Wildcats celebrate 25th anniversary of National Championship

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan hockey fans are excited about this week’s anniversary as they celebrate 25 years ago when the program won its first Division 1 national championship.

The Wildcats defeated Boston University 8–7 in triple overtime in the 1991 National Championship game. The head coach at the time was Rick Comley and his top assistant was current head coach Walt Kyle, and he says that win was the biggest moment in the program’s history.

“I can tell you that the year that we had, the season that we had that year, that was a great culmination to a phenomenal year. I think that team was put together well, it was coached well. The players were really focused on the task at hand. I think when we started the year, even if you ask Rick Comley, I think everybody knew we had a really good product and it was a matter of making sure that the things that we took care of business and that things went right,” Kyle said.

The game itself was a roller–coaster, which saw NMU give up a goal with less than 40 seconds to go that sent the game into overtime. And then less than two minutes into the third OT, Darryl Plandowski became a local legend, scoring the game–winning goal for the Wildcats.

“The sways in the score from two and three goals up and two and three goals down, tie game to overtime, and pipes being hit and just the magnitude of the game. The building was unbelievable. It was a great environment even after we won. It was outstanding and we were all really happy for the guys on the team and certainly for Rick Comley who built the program. For him at that time, to get his first national championship, I thought was great,” said Kyle.

In honor of that win, the Wildcats are holding a special reunion this summer. The NMU hockey reunion will honor the championship team as well as 40 years of NMU hockey. There will be a golf outing and reunion on July 30th. For more information, click here.