Thursday, January 24, 2008

DU Alum Recalls Hockey Streaker in '70s

From: DU Today by Doug McPherson

(left) DU Alum Jay Frank is the president of the Corpus Christi Rayz in the CHL

Sometimes a college student’s career path can take a slippery turn. Take Doug Frank (BA ’76), for example.

He chose the University of Denver back in the 1970s planning to attend the DU law school after his undergraduate work.

He didn’t know it then, but there was something outside of law and his bachelor’s degree that would influence his future career: DU hockey.

“I had some interest in ice skating and in hockey before I came to DU, but that interest took a huge jump once I came to Denver,” Frank says. “The student body was an important component of the Pioneer games then, and I was swept up in the excitement.”

Swept so hard that hockey ultimately took a front and center role in his life. Today he’s president of the Corpus Christi Rayz, a minor league professional hockey team in the Texas town.

“I love the physicality of the game, and the athletic skill it takes to play at the professional level is amazing,” he explains.

Frank says his DU education prepared him perfectly for the job because of the different kinds of people he met from around the country and the globe.

“I felt engaged academically at DU, and I grew tremendously as a result of interaction with the diverse student body,” he says.

His memories of DU are fond, he says. One sticks out: “I even remember the errant streaker who made it across the ice between periods one night.”

He says he’s very impressed with today’s DU hockey program. “Just like the school … it has continued to grow in strength since my time in the ’70s.”

He says several players he’s coached in youth hockey have gone on to attend DU and that he has at least three more who are hoping to be admitted later this year.

“We have more professional hockey teams in Texas than any other state in the country, and at least with regards to Corpus Christi, our community has DU to thank for that.”

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Woody Paige "Denver Deserves Outdoor Hockey"

From: Denver Post
by Woody Paige

(left) Denver Post & ESPN funnyman Woody Paige in on board for outdoor hockey games at Mile High Stadium

The Mile High Icextravaganza & Winter Festival ought to become a reality for New Year's Eve, 2008 or '09.

Denver could set the record for the biggest hockey crowd in the world and establish a terrific annual holiday event.

"It's an intriguing possibility," says Jon Schmieder, executive director of the Metro Denver Sports Commission.

The Buffalo Sabres-Pittsburgh Penguins game Jan. 1 — outdoors in the Bills' football stadium — attracted 71,217, an NHL record, and was the highest-rated network game for the league in more than a decade. The largest percentage of viewers resides, obviously, in Buffalo and Pittsburgh, followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Denver, surprisingly, was fourth.

There is serious hockey interest here. The Avalanche produced the longest sellout streak in NHL history — and owns two Stanley Cup titles — and the DU Pioneers have won seven national championships, the last in 2004-05, and are ranked in the top five again this season.

The Frozen Four, the NCAA's Division I men's hockey finals, will be held at The Can on April 10-12, and all tickets are long gone. This is Denver's first college hockey championship since 1976 (when it was held at the old DU Arena).

Denver was the host of the rare and well-done 2001 NHL All-Star Game, and junior and high school hockey programs are growing in Colorado. The Detroit Red Red Wings alumni participated again last weekend in the annual Rocky Mountain Pond Championships in the Vail Valley.

So, why not a big-time "pond" game in Denver?

The Metro Denver Sports Commission, management of the Avalanche and DU coach George Gwozdecky discussed the idea of an outdoor game years ago after a Michigan State-Michigan game at Spartan Stadium brought out a (still-standing) hockey record audience of 74,544 on Oct. 6, 2001.

But the plan melted away because of cost and a variety of other issues. "We just didn't have the assets and the commitment to do it at the time," Schmieder said.

The success and popularity of the Buffalo-Pittsburgh game renewed fascination with the outdoor game here and elsewhere. The NHL, which puts on its All-Star Game in Atlanta this weekend, is pondering more stadium games in other "winter" locales.

(Miami and Phoenix don't seem logical, although Las Vegas was the site once for an outdoor NHL exhibition.)

The Post's Terry Frei wrote about the Sabres-Penguins game in Orchard Park, N.Y., and raised the question: "Why not an Avs-Red Wings game outdoors in Denver?"

So, again, why not?

The Broncos have put as many as 76,775 bodies in their stadium. An audience of 75,000 would break the world record.

