Saturday, March 28, 2015

1986-87 University of North Dakota Tony Hrkac Jersey

On this date in 1987, the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, led by 1987 Hobey Baker winner and national scoring champion Tony Hrkac and future NHL All-Star Ed Belfour, captured the NCAA championship at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan by defeating the Michigan State Spartans by a score of 5-3.

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North Dakota celebrates their 1987 national championship

The NCAA tournament began with eight teams meeting in the quarterfinals, which were still a two-game, total-goals format.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers, second in the WCHA defeated the Boston College Eagles, the champions of Hockey East, 4-1 in the first game. While the Eagles would win the second game 3-2, Minnesota's three goal advantage from Game 1 stood up to take the series 6-4.

The Michigan State Spartans, second in the CCHA regular season and winners of their conference tournament, easily dispatched the Maine Black Bears 11-5 to advance to face Minnesota in the Final Four in Detroit, 90 miles from the Spartans' campus.

In the other half of the bracket, WCHA champions North Dakota took two from the St. Lawrence Saints, third in the ECAC, to win 9-4.

In the final pairing, the Harvard Crimson, champions of the ECAC, destroyed the CCHA champion Bowling Green Falcons in Game 1 by a score of 7-1, taking an insurmountable six goal lead into Game 2, which they easily won 3-0 for a final tally of 10-1.

Michigan State survived their semifinal game in Detroit against Minnesota 5-3, aided in part by a fluke goal when the puck caromed off the seam in the Zamboni doors behind the Minnesota goal, leaving Minnesota goaltender John Blue miles out of his crease waiting for the ring-around while the puck deflected into the slot for an easy shot into the unguarded net for the Spartans.

North Dakota advanced to the final with a stout 5-2 win over Harvard.

In the championship final, North Dakota prevailed by a score of 5-3 over the partisan Michigan State crowd which numbered an NCAA record 17,644 fans in attendance. Ian Kidd opened the scoring for North Dakota in the first period with a backhander before defenseman Murray Baron added another 1:37 later to make it 2-0 for the Fighting Sioux. Just 18 seconds later Bob Joyce scored from Hrkac and Kidd, North Dakota's third goal in the span of just 1:55.

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Ed Belfour guards the Fighting Sioux goal

Michigan State got a goal back in the second period, which North Dakota soon countered to restore the three goal cushion before future NHLer Kevin Miller scored for the Spartans to make it 4-2 after two periods.

Each team would add a goal in the third for the final score of 5-3 as the Gino Gasparini coached team earned their fifth national championship and set a record with their 40th win of the season to finish the season at 40-8.

University of North Dakota 1987 National Champions
The 1987 NCAA champion North Dakota Fighting Sioux

Hrkac led the tournament in scoring with 3 goals and a record 9 assists for 12 points and was named to the All-Tourament team along with teammates Belfour, defnseman Kidd and linemate Joyce.

Hrkac also led the nation in scoring that season with 116 points in 48 games, far outdistancing his nearest competitor by 24 points to set an NCAA record, while Joyce and Hrkac finished 1-2 in goals with 52 and 46. Hrkac's outstanding season was recognized with the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in American college hockey also on this date in 1987.

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Tony Hrkac posing with the Hobey Baker Award

After playing two seasons at North Dakota, Hrkac would immediately enter the NHL with the St. Louis Blues. In addition to the Blues, he would also play with the Quebec Nordiques, San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, which included winning a Stanley Cup in 1999, a brief stint with the New York Islanders, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Atlanta Thrashers. Periodically, Hrkac would spend time in both the AHL and the IHL, including a standout season in 1992-93 with the Indianapolis Ice, where he would win the league scoring title with 132 points and be named the league MVP. In 2004, he would help the Milwaukee Admirals capture the Calder Cup in the AHL playoffs.

Joyce saw action in the NHL with the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets as well as several years in the IHL before finishing his career with three seasons in Germany.

Freshman defenseman Baron would have the most successful NHL career among the skaters, playing 988 games with the Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Phoenix Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks, but easily the most recognizable name off the 1986-87 Fighting Sioux roster would be goaltender Belfour.

