BLOOMINGTON -- The Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s league has announced a new slate of 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 1970s were the latest decade to be featured this week.
Wisconsin’s Mark Johnson was selected Player of the Decade, and Minnesota’s Herb Brooks garnered Coach of the Decade.
Joining Johnson at forward on the All-Decade Team were Michigan State’s Tom Ross and Michigan Tech’s Mike Zuke. Minnesota Duluth’s Curt Giles and Wisconsin’s Craig Norwich were named the team’s defensemen, and Denver’s Ron Grahame was tabbed as goaltender.
Playing under his father Bob Johnson, Mark Johnson finished his three-year career with 256 points (125g-131a) in 125 career games with the Badgers. His career points total ranks No. 11 in league history while his goal total is No. 6 all-time and his assist total is tied for 24th in WCHA history. Wisconsin won its first national championship during Johnson’s freshman season in 1976-77.
Johnson forewent his senior season to suit up for the 1980 U.S. Olympic team at Lake Placid, where he would lead the team in scoring with 11 points en route to a stunning gold-medal finish. He is now in his 18th season as the head women’s hockey coach at Wisconsin.
While behind the bench at Minnesota, Brooks guided the program to its first three national titles in 1974, 1976 and 1979. The Gophers claimed four WCHA postseason titles and one regular season championship under Brooks as he compiled a seven-season record of 167-97-18 from 1972-79.
Brooks will forever be remembered for coaching the 1980 U.S. Olympic team to the gold medal following a shocking upset win over the Soviet Union. Fourteen members of the team, including Mark Johnson, hailed from WCHA schools. Brooks later led the U.S. to a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics.
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 1970s All-Decade Team
Name, pos., school, years, hometown, stats
Mark Johnson, F, Wisconsin, 1976-79, Madison, Wis., 125 G/131 A/256 Pts
Tom Ross, F, Michigan State, 1972-76, Detroit, Mich., 138 G/186 A/324 Pts
Mike Zuke, F, Michigan Tech, 1972-76, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 133 G/177 A/310 Pts
Curt Giles, D, Minnesota Duluth, 1975-79, The Pas, Man., 36 G/125 A/171 Pts
Craig Norwich, D, Wisconsin, 1974-77, Edina, Minn., 42 G/126 A/168 Pts
Ron Grahame, G, Denver, 1969-73, Victoria, B.C., 120 Gms/.898 Sv. Pct./3.24 GAA