"A lot of pieces would be involved," said Schmieder, whose organization has originated and overseen myriad sports events in Denver, including the most prominent, the Rocky Mountain Showdown between the Colorado and Colorado State football teams. "Our board has asked me where we stand (on an outdoor game). The genesis started with the Avs when we first talked about it, and it's really up to the Avs. If they and the NHL wanted to back it and get it going, it would be worth investigating."

Schmieder said the earlier brainstorming discussions a few years back "brought out a range of" suggestions — games involving the Avs, the Pioneers and the U.S. and Canadian women's hockey teams, figure skating competition and a national junior hockey tournament.

All are excellent proposals.

Conceivably, an entire winter festival, somewhat in the tradition of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, could be staged up to the New Year, with the games at the football stadium, the New Year's Eve celebration downtown, ice sculptures, skating clinics, an international ice show, a parade, shops, markets, food bonanzas and a mini-Olympics (figure skating, speedskating, curling, sled racing, etc., etc.) in cooperation with the USOC in Colorado Springs.

As long as Dick Lamm doesn't try to fight it and John Hickenlooper climbs on board.

"Of course, the Avs and the Pioneers would be the big ticket," Schmieder said.

I'm envisioning a nationally televised doubleheader extravaganza featuring the University of Denver and Colorado College in the first game, followed by the Avalanche against the Red Wings. Ice, Nice, Baby.

The Avs and the Wings would get a monetary bonanza (and the league the attention it continues to crave), and both college athletic programs would receive major financial assistance. Plus, with ticket sales and corporate sponsorships (with a title sponsor) the Sports Commission and local charities would be beneficiaries.

What about the Broncos? Schmieder said the setup of the ice-making equipment, which is very expensive, and the rink would take seven to 10 days before Dec. 31 (a Wednesday this year). The Broncos could schedule a road game on the 28th. Or the hockey games could be played at the baseball park (no record, but 50,000 and a LoDo bash).

If we can invite the Democrats to town for a few days, we can endure the Puckheads, too.

And the temperature (Monday notwithstanding) on Dec. 31 probably would be 70 — a perfect night for a hockey game. Let's play two.

ECHL All-Star Adrian Veideman Talks About DU

(above) DU alum Adrian Veideman will play in the ECHL All-Star game tonight. It will be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast at 8:30 MST

Q & A with Adrian Veideman

D.J. Powers of Hockey's caught up with former Pioneer Adrian Veideman at the ECHL All-Star game in Stockton, California. She has written articles for LetsGoDU in the past including the outstanding series about the 1960's era DU hockey alums that compete in the Snoopy Old Timers Hockey Tournament in California every summer. We can't thank D.J. enough, and make sure to check out Hockey Future's Website for the best coverage of tomorrow's NHL stars.

Special to Let’s Go DU
By DJ Powers

The former University of Denver Pioneer is off to a strong start to his pro career as a member of the ECHL’s Augusta Lynx. In 35 appearances this season, Veideman has posted 23 points (four goals, 19 assists). He recently was called up by the Portland Pirates and during his brief stint helped guide the Pirates to their fourth straight win.

I caught up with Adrian Veideman after the Skills Competition portion of the ECHL All-Game festivities on Tuesday in Stockton to chat about both the pros and his days at the University of Denver.

Q: So how does it feel to be here at the ECHL All-Star Game?

AV: It’s definitely an honor to be here. I’m just happy to be representing the Augusta Lynx and the ECHL at this awesome event.

Q: You scored a goal in the rapid fire competition against Daniel Manzato from the Las Vegas Wranglers. Take me through how it happened.

AV: It’s definitely a new thing for me. I’d never done anything like that before. (Laughs) It’s definitely a fun experience out there. It was kind of cool just to be out there with another guy (Tomas Kudelka of the Elmira Jackals) that I don’t even know, but we’re teammates for now and tomorrow. I just closed my eyes, took a shot and it went into the net.

Q: You recently had a stint with the Portland Pirates (AHL). What was the experience like there for you?

AV: It’s a great experience as a hockey player to get the call to go to the next level. The players at the next level are definitely bigger, stronger and faster. It’s one of the best leagues in the world. I’m just happy to get the opportunity to be up there and show them what I have to offer.

Q: When you played up in Portland, you actually had one of your former Denver teammates, Matt Laatsch, as one of your coaches. So what was that like for you?