Ed Belfour Fighting Sioux

After playing a single season with North Dakota, Belfour would break into the NHL in a big way in 1990-91, winning the Calder Trophy, the Jennings Trophy and the Vezina Trophy with the Chicago Blackhawks while posting a record of 43-19-7. The next season he would lead the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 19 years. He would also repeat capturing both the Jennings and Vezina trophies in 1992-93. During his nine seasons in Chicago, Belfour would establish himself as one of the elite goalies in the NHL.

After a brief stay in San Jose, Belfour would join the Dallas Stars, backstopping the team to the Stanley Cup in 1999, while winning another Jennings Trophy, and a return to the finals in 2000. He would close out his 19 year NHL career with three seasons in Toronto with the Maple Leafs and a season with the Florida Panthers.

Today's featured jerseys is a 1986-87 University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux Tony Hrkac jersey. This classic Fighting Sioux jersey is clearly derived from the traditional Chicago Blackhawks jersey, only with the Blackhawks red replaced by the green of the Fighting Sioux and with the "C" in the crossed tomahawks secondary logo replaced by an "S".

A much beloved style among Fighting Sioux fans, this style was first used in 1978 and lasted through 1993 when political correctness resulted in a "North Dakota word mark" style for a couple of seasons until stylized "geometric" Indian head was employed. While today's featured style came into being in 1984, the use of the "Blackhawks" crest dates back to 1971.

For the most complete history of North Dakota jerseys online, we highly recommend Sioux-Jersey.com.

North Dakota Sioux 1986-87 jersey, North Dakota Sioux 1986-87 jersey
North Dakota Sioux 1986-87 jersey, North Dakota Sioux 1986-87 jersey

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1986-87 University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux Ed Belfour jersey as worn by Belfour in his NCAA national championship season. No names were used on the back of the North Dakota road jerseys at that time and Belfour wore #29 in college rather than the more familiar #30 he would later wear in the NHL.

For more on the issue surrounding the discontinuation of the "Fighting Sioux" name, please read our post here.

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North Dakota Sioux 1986-87 R jersey photo NorthDakotaSioux1986-87RB.jpg

Here is a great find, highlights of both the semi-final game against Harvard followed by the title winning game against Michigan State.



Here is a music video tribute to the 1987 North Dakota Fighting Sioux, featuring perhaps the worst performance of the most annoying song ever written, but the rare footage of the team in action is worth the audio punishment. No points will be deducted for watching with the sound off.




Finally, a look back at the career of Hrkac on the occasion of his induction into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

Friday, March 27, 2015

1994-95 Minnesota Moose Stephane Morin Jersey

Born on this date in 1969, Stéphane Morin played junior hockey for the Shawinigan Cataractes and then the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. After splitting the 1987-88 season between the two clubs, Morin would get himself noticed with 77 goals and 109 assists for 186 points in just 77 games in 1988-89, which led to him being drafted 43rd overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques.

He would spend the majority of the 1989-90 season with the Halifax Citadels of the American Hockey League, but would make his NHL debut with six games with the Nordiques, in which he would register his first NHL points with a pair of assists.

While he would split the next two seasons between Quebec and Halifax, he would see action in 48 NHL games, which included scoring his first NHL goal, in 1990-91, a season in which he would place fourth in scoring for the Nordiques with 13 goals and 40 points despite only competing in a total of just 48 games.

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Morin made his NHL debut with Quebec

The 1991-92 season with Quebec as a disappointment, with just two goals and eight assists for ten points in 30 games.

Released by the Nordiques organization, Morin signed with the Vancouver Canucks in 1992. Assigned to the Hamilton Canucks of the AHL, Morin led the team in scoring with 31 goals and 85 points in 70 games. He did play a game in Vancouver, registering an assist, in his only NHL appearance that season.

The following season was very productive offensively for Morin, as he again led Hamilton in scoring with 109 points in 69 games, good for fourth overall in the AHL that season. He would also contribute a goal and an assist in five games with Vancouver.

