18 seconds into the overtime period, Wally Gacek scored on a pass from Wally Grant. Gacek scored again with less than 30 seconds left in the overtime period. Boston College had pulled its goalie, and Gacek shot the puck into the net from behind the Michigan blue line. Connie Hill of Michigan scored three goals for a hat trick in the game.[33][34]

Championship vs. Dartmouth[edit]

On March 20, 1947, Michigan defeated Dartmouth College in the championship game by a score of 8–4. After eleven minutes of play in the second period, Dartmouth led 4–2. The Wolverines held Dartmouth scoreless for the final 29 minutes while adding six goals on offense. At the end of the second period, the Wolverines appeared to have scored the tying goal, but the referee disallowed the goal on the ground that an official in the penalty box had blown his whistle before the goal. The NCAA rules committee overruled the decision during the intermission, and Michigan opened the third period in a 4–4 tie. Michigan scored three times in the opening six minutes of the third period on goals by Wally Gacek, Wally Grant, and Ted Greer. Gacek scored three goals and had three assists in the game.[35][36]

All-Tournament Team[edit]

Wally Grant and Connie Hill were selected for the Associated Press All-Tournament team.[36]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Michigan Hockey Record Book". University of Michigan. 2012–13. p. 5. 
  2. ^ "Michigan Ice Hockey Coaching History". Mgoblue.com. CBS Sports. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ Herb Ruskin (December 17, 1947). "Wolverine Defense Combine Substitutes Speed for Brawn". The Michigan Daily. p. 7. 
  4. ^ "Michigan Hockey Record Book". University of Michigan. 2012–13. p. 16. 
  5. ^ "Michigan Hockey Record Book". University of Michigan. p. 2. 
  6. ^ "Michigan Hockey Record Book". University of Michigan. p. 27. 
  7. ^ "Athletic Awards for 1947-48 Winter Sports". The Michigan Alumnus. April 10, 1948. p. 329. 
  8. ^ "Hard-Checking Starrak Follows Hockey to 'M'". The Michigan Daily. January 8, 1948. p. 3. 
  9. ^ "Former UAF Hockey Coach Brumm Passes Away". USCHO. February 1, 2006. 
  10. ^ "Renfrew Michigan Captain". The New York Times. March 28, 1948. ("Renfrew, whose home is in Toronto, Ont., scored twenty-five goals as Michigan registered eighteen victories in the regular season and swept the National Collegiate titlein the N.C.A.A. play=offs.")
  11. ^ "The man who never stops". Brainerd Dispatch. June 28, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Herbert Upton". Dekers Club Hall of Fame. 
  13. ^ "Michigan To Open Hockey Season Against Red Wings". The Michigan Daily. November 25, 1947. p. 3. 
  14. ^ a b "Wolverine Hockey Team Praised by Jack Adams". The Michigan Daily. November 30, 1947. p. 6. 
  15. ^ "Hockey Team Wins Its First Three Games of Season". The Michigan Daily. December 20, 1947. p. 182. 
  16. ^ B.S. Brown (December 3, 1947). "Michigan Hockey Team Meets Canadian Squad: McMasters Sextet Offers Wolverines First Intercollegiate Competition of 1947". The Michigan Daily. p. 3. 
  17. ^ "McMillan, Greer Spark Varsity With Hat Tricks". The Michigan Daily. December 7, 1947. 
  18. ^ a b Herb Ruskin (December 13, 1947). "Spitfires Edged in Wild Ice Battle, 4–3: McMillan Nets Winning Goal in Last 26 Seconds; Renfrew Tallies Twice in Second Victory; Hill, Smith Outstanding on Michigan Defense". The Michigan Daily. p. 3. 
  19. ^ Herb Ruskin (December 12, 1947). "'M' Puck Squad Engages Windsor In Second Test: Spitfires, Red Wing Farm Club, Lead Pack In Race for Amateur Hockey League Title". The Michigan Daily. p. 3. 
  20. ^ a b B.S. Brown (December 14, 1947). "Michigan Sextet Slated For Successful Season". The Michigan Daily. p. 6. 
  21. ^ a b "Pucksters Defeat Toronto, 3–2: Renfrew, Greer, Gacek Score for 'M'; Hill, McDonald Defensive Heroes". The Michigan Daily. December 19, 1947. p. 3. 
  22. ^ "Pucksters Seek Revenge For Previous Drubbings". The Michigan Daily. December 11, 1947. p. 3. 
  23. ^ Herb Ruskin (December 18, 1947). "Pucksters Face Toronto In Charity Game Tonight: Wolverines Seek First Victory of Series; Canadians Have Experience Advantage". The Michigan Daily. p. 3. 
  24. ^ "Battle To Tie". Record-Eagle, Traverse City MI. December 20, 1947. p. 10. 
  25. ^ B.S. Brown (January 7, 1948). "Pucksters Boast Undefeated Slate as Quarter Mark Nears". The Michigan Daily. p. 3. 
  26. ^ "N. Dakota Inflicts First Wolverine Sextet Defeat: Noah Nets Winning Goal with 31 Seconds Left in Game; Gacek Scores Twice for 'M'". The Michigan Daily. January 10, 1948. p. 3. 
  27. ^ B.S. Brown (January 11, 1948). "Greer Paces 5–2 Victory Over N. Dakota Skaters: Tempers Fly in Last Frame as Wolverines Even Two-Game Series With Nodak Six". The Michigan Daily. p. 6. 
  28. ^ a b "17-Year Hockey Famine Is Ended a Minneapolis". The Michigan Alumnus. January 31, 1948. p. 228. 
  29. ^ "Huskies Whitewashed by Wolverine Sextet". Ironwood Daily Globe (AP story). February 4, 1948. p. 11.  (subscription required)
  30. ^ "McMillan Breaks Heyliger's Career Scoring Mark". The Michigan Alumnus. February 14, 1948. p. 250. 
  31. ^ "Michigan Routs Yale Six: Wolverines by 6-2 in Opener of Two-Game Series". The New York Times. February 7, 1948. 
  32. ^ "Victory For 'M' Six". The Owosso Argus-Press. February 18, 1948. p. 10. 
  33. ^ "Michigan Win Over BC Was a Thriller". Lewiston Evening Journal (Maine). March 20, 1948. p. 9. 
  34. ^ "B. C. Loses in Overtime to Michigan Sextet, 6–4". Daily Boston Globe. March 20, 1948. p. 6. 
  35. ^ "Title To Michigan Six: Wolverines Top Dartmouth, 8–4, in National Collegiate Final". The New York Times. March 1948. 
  36. ^ a b "Michigan Adds Hockey Title: Wolverine Pucksters Defeat Dartmouth For National Honor". The Owosso Argus-Press. March 22, 1948. p. 11.