AV: Well Matt and I are great friends and we’ve always been great friends from our Denver days. It’s great seeing him progressing his coaching career up in Portland. Our relationship up there is strictly professional, obviously. He helps me tremendously. In the summertime we hang out quite a bit. It’s definitely a neat experience to play for somebody that you’ve played with and just knowing where he came from.

Q: With Portland being the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, have you had any contact with them and have they been watching you to perhaps offer you a contract or maybe Portland offering you a contract?

AV: I’m currently under contract with Portland. I went to Anaheim’s rookie camp this summer, so they know what I offer and hopefully the future is strong.

Q: Hopefully we’ll be seeing you back up in Portland again in the near future.

AV: Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back up there and they’ll give me the call soon. But they wanted me here and I wanted to represent the Augusta Lynx for having a strong first half of the season.

Q: What are some of the specific areas, skill-wise, have you been working on since playing with Augusta?

AV: Just coming from the confidence factor. In college, I wasn’t the go-to guy. Now that I’m a professional, I’m looked to being a leader and be a go-to guy on the ice. It’s just maintaining my confidence out there as well as to continue to progress my skills.

Q: One of the things that I noticed that you did when you played at the University of Denver, was that you had played at both the forward and defense positions. In the ECHL media guide, they list you as a defenseman. Have you played up front at all this season with either Augusta or Portland?

AV: It’s interesting that you’d ask that question because usually two or three times in a game (with Augusta), I’ll go for a shift at forward, depending on how we’re doing. Up in Portland, I played a game at forward. Being a versatile player is definitely something that I think teams like. I’ll continue to maintain both aspects of the game.

Q: Do you have a preference of which position that you like playing better?

AV: Right now, I think I’m more comfortable playing back on defense. I’m still a young defenseman and I’ve only been playing defense for two years. It’s definitely something that I need to keep working at as well as maintaining my forward skills.

Q: Obviously, you came from a great program at the University of Denver. What were some of the adjustments that you had to make going from the college game to the pro game?

AV: I think the biggest adjustment that anyone has to make from the college game to the pro game is just the lifestyle within the rink. You don’t have to go to school. You don’t have to worry about studying, preparing for tests or things like that. With the pro game, you definitely play more games and you have to be mentally more ready. As far as college, it was a great experience and the pro game is too.

Q: If there were one or two things that Coach Gwozdecky has taught you that really prepared you for the pro game, what would they be and why?

AV: I think the main thing that Coach Gwozdecky has taught me was to be a leader in all aspects, not just on the ice, but off the ice as well. He has taught me to just always be helping people and to make sure that you’re seen in the community as a guy that is good on and off the ice.

Q: With your pro schedule the way it is, I realize that it’s difficult, but do you keep up with the Pioneers?

AV: I think I keep track of the Pioneers more than I do myself sometimes. Those are my roots and they gave me great opportunities there, so I’ll definitely be a Pioneer for life.

Q: What do you feel are some of the greatest memories that you have of your time with the Denver Pioneers, would say winning the national championships?

AV: Well, those are always the best and obvious memories. I think the most profound personal memory that I have of Denver is getting my degree. They gave me that opportunity and it’s something that nobody can take away from me as well the rings that I got for the national championships. Along, with those good memories, there were some bad memories. The last couple of years we fell short. Those are things that make you a stronger person and a stronger hockey player.

Q: With the Pioneers doing so well this season, that has to feel pretty good to you.

AV: It does feel great. The guys that I’ve played with the last couple of years that haven’t had as much success in their college careers as I have, it’s good to see them having some success and it makes me feel good that maybe there was something along the way that I did to help them progress and become better players and better persons.

Q: Do you miss it?

AV: Of course, I miss it. College was a very unique experience and I think every hockey player should have to go through that. Just the schooling aspect and getting that degree is something that I think everybody needs to go through. It’s definitely true.

Q: Finally, something that is very unique to Denver Pioneers hockey that I have to ask you. In your career, how many oranges and how many lemons did you win?

