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MafiaMan

Your Love for Sioux Hockey

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Somebody get pathfinder to a viewing party in his neck of the woods in CO or invite him over to your house next Thursday...PRONTO!

No doubt! I would, but will be in Laramie.

I have a fun story from a few years ago. I was snorkling in Mexico, and came out of the water to the palapa restaurant where my towel and enough pesos for beer were stashed. A couple looked at my interlocking "ND" hat, and rather than say the usual "Notre Dame" comment, the guy asked when I went to school at UND. I told him. He played hockey for UND in the 60's. Damn if I didn't lose his email address and name.... He lives on Victoria Island, Vancouver...

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I'd love to post those pics to Facebook...the ones of the Gopher/UND game from many years ago...

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Cooper running around the arena with a flag when we scored. He got in lots of miles.

Danny Cooper!

He passed down the flag waving to me in '80 after he graduated midterm. I waved I another 2.5 years. I sent the flag with Dusty Carrol to the NCAA Championship for Danny to wave.

Cooper post on the Sioux sports?

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pathfinder,

Thank you for sharing your story and pictures. Very cool

Do you (or does anyone else) have any idea when this picture may have been from? I've always assumed the opponent was Michigan State.

https://www.facebook...comment_mention

I don't recognize the photographer's name. It is obvious, though that he had a press pass because it is shot from the photographer's loft.If you notice the shadows on the ice, a couple of mine also show similar shadows. This is because the Grand Forks Herald photographer had couple of slaved strobes that he would set up in the corners. Back then that was expensive equipment. They would trigger whenever he flashed the strobe on his camera. They would also trigger when I flashed my strobe.

He would get upset if I fired my camera first because his strobes took a while to recycle, so I would politely wait for him to take his shot. There would be some hot action that he didn't shoot and I would miss the shot. Finally, if there was good action I wouldn't wait to get my shot, so sometimes I would make use of his strobe lights even though my strobe was strong enough to cover the rink without them. He usually left after the first period anyway to make his deadline.

Anyway I got sidetracked. I don't think that the slaved strobes were available much before 57. I knew most of the photographers from that time until I graduated in 61. I am guessing that your photo was made sometime after that. Sovak was likely a Herald photographer unless he was poaching on the strobes like I was. I can't verify the team but Michigan State is likely. It is definitely not Michigan because they had the funny helmets and the uniforms don't look like Denver or CC.

A comment about Michigan State. Bob Peters had played freshman goalie for UND and was slated to be the starting goalie for the 57-58 season. However during the preceding summer, Peters made a trip to Detroit to try out for the Red Wings. The Red Wings paid his expenses which made him ineligible for NCAA sports.

Everyone thought they saw the hand of Emil Bessone, coach of Michigan State, in this drama. The result was they had to draft Bob Peabody to play, bad knees and all, for a season before they could get another varsity goalie. [Remember that any new recruit had to play a season on the freshman team before being eligible for the varsity.] Michigan State was enemy no.1 after that and on their first visit afterward Bessone was hung in effigy from the rafters of the barn.

Hayduke: You are welcome to post my photos on Facebook.

Thanks Guys for all the kind comments. I was afraid that I might be taking too much band width.

I believe. I believe in fate. The Fighting Soo will win the next two games!

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This is a great thread, nice work everyone.

My love of Sioux hockey began in 86-87 when I was a very young kid, attending games with my dad, as we shared a season ticket package with someone else. Sat in the top row of section Z and I loved it! Quite the season to start watching. It is part of my life, will always be, and I am sharing my passion for it with my own kids now.

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Thanks, Pathfinder!

Keep telling us those great stories! I love hearing about the history of UND hockey. I've only been following them for 36 years or so! :) I told some kid today about how much I paid for tuition my first semester. He told me that he loved to hear about history! Man, I felt old.

You, sir, make me feel young! (I hope you take that the right way.)

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How about the days before internet, and listening to Tim H. broadcast road games, listening to the entire post game in bed with a transistor radio under the covers. Listening to the post game show live from the fabulous Westward Ho after home games as a kid with Tim and. Swyg I believe. Anyone remember this?