With his time in Vancouver at an end, Morin signed on with the brand new Minnesota Moose of the International Hockey League, who came into being to fill some of the void left by the departure of the Minnesota North Stars. Morin not only led the Moose in scoring, but the entire IHL in 1994-95 with 33 goals and 81 assists for 114 points in 81 games.

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Morin won the IHL scoring title with the Moose

His point total would decline the following season to 78, but he would still lead the Moose in scoring.

1996-97 saw Morin and the team move to Manitoba, but he would find himself moving to the Long Beach Ice Dogs, still in the IHL, after only 12 games in Winnipeg. Long Beach was a strong team that season, winning the South Division and making it all the way to the IHL Turner Cup Finals. Morin, making the first real playoff run of his professional career, responded with 19 points in 18 games.

Morin's next season with Long Beach was limited to just 27 games in which he scored 27 points. Another playoff run for Long Beach would see them win a pair of rounds before falling in the semifinals, but not before Morin would contribute 11 points in 13 games.

For the 1998-99 season, Morin relocated to Europe, signing with the Berlin Capitals of the DEL.

Stephane Morin Berlin Capitals
Morin made the move to Europe and joined the Berlin Capitals

Off to a good start in Germany, Morin scored a pair of goals plus six assists for eight points in his first handful of games, but then shockingly and tragically, after complaining of not feeling well during the first period of the seventh game of the season, Morin died of a heart attack at the age of 29 on October 6, 1998 after he collapsed at the bench early in the second period leaving behind a wife and newborn son.

Today's featured jersey is a 1994-95 Minnesota Moose Stéphane Morin jersey from the season Morin led the Moose and the IHL in scoring.

The Moose would only play two seasons in Minnesota and Morin would hold the team records for most assists and points in a season, as well as career goals, assists and points, as well as games played.

While the three color combination of the forest green trim and purple outline against the black was a questionable choice at best, as the separation of the green from the purple and black is nearly impossible to make out for even the larger numbers and really becomes a dark mass when reduced in size for the name on the back.

While the back of the jersey has it's flaws, the front of the jersey is a winner, with the IHL 50th Anniversary patch providing a shot of color and the very popular Moose logo, which was ranked #1 in a poll by The Hockey News and led all minor league teams in terms of merchandise sales, making for a very attractive jersey.

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Minnesota Moose 1994-95 H 25 jersey photo MinnesotaMoose1994-95H25B.jpg
Minnesota Moose 1994-95 H 25 jersey photo MinnesotaMoose1994-95H25P.jpg

Today's videos begin with some game action of the Moose from the 1994-95 season.



But what would minor league hockey be without the fights? Here is some rare footage of the Moose playing at the St. Paul Civic center with solid white dasherboards after having replaced the original clear boards due to their age and the advent of dasherboard advertising rendering them ineffective.



For comparison, here's some footage from the St. Paul Civic Center in 1984 with the original set of clear boards.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

1996-97 Detroit Red Wings Darren McCarty Jersey

On May 29th during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals of the 1996 NHL playoffs, Claude Lemieux of the Colorado Avalanche checked Kris Draper of the Detroit Red Wings from behind face first into the top edge of the boards in front of the Red Wings bench. Draper suffered horrible injuries, which included a broken jaw, broken nose, shattered cheekbone, numerous stitches and a concussion. The Avalanche would go on to defeat the Red Wings and eventually win the Stanley Cup. At the conclusion of the series with Detroit, the Red Wings Dino Ciccarelli said about Lemieux, "I can't believe I shook the guy's freaking hand."

During the 2006-07 season, Colorado and Detroit would meet three times without incident, but Lemeiux was not in the Colorado line up for any of those contests. It was on this date in 1997 that the teams would meet once again, but the stakes were now very different.

At this late date in the season, each club was in position make the playoffs, setting up a possible playoff matchup down the road. In addition, Lemeiux was now going to be in the Colorado lineup, facing off against the Red Wings for the first time in ten months since the savage incident with Draper.

The first fight of the evening occurred at the 4:45 mark of the first period, with another at 10:14. Things really exploded at 18:22, still in the first, as a scuffle between the Red Wings Igor Larionov and Colorado's Peter Forsberg gave the Red Wings Darren McCarty the opportunity he had been waiting for.

Breaking away from an official, McCarty surprised Lemeiux and blasted him in the temple with his glove still on, sending Lemeiux, dazed, down in a heap. McCarty then tore of Lemieux's helmet and began to rain haymakers down on Lemeiux. Unable to defend himself after the sucker punch he had received, all Lemieux could do at that point was cover his head and wait out the assault, which continued unabated as McCarty punched him repeatedly. As one official tried to restrain McCarty, he would even knee Lemeiux in the head along the boards in retribution for his hit on his friend and teammate Draper.

McCarty Lemieux fight
McCarty extracting his revenge on Lemieux 

The dazed Lemieux was in no shape to defend himself following the initial blow to the head and did not fight back. To this day he is considered by many to have cowardly "turtled".

At the same time as this was happening, Patrick Roy would come flying out from the Avalanche goal to aid Lemeiux, only to be intercepted by Brendan Shanahan. Roy's arrival on the scene would only serve as an invitation to Mike Vernon to join the battle and eventually the two netminders would square off in one of the classic goalie fights of all time, leaving Roy bloodied as both fighters landed some solid blows.

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Roy and Vernon were the main event on the card

"As soon as he [Roy] started, I started, " said Vernon. "And then he and Shanny collided. Patrick and Foote were both on Shanahan. The first guy I grabbed at was Foote, which was really a stupid thing to do. Then Patrick kind of jumped me from behind."

"Fight Night at the Joe" would continue just 15 seconds after the puck was dropped when Adam Deadmarsh went after the rugged Vladimir Konstantinov.

The period break had no calming effect, as just four seconds into the second period Adam Foote and Shanahan tried to rearrange each other's dental work. The period continued in a similar fashion when Mike Keane pummeled Thomas Holmstrom and a topless Brent Severyn was held off by Aaron Ward at just 3:34.

Amazingly, McCarty remained in the game following his assault on Lemeiux, having only received a double minor for roughing! Deadmarsh sought retribution for Lemeiux and he and McCarty had a brawl at 7:24. Jamie Pushor and Uwe Krupp then exchanged blows at 11:26.

Meanwhile the score of the game stood at 3-2 in favor of Colorado. Each team would score another goal before the end of the second to make game 4-3 in favor of the Avalanche after two, with six goals having been scored amongst all the fights in the second period.

Things settled down for the most part after the Pushor/Krupp fight, with only a pair of roughing penalties in the third period as Colorado scored to increase their lead to a pair of goals at 1:11, only to have Detroit excite the home fans with goals at 8:27 and 9:03 to tie the contest, which would go to overtime, won by McCarty of all people, 39 seconds into the extra period to give Detroit not only their revenge on Lemeiux, but a 6-5 win over their hated rivals, their first victory over Colorado all season.

"They should have had a few different calls," said Colorado coach Marc Crawford. "The ref told me before the second period that he blew it. That's a small consolation. The linsemen even said it should've been a gross misconduct on McCarty. It's a little ironic that he got the overtime goal."

The game ended with 18 fighting majors and 144 penalty minutes being called. Combatant Vernon got the win in goal for Detroit, the 300th victory of his career.

Asked if he looked forward to a playoff matchup with Detroit, Keane responded , "I've got no problem playing a heartless team. Absolutely, I'd like to play them. We don't like each other. It will make a great series."

The two teams would meet in the Western Conference Finals that season, with Detroit eliminating the defending champion Avalanche in six games, eventually capturing the Stanley Cup with a sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers, a championship whose luster would be tarnished by the limousine crash that would leave Konstantinov in a coma for weeks and ending his career.

For further reading on the intense rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche, we suggest "Blood Feud: The Inside Story of Pro Sports' Nastiest and Best Rivaly of It's Era".



Today's featured jersey is a 1996-97 Detroit Red Wings Darren McCarty jersey. This jersey features the Stanley Cup Finals patch worn by the Red Wings and Flyers during all games of the Stanley Cup Finals.

McCarty scored a highlight reel goal for Detroit that put the Red Wings up 2-0 and became the game winner when the Flyers scored an otherwise meaningless goal with 15 seconds left in the game.

