1951–52 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey season

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1951–52 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey season
National Champion
1952 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, Champion
Home ice Ann Arbor Coliseum
Overall 22–4–0
Coaches and Captains
Head Coach Vic Heyliger
Captain(s) Earl Keyes
Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey seasons
« 1950–51 1952–53 »

The 1951–52 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey team represented the University of Michigan in college ice hockey. In its eighth year under head coach Vic Heyliger, the team compiled a 22–4–0 record, outscored opponents 161 to 70, and won the 1952 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament.[1] The season was the second consecutive in which the Michigan hockey team had won the NCAA championship.

Individual accomplishments[edit]

Senior defenseman Bob Heathcott from Turner Valley, Alberta was Michigan's leading scorer during the 1951–52 season with 44 points on 13 goals and 31 assists. Six members of the team were selected as first-team All-Americans: forwards George Chin, Earl Keyes, John McKennell, and Doug Philpott, and defensemen Jim Haas and Reg Shave.[2]

At the end of the season, the players selected goalie Willard Ikola from Eveleth, Minnesota, as the team's most valuable player. Ikola allowed an average of 2.75 goals per game in 24 regular season games. He allowed only four goals in the NCAA Tournament.[3]

Junior center John Matchefts, also from Eveleth, Minnesota, was chosen as the captain of the 1952–54 team. Matchefts had been leading the 1951-52 team in scoring until being declared academically ineligible with eight games remaining in the regular season.[3]

1952 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament[edit]

In the 1952 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, Michigan and the Colorado College Tigers were invited from the west, and the St. Lawrence Saints and Yale Bulldogs were invited from the east. The Wolverines defeated the St. Lawrence Saints in the first round by a 9-3 score. Michigan scored five goals in the first period against the Saints. Defenseman Graham Cragg scored the first goal of the game, and he later scored the final goal in the championship game.[3] John McKennell and Pat Cooney scored two goals each in the victory over St. Lawrence.[4]

In the championship game, Michigan played the Colorado College Tigers. Michigan and Colorado College had developed an intense rivalry as each had been invited to play in the Frozen Four for five consecutive years. Michigan won the championship in 1948 and 1951, and Colorado College won the championship in 1950. The teams had met twice during the regular season, with each team winning one game. A Colorado radio personality had referred to the Wolverines as the "Michigan woodchoppers" while a Colorado newspaper reported that Michigan forward George Chin was "as wide as he is high."[3] The championship game was played before a capacity crowd of 2,500 persons at Broadmoor Arena in the Tigers' hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado. However, all three players on the Tigers' top scoring line, Omer Brandt (injury), Ron Hartwell (injury), and Tony Frasca (ineligible), were unable to play in the championship game.[5][6]

Michigan won the championship game by a 4-1 score. The Wolverines scored three goals in the first period and led 3-0 at the first intermission. Michigan's first goal was scored by George Chin at 11:35 of the first period with an assist from center Doug Philpott. Five minutes later, at 16:29 of the first period, team captain Earl Keyes scored on a power play with assists from Jim Haas and Reg Shave. Michigan's third goal was scored at 19:07 of the first period during a Colorado College power play. Doug Philpott took a loose puck at center ice and "sent a screaming 35-foot shot into the upper right corner of the net for a 3-0 lead."[5]

Colorado College narrowed Michigan's lead to 3-1 on a goal by Cam Berry at the 5:00 mark of the second period. Five minutes later, at the 10:12 mark of the second period, Graham Cragg scored Michigan's final goal with an assist from Alex MacClellan. Neither team scored in the final 30 minutes of the game.[5][7]

George Chin was the high scorer of the tournament with four points on two goals and two assists.[5] Chin, Haas, McKennell and Philpott were named to the NCAA Frozen Four first-team All-Tournament Team.[2]