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This is a great thread, nice work everyone.

And to think farce poobah almost ruined it...

Just kidding, fb...some really great stories on this thread.

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I don't recognize the photographer's name. It is obvious, though that he had a press pass because it is shot from the photographer's loft.If you notice the shadows on the ice, a couple of mine also show similar shadows. This is because the Grand Forks Herald photographer had couple of slaved strobes that he would set up in the corners. Back then that was expensive equipment. They would trigger whenever he flashed the strobe on his camera. They would also trigger when I flashed my strobe.

He would get upset if I fired my camera first because his strobes took a while to recycle, so I would politely wait for him to take his shot. There would be some hot action that he didn't shoot and I would miss the shot. Finally, if there was good action I wouldn't wait to get my shot, so sometimes I would make use of his strobe lights even though my strobe was strong enough to cover the rink without them. He usually left after the first period anyway to make his deadline.

Anyway I got sidetracked. I don't think that the slaved strobes were available much before 57. I knew most of the photographers from that time until I graduated in 61. I am guessing that your photo was made sometime after that. Sovak was likely a Herald photographer unless he was poaching on the strobes like I was. I can't verify the team but Michigan State is likely. It is definitely not Michigan because they had the funny helmets and the uniforms don't look like Denver or CC.

A comment about Michigan State. Bob Peters had played freshman goalie for UND and was slated to be the starting goalie for the 57-58 season. However during the preceding summer, Peters made a trip to Detroit to try out for the Red Wings. The Red Wings paid his expenses which made him ineligible for NCAA sports.

Everyone thought they saw the hand of Emil Bessone, coach of Michigan State, in this drama. The result was they had to draft Bob Peabody to play, bad knees and all, for a season before they could get another varsity goalie. [Remember that any new recruit had to play a season on the freshman team before being eligible for the varsity.] Michigan State was enemy no.1 after that and on their first visit afterward Bessone was hung in effigy from the rafters of the barn.

Hayduke: You are welcome to post my photos on Facebook.

Thanks Guys for all the kind comments. I was afraid that I might be taking too much band width.

I believe. I believe in fate. The Fighting Soo will win the next two games!

Thank you for your response pathfinder,

Sovak is a buddy of mine who attended UND 2002-2006, if memory serves correctly (I owe him thanks in fueling my fire for Sioux hockey, as well). He was actually helping me link the picture here (and telling me to go to the Adult Learning Center for Computer 101), as I was having worlds of trouble! The picture was given to me by a good friend who owns an antique shop here in Minot. You can see some damage to the photo, which is from the 2011 flood. He gifted it to me after we found it cleaning out his garage post flood. Unfortunately, the vintage Playboy magazines were not salvageable. The reason I've always assume the opponent was Michigan State was the few letters I can make out on the goalie's jersey.

I just read your original post, and response to mine, aloud to my wife and two sons. Many "oohs and aahs" and I still have goosebumps. Truly great stuff!

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You folks have to deal with a younger story :p

Coming from the Southwest corner of Minnesota, I hadn't heard much of UND or Fighting Sioux Hockey. The stories of UND I heard was the old days of the NCC where USD/SDSU/NDSU and UND all battled in football and basketball from my dad and grandpa (and all of the dead animals you can throw). I was a basketball and football guy. My High School did have hockey, but it was ranked well behind both basketball teams, football and volleyball. (our girls hockey teams made state a couple times while I was in HS). I wasn't a very big hockey fan, so of course after visiting a few colleges, I made my decision to attend UND.

I came on campus in the Fall of 2009 and quickly adapted to the culture. I went to football, volleyball and basketball games like I always have. I had heard stories from my dad, who had toured the Ralph on business, just how nice it was. I knew that I wanted to get tickets and learned more about the hockey team.

