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The Best Of John's Journal From 2020-21/ No. 3: A Circle Of Gold Is Complete

Posted: Monday, July 12, 2021 - 9:07 PM

In looking back through all the John’s Journal stories from 2020-21, three entries really stood out above the rest. It’s no surprise that those three stories are at the top of my list. But how to sort them into No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3? I really struggled with this.

Today I am unveiling No. 3, and this unbelievable story came about due to happenstance, luck, good fortune, however you wish to label it. I detail in the story, originally posted on Feb. 18, how in 2018 I had come into possession of a gold medal from the very first boys state hockey tournament in 1945. It had been found by a Minnesota native in 2018 in a Goodwill store in Texas and found its way to me. I was happy to present it to someone who owns an Olympic gold medal.

Here’s how the story began …

Phill Drobnick of Eveleth was the coach of the 2018 U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning men’s curling team. His late grandfather, Ron Drobnick, was the goalie on the Eveleth High School team that won the first MSHSL state hockey tournament in 1945.

Phill owns a large gold medal for his Olympic accomplishment. His grandpa was awarded a small gold medal as a 1945 state champion, but somewhere over the years Ron’s medal went missing. But as of today, a mystery gold medal that was given to one of the members of the 1945 Eveleth Golden Bears -- and was found by a Minnesota native in 2018 in a Goodwill store in Texas -- is in the hands of the Drobnick family, completing the circle of gold.

We don’t know if the medal once belonged to Ron Drobnick, who died in 2007. When his widow, Margaret, died in 2013, the family went through their belongings. They located Ron’s third-place medal from the 1946 state tournament but the gold medal from 1945 was nowhere to be found.

Click here to read the story:


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The Best Of John's Journal From 2020-21/ No. 2: National Honor For Kylen Running Hawk