John Mayasich

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Olympic medal record
Men's Ice hockey
Competitor for  United States
Silver1956 Cortina d'AmpezzoIce hockey
Gold1960 Squaw ValleyIce hockey
 
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Olympic medal record
Men's Ice hockey
Competitor for  United States
Silver1956 Cortina d'AmpezzoIce hockey
Gold1960 Squaw ValleyIce hockey

John Edward Mayasich (born May 22, 1933 in Eveleth, Minnesota) is a former American ice hockey player. He was a member of the U.S. ice hockey team that won a silver medal at the 1956 Winter Olympics and a gold medal at the 1960 Winter Olympics.

While attending the University of Minnesota, Mayasich set the NCAA tournament record for most points scored in a game with eight against Michigan in 1954. Mayasich won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association scoring title in 1954 and 1955 and was an All-American three years in a row at his university.[1]

Mayasich was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989. Number 8 has been retired in his honor by the Minnesota Golden Gophers men's ice hockey program, the only former Golden Gopher to be so honored. In 2011, Mayasich was ranked No 1 on the Minneapolis Star Tribune's list of "Minnesota's 100 Greatest Players in High School Hockey History".[2]

Career[edit]

He attended Eveleth High School in Eveleth, Minnesota and participated in a number of sports. During his high school hockey career he set many individual records and helped his team achieve additional team records that stand even today. Among those records are the 46 total points he recorded at numerous state tournament games and helping his team win four consecutive state championships from 1948-51.[3]

John was a member of the 1956 Winter Olympics team that won the silver medal and the 1960 Olympic team that won the gold medal. Mayasich played on both the 1956 Olympic silver medal team in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy and the 1960 Olympic Gold Medal team in Squaw Valley, California.

The Eveleth, Minn., native is the Gophers' all-time leading scorer with 144 goals and 154 assists in 111 games played. That comes out to an average of about 1.3 goals per game. Mayasich is a hockey legend—and an inventor. He was the first to use what's become the most recognizable staple of hockey: the slapshot. "I really can't remember the first time I used it," Mayasich said. "It was a big advantage for me, and it wasn't too long until others in the league began to use it. It was the equivalent to the jump shot in basketball." Not only did Mayasich destroy records in the college ranks—he still owns all Minnesota scoring records—he was equally lethal in the high school ranks. Mayasich still holds most state tournament records, but a pair of Gophers, Dave Spehar and John Pohl, have since broken his all-time career scoring mark. But as coach Doug Woog said, it still takes nothing away from Mayasich's accomplishments. "We drew the parallel with Dave Spehar," Woog said. "He (Spehar) was the most contemporary state tournament phenom; he had three hat tricks. John had seven. His numbers are phenomenal."

Mayasich briefly pursued a professional hockey career, playing some minor league hockey for the Green Bay Bobcats and Minneapolis Millers. It is possible that his American citizenship, coupled with the "old boys club" environment fostered in the National Hockey League's Original Six era, caused him to be blacklisted from the NHL.[4]

Trivia[edit]

John Mariucci once said "John brought college hockey to a new plateau. He was the Wayne Gretzky of his time. And today if he were playing pro hockey, he would simply be a bigger, stronger, back-checking Gretzky."[citation needed]

Awards and honors[edit]

AwardYear
All-MCHL Second Team1951–52
All-MCHL First Team1952–53
All-WIHL First Team1953–54
AHCA All-American1953–54
All-WIHL First Team1954–55
AHCA All-American1954–55

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]