WCHA Press Releases



Christiansen, Masterton, Berenson, Magnuson, Nanne and Esposito honored
WCHA Announces 1960s All-Decade Team, Presented By Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup And Spire Credit Union
Christiansen, Masterton, Berenson, Magnuson, Nanne and Esposito honored

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Jan. 5, 2021 – Six players representing five schools have been named the WCHA All-Decade Team for the 1960s, the league announced Tuesday.

Named to the 1960s squad were forwards Keith Christiansen of Minnesota Duluth, Bill Masterton of Denver and Red Berenson of Michigan; defensemen Keith Magnuson of Denver and Lou Nanne of Minnesota and goaltender Tony Esposito of Michigan Tech.

The five skaters combined for 258 goals, 421 assists and 679 points during their careers while Esposito posted a .912 career saves percentage for the Huskies during his time in Houghton.

The WCHA will announce its 1960s Coach of the Decade on Jan. 6 and its Player of the Decade on Jan. 7.

The 1960s team is the second of seven squads that will be announced by the WCHA during the 2020-21 season. The WCHA will also honor an outstanding head coach and player from each decade as the league celebrates 70 Years of Excellence.

For more on the 1960s and the rest of the WCHA's history, visit our 70 Years of Excellence Page.

WCHA 1960s All-Decade Team
Name Pos. School Years Hometown By The Numbers
Keith Christiansen F Minnesota Duluth 1963-67 Fort Frances, Ont. 75 G/121 A/196 Pts
Bill Masterton F Denver 1958-61 Winnipeg, Man. 66 G/130 A/196 Pts
Red Berenson F Michigan 1959-62 Regina, Sask. 79 G/59 A/138 Pts
Keith Magnuson D Denver 1966-69 Saskatoon, Sask. 16 G/59 A/75 Pts
Lou Nanne D Minnesota 1960-63 Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. 22 G/52 A/74 Pts
Tony Esposito G Michigan Tech 1964-67 Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. 51 Gms/.912 Sv. Pct./2.55 GAA

Forwards

player Keith Christiansen, Minnesota Duluth (Fort Frances, Ont.), 1963-67

Named to the WCHA's Top 50 Players in 50 Year list in 2002 … Inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005 … Earned All-America and All-WCHA honors in 1966-67 … Earned WCHA Most Valuable Player honors in 1966-67 after winning the league scoring championship with 46 points on 15 goals and 21 assists in 23 league games in Minnesota Duluth's second year of WCHA membership … Shares the WCHA record for assists in a single game with six against Minnesota on Nov. 19, 1966 … Only player in UMD history to lead the team in scoring all four years of his career … His 1.92 points per game ranks second in Bulldog history while his 196 career points rank ninth … First UMD student-athlete to have his jersey retired … Inducted into the Minnesota Duluth Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the inaugural class in 1991 … Member of the 1972 Olympic silver medal-winning U.S. hockey team in Sapporo, Japan … Member of three U.S. national teams (1969, 1970, 1971) … Tallied 12 points on seven goals and five assists in international play.


player Bill Masterton, Denver (Winnipeg, Man.), 1958-61

Named to the WCHA's Top 50 Players in 50 Years list in 2002 … Named to the AHCA's All-Time West Team in 1997 … Two-time team captain for the Pioneers (1959-60, 1960-61) … Led DU to back-to-back NCAA championships in 1960 and 1961 … Two-time All-American (1960, 1961) … Two-time All-WCHA (1960, 1961) … Named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team and earned MOP honors in 1961 to cap a 30-1-1 season for the Pioneers … WCHA Scoring Champion in 1959-60 with 44 points on 17 goals and 27 assists in 17 league games … Set a then-WCHA record with 56 assists in 1960-61 that stood until 1975 and is still tied for 14th all-time in WCHA history … Ended his college career as Denver's all-time leading scorer with 196 points in 89 career games, a record that stood until 1986 and is currently tied for third in program history … Scored the first goal in Minnesota North Stars history in 1967 ... Masterton died in 1968 due to an on-ice collision in an NHL game … Following his death, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy was created and is still presented annually to the NHL player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."


player Red Berenson, Michigan (Regina, Sask.), 1959-62

Named to the WCHA's Top 50 Players in 50 Year list in 2002 … Named to the AHCA's All-Time West Team and The Hockey News All-Time WCHA First Team in 1997 … Two-time All-American (1961, 1962) … Two-time All-WCHA (1961, 1962) … 1962 WCHA Most Valuable Player … 1961-62 WCHA Scoring Champion … Set a Michigan single-season school record that still stands today with 43 goals in 1961-62 … Named to the 1962 NCAA All-Tournament Team … Recorded 10 career hat tricks for the Wolverines, which is tied for fourth all-time in WCHA history … Inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018 and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 … Named the Hobey Baker Legends of College Hockey Award winner in 2018 … Went on to a 17-year NHL career with Montreal, the New York Rangers, St. Louis and Detroit, scoring 658 points on 261 goals and 397 assists … Began his head coaching career with the St. Louis Blues and was named the NHL's Jack Adams Award winner in 1981 after leading the Blues to the Smythe Division Championship … Returned to his alma mater in 1984 to take the helm of the Michigan hockey program … Led the Wolverines to 11 Frozen Four appearances, two NCAA titles and 11 CCHA crowns … Retired following the 2016-17 season with a career collegiate record of 848-426-92.


