Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Born on this date in 1971, Chris Marinucci attended the University of Minnesota Duluth beginning with the 1990-91 season. He started slowly, as most college players do getting used to the size and speed of the college game, with 16 points in 36 games in his first season and 19 in his second.
1992-93 was his breakout season in college, seeing his goal total leap from 6 in each of his first two seasons to 35 as a junior, combined with 42 assists for 77 points, an increase of 58 from the year prior, ranking him second in the WCHA and 8th nationally and helping the Bulldogs win the WCHA regular season title.
1993-94 saw another 30 goals plus 31 assists for 61 points for Marinucci who led the Bulldogs in scoring that season. He was named both the WCHA Most Valuable Player and the 1994 Hobey Baker Award winner, given to the top player in college hockey each season. Throughout his college career, Marinucci played in 149 consecutive games.
Marinucci would turn pro the following season, spent primarily with the Denver Grizzlies of the IHL, scoring 69 points in 74 games. Following the regular season he would add 7 points in 14 games as Denver would sweep the Kansas City Blades for the Turner Cup, awarded to the champions of the IHL each season. Marinucci would also make his NHL debut with the New York Islanders, seeing action in 12 games which included scoring his first and only NHL goal.
He would only see action in eight games due to injuries in 1995-96 with the relocated Utah Grizzlies, forced to move from Denver with the arrival of the Colorado Avalanche. He would see plenty of action with a full season of games in 1996-97, split between one game with the Los Angeles Kings, 21 games with the Grizzlies plus 62 games with the Phoenix Roadrunners, also of the IHL. He would score 52 points in his 62 games in Phoenix. Marinucci would also skate for the United States at the 1997 World Championships, scoring a goal in 8 games.
The next three seasons were spent playing for the Chicago Wolves on the IHL where he would put up fine numbers. 1997-98 was good for 75 points in 78 games and the Wolves would defeat the Detroit Vipers 4 games to 3 to capture his second Turner Cup.
1998-99 followed with career highs with 41 goals and 81 points in 82 games. In addition Marinucci was named the IHL Man of the Year. Another 31 goals and 64 points followed in 1999-00 along with another Turner Cup by defeating the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-2 in the finals before Marinucci would begin racking up the frequent flyer miles.
His first stop on his world tour was Kokudo of the Japan League. Marinucci would score 29 goals and 59 points in 40 games as the Rabbits would capture the championship.
2001-02 saw a move to the Berlin Polar Bears of the German DEL with 36 points in 53 games while 2002-03 was split between the Idaho Steelheads of the WCHL and IF Björklöven of the second division in Sweden.
His career would wind down in 2003-04 with more games in Idaho as well as with the Storhamar Dragons of the Norwegian Elite League, which included 17 regular season games and 13 playoff games en route to yet another championship for Marinucci and a nice way to conclude one's career.
While his number of NHL games were limited, he did play in 405 games in the IHL, scoring 157 goals and 365 points and a trio of Turner Cup Championships as well as titles in Japan and Norway.
Today's featured jersey is a 1993-94 University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs Chris Marinucci jersey. This beautiful jersey holds the record for the longest project from start to finish in the history of the Third String Goalie Collection, as we originally purchased the shoulder patches for this jersey back in 1987.
Only recently were we able to complete the project after 22 years now that this jersey has been made available by VintageMinnesotaHockey.com topped off perfectly by our pair of skating Bulldog patches purchased at a game in Duluth all those many years ago with the hopes of some day being able to have this classic looking jersey reproduced.
Will the wonders of YouTube never cease? Of all the unexpected things we've ever found this one probably tops them all - an interview with a newly arrived Chris Marinucci prior to his first game with IF Björklöven in Sweden.
We are literally dumbstruck.
So, how did the big game against those bastards from Skellefteå turn out? Seems like the good guys won, but if you watch this video you will get see a hot babe and some sausages. Promise.
Speaking of Björk loving, when was the last time you saw anyone play a table full of wine glasses? Now that is seriously unplugged.