Listen here to the Weekly Radio Readings by Sheila Winstead, RCHