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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

1958-59 University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Herb Brooks Jersey

Herb Brooks, born on this date in 1937, played for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers from 1955-56 to 1958-59, appearing in 75 games as both a wing and defenseman, totaling 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points.

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Following his college career, he was famously the last player cut from the gold medal winning 1960 USA Olympic team. After watching the USA win the gold medal on TV, Brooks' father turned and said "Obviously they cut the right guy."

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Herb Brooks would go on to become a member of both the 1964 and 1968 USA Olympic teams in Innsbruck, Austria and Grenoble, France. In addition, he would play in five World Championships for the USA in 1965, 1967,1968, 1970 and 1971.

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Herb Brooks as captain of the 1968 US Olympic team

Following his playing career, Brooks would coach the University of Minnesota for seven seasons, beginning in 1972, leading the Gophers to WCHA championships in 1974 and 1975 and capturing the national championship three times, in 1974, 1976 and 1979. His final collegiate coaching record was 175-101-20.

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Brooks between the benches for the Gophers at their quirky
old Mariucci Arena

After coaching Team USA at the 1979 World Championships, he was named general manager and head coach of the 1980 Olympic hockey team, earning a permanent place in history after guiding the team to the famous "Miracle on Ice", where he led a team of college players to a 4-3 victory over the heavily favored Soviet Union and then securing the gold medal versus Finland with a third period come-from-behind victory two days later.

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Brooks as coach of the 1980 US Olympic team

After coaching in Switzerland for a year, Brooks would return to coach the New York Rangers for four seasons, being named The Sporting News Coach of the Year in 1981-82, before return to the college ranks for a year at St. Cloud State before coaching the Minnesota North Stars for a year. He later coached both the New Jersey Devils in 1992-93 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1999-2000. His final NHL record was 219-221-66.

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Back in Minnesota behind the bench for the North Stars where he would be reunited with Neal Broten (left) who he coached to an NCAA title with the Gophers and a gold medal in 1980

In between coaching the Devils and Penguins, he also coached Team France at the 1998 Olympics. In 2002 in Salt Lake City, Brooks would once again lead Team USA, making it all the way to the finals and winning a silver medal.

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In 2002 Brooks once again led the US to an Olympic medal

He would be awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for contributions to American hockey in 1980 as part of Team USA and would win the award again as an individual in 2002. He was also inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990, the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.

A statue of Brooks stands outside the River Centre in St. Paul, which is part of the complex that includes the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild.

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Today's featured jersey is a 1958-59 University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Herb Brooks jersey. This is a very rare jersey, as it was purchased as a group order of custom made jerseys for members of a Golden Gophers online forum and was never available through any online or retail stores. That changed with the creation of VintageMinnesotaHockey.com, who now offers anyone a chance to own this beautiful jersey from "America's Coach".

It's customized with the #5 that Brooks wore his senior season with the Gophers and also sports the Goldy Gopher patch on the left sleeve. It also has the ornate Minnesota Centennial patch on the upper left chest to finish off the look. 

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The "Miracle on Ice" was named the Top International Hockey Story of the Century by the International Ice Hockey Federation as part of their centennial celebrations and immortalized in the 2004 film "Miracle".

Monday, August 4, 2014

1999 Norway National Team Per-Åge Skrøder Jersey

Currently playing for Modo in the Swedish Elitserien, Per-Åge Skrøder was born on this date in 1978.

Skrøder has been a regular member of the Norwegian National Team since first playing in the European Junior Championships in 1995. He has also competed for Norway in the World Junior Championships in the B pool in 1997 followed by 12 appearances in the World Championships in 1999 and 2000 in the A Pool, 2002, 2003 and 2004 in the lower Division 1 and in 2006, 2008 and 2009 back in the Top Division. He has since appeared in the World Championships in in 2001, 2012, 2013 and 2014. His record in the World Championships currently stands at 60 games played, 19 goals and 19 assists for 38 points.

He made his Olympic debut in Vancouver in 2010, which was unfortunately cut short due to a knee injury in the first game but returned to represent Norway again in Sochi in 2014 where he scored two goals in four games.

As a professional, Skrøder has played four seasons in Norway's Eliteserien, one for his hometown club the Sparta Warriors of Sarpsborg, Lillehammer IHK for two seasons followed by a return to Sarpsborg for another.

He then moved over to the Swedish Elitserien beginning in 1998 with the Frölunda Indians where he played for two seasons. He then joined Linköpings HC for the 1999-00 and 2000-01 seasons before moving to HV71 the following season when he was named the 2002 Norwegian Player of the Year.

He won his first championship with HV71 in 2004 and played there until 2004-05, including competing in the European Champions Cup. The next season would see him on the move once more to Södertälje SK for the 2005-06 season and then onto MoDo in 2006-07 where he would help MoDo capture his second Swedish Elitserien championship with 10 points in 20 playoff games and another appearance in the European Champions Cup. 2008-09 with MoDo was Skrøder's finest as a professional, when he scored 30 goals for the second time in his career to lead the league, along with 29 assists for 59 points in just 55 games to win the Elitserien scoring title, the first Norwegian to do so, and was named the Norwegian Player of the Year for the second time in his career.

His 2009-10 season was cut short by his Olympic injury, but not before he scored 33 points in 48 games. He rebounded with 41 points in 2010-11 and topped 20 goals in the top Swedish league for the fourth time with 22 in 2011-12 on his way to 51 points in 53 games, the most points by a non-Swede that season. He has since played two more seasons for MoDo and his career playoff statistics in the Elitserien are 32 goals and 33 assists for 65 points in 105 games.

Today's featured jersey is a 1999 Norway National Team Per-Åge Skrøder jersey. Aside from the desire to a Norway jersey to our collection, we especially wanted this one because of the "Ø" in the name which gives it a much more "European" look. When the jersey arrived we was surprised to see that the "Ø" was simply a standard "O" with an "I" glued diagonally over the top of it!

The Vår sponsorship logos are a heavy rather rubbery silkscreening. In addition, the Nike logos are also printed on the jersey as well, while the numbers are all sewn on. Also worth noting is the fairly large Norway Ice Hockey Federation crest on the front, which is blue screened onto white twill which was then sewn onto the jersey.

A very striking and colorful jersey with some excellent details that make it unique and definitely one of the favorites in our collection, especially when combined with the ongoing accomplishments of the player who wore it.

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Here is an interview with Per-Åge from Modo TV. We're not sure if he's speaking Swedish or Norwegian, but either way, you are on your own as far as a translation goes...

Here is a highlight video of action from the MoDo club where Skrøder wears jersey #10.

And finally, Skrøder scoring for MoDo against Faräjestad, much to the delight of the home fans in Örnsköldsvik.


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