10 Facts About Hockey Town USA – Warroad, MN
Warroad, Minnesota is a small town on the western shores of Lake of the Woods, just 6 miles south of the Canadian border. Known for its year round fishing, snowmobiling, deer hunting, and most especially its hockey, Warroad is the original Hockey Town USA.
- Warroad, Minnesota’s use of the term ‘Hockey Town USA” predates the Detroit Red Wing’s copyrighted slogan by about 40 years, although it is heavily debated among sources as to when exactly the term came to rest on Warroad’s shoulders. It is not, however debated that Warroad is the original Hockey Town USA despite claims from Detroit, Michigan; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Buffalo, New York.
- The Warroad’s Boy’s High School hockey team, the Warriors, have made twenty one trips to the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament, ten finals appearances, and currently sit tied with Breck and St. Paul Johnson at 6th all-time for most state championships won in the Minnesota State High School League standings with 4, their most recent coming in 2005 when they were lead by current NHL player T.J. Oshie.
- Warroad, Minnesota was home to the now defunct Warroad Lakers, later Islanders, an American Senior ice hockey team and the only American hockey team to win the Hardy Trophy (1974) and only the second American team to win the Allan Trophy(1994, ’95, ’96)
- It is home to the Christian family of hockey players: Bill, Gordon, Roger, and Dave. Bill and Roger Christian and Hal Bakke Founded Christian Brothers Hockey Company which produced wooden hockey sticks in Warroad from 1964 until 2009 when the name and rights were bought by Harow.
- Dave Christian holds the record for fastest first NHL goal scored with 7 seconds in his first appearance for the Winnipeg Jets in their game against the Vancouver Canucks on February 29, 1980.
- Gordon Christian is the only member of the hockey playing Christian family to have played in the Olympics and not won a Gold Medal, instead he won a Silver Medal in 1956 at the Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
- Warroad, Minnesota, a town of some 1,700, boasts 4 members of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame: Billy Christian (1984), Roger Christian (1989), Henry Boucha (1995), and Dave Christian (2001). The Christian brothers were also inducted as part of their Gold Medal winning teams in 2000 (Billy and Roger Christian) and 2003 (Dave Christian).
- Warroad derives its name from the path that Souix warriors would take to invade the Chippewa territory for rights to the rice fields in Lake of the Woods.
- The Marvin family remains the other family of hockey players in Warroad with Cal Marvin, the coach of the 1958 and 1965 US Men’s National Hockey Teams and member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, and Gisele Marvin, a member of the 2010 US Women’s National Hockey Team that won the Silver Medal in Vancouver.
- Gisele Marvin ranks 5th all time in Minnesota State High School League scoring with 196 goals, 229 assists, and 425 points.
~ Michael in Oregon