My freshman year was the infamous year where the ticket department decided to have a camp out for the tickets. Lets just say for about 4 hours in a hot sun, crammed butt to gut just to get into the single file line, to get the wristband to hold your spot in line. Sleeping in the uncomfortable ground, getting woken up at 130 in the morning to check your wristbands and being hearded out. The morning after seeing all the beer cans, passed out people, people running shoeless to McDonalds to get breakfast while in line. Running on 4 hours of sleep, it was all worth it as I got my season tickets (which of course was the opposite of the people of my floor).

I went home for the 1st series to take care of a few loose ends, but awaited the next weekend. UND/Minnesota... I rocked my white out shirt as I stood in line and got immediate schooled on the ins and outs of Sioux Hockey. When 607 came, I got my first taste of the Ralph.... and I loved it. I got my spot in lower and watched UND stomp a mud hole into the Gophers. The Beer song, the band, the Sioux Yeah Yeahs. I maybe not have been a hockey guy back then, but I knew about tradition. After that game, it was set.

Over the past 5 years I have seen a lot of highs and lows, memories and friends made, and voices lost. Watching the Pony Express leading us to the Frozen 4, but then having my heart broken in the dorms watching them lose to Michigan. Having the Final 5 included in my TV watching as I watched March Madness. Watching them getting 3 straight Broadmoors, all the fights with the Gophers, Badgers, Pios. Being apart of a group that brought signs for Mark Mac, Mitch Mac, MacWilliams, Rocco, Knight, and Yes even Tate. The painful loss against Yale. Buying my Black Sioux Jersey and then a black bomber hat to match. The night we broke out the Business Suits at home against St. Cloud my Sophomore year and putting up 5 goals in the 1st period was nuts. Last year the Badger game where the dead Badger was chucked on the ice.Even in the new conference I know who is who. I have added UND hockey to my vast knowledge of sports.

My biggest accomplishment was of course getting my girlfriend hooked too, Halloween Weekend 2011 against St. Cloud. Like me, she was hesitant, but by the end of the night she was hooked too. She came with me from time to time, and learned by my side.

As time as passed and I have aged and my friends have graduated or will graduate, I look back fondly and wouldn't trade it for the world. I look forward to next year getting season tickets, graduating hopefully next Spring with my Masters, and looking to come back from time to time to take in a game. As long as the Blue Moon is flowing of course :D

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You folks have to deal with a younger story :p

Coming from the Southwest corner of Minnesota, I hadn't heard much of UND or Fighting Sioux Hockey. The stories of UND I heard was the old days of the NCC where USD/SDSU/NDSU and UND all battled in football and basketball from my dad and grandpa (and all of the dead animals you can throw). I was a basketball and football guy. My High School did have hockey, but it was ranked well behind both basketball teams, football and volleyball. (our girls hockey teams made state a couple times while I was in HS). I wasn't a very big hockey fan, so of course after visiting a few colleges, I made my decision to attend UND.

I came on campus in the Fall of 2009 and quickly adapted to the culture. I went to football, volleyball and basketball games like I always have. I had heard stories from my dad, who had toured the Ralph on business, just how nice it was. I knew that I wanted to get tickets and learned more about the hockey team.

My freshman year was the infamous year where the ticket department decided to have a camp out for the tickets. Lets just say for about 4 hours in a hot sun, crammed butt to gut just to get into the single file line, to get the wristband to hold your spot in line. Sleeping in the uncomfortable ground, getting woken up at 130 in the morning to check your wristbands and being hearded out. The morning after seeing all the beer cans, passed out people, people running shoeless to McDonalds to get breakfast while in line. Running on 4 hours of sleep, it was all worth it as I got my season tickets (which of course was the opposite of the people of my floor).

I went home for the 1st series to take care of a few loose ends, but awaited the next weekend. UND/Minnesota... I rocked my white out shirt as I stood in line and got immediate schooled on the ins and outs of Sioux Hockey. When 607 came, I got my first taste of the Ralph.... and I loved it. I got my spot in lower and watched UND stomp a mud hole into the Gophers. The Beer song, the band, the Sioux Yeah Yeahs. I maybe not have been a hockey guy back then, but I knew about tradition. After that game, it was set.

