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Angelo Roncalli
03-01-2007, 04:26 PM
This is from the GoZags' website. Amazing stuff:

While hockey only graced the Gonzaga University campus as a varsity sport for a short period of time, its success on the ice was remembered long after they had departed the campus.

Started in 1936 when Rev. Paul Corkery, S.J., wanted a way to attract more Canadian students to campus, hockey became an instant hit in the Inland Northwest.

In 1937 Gonzaga was playing teams up and down the West Coast and in the adjoining Canadian Provinces. The Bulldogs even played against defending Big Ten champion University of Minnesota.

Over the next three seasons Gonzaga would continue to build its hockey program, culminating with the 1940 season in which Gonzaga played in two different leagues. GU played collegiately in the Pacific Coast Conference and also as a member of the West Kootenai Hockey Association, a semi-professional league made up of Canadian clubs and Gonzaga.

While Gonzaga struggled in competition against its professional Canadian counterparts, the Bulldogs did establish themselves as one of the premier collegiate programs, defeating all comers.

One of the biggest wins of the season came against the Minnesota Gophers as the Bulldogs won the contest by an 18-2 count in front of a standing room only crowd at the 3,000 seat Spokane Ice Arena located on Elm Street.

A reporter for the Spokesman-Review was quoted as saying, "The game was the hottest display of offensive hockey this town has ever witnessed."

The Bulldogs lost only one collegiate game in 1940 falling to the University of Toronto in the finals of the International Collegiate Championships in Los Angeles. During that season Gonzaga defeated squads from Seattle University, Loyola Marymount University, UCLA, USC and the University of Washington.

In the International Collegiate Championships, Gonzaga knocked off USC in the opening round and UCLA in the semifinals before the championship loss to Toronto. The Trojans would go on to win the 1941 national championship under USC Hall of Fame coach Arnold Eddy.

Following the 1940 season Gonzaga ended varsity hockey citing overwhelming financial costs while competing in two leagues. The Bulldogs were also coming off a last place finish the West Kootenai Hockey Association. An attempt to start varsity hockey took place in the mid-1960's with a couple of seasons of competition, but that quickly faded and hockey was dubbed a club sport at the university.

Despite its short-lived history, Gonzaga did produce some outstanding hockey players including one record holder in the National Hockey League. Former Bulldog goalie Frank McCool was given a tryout with the Chicago Blackhawks while still an undergraduate at Gonzaga. He turned returned to finish his collegiate days at GU before playing two seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs. McCool helped guide the Leafs to the 1945 Stanley Cup, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy for NHL Rookie of the Year. McCool also had an NHL record for shutouts in the NHL playoffs.

Also a member of that team was Cyril "Cheddy" Thompson who would later gain fame as a top collegiate coach at Colorado College. He won 153 games appearing in five National Collegiate Tournaments and winning the 1950 NCAA Championship 13-4 over Boston University. Thompson also coached Colorado College to NCAA runner-up finishes in 1952 and 1955.

GoZags
03-09-2007, 08:13 AM
Did somebody mention Gonzaga Hockey?

http://myweb.cwpost.liu.edu/bbyrne/GZPics/devoneshockey.jpg

zagco
03-17-2007, 04:40 PM
Whereabouts on Elm would that Ice Arena have been?

Birddog
03-18-2007, 05:33 PM
Whereabouts on Elm would that Ice Arena have been?

Zagco, I think it was in the vicinity of Boone and Elm. Don't hold me to that though, it was torn down when I was a small child. I think even before the Coliseum was completed which was around '54 or '55. The Coliseum replaced the ice arena as the only indoor skating facility until the one just N of Francis out by 5 mile was built.

Birddog

gamagin
03-19-2007, 11:54 AM
Birddog - Zagco, I think it was in the vicinity of Boone and Elm. Don't hold me to that though, it was torn down when I was a small child. I think even before the Coliseum was completed which was around '54 or '55. The Coliseum replaced the ice arena as the only indoor skating facility until the one just N of Francis out by 5 mile was built.
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I think you are close on the arena. somewhere in the corridor between boone and mission west of maple.

re the 5 mile reference, blv you mean the Eagles Ice Arena, which is still there. It is located at 6121 N. Addison, which is north and east (by a block or two) from the corner of francis and division. 5 mi shopping ctr is 1-2 mi. west of the Eagles Ice arena (about maple and francis).

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gamagin
03-19-2007, 12:20 PM
The Spokane-Canada GU Hockey connections, sponsorships and support continued for many years after the school dropped its hockey sponsorship.