Photobucket
Photobucket

Here is part one of the fighting from Bloody Wednesday, which includes McCarty's sucker punch on Lemieux and the fight between Roy and Vernon.


Next is part two of "The Brawl in Hockeytown."


We hope you have some time on your hands today, as McCarty and Lemieux meet up for the first time ever to discuss the incident and what led up to it, thirteen years after the incident. It's a fascinating insight into "The Code" among hockey players and the mindset of both McCarty and Lemieux both then and now and the respect they have for each other. It's quite possibly the most interesting interview we've ever posted on Third String Goalie.




Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Greek Independence Day

Greek Independence Day is celebrated annually in Greece on March 25th, commemorating the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821.

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Greece had been a part of the Ottoman Empire since 1453, but the Greek revolt was triggered when Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the flag of revolution over the Monastery of Agia Lavra.

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Bishop Germanos of Patras raising the flag

With the motto "Freedom or Death", the Greeks at first experienced early successes on the battlefield, including the capture of Athens in 1822, but by 1827 the Turks had recaptured Athens and most of the Greek isles. Just when the revolution looked to be a failure, Great Britain, France and Russia came to the aid of the revolutionaires and their combined forces destroyed the Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Navarino.

Greece was finally recognized as an independent nation in May of 1832 with the signing of the Treaty of Constantinople.

Greek Independence Day is celebrated in towns and villages throughout the country with parades, during which school children march in traditional Greek costumes and carry Greek flags. In Athens, there is an armed forces parade.

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Hockey in Greece began in 1984, with players who were foreign born or raised, and the first Greek championship was held in 1989 among five teams.

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Their first junior national team was formed in 1990 and the senior level Greek National Hockey Team played their first international game on March 21, 1992, with a memorable 15-2 win over neighbors Turkey at the Group C2 championships in South Africa. They would go on to defeat Luxembourg 9-5 and Israel 7-4 on their way to a 3-2 record for third place and the bronze medal in their debut.

Despite the positive start to the program, all funding for hockey was cut in 1993, with the players now responsible for their own expenses, which caused the loss of many players and an end to any practices.

Still, the program managed to limp along thanks to the efforts of the players and they took part in the World Championships in Pool C Qualifying in 1993 and Pool C2 in 1995, where they were relegated to Pool D, where they competed in 1996, 1998 and 1999. That would be the end of their participation at the World Championships, with the low point arriving in May 2003, when the last ice rink in Greece closed.

For the next four years, the players traveled at their own expense to the Czech Republic in order to train themselves and team captain Dimitris Kalyvas tried to convince the IIHF that the national team is still active and development in continuing in Greece despite not having a rink. With the support of the Hellenic Ice Sports Federation, and many emails, the IIHF sent two delegates to Athens and Greece was able to retain it's status with the IIHF and return to the World Championship stage in 2008, first winning the Division III Qualification tournament against Bosnia and Herzegovina 10-1 and Armenia 8-5. During the Division III tournament, Greece defeated Mongolia 10-4 on their way to a fifth place finish.

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The Greeks made a return to IIHF competition in 2008

They travelled all the way to New Zealand for the 2009 competition, improving to fourth place with a win over Ireland, a forfeit over Mongolia and an overtime loss to host New Zealand.

Things looked bleak in 2010 when the Division III tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Athens, Greece, but the Hellenic Ice Sports Federation announced they would not be able to host the tournament after problems with their government funding. With the change in venue, Greece was place in Group A, which was held in Luxembourg. There, they defeated the United Arab Emirates 7-1 and the hosts 2-1 to win a silver medal, giving them hope of brighter days ahead.

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Greece happily celebrating its silver medal in 2010

Since then however, the Greeks finished fifth in 2011, 2012 and 2013 with minimal wins, one over Mongolia in 2012 and one over the United Arab Emirates in 2013, although they did defeat Georgia and Mongolia after being forced to participate in a Division III Qualification tournament that year.

At this point, the IIHF determined that Greece would not be allowed to participate in the World Championships until an Olympic sized ice rink is constructed in Greece, sadly brining to an end the participation of Greece in the IIHF for the foreseeable future.