Date Opponent Score Result Location
Dec. 5, 1951 Michigan State 11-1 Win East Lansing, MI[8]
Dec. 7, 1951 Montreal 9-2 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Dec. 8, 1951 Montreal 4-5 Loss Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Dec. 14, 1951 Toronto 4-1 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Dec. 15, 1951 Toronto 6-4 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Dec. 20, 1951 Denver 7-5 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Dec. 21, 1951 Denver 4-5 Loss Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Jan. 4, 1952 North Dakota 4-2 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Jan. 5, 1952 North Dakota 2-4 Loss Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Jan. 11, 1952 Minnesota 5-4 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI[9]
Jan. 12, 1952 Minnesota 6-1 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Jan. 16, 1952 Michigan State 7-1 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Jan. 18, 1952 Minnesota 7-2 Win Minneapolis, MN
Jan. 19, 1952 Minnesota 5-0 Win Minneapolis, MN
Feb. 8, 1952 Michigan Tech 9-2 Win Houghton, MI
Feb. 9, 1952 Michigan Tech 10-4 Win Houghton, MI
Feb. 15, 1952 Colorado College 3-5 Loss Colorado Springs, CO
Feb. 16, 1952 Colorado College 7-6 (OT) Win Colorado Springs, CO
Feb. 22, 1952 McGill 6-0 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
Feb. 23, 1952 McGill 3-1 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI[10]
Feb. 29, 1952 Michigan State 8-2 Win East Lansing, MI
March 1, 1952 Michigan State 6-2 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI[11]
March 7, 1952 Michigan Tech 11-4 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
March 8, 1952 Michigan Tech 4-3 Win Coliseum, Ann Arbor, MI
March 13, 1952 St. Lawrence 9-3 Win Broadmoor Arena
Colorado Springs, Colorado
March 15, 1952 Colorado College 4-1 Win Broadmoor Arena
Colorado Springs, Colo.
161–70 22–4–0

Roster and scoring statistics[edit]

No Name Year Position Hometown Goals Assists Pts
1 Willard Ikola Soph. G Eveleth, Minnesota
1 William G. Lucier Fresh. G Windsor, Ontario
2 James J. Haas Sr. D Nipawin, Saskatchewan
3 Edward A. "Eddie" May Sr. F Edmonton, Alberta
4 John Matchefts F
5 Robert V. Heathcott Sr. D Turner Valley, Alberta 13 31 44
6 George E. Chin Soph. F Lucknow, Ontario
7 D. Earle Keyes Jr. F Tiverton, Ontario 37[12]
8 Patrick J. Cooney Soph. F Riverside, Ontario
9 Paul E. Pelow Sr. F Toronto, Ontario
10 John H. McKennell Jr. F Toronto, Ontario
11 Graham S. Cragg Sr. D Edmonton, Alberta
12 Douglas M. Philpott Soph. F Sarnia, Ontario
14 Gordon Naylor F
15 Ronald M. Martinson Jr. F Eveleth, Minnesota
17 Reginald E. "Reg" Shave Soph. D Yorkton, Saskatchewan
18 Alexander D. MacLellan Jr. D Montreal, Quebec
19 Douglas C. Mullen Soph. F Grass Lake, Michigan
Bob Lotzer F
Telly Mascarin F

Charles M. Hyman, a senior from Elyria, Ohio, won the manager's "M" for his work as the team's manager.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Michigan Hockey Record Book" (PDF). University of Michigan. pp. 2, 6, 7. 
  2. ^ a b "Michigan Hockey Record Book" (PDF). University of Michigan. pp. 16–17. 
  3. ^ a b c d Ed Whipple (March 16, 1952). "Ice Scrapings: Name Machefts Hockey Captain". The Michigan Daily. 
  4. ^ "Varsity Retains NCAA Hockey Title". The Michigan Alumnus. April 12, 1952. p. 330. 
  5. ^ a b c d Ed Whipple (March 16, 1952). "'M' Wins NCAA Hockey Title: Pucksters Skate Over Tigers, 4-1; Early Wolverines Goals Whip Colorado, Keep Title in 'U' Hands". The Michigan Daily. p. 1. 
  6. ^ "Major Injuries Hamper Tiger Pucksters in NCAA". The Michigan Daily. March 12, 1952. p. 3. 
  7. ^ "Michigan Hockey Team Tops NCAA". The Owosso Argus-Press (AP story). March 17, 1952. 
  8. ^ Ed Whipple (December 6, 1951). "Pucksters Crush MSC, 11-1, In Season Opener". The Michigan Daily. p. 1. 
  9. ^ Ed Shipple (January 12, 1952). "Pucksters Topple Gophers, 5-4: Heathcott's Three Goals Sparks Narrow Victory". The Michigan Daily. p. 3. 
  10. ^ Bob Landowne (February 24, 1952). "Wolverine Icers Slip Past McGill, 3-1: McKennell Scores Two; Chin Nets Third Marker". The Michigan Daily. p. 3. 
  11. ^ Howard Robinson (March 2, 1952). "Icemen Halt MSC, 6-2: Heyligermen Score Easily in Dull Game". The Michigan Daily. p. 1. 
  12. ^ Dave Baad (January 16, 1953). "Right Wing Keyes Plays Final Game Tomorrow". The Michigan Daily. 
  13. ^ "Athletic Awards For 1951-52 Winter Sports". The Michigan Alumnus. April 12, 1952. p. 331.