BLOOMINGTON -- The Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s league has announced the latest honorees in its series of All-Decade Teams, as well as a Coach and Player of the Decade, in celebration of the conference’s 70th anniversary in 2021.
The 1960s were the latest decade to be featured this week.
Minnesota Duluth’s Keith Christiansen was named Player of the Decade, and Denver’s Murray Armstrong was tabbed Coach of the Decade.
Christiansen was also named to the All-Decade Team, where he was joined by fellow forwards Bill Masterton of Denver and Red Berenson of Michigan. Denver’s Keith Magnuson and Minnesota’s Lou Nanne were selected as the team’s defensemen, and Michigan Tech goaltender Tony Esposito earned the nod in net.
One of the earliest stars for UMD, Christiansen recorded 196 points from 75 goals and 121 assists in 102 games from 1963-67. The native of Fort Frances, Ontario, was awarded WCHA Player of the Year, as well as All-America and All-WCHA honors, in 1966-67, the Bulldogs’ second season as a WCHA member. His six assists against Minnesota in the inaugural game at the DECC Arena are still tied for the most by a WCHA player in a single game.
Over his 21-season tenure, Armstrong guided Denver to five national championships, including four in the 1960s. The Pioneers were a dominant force in the league over the decade, claiming five WCHA postseason titles and four WCHA regular season titles. Armstrong’s 1960-61 team is considered one of the best in NCAA history, capturing the national title with a 30-1-1 record.
As the oldest league in college hockey, the WCHA will continue to celebrate seven decades of history during the 2020-21 season. The honorees were selected by a panel of WCHA staff and media members who have covered the league.
WCHA 1960s All-Decade Team
Name, pos., school, years, hometown, stats
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