Today's featured jersey is a 1992 Greece National Team Costas Lembessis jersey. This jersey is highly sought after by collectors of international jerseys, especially those who specialize in the obscure countries of the lower divisions. Quite simply one of the most incredible jerseys to ever see the ice, this amazing design from the Tackla company of Finland takes advantage of the dye-sublimation technique to incorporate the ruins of the Parthenon in Athens to create a spectacular jersey years ahead of its time.

Consider that this jersey is now over 20 years old and pre-dates any NHL alternate jersey. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim weren't even a team yet, so there was no such thing as a diagonal stripe in the NHL at the time!

This style was worn by Greece on it's international debut at the 1992 Group C2 World Championships in South Africa where the Greeks captured the bronze medal their first time out. Many international jerseys from the less funded nations of the lower divisions are frequently recycled several times during their lifespan, the fact this jersey still has the nameplate still intact makes it even more desirable.

This style was used in 1991 by the junior team and then 1992 and 1993 by the senior level team until the Tackla jerseys were rebranded as Reebok for two years prior to Nike taking over the production of IIHF jerseys.

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Greece 1992 jersey photo Greece 1992 B.jpg

Today's video section takes an entertaining a look at the apparently all-too-brief history of the Greece National Team, which was created prior to the 2012 World Championships.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

1953-54 University of Minnesota Golden Gophers John Mayasich Jersey

Born in tiny Eveleth, Minnesota, John Mayasich was a multi-sport athlete in high school, but excelled at hockey like no other. He led the Eveleth Golden Bears to four consecutive Minnesota State High School Championships from 1948 to 1951, setting numerous State Tournament Records, including Most Consecutive Games Scoring a Goal with 12, Most Hat Tricks with 7, Most Total Career Goals with 3, Most Total Career Points with 46, Most Goals in a Game with 7, Most Points in a Game with 8, Most Goals in a Period with 4, Most Goals in a Tournament with 15 and Most Points in a Tournament with 18 all of which still stand 64 years later!

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Mayasich permanently rewrote the Minnesota record books
photo courtesy of VintageMinnesotaHockey.com

Following his four year undefeated high school career, the prolific Mayasich joined the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers for the 1951-52 season, where he proceeded to lead the Gophers in scoring his freshman year with 32 goals and 62 points in just 26 games.

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Mayasich arrived at the University of Minnesota in 1951

He set a personal best with 42 goals in just 27 games on his way to 78 points in 1952-53 and matched his 78 points in 1953-54 with 29 goals and a personal best 49 assists from 28 games played to win the WCHA scoring title. Finally, as a senior, Mayasich scored another 41 goals and 39 assists for a career best 80 points in 1954-55 as he won a second WCHA scoring race.

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Mayasich won the WCHA scoring title in 1954

By the time he left the Gophers, Mayasich had established records for Most Career Goals with 144, which still stands today and is 24 more than second place, Most Career Assists with 154, which stood for 37 years, and Most Career Points with 298 in just 111 career games, which also still stands today and is 29 more than second place set by a player who played 50 more career games thanks to the longer schedules of the 1980's.

In 1998, Mayasich became the only player to ever have his number retired by the University of Minnesota when they raised his #8 to the roof of Mariucci Arena, which is named after the man who coached him while he was at Minnesota, John Mariucci.

While he had offers to turn professional following his college career, Mayasich instead had two years of military obligations due to being in the ROTC program at Minnesota. That, combined with having a young family with three kids, led to him accepting a job with Hubbard Broadcasting in St. Paul.

Mayasich was not done with hockey though, and was chosen to represent his country during the 1956 Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. There, the United States finished second in Group B to advance to the Final Round, where they defeated Germany 7-2 and then Canada 4-1 with Mayasich scoring a hat trick against the team that had won seven of eight gold medals. They continued by beating Sweden 6-1, then lost to the Soviet Union 4-0 before avenging a 4-3 Group B loss to Czechoslovakia by defeating them soundly 9-4 to capture the silver medal, the first in United States Olympic history. Mayasich led the US in scoring with 6 goals and 10 points in 7 games to place seventh overall in tournament scoring.