AV: ooh. I’m pretty sure that I only had three or four max in the orange department, but lemon-wise, I had a stint in my sophomore year where I had it for four weeks straight, but that was only because we had a bye week in there. It’s kind of neat that you would ask that question. So I definitely had more lemons than oranges.
by D.J. Powers of Hockey's

Friday, January 18, 2008

DU Alum Answers Long Awaited Call To NHL

From: Gwinnett Daily Post
by Christine Troyke

ATLANTA - DU Alum Kevin Doell stowed his elbow pads and stripped off his Atlanta Thrashers practice jersey last Thursday.

His stall in the locker room at Philips Arena is at the far end of the horseshoe, with one empty one to the right.

"You look good in blue," he's told.

"It feels pretty good," Doell answers with a grin.

Doell, who was named the ECHL Rookie of the Year while playing with the Gwinnett Gladiators on 2003-04, finally got the call on Jan. 3. It's the call every hockey player waits for. Doell got it while he was sitting on his couch in Chicago, watching his roommates - Guillaume Desbiens and Joey Crabb - play a video game.

It was just two weeks ago, but Doell has a clear memory of the details that day. These are things a player doesn't forget because it means a lifetime dream has finally coalesced into reality.

At 4 p.m. on Jan. 3, Thrashers' assistant general manager Larry Simmons phoned Doell.

Desbiens and Crabb were engrossed in a college football game on the PlayStation.

"Larry called me and said they were calling me up and had a flight for me in a couple of hours, so pack up and get to the airport," he said.

Doell, who is under Atlanta contract and has played the last three seasons with the Thrashers' American Hockey League affiliate in Chicago, had little time to get out the door. The fleet-footed forward called his parents in Saskatchewan, threw some clothes together and headed for the airport.

"A couple of suits and couple of shirts, pair of jeans and that was about it," Doell said. "I don't have a whole lot with me. But that's all right."

A massive understatement for a guy who played his first NHL game at the age of 28.

Doell arrived in Atlanta around 10 p.m. on Jan. 3 and got checked into his Buckhead hotel. He called his parents again to let them know he had arrived.

"I just pretty much tried going to sleep," Doell said with a laugh. "But it was hard that night. We had a game the next day. I wasn't sure if I was playing or not, but it was still pretty exciting."

Doell did play. He won four of six faceoffs and had one shot on goal in 9 minutes and 37 seconds of action in his pro debut against Carolina on Jan. 4.

Those stats do not reflect the full experience.

"My first shift, my legs were going 100 miles an hour," Doell said. "It didn't last too long, maybe 30 seconds. But I was skating as hard as I could, going everywhere just following the puck. I was just going wherever.

"But I settled down a little bit. You do that (chase the puck) at this level, you're going to play yourself out position and play a lot of catch-up."

It got easier as the game wore on and he adjusted to the speed of the NHL.

"I was pretty nervous," Doell said. "But I got the jitters out and tried to play my game."

To get to the NHL, Doell had to change his game. A go-to goal scorer in college and with the Gladiators as a rookie, Doell did what few players would.

According to Gwinnett head coach Jeff Pyle, Doell did what no other player would.

"He's a goal scorer that has adapted to a role that will get him to the NHL," Pyle said. "I don't know one person, I do not know one person that would do that - other than Kevin Doell.

"He's given up offense to be in the NHL."

Pyle, who has long sung Doell's praises to those at the AHL and NHL levels, watched his former player in a game against Philadelphia last week.

"It was the first time I got to see him play, but he was finishing every check," Pyle said. "He was around the net giving guys shots to start (stuff). It was typical Doeller. And I'm proud for him because he's one of the kids that understands. He works so hard."

Doell scored 62 goals and had 74 assists in four years at the University of Denver. Signed by AHL Chicago as a rookie and sent to the Gladiators, Doell had 74 points in 63 regular season games and helped Gwinnett to the conference finals. He was named the ECHL's top rookie and on June 30, 2004, the Thrashers signed him to a contract.

The center spent the majority of the 2004-05 season in Chicago. In 45 games with the Wolves, Doell had 12 points and 69 penalty minutes. In the 11 games Doell played for the Gladiators, he had 15 points and 14 penalty minutes.

"In Chicago and coming to (Thrashers training) camp here, talking to the coaches and stuff, pretty much everybody at this level can score goals," Doell said. "It's not what every team needs, a goal scorer. Some teams need a fourth-line energy guy or a third-line checker. That's the way I fit in Chicago and pretty much up here it's the same role."

Doell is fine with that - whatever gets him to the NHL.

