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The late Mike Crupi is still honored by Minnesota with the annual Mike Crupi Most Determined Player award.
Mike Crupi, who played in 54 games for Minnesota, was born May 22, 1946, and later died in a tragic car accident on January 10, 1969. Crupi is still honored today by Minnesota with the Mike Crupi Most Determined Player award, which has been given our annually since the 1972-73 season. Senior captain Taylor Matson recently received the award for the third consecutive year.
John Mayasich, who is regarded by many as the greatest college hockey player of all-time was born May 22, 1933. Mayasich, despite playing only 111 games at Minnesota from 1951-55, is the all-time program leader in points (298) and goals (144). He is second in assists with 154. His No. 8 is the only number retired in Minnesota's storied hockey history.
Mayasich, who never played in the then six-team NHL, would star on two U.S. Olympic teams. He scored three goals in a 4-1 win against Canada in the 1956 Olympics, which would end with the U.S. claiming the silver medal. The 4-1 win was Team USA's first-ever win against Canada in Olympic competition.
Mayasich also played in the Olympics in 1960 and helped the U.S. win it's first-ever gold medal in hockey. He had a hat trick in the first game against Czechoslovakia and the Americans would go 7-0 in the tournament beating the Soviet Union 3-2 in the championship game. In addition to it being Team USA's first gold medal in hockey, it was also the first time that they had beaten the Soviets in international competition.
John Mayasich is often regarded as the best college hockey player of all-time.
"John Mayasich brought college hockey to a new plateau. He was the Wayne Gretzky of his time, and if he were playing pro hockey today, he would simply be a bigger, stronger, back-checking Gretzky. The words to describe him haven't been invented. When I say he's the best, that's totally inadequate." - John Mariucci (Read the complete story: John Mayasich and the Eveleth High School Hockey Dynasty)
"He had a great shot and was a tremendous playmaker and skater, but what set him apart was that he was the smartest hockey player I've been around. He was subtle, like a great chess master, and he made players around him better. It was like he saw the game in slow motion." - Herb Brooks (Read the complete story: The Quiet American)
"He was the best player I ever saw," - Jack McCartan (Read the complete story: Simply The Best)
"Mayasich was probably the best amateur hockey player in America." - Jack Riley (Read the complete story from the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame)
Mayasich interviewed by NHL Video at the Vancouver Olympics (YouTube)
Mayasich interviewed by Brian Williams of NBC during the Vancouver Olympics (ForgottenMiracle.com)