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The silver medal winning 1956 United States Olympic Team

Mayasich remained with the US National Team in 1956-57, but in protesting a Soviet occupation of Hungary, The US boycotted that year's World Championships. For 1957-58, he joined the St. Paul KSTP team in the U.S. Central Hockey League as a player/coach. It was back to the US National Team for 1957-58, where he came second in team scoring by just 3 points with 25 goals and 52 points in only 33 of the team's 52 games, this while playing defense!

In 1958-59, Mayasich began a relationship with the senior hockey club, the Green Bay Bobcats, which would last 13 seasons, which included eight as a player/coach.

Mayasich was back to duty with the United States in 1960, this time with the Olympic Team in Squaw Valley, California. At the Games, the Americans won Group C with a pair of wins over Czechoslovakia (7-5) and Australia (12-1) before moving on to the Medal Round. They opened play with a 6-3 win over Sweden, downed Germany 9-1, squeaked by Canada 2-1, scored a vital 3-2 win over the Soviet Union and capped off an undefeated run to the gold medal with a 9-4 domination of the Czechs to win the first Olympic gold medal in US hockey history.

Mayasich once again played a vital role for the United States, scoring 7 goals and 12 points to finish one point back of Bill Christian's 13.

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Mayasich won Olympic gold in 1960

After spending the 1960-61 season as an independent club, the Bobcats joined the United States Hockey League, a semi-pro senior level league, the next iteration of the USCHL.

During the 1961-62 season, Mayasich won a bronze medal as a member of the United States National Team at the World Championships held in Denver, Colorado, where he was named the Best Defenseman of the tournament. It would be the last medal the US would win at the World Championships for 34 years.

The Bobcats won the second USHL championship in 1963, with Mayasich as the team's leading defenseman with 42 points.

After three more seasons with the Bobcats as a player/coach, leading the team to a 92-25-3 record, Mayasich would make his final appearance for the US National Team in 1966.

He would spend five more seasons with the Bobcats as only a player until once more taking over as coach during the middle of the 1970-71 season, his last as a player before retiring.

Mayasich was named as an NCAA First Team All-American in both 1953 and 1954, the Best Defenseman at the 1962 World Championships, won an Olympic silver medal in 1956, an Olympic gold medal in 1960 and was named to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976 and IIHF Hall of Fame in 1997 and was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy on this date in 1998 in honor of his contribution to hockey in the United States. He is considered the finest amateur player in United States hockey history.

When asked to describe Mayasich, his college coach Mariucci stated, "The words to describe the boy haven't been invented. When I say he's the best, that's totally inadequate."

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Minnesota head coach Mariucci with Mayasich

Today's featured jersey is a 1953-54 University of Minnesota John Mayasich jersey as worn the year Mayasich won his first of two WCHA scoring titles.

This jersey was worn for only one season by the Gophers and was revived for the 2014 Hockey City Classic outdoor game by the University of Minnesota, who defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 1-0.

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Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1950-51 Eveleth Golden Bears John Mayasich jersey as worn by Mayasich as he completed a record setting high school career with Eveleth's fourth consecutive undefeated season and fourth state championship. 

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jersey photos courtesy of VintageMinnesotaHockey.com

To order your own Mayasich 1952-53 or 1953-54 Minnesota Gophers or Eveleth Golden Bears jersey, please visit our friends at VintageMinnesotaHockey.com.

Here is a recent interview with Mayasich, recalling his days with the Gophers and growing up in Eveleth.


Finally, the United States defeats the Soviet Union at the 1960 Olympics on the way to a gold medal. Look for Mayasich wearing #4.

Monday, March 23, 2015

1945-46 Chicago Black Hawks Bill Mosienko Jersey

It was the final day of the 1951-52 season and the two worst teams in the NHL, both already eliminated from the playoffs, were playing just because they had to. Not even the officials seemed interested in the game, as they would fail to call a single penalty during the entire game. But the game was on the schedule and needed to be played, so on a rainy, windy night in Manhattan, just 3,254 fans felt it was worth their time to travel to Madison Square Garden on this day in 1952 to watch their New York Rangers play out the string against the last place Chicago Black Hawks.