"I don't mind it at all, not one bit," he said.

Doell, who has still accumulated a fair number points in the AHL, said he's a better player for it.

"Being in Chicago the last three years, killing penalties, made my game that much better all around," he said.

Doell has played in five games with the Thrashers and is averaging about 10 minutes of ice time. He's primarily played on the fourth line with Brad Larsen and Chris Thorburn. But Doell has also seen some time centering a line with Ilya Kovalchuk and Mark Recchi.

Reality is most certainly living up to the dream.

"It's pretty cool seeing the guys around and the actual realization that you're here," said Doell, sitting in his stall at Philips Arena, just a few hours before playing the Florida Panthers last week.

"I don't think it's really going to hit me until my playing days are done. I'll look back and think, 'Yeah, that was pretty cool.' Right now I'm kind of just in player mode, trying to do what I can to help the team."

How much longer Doell remains in Atlanta isn't certain. He was called up after left wing Eric Boulton sustained a knee injury. Boulton is back, but due to a string of injuries to other forwards, Doell was still with the team and playing in Detroit on Tuesday night.

Whatever the situation, there's no question Doell will work as hard as he can to stay. He's a 28-year-old rookie and the waiting, the wondering about when or if he would get a chance wasn't easy.

"There are definitely those thoughts that creep in," Doell said. "But once you get up here and get a little taste, you just think I want to play again, I want to play every game. You give it your all so that hopefully you make it and it's not your last one. You do your job and hopefully they like it."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bill Masterton's Death Changed Hockey Forever

(above) Bill Masterton with family

(above) Bill Masterton led the University of Denver Pioneers to NCAA titles in 1960 and '61

From: Dallas Morning News
by Bill Heika

The death of DU hockey Alum Bill Masterton 40 years ago this week was tragic, unnecessary and foolish. And it changed hockey forever.

Such is the legacy of the only man who died because of injuries caused in an NHL game.

Masterton died in a Minneapolis hospital shortly after midnight on Jan. 15, 1968, a little more than one day after the 29-year-old rookie center for the Minnesota North Stars – now the Dallas Stars – fell to the ice during the first period of a game against the Oakland Seals and suffered significant damage to his brain stem. Masterton, like virtually every other player in the NHL at the time, wasn't wearing a helmet.He'd worn one at every other level of the sport – growing up in Manitoba; at the University of Denver, where he starred in the early 1960s; playing for the U.S. national team after he gained dual citizenship; and in the minors before he retired from hockey in 1967 to settle near the Twin Cities.

An 11th-hour NHL career became possible when the league doubled from six teams to 12 that season, including a team in Minnesota. But helmets in that NHL were considered a sign of weakness.

He had played in only 38 games with the North Stars and was barely known by the league that now honors him. His memory lives on in an annual NHL award, a Stars team award and in the knowledge for players that it's never a bad idea to be safe.

Even Masterton's shocking death only began to slowly push forward the movement toward mandatory helmet use that finally was adopted in 1979 – only for incoming players. The era of bareheaded players finally ended in 1997 with the retirement of the last grandfathered holdout, Craig MacTavish.

"It's ridiculous that we thought that way back then, but we did," Ray Cullen, one of Masterton's good friends on the 1967-68 North Stars, said recently from London, Ontario. "It took Bill dying for all of us to start thinking, 'What are we doing?' "

Masterton's retired uniform number is among those on a banner that hangs from the ceiling at American Airlines Center, like it did at Reunion Arena, though Masterton never played for Dallas' Stars.

Mike Modano, who played four seasons in Minnesota, fears most Dallas fans – and probably some Stars players – don't know why Masterton's number is retired or why the NHL has a Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

"If people knew his story, I think they would better understand what he meant to the organization and to the sport," Modano said.

Lou Nanne, a longtime figure in Minnesota hockey, talked Masterton into playing for the U.S. national team.

"People in the NHL didn't get to see what Bill could do," Nanne said, "but he was a special player."

Success on, off the ice

Masterton was, in some ways, ahead of his time. College players weren't vogue in the NHL of the early '60s when he led the University of Denver Pioneers to NCAA championships in 1960 and '61.

His performance in 1961 was the stuff of legends. He tallied 80 points in 32 games – an NCAA record then – and led the way to a 12-2 victory in the national final over St. Lawrence for the biggest blowout in title game history. In 1997, Masterton was one of 21 players named to the NCAA's 50th anniversary team.