Over the past 5 years I have seen a lot of highs and lows, memories and friends made, and voices lost. Watching the Pony Express leading us to the Frozen 4, but then having my heart broken in the dorms watching them lose to Michigan. Having the Final 5 included in my TV watching as I watched March Madness. Watching them getting 3 straight Broadmoors, all the fights with the Gophers, Badgers, Pios. Being apart of a group that brought signs for Mark Mac, Mitch Mac, MacWilliams, Rocco, Knight, and Yes even Tate. The painful loss against Yale. Buying my Black Sioux Jersey and then a black bomber hat to match. The night we broke out the Business Suits at home against St. Cloud my Sophomore year and putting up 5 goals in the 1st period was nuts. Last year the Badger game where the dead Badger was chucked on the ice.Even in the new conference I know who is who. I have added UND hockey to my vast knowledge of sports.

My biggest accomplishment was of course getting my girlfriend hooked too, Halloween Weekend 2011 against St. Cloud. Like me, she was hesitant, but by the end of the night she was hooked too. She came with me from time to time, and learned by my side.

As time as passed and I have aged and my friends have graduated or will graduate, I look back fondly and wouldn't trade it for the world. I look forward to next year getting season tickets, graduating hopefully next Spring with my Masters, and looking to come back from time to time to take in a game. As long as the Blue Moon is flowing of course :D

Always good to see a fellow SW Minnesota native on board!

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. . . The picture was given to me by a good friend who owns an antique shop here in Minot. You can see some damage to the photo, which is from the 2011 flood. He gifted it to me after we found it cleaning out his garage post flood. Unfortunately, the vintage Playboy magazines were not salvageable. The reason I've always assume the opponent was Michigan State was the few letters I can make out on the goalie's jersey.

. . .

hoser:

I checked my 1960 annual and the patterns on the uniforms of Michigan State in those photos match up with the Sovak photo. While it is possible it could be one of mine, after over fifty years I am unable to recognize it. That photo appears to be ca. 1961 give or take a couple of years. From the low contrast I would say that it looks more like it was made from a news print. I think I would give credit to the Herald photographer.

Your photo does not appear in my 1960 annual. If anyone has a copy of the 1961 annual and it appears in there, it would be one of my shots. Otherwise . . . Press cameras and big strobes were on their way out by the mid-60s when news editors began accepting 35mm work where fast film and fast lenses eliminated much of the need for powerful strobes.

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hoser:

I checked my 1960 annual and the patterns on the uniforms of Michigan State in those photos match up with the Sovak photo. While it is possible it could be one of mine, after over fifty years I am unable to recognize it. That photo appears to be ca. 1961 give or take a couple of years. From the low contrast I would say that it looks more like it was made from a news print. I think I would give credit to the Herald photographer.

Your photo does not appear in my 1960 annual. If anyone has a copy of the 1961 annual and it appears in there, it would be one of my shots. Otherwise . . . Press cameras and big strobes were on their way out by the mid-60s when news editors began accepting 35mm work where fast film and fast lenses eliminated much of the need for powerful strobes.

pathfinder,

I'm not sure I can thank you enough for looking into it, much appreciated. GO SIOUX!!!

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My dad started taking me to games in the early 80s....82 it seems from the torn ticket stubs stuck in my childhood scrapbooks along with pins and buttons and programs of games gone by.

The memories of the old ralph and that glorious smell of hockey ingrained into the cement under alternating green and white seats is something ill never forget.

the whooping and hollering of my dad when the Sioux scored.....dropped a huge hit....or got into a scuffle.....looking up at dad and sharing the pure joy of the moment with him was such a special time.

Dad isnt gone but does live far away now but now I take him to games when it works out in madison or our trip to the mariucci

I remember running out on the ice to pick up all the plastic cups after a game.

We went to the last playoff game at home in 87 and after dad stood by and let me get every player to sign their name by their pic in the program.....still have that in the safe.

I love to take my sons now to the game and watch them jump in joy when a goal is scored. ....or a big hit....or a scuffle on the ice.