Defensemen

player Keith Magnuson, Denver (Saskatoon, Sask.), 1966-69

Named to the WCHA's Top 50 Players in 50 Year list in 2002 … Named to the AHCA's All-Time West Team and The Hockey News All-Time WCHA First Team and All-Time Best Defenseman in 1997 … Earned WCHA Sophomore of the Year honors in 1966-67 … Two-time All-American (1968, 1969) … Three-time All-WCHA selection (1967, 1968, 1969) … Two-time NCAA All-Tournament Team selection (1968, 1969) … 1969 NCAA Tournament MOP … Led the Pioneers to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1968 and 1969 … Played 17 seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks, appearing in two NHL All-Star Games and two Stanley Cup Finals.


player Lou Nanne, Minnesota (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.), 1960-63

Named to the WCHA's Top 50 Players in 50 Year list in 2002 … Named to the AHCA's All-Time West Team and The Hockey News All-Time WCHA Second Team in 1997 … Inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998 and the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2004 … Lester Patrick Award recipient in 1989 … Earned All-America and All-WCHA honors as the Gophers' team captain in 1962-63 … Named WCHA Player of the Year in 1962-63 after winning the WCHA Scoring Championship with 32 points on nine goals and 23 assists in 20 WCHA contests … Only blueliner in WCHA history to win an outright league scoring championship … Led the Gophers to the 1961 WCHA playoff title and an NCAA Frozen Four berth … Patriarch of the only family in Gopher hockey history to feature three generations of players for the school (son: Marty Nanne; grandsons: Tyler Nanne and Vinni Lettieri) … Captain of the 1968 U.S. Olympic hockey team … Played 11 NHL seasons for the Minnesota North Stars … Served as the team's general manager from 1978-88, a period that saw the North Stars make seven consecutive playoff appearances and reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1981 … Served as the U.S. national team general manager for the 1981, 1984 and 1987 Canada Cups.



Goaltender

player Tony Esposito, Michigan Tech (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) 1964-67

Named to the WCHA's Top 50 Players in 50 Year list in 2002 … Named to the AHCA's All-Time West Team and The Hockey News All-Time WCHA First Team and All-Time Best Goaltender in 1997 … Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 … Three-time All-American (1965, 1966, 1967) … Three-time All-WCHA honoree (1965, 1966, 1967) … Only netminder in WCHA history to win three league goaltending championships … Earned NCAA All-Tournament honors as a member of Michigan Tech's 1965 NCAA championship squad … Played 17 NHL seasons for Montreal and Chicago … Five-time NHL All-Star … Three-time Vezina Trophy winner … Member of Montreal's 1969 Stanley Cup championship squad … Named to the NHL's 100 Greatest Players list in 2017.


Other Top Players of the 1960s

Forwards
Mel Wakabayashi, Michigan, 1962-67: Two-time All-WCHA honoree … 1965-66 WCHA MVP … 1965 All-American … Member of Michigan's 1964 NCAA championship squad. Lou Angotti, Michigan Tech, 1959-62: Two-time All-American and All-WCHA … WCHA MVP in 1962 … NCAA Tournament MOP in 1960 and 1962 … Scored 137 points in 68 career games.

Defensemen
George Konik, Denver, 1958-61: Two-time All-WCHA (1960, 1961) … 1960 All-American … Two-time NCAA All-Tournament Team (1960, 1961) … Posted 116 career points, which ranks sixth among Denver blueliners. Don Ross, North Dakota, 1961-65: Two-time All-American (1963, 1965) … Two-time All-WCHA (1963, 1965) … Member of two U.S. Olympic teams.

Goaltenders
George Kirkwood, Denver, 1959-61: Two-time WCHA Goaltending Champion … Two-time NCAA champion (1960, 1961) … 1961 All-American … Still holds DU single-season records for wins (30) and winning percentage (.953) set during the Pioneers' record 30-1-1 1960-61 campaign. Garry Bauman, Michigan Tech, 1961-64: Two-time All-American (1963, 1964) … Three-time All-WCHA (1962, 1963, 1964) … WCHA Goaltending Champion in 1963 … Still holds Michigan Tech record for longest undefeated streak (16 games). Gerry Powers, Denver, 1966-69: First goaltender to earn back-to-back NCAA championships in 1968 and 1969, outdueling future NHL star Ken Dryden in the latter championship game … 1968 NCAA Tournament MOP … Two-time all-WCHA honoree (1968, 1969).


Celebrating 70 Years of Excellence

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association will celebrate 70 Years of Excellence throughout the 2020-21 season. The league will name all-decade teams and players and coaches of the decade for each of its seven decades. The teams and individuals will be selected by a panel of current and former WCHA staffers and media members who have or are currently covering the WCHA. More than 200 nominees were submitted for consideration by the 21 schools that have called the WCHA home since 1951.


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About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Men's League

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, among the most historic, tradition-rich and successful conferences in all of collegiate athletics, is marking its 69th season of men's competition in 2020-21. The 10-team NCAA Division I conference consists of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Chargers), the University of Alaska Anchorage (Seawolves), the University of Alaska (Nanooks), Bemidji State University (Beavers), Bowling Green State University (Falcons), Ferris State University (Bulldogs), Lake Superior State University (Lakers), Michigan Technological University (Huskies), Minnesota State University (Mavericks) and Northern Michigan University (Wildcats). For more information, visit wcha.com.