After graduation, Masterton played in the minors for a few years and also obtained a master's degree from the University of Denver. That led to a job with Honeywell in Minneapolis, and Masterton was on the fast track in business.

"There weren't a lot of guys who were educated in hockey, but Billy was a smart man," Cullen said. "It got to the point where he didn't need to play hockey."

But Masterton still wanted to play, so he rode it out for two years with St. Paul of the USHL and spent a year on the U.S. national team (playing fewer than 28 games in each of those seasons).

Many believed Masterton, at age 28, was done with hockey. But the NHL doubled in size in 1967, and that was too good a deal to pass up.

"We were all trying to catch on, and it was really hard to do back then," said Cesare Maniago, a fringe NHL goalie in the early '60s who then played regularly for nine seasons with the North Stars. "When they doubled the amount of teams, doubled the amount of jobs, you had a lot of guys who got interested again."

And Masterton, living in the Twin Cities when the North Stars were founded, was front and center. On opening night in St. Louis, he scored the first goal in franchise history.

"It was the perfect setup for him," Nanne said.

Differing accounts

There's believed to be no existing video of the Minnesota-Oakland game played on Saturday night, Jan. 13, 1968, at the Met Center in Bloomington, Minn., and there are differing accounts of the events that involved Masterton.

He liked to carry the puck through the middle of the neutral zone, then veer left or right after crossing the opponent's blue line. He would then wait for his wingers and feed one as they came speeding into the offensive zone.

Masterton made his typical play, but Seals defensemen Larry Cahan and Ron Harris read Masterton and tried to force him to give up the puck. Masterton fell backward, and the back of his bare head struck the ice.

"Cahan was a big, barrel-chested defenseman, and he just stood Bill up and ran into him with his chest," said Maniago, in net at the other end of the rink. "It was a clean hit, and Bill just went over backward. You see the hit and you see him fall, and you realize he might be hurt."

Al Shaver, the Hall of Fame announcer who called all North Stars games, said he felt Masterton's head might have landed on someone's skate. Shaver said one fan insisted for years that she saw blood coming from Masterton's head before he hit the ice.

Maniago's wife swears Masterton was out cold, as well.

"She thinks the whiplash of the hit maybe snapped his neck and his brain, and that's why he hit the ice so hard," said Maniago, who has retired to British Columbia. "She thinks he was unconscious while he was falling."

Maniago said Masterton had complained of headaches a week earlier following a hard hit. Still another report stated Masterton was awake when teammates first rushed to him and that he said, "Never again. Never again," before he lost consciousness.

Those words could be construed as Masterton second-guessing either his return to hockey or his decision not to wear a helmet.

The NHL's macho code at the time was only beginning to break down when it came to goalie masks, first introduced by Jacques Plante in 1959. Maniago said he was discouraged even in 1967-68 from wearing one.

"After Bill died, I said to heck with it," Maniago said. "I finally was able to put a mask on."

The North Stars traveled late that Saturday night to Boston for a game on Sunday. They took the better part of the day to get there and then played that night.

North Stars officials were informed of Masterton's passing in the wee hours of Monday, Jan. 15, a few hours after he died. Cullen said he was shocked the news.

"I compare it to the death of Dale Earnhardt," he said. "You never in the world think he is going to be dead. It just seemed like something you've seen a bunch before ... and then ... it just hit you really hard. He was dead."

The 1968 NHL All-Star Game was played one day after Masterton's death despite urging from North Stars personnel to at least postpone the game. The topic of helmets was paramount among the players at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens.

Chicago's Stan Mikita, the league's reigning MVP, began wearing a helmet for good soon after the Masterton tragedy. More players followed suit.

"Management was definitely against it," Mikita said of the general practice. "If you put on a helmet and your game dipped the littlest bit, then management would be telling you it was the helmet's fault."

Mikita repeated as MVP in 1967-68.

Honoring the man

Scott Masterton has fuzzy visions of his father, who died when he was only 4 years old. There are memories of eating graham crackers and honey or freezing the backyard patio to turn it into a rink, but he has actually gotten to know his father best through the stories that he has been told over the years.