......in a way, in those moments, my dad is there too...with us, one joyous memory intertwined with the present. An experience shared beyond a single game but generationally,..a tradition....a love Sioux hockey that cant be taken from him from me from my sons by any organization or retirement.

The Fighting Sioux tradition of excellence isnt just a team or a town or a moment in time, its a institution that grows and lives in our love for the game.

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favorite memory of the old ralph...

-Team reunion weekend in the mid 90's where I accidently bumped into THE MAN - Mr. Ralph Engelstad...walking around the old concourse, by himself, no entourage around, just him. They were going to have an alumni game later that day and I, very nervously, asked him...."umm.. Mr. Engelstad - are you going to hit the ice tonight?" Ralph replied without a pause - "Son, the only ice I'm going to hit tonight will be in a highball glass." I laughed, gave him a goofy smile and walked away shaking. (no !@#$)

favorite memory in the new ralph...watching the Fox Sports North pre-game show from the Ralph in the NCAA regional were the infamous comment was made "the only team that doesn't belong in this tournament is Holy Cross" - watching the upset, hearing and living the reaction, and catching sight of Kevin "UNIBROW" Gorg in the arena with his face buried in his hands knowing he had to rationalize this loss to goofer-nation PRICELESS!!!!!! Thank god he was able to eventually expense his brow-shaping! He earned it.

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Also, that story is amazing pathfinder. It's incredible to read some of the history about the past that our program has had.

If there is anyone else out there with a similar story as to what pathfinder has....don't be scared to post! I know there are a lot of people with great history and knowledge of the program that read the forum, but have never posted.

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Wow

The varied backgrounds and histories of forum contributors only enhances the fabric of the fan experience. I've been a big Fighting Sioux hockey fan for quite a while but I realize how much I missed (coming on to the scene in fall of 1984) when we hear stories from people like Pathfinder, Farce Poobah, Siouxman, Sprig, and many others I'm neglecting to mention but who deserve to be mentioned. Those stories add so much to the board.

Thanks very much to everyone for sharing your stories, and please continue to do so. While the team passes along the history and legacy of the program within the locker room, it's fans who pass along the history and culture (to an extent) through shared experiences and stories told on this forum and elsewhere.

I continue to be THANKFUL for the access to the sport and the program that we have now, vs what used to be available to us. I grew up in South Dakota, and my best friend and I used to watch North Stars playoff hockey games on a dinky tv in his Dad's electronics repair shop in his basement, downing Miller ponies whenever the North Stars scored. I think we were the only 2 people in SD who cared about hockey. No one skated in town. Those farm boys were damn good at wrestling though. :)

Anyway, after a couple of years of community college I showed up in Grand Forks in the fall of 1984 not knowing anything about the UND hockey program until a friend mentioned to me that they were "good".

I don't remember my first game but I know I was hooked from the get-go. Fridays it was Buck Pitchers at the Spud, then rush home to the dorm to get food before the cafeteria closed, and then off to the game. A little more partying and hopefully I'd feel good on time to enjoy eating again before the Saturday game.

My senior year we had a house on Columbia, and a few of us would pool our pennies (yes, we were so broke we split the money for the hamburger/cheese) to make tacos, and then run off to the game. Between periods, on occasion, we'd run off to a friend who had an apt close by and have a drink or two (because we could!) and then slip back in to the game.

I don't have a lot of specific memories of games, but i do recall the one time I actually feared for my life. It was Sioux-gopher weekend, and we were all lined up outside the old Ralph waiting for the doors to open. Of course the place was PACKED, and when they opened the doors the crowd surged forward. I literally was not in control of my movements, and my feet were nearly picked up off the ground. I just tried to make sure I didn't get sucked down under the crowd and got carried along with the mass of humanity. I knew if I somehow stumbled I'd have been trampled but we were so tightly packed I probably couldn't have fallen over anyway!