They would be rewarded by seeing history made.

1951-52 Chicago Blackhawks photo 1951-52 Chicago Blackhawks.jpg
The 1951-52 Chicago Black Hawks

By the end of the second period the Rangers were up 5-2 and when New York's lead was extended to 6-2 early in the third period when Ed Slowinski completed a hat trick, the rout was on and some of the sparse crowd in attendance headed for the exits.

Ed Slowinski Rangers photo Ed Slowinski Rangers.jpg
Ed Slowinski, who scored the single most
overshadowed hat trick in NHL history

When Black Hawks (which was two words until 1986) center Gus Bodnar gathered up a loose puck at center ice and fed it to Bill Mosienko at the Ranger blueline no one was prepared for what happened next.

Mosienko headed for the Rangers net and got around the off-balance Ranger defenseman Hy Buller and cut in on goaltender Lorne Anderson, faked to the left and shot low into the right side of the net for a goal at 6:09 of the third period. "It was my 29th goal of the season, so I went into the net to get the puck," Mosienko said.

With the score now still favoring the Rangers 6-3, the puck was dropped at center ice and Bodnar won the faceoff. He spotted Mosienko again at the Ranger blueline and quickly fired a pass. Mosienko took the pass and skated through the Ranger defense and fired the puck along the ice once more into the right side of the goal at 6:20, just 11 seconds after the first goal.

"I'm sure Anderson was expecting high shots," recalled Mosienko. "Twice before during the game he had stopped high ones and I thought that he'd fall for the low shot. He did - a lucky thing for me."

The goal was Mosienko's 30th of the season, so he retrieved that puck from the net as well. "I guess some of the fans thought it was pretty funny when I got the puck. A bunch of them hooted and laughed."

Still, the Rangers were up 6-4 and it was time for another faceoff at center ice and Black Hawks coach Ebbie Goodfellow motioned for Mosienko's line to stay on the ice. Bodnar once more captured possession of the puck, this time passing it to left winger George Gee. Gee got the puck to Mosienko moving down the right side near the blueline once more. Mosienko skated halfway toward the goal and then slowed, drawing Anderson out of the net, and as the goalie went down, his catching glove came off.

Already assuming that Anderson would be anticipating yet another low shot, Mosienko fired high to the right and into the goal. Just ten seconds had elapsed off the game clock and Mosienko had just shattered the record held by Carl Liscombe for 14 years at 1:52 for the fastest hat trick in the history of the NHL by completing the feat in just 21 seconds.


Briefly, Madison Square Garden was silent as the Rangers had just given up another goal, but as Mosienko skated toward the Chicago bench, those remaining in the arena rose and gave Mosienko an appreciative ovation. "I wasn't quite sure what to do," said Mosienko, "until one of our forwards, Jimmy Peters, told me to get the puck. 'That's a record, Mosie,' he kept yelling."


Later, the Black Hawks scored again to tie the game at 6-6 before Sid Finney won the game for Chicago with their fifth goal of the period with just 38 seconds remaining in their season to close out the year on a high note.

Rangers goaltender Anderson never played in the NHL again.

Gus Bodnar Blackhawks photo Gus Bodnar Blackhawks.jpg
Center Gus Bodnar assisted on all three of Mosienko's record setting goals

Mosienko would play 14 seasons in the NHL, all with Chicago, and score 258 goals and 282 assists for a total of 540 points. He was named the winner of the Lady Byng Trophy in 1945 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1965.

Mosienko's stick and the three pucks he retrieved from the Rangers net now reside in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and he was memorialized in his native Winnipeg on a mural depicting him celebrating his famous feat.


Today's featured jersey is a 1945-46 Chicago Black Hawks Bill Mosienko jersey. This jersey was worn by Mosienko and sold at auction for $25,390.

The Black Hawks first wore this style jersey in 1937 and would continue to do so until as recently as 1955. This jersey style would be revived in the 1991-92 season when the Original Six teams all wore a throwback jersey from their past.


photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's first video is a look back at Mosienko's legendary record shattering hat trick.


Next, a look at the origins of the phrase "hat trick" we are certain you will find very educational.

 

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