1947–48 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey season
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 World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
|1947–48 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey season|
1948 NCAA Tournament, Champion
|Home ice||Weinberg Coliseum|
|Coaches and Captains|
|Head Coach||Vic Heyliger|
|Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey seasons|
« 1946–47 1948–49 »
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.
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.
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).
For the third consecutive year, defenseman Connie Hill from Copper Cliff, Ontario, was selected as the team captain. Hill and two other players, forwards Wally Gacek and Wally Grant, were selected as All-American for the 1947–48 season.
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).
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).
|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|
|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|
|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.
Roster and scoring statisticsEdit
Fourteen players received varsity letters for their[clarification needed] 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.
|1||John T. Griffin||D||Soph.||Scarsdale, New York|
|2||Richard B. "Dick" Starrak||D||Jr.||Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan|
|3||Connie Hill||D||Jr.||Copper Cliff, Ontario||9|
|4||Leonard Brumm||F||Soph.||Marquette, Michigan|
|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||Edward "Ted" Greer||F||Sr.||Wayzata, Minnesota||23|
|11||Herbert Upton||D/F||Ann Arbor, Michigan
|12||Paul Milanowski||G||Soph.||Detroit, Michigan|
|13||Samuel Stedman||F||Jr.||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|14||David Ross Smith||D/F||Jr.||Toronto, Ontario|
|17||Jack McDonald||G||Jr.||Eveleth, Minnesota|
|17||Wally Grant||F||Soph.||Eveleth, Minnesota|
|Bill Pritula||D||Sr.||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|Clement Cossalter||Soph.||Eveleth, Minnesota|
Detroit Red Wings: Nov. 28, 1947Edit
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. 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.
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 between 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."
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."
McMaster: Dec. 6, 1947Edit
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. 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.
Windsor Spitfires: Dec. 12, 1947Edit
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. The Spitfires were a farm club of the Detroit Red Wings. 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.
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." 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."
Toronto: Dec. 18-19, 1947Edit
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. Michigan and Toronto had played nine prior games dating back to 1937. The Toronto Blues had won all nine of the previous games. 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.
On Friday, December 19, 1947, Michigan and Toronto played to a 4–4 tie in front of the fourth consecutive capacity crowd of 1,300 at the Michigan Coliseum in Ann Arbor.
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.
North Dakota: Jan. 9-10, 1948Edit
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.
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).
at Minnesota: Jan. 16-17, 1948Edit
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. 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).
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.
at Michigan Tech.: Jan. 31/Feb. 2, 1948Edit
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. 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.
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.
Yale: Feb. 6-7, 1948Edit
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. 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.
Minnesota: Feb. 13-14, 1948Edit
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.
California: Feb. 16-17, 1948Edit
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.
Western Ontario: Feb. 21, 1948Edit
On Saturday, February 21, 1948, Michigan defeated Western Ontario by a 12–0 score at the Coliseum in Ann Arbor.
Colorado College: Feb. 27-28, 1948Edit
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.
Michigan Tech.: March 5–6, 1948Edit
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.
Semifinal vs. Boston CollegeEdit
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.
Championship vs. DartmouthEdit
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.
Wally Grant and Connie Hill were selected for the Associated Press All-Tournament team.
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