My first couple of years I was just trying to figure out the game. Tony Hrkac played for the Sioux in 1984-1985 but wasn't the dominant player he was a couple years later. I didn't notice him so much as I was so busy trying to learn what was going on on the ice that I didn't recognize individual efforts as much. But I remember my buddy being pretty excited to hear he was back in 1986-1987 after playing for the Canadian National Team. And I certainly noticed how far superior he was to most of his peers that year.

But after leaving Grand Forks for Mpls after graduating in 1987 it became much more difficult to stay in touch with the program.

When the Sioux came to town I often was able to get tickets to old Mariucci and attend games, but it wasn't too long before the Sioux program had a bit of a down period. There was no coverage of the Sioux in Mpls (other than a paragraph in the weekend papers about the results from the night before). There was no internet to get news about recruiting, to hear stories about the team. I could have probably ordered a subscription to the Herald but in those days that probably didn't even occur to me.

So it became difficult to stay as attached in that period from the late 1980's to the mid-1990's. And frankly, there were times where the performance of the team was not so inspiring. I remember watching some games at Mariucci and feeling like the Sioux team had a few good players and not so many others, and that there were a lot of individual efforts but not a lot of great team play/inspired team play. I really am sorry that I missed the Greg Johnson era as he was a special player too.

I remember having some optimism when Dean Blais was hired as coach. Not because I thought Blais would change things but I felt it was time for a change, any change. I did question Blais' resume when he was hired but was willing to see how things play out. And it didn't take long to start seeing changes.

MN was playing up in GF in 1996 I think. They were on a long winning streak. I wore a Sioux shirt and headed to Champps because that was the only way to see the game on tv for me. The place was packed with MN fans assuming they'd walk over this young Sioux team. I ended up not making a lot of noise, just sitting in a corner and smiling (self preservation) as the Sioux swept MN that weekend and I sensed the worm may be turning.

The Final Five victory over MN in 1997 is one game I'll never forget. I've never been so nervous or keyed up. We were way up in the 2nd deck but I still remember Armbrust scoring that winning goal and just going crazy. Following that, watching the 1997 National Championship at an almost deserted Champps in Maple Grove with a close friend.

I remember the heartache of the NCAA losses the next two years, and the scales balancing out with the 2000 win over BC. How sweet that would be wouldn't be realized for a few years until we'd suffered further ups and downs involving BC.

It doesn't get much better than marching through downtown Mpls with the UND band singing In Heaven There Is No Beer from the Target Center to a fan rally after winning the 2000? Final Five championship.

After that 2 close friends and I got tickets to the Final Five every year. That tournament has become much more than a collection of hockey games for us. It's once chance all year we've been able to get together (one friend has work obligations that even prevent that every other year) The memories made will stay with us for the rest of our lives and we look forward to making more memories now that things have moved to the Target Center.

In the late 1990's the internet became a larger part of our lives. I found Tony? Kvalevog's message board and that really enhanced the ability to stay tuned to Sioux hockey. Not long after that I found this site/forum which is a fantastic service provided by the generosity of Jim Dahl. Add to that getting GF Herald coverage on-line, Brad Schlossman's most excellent blog, Goon's world, Dave Berger's blog articles and it's almost like I'm right there in Grand Forks full time. The ability to "stay connected" has really enhanced the fan experience in ways that were not possible 20 years ago.

Through these forums I've met some good friends that I would never have met. No hockey game should be an "important" part of one's life. But it's not the game that's important here.

It's about the experiences and relationships.

It's about making memories.

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The first Sioux hockey message board was the creation of Toby's brother Shane. I posted there a lot until it faded away and, after some years on USCHO, I fell in with this motley crew at SS.com

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My first experience with Sioux hockey was watching games on PBS in the early-mid 80s. Been a fan ever since.

i remember boyd christensen commentary he was actually not bad

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i remember boyd christensen commentary he was actually not bad

one of my first sioux hockey memories was a ncaa tourney gAme on pbs, iwabucci was in net and the sioux were playing colgate i believe and boyd christensen was doing commentary i believe. I was pretty young maybe 8 or 9 at the time

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