BY MICHAEL NISSON
Daily Sports Writer
Published October 27, 2003
There was a national championship atmosphere at Yost Ice Arena during this weekend's series against Northern Michigan, and it had nothing to do with the players that were skating on the ice.
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Members of the 1953 and 1964 NCAA Championship teams were in Ann Arbor to celebrate the 50th- and 40th-anniversary reunions of their respective title runs. The 1964 team was brought onto the ice during the first intermission, and the 1953 team was showcased after the second period. Fans gave each group a standing ovation, as the hockey pep band played "The Victors."
Gordon Wilkie, captain of the 1964 team, was happy to be at Yost seeing the team play. He noted that watching the action brought back "fond memories."
"It's a great thrill to be back," Wilkie said. "Michigan was really good to us, and we had a good time when we were down (playing) here."
Wilkie lead his squad to a 24-4-1 record during the 1964 season. Those Wolverines defeated Denver 6-3 in the 1964 NCAA Championship game.
The 1953 Wolverines, captained by John Matchefts, beat Minnesota 7-3 to etch their names in Michigan hockey history.
The '53 team also used the reunion to wrap up some unfinished business. The players on that team hadn't received rings until this weekend. Michigan was the champion in 1951 and 1952, and the players received rings and watches those two years.
Michigan also holds the record as the only team to ever win three consecutive titles.
More on Powers: While it may not be common to see a player go to the hospital as a result of a normal play, it does happen. When a coach is sent to the hospital, it's an entirely different story.
Michigan assistant coach Billy Powers unfortunately made news before yesterday's game against the Wildcats. At the end of the national anthem, Powers collapsed on the Michigan bench. Powers left the bench for the lockerroom where he passed out a second time. Powers was then taken to the University Hospital.
Head coach Red Berenson noted that Powers had been recruiting in Chicago on Saturday and had an early morning flight back to Ann Arbor yesterday. Berenson speculated that fatigue might have played a factor in the frightening episode.
Powers was later cleared and released from the hospital.
Berenson and the Michigan players expressed huge relief to hear he was recovering.
"It's pretty scary, but it's good to hear that he's doing well," sophomore goalie Al Montoya said.