"What has been great for me is that my mom was able to maintain contact with some of the players or people in management with the North Stars, and we were invited to a lot of team functions," Scott said in an interview last summer in Bloomington. "Everywhere you went, people would have great stories to tell about Dad."

Scott and his younger sister Sally were both adopted. Their mother, Carol, moved back to her native Winnipeg, Manitoba, for about six months after their father died.

"But she always told us it just didn't feel right," Scott said. "We loved it up there and we visited up there every summer, but she felt we had our home down here." Carol died in 2004.

Scott and Sally grew up in the Twin Cities area and are rearing their children there. They said the references to their father are fading, especially since the North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993. But they both work hard to maintain his memory.

The Professional Hockey Writers Association began distributing an award in his name in 1968, and it is seen as one of the most revered in the sport. It's given annually to the player who best exemplifies the characteristics of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

"I really like what the award is based on because I think that is what my dad stood for," Scott said. "There's a lot of pride in that.

Nanne calls Masterton one of the most elegant and gentlemanly people whom he ever met. Cullen said he was smart, quiet and a fierce competitor. Scott Masterton said those stories have helped shape his own life, though he spent only a short time with his adoptive father.

Scott grew up and competed in kick-boxing, winning several championships before a knee injury ended his career at, coincidentally, age 29. He said the stories of his father, and how well he treated everyone, have formed a very strong base for what has become a spiritual life.

Scott has spent much of his time teaching martial arts and studying forms of discipline and meditation. He said he is at peace with his father's role in the universe and why Bill returned to hockey only to be the victim of such a tragedy.

"If that choice hadn't been made, would so many people know about him?" Scott said. "Would he have touched people in the way that he has since he died?

"To me, it's really a story about choices. If someone had said, 'You know, there's a small chance that you would die if you do this,' I still think he would have taken the chance. You have to do what you're supposed to do, and I think he was supposed to play hockey."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mannino & Powers Share Shutout Record

(above) Peter Mannino and Gerry Powers pose between the pipes at Magness Arena on the University of Denver campus. Powers, a real estate broker who lives in Thornton, says he's surprised it took almost 40 years for someone to tie his career record for shutouts

Photo Credit: Ken Papaleo

(below) Photo of Mannino's stick. “I just simply said I’d like to share a piece of history as a Denver Pioneer and thanks for the support,” Mannino said before practice Wednesday. [click on photo to enlarge]

From: Rocky Mountain News
by: Pat Rooney

As anyone involved with sports knows, records are made to be broken.

Gerry Powers is quite accepting of this fact. The only thing that makes him wonder is why it took so long for one of his most enduring marks to come under assault.

Powers, a goaltender who helped the University of Denver to national championships in 1968 and 1969, has watched the success of his alma mater this decade slowly erase his accomplishments from the DU record book.

First, former goaltender Adam Berkhoel pulled into a tie with Powers for the most shutouts in a season (seven) when he led DU to the 2004 national championship, the program's first since Powers' 1969 team.

Now, one of Berkhoel's successors, senior Peter Mannino, is on the brink of eclipsing Powers' career record of 13 shutouts.

"Quite honestly, it has blown me away that the record has lasted as long as it did," Powers said.

"Records are meant to be broken, and I think this (DU) team can go all the way. One of the professors at DU recently told me about how Pete is just so well-respected and such a nice kid. It is nice to see it passed along. Hopefully, his mark will last almost 40 years, too."

Mannino matched Powers' career mark of 13 with a 5-0 win against Sacred Heart on Dec. 28, his fourth shutout of the season. Both goaltenders seem to be unlikely candidates to share such a prestigious record for a perennially successful program such as DU.

Powers played in an era when freshmen were ineligible for varsity play and compiled his 13 shutouts in three seasons. Mannino helped DU to the 2005 national championship as a freshman but pretty much split time with Glenn Fisher during his first three seasons, finally taking over full-time duty this season.

While Mannino has played one more season than Powers, he still has logged 12 fewer games than Powers.

"I've been fortunate to play on some really good teams," said Mannino, who will aim to take over the all-time shutout record when DU hosts league rival Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday.

"You practice to be perfect. You try to be as perfect as you can in the games. That's kind of my mind-set when I get out on the ice. Sometimes you just get in that rhythm in a game, and you've got the guys in front doing everything they need to make the game easier for the goaltender. And I've had some great players in front of me to help me out."