CELEBRATING HOCKEY DAY IN MICHIGAN

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.
WESTLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY

2013-Hockey-Across-America-Mel-Wakabayashi-Al-Renfrew-U-of-MThe rich hockey history of the State of Michigan will be showcased and celebrated with a multi-media presentation presented by veteran sports broadcaster Raymond Rolak. The Westland Public Library will host the event on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.

Metro Detroit has a strong tradition of national success and the Detroit pioneers of hockey will be remembered. The Hockey Day in Michigan events are in conjunction with Hockey Weekend Across America sponsored by USA Hockey. The Central Collegiate Hockey Association which is in their last year of league play is spearheading the celebration.

Rolak, who produced the 1987 award winning docu-drama, “The Hobey Baker Story” will share some of the lost-to-history hockey anecdotes that helped shape Detroit hockey success. Hockey milestones of both men’s and women’s ice hockey will be touched on, including the most historic year for the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association.

The unique relationship of former collegiate coaching icons John Mariucci, Amo Bessone and Al Renfrew will be discussed along with Detroit connections to International and Olympic hockey history. Did you know that there was an official Big Ten Hockey Champion declared in 1959? The robust rivalry games between Michigan State and the University of Michigan will also be highlighted. Also, the incredible journey of Michigan All-America Mel Wakabayashi will be shared.

Another historic game story that will be discussed was the unparalleled event that helped prosper the MSU hockey program. It was on December 2, 1958 and quite late for the first game of the collegiate season. NCAA hockey was in flux at the time because of teams changing conferences. This is very much like today’s college landscape.

Michigan, Minnesota, Michigan State and Michigan Tech had left the Western Intercollegiate Hockey League in 1958 because of accusations that North Dakota, Colorado College and Denver were recruiting over-age senior hockey players and some pro’s from Western Canada.

As a favor to Coach Bessone, Jack Adams brought the Detroit Red Wings to Demonstration Hall in East Lansing for a fund raising exhibition game to benefit the Spartan hockey program. The building was beyond standing room only.

These and more hockey enrichment stories will be shared at the sixth annual Hockey Day in Michigan. You are invited to wear your favorite hockey jersey. Pre-registration is requested for this free event. Westland Public Library, Faust Branch, 16123 Central City Parkway, Westland, MI 48185 734-326-6123 www.westlandlibrary.org/events