John’s Journal: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Memories
One Year Ago, State Hockey Stars (71 Years Apart) Shared A Moment
Posted: Friday, March 10, 2023 - 2:38 PM
This story was originally posted one year ago, during the 2022 boys state hockey tournament. It's worth revisiting...
The photograph has been seen hundreds of thousands of times online. On the MSHSL Facebook page the photo had nearly 600,000 views by late afternoon Saturday. On my Twitter account alone it had been seen more than 200,000 times.
There’s nothing else like it, because the photo of two people shaking hands, an 88-yard-old man and a teenage boy, encompasses both the history of high school hockey in Minnesota and the reverence for the game’s stars. And the smile on the young man’s face is absolutely priceless.
The whole thing began when Prior Lake defeated Cretin-Derham Hall 6-0 in Thursday’s Class 2A state quarterfinals at Xcel Energy Center. The game’s star was Prior Lake senior Alex Bump, who had five goals and one assist.
Watching from the stands was John Mayasich, who is probably the biggest name in the history of high school hockey in the state. Playing for Eveleth in the 1951 state tournament, he set records that still stand for goals in one game (seven), goals in one period (four), most goals in one tournament (15), most career goals at state (36 from 1948-51), as well as records for most points in a period (5), points in a game (8), in one tournament (18) and during a tournament career (46).
Yes, THAT John Mayasich.
John and his son Dan came to the Prior Lake locker room after the game. Dan introduced his dad to Lakers coach Joe Pankratz. John asked, “Is that number 19 around?”
The answer was yes. Alex was introduced to Mr. Mayasich, who told him with a grin, "You almost bumped my record.”
Dan Mayasich took the photo.
Pankratz said, “It was a pretty cool moment that Alex probably will not appreciate for years.”
None of the Lakers players knew who John was. After John and Dan left, the coaches gave the kids a quick history lesson. They told the players to find the state tournament records because “You'll see his name everywhere,” Pankratz said.
Pankratz and assistant coaches Matt Sartor and Matt Crist also stood with Mr. Mayasich for a photo, which they treasure.
It’s pretty incredible when you look at that photo of two high school hockey stars who set the tournament on fire … 71 years apart.
--MSHSL media specialist John Millea has been the leading voice of Minnesota high school activities for decades. Follow him on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and listen to "Preps Today with John Millea” wherever you get podcasts. Contact John at [email protected]