By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News
Posted 7/23/19 (Tue)
When it comes to sports,
For all these years, UND has been the holy grail of hockey in
Just think about some of the groundbreaking efforts that have taken place in
High school hockey
The state had a string of teams from the larger cities until Hazen became sanctioned by the North Dakota High School Activities Association.
About the same time, St. Mary’s High School in
Suddenly, teams in
Both East and West teams are now very competitive and don’t be surprised if we see Bismarck Legacy, Watford City and Mayville-Portland joining the high school ranks.
Former NHL players
When we think about former NHL players who have become coaches, the first name that comes to mind is Mike Peluso, who singlehandedly built
Ironically, he grew up just 70 miles north of
In addition to Peluso, there have been four very successful coaches who have either lived in
Perhaps the most successful is Gino Gasparini from UND. He spent 16 seasons with the Fighting Sioux, winning three national championships in 1979, 1982 and 1987. Gasparini also played for UND in the mid 1960s.
A native of
Dave Hakstol coached UND for 12 years until he was hired to be head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2015.
Hakstol didn’t win any national championships, but he compiled an impressive 289-141-43 overall record.
He played at UND from 1989-92, then went on to play for the minor league Minnesota Moose and Indianapolis Ice, the same professional team Wayne Gretzky played for initially.
Grant Paranica has a storied career in hockey as well. He is currently the head coach at Grand Forks Central and was a four-year player with UND. He started out in his hometown of North Battleford,
There’s also Dean Blais, a native of
Serge Gambucci was also affiliated with Grand Forks Central for many years. After growing up in
He spent 15 years as head coach of Grand Forks Central, winning 10 state championships.
When he left high school hockey, he became a professional scout at UND games.
From zero to 11 teams in just a few years, the girls program in the state was inspired by UND’s women’s program.
Monique and her twin sister Jocelyne Lamoureux grew up in
All these people have inspired a lot of kids to take part in hockey and make it a successful sport.