A fair number of Canadian hockey players came to Spokane to go to school (at Gu, but also eastern, SCC etc) and play for the pro and semi pro hockey teams that evolved over the years.

I'm not the expert on this, but you probably know Gail Holden.

He played for the Spokane Hockey team (flyers?) and went to GU law school in the '60's. I believe they won the national championship one of those years. Don't recall if it was the WIHL, WHL or just what league it was, but he would know. His son Dan followed in his dad's skates, too, some 20 years later.

Another attorney and friend, Pat Murphy (RIP) was well known in spokane, played hockey at GU (he told me he came on a scholarship in the 30's) and spent the rest of his life looking out for needy Canadian hockey players to sponsor at Spokane schools. He didn't hesitate to contact his friends, either. Holden interned with Phil Thompson, for e.g., before Phil became a judge.

The Etters, max and Hal, came to GU to play hockey. Had big families and great success, too.

the point here is that tradition of bringing in Canadian hockey players is even going on today, with the Spokane youth hockey league owned by the Bretts.

These kids, however, are high school age, live in homes with spokane families, and go to schools like Ferris and LC while attempting to advance their careers.

But I think it would be fair to wrap it all around those early efforts by GU to tap into the Canadian market by offering a hockey program.

Birddog
03-20-2007, 04:35 PM
Gamagin wrote


re the 5 mile reference, blv you mean the Eagles Ice Arena, which is still there. It is located at 6121 N. Addison, which is north and east (by a block or two) from the corner of francis and division. 5 mi shopping ctr is 1-2 mi. west of the Eagles Ice arena (about maple and francis).

The Eagles arena of which you speak must be by the old Eagles Lodge. That wasn't in existence when I left Spokaloo. There was an arena just N of Francis and just E of the 5 Mile Shopping Center. I can't remember the name, but I played adult amateur there on the Maxwell House Tavern team. We went 26/1/1 in 1971. The place was built in the 60's, can't remember exactly

Birddog

Angelo Roncalli
03-20-2007, 04:52 PM
The Five Mile Ice Plaza was just north of Francis, between Ash and Maple. At one time the Porco family had an interest in the operation. I played Mighty Mites there in the late 60's. The rink closed sometime in the '80's and was turned into either a garage or a body shop.

Birddog
03-21-2007, 05:28 AM
The Five Mile Ice Plaza was just north of Francis, between Ash and Maple.
Thankyou Pontiff. With a difficult name like that, no wonder I couldn't remember.

Now do you remember precisely where the old Ice Arena on Elm was? Per Gamagin, I think maybe it was a bit N of Boone, maybe even as far N as Nora. I believe it was on a NW corner and I seem to recall that it was one of those street names that only exist on the W side of Division, like Maxwell or Spoffard.

Birddog

Angelo Roncalli
03-22-2007, 09:52 AM
I'm a little young to remember the building, BD. However, this story says it was at the corner of Elm and Maxwell. Pretty interesting story. Growing up in the Shadle area, Jerry Pettigrew's son Tom was one of my classmates at St. Francis and a good friend. Amazing to see the resemblance to his dad.

http://www.spokanehockeybook.com/images/1930S/THEWINNI.PDF

Birddog
03-22-2007, 01:23 PM
Thanks Angelo,
That was a most excellent link. It answered all my questions.

Birddog

PS Now a story or two about Gary Pettigrew would be something, but he was only a Bullpup, not a Bulldog.

jhoop
03-22-2007, 09:40 PM
I actually remember attending a hockey game in the old arena at Elm and Maxwell. It was located exactly two blocks behind and due west of the Maxwell House Tavern, Birddog's old team sponsor. I was about 7 or 8 at the time because the Spokane Coliseum was built when I was 9 and the old arena was never used for hockey again. There was a lumber warehouse located on the old site for several years until it burned down about 10 years ago.

GoZags
02-01-2008, 08:14 AM
There can't be a thread on Gonzaga Hockey history without a reference to Frank "Ulcers" McCool, the former GU goaltender who until recently held the record for 3 consecutive shutouts in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_McCool

75Zag
06-10-2008, 07:25 PM
During my freshman year at GU in 1971 -72 Gonzaga had a hockey team. I doubt it was NCAA sanctioned, and one of the best players was a guy with no front teeth who was way older than the rest of us freshmen. I think he had some NHL experience. My girlfriend (now the lovely Mrs 75Zag) and I went to watch the games at the Arena on Boone. GU played a few Canadian teams and as I recall we also played some teams from Alaska.