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BEAVERS HOCKEY: Good day for golfing at Galen Nagle

BEMIDJI — On the 30th anniversary year of Bemidji State’s undefeated 1983-84 national championship season, the 2014 Galen Nagle Memorial Golf Tournament once again brought out the best in BSU hockey alumni and fans.

The 17th annual edition of the golf outing, played at Bemidji Town and Country Club, wasn’t really about the golf — on the windy Friday afternoon it would have been tough for anyone to get a decent score.

Instead, the nearly 50 BSU alumni that returned focused on the fellowship brought together by Galen Nagle and Beaver hockey. Nagle died in 1994 after a battle with cancer but his namesake tournament is one of the most popular on the calendar for BSU hockey alumni and fans alike.

“The bond between teammates from each era is strong, but the great thing with a function like this you also start getting to know guys from other eras before and after you,” said Bob Fitzgerald, who was a teammate of Nagle’s on the 83-84 team. “You find out theres just so much pride there. There’s a lot of connections and everyone just as a passion of BSU.”

That team was recently inducted into the BSU Athletic Hall Of Fame in February. Twenty seven of the 31 surviving members of the team returned for the hall of fame induction and Fitzgerald said it seemed like many of them had returned this summer.

“It’s always a good time to together in Galen’s memory, as well as the memories of the rest of our teammates who have passed on and are playing in the big pond in the sky,” Fitzgerald said. “This year being the 30th anniversary makes it special. But it’s good to come back, get together, see everyone and help the program as well.”

“Galen was a great teammate of ours,” added Joel Otto, the captain of the 83-84 team who went on to star for the Calgary Flames. “I don’t think I’ve missed a tournament since it started.”

Considering Otto, now an assistant coach for the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, settled in Calgary with his family after retiring that says a lot about players’ dedication to Nagle and the tournament.

The proceeds for the tournament go back to the hockey program and and the endowment fund set up Nagle’s name. BSU head coach Tom Serratore said this year there were around 140 golfers participating in the tournament — which is around the same number that participated in 2013.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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