The Calumet Colosseum is celebrating its 100th year of existence with a special game Monday between longtime local rivals, the Calumet Wolverines and the Portage Lake Pioneers.
For the Wolverines, itâ??s a time of reflection as they look back on, not only, the history of the Colosseum but the history of their team as well.
â??If you lived here all your life, basically what could you do other than play hockey or ski?â?? said Wolverines' coach, Bruce Coppo. â??Itâ??s a winter sport. I think itâ??s just embroidered in the bodies of everybody as they come onto this planet.â??
The Colosseum was built in the midst of the Copper Strike, when, for many people, hockey games were a relieving distraction from the current events, but teams were playing on outdoor rinks.
â??We did need an indoor facility,â?? Coppo explained. â??As you can see, our winters here are very harsh. At that time, they decided to build this facility.â??
Not only has the rivalry stood between the two teams for over a century, Monday nightâ??s game is unique in that the Wolverines took on the Pioneers at the Colosseum 100 years ago that very night.
â??I think the community gets involved in the rivalry as well,â?? said Wolverines' goalie, Ryan Patrick. â??Itâ??s like Calumet versus Houghton and Hancock, just like it was when we were younger and we were playing high school hockey.â??
â??It means a lot, especially after 100 years, to be playing that same team, and the history of the rivalry just intensifies it,â?? Coppo added.
The Wolverines will take on the Pioneers Monday night at 7:30 at the Colosseum.
â??It goes back over 100 years,â?? Patrick said. â??Usually, theyâ??re pretty tough games when we play each other, and Iâ??m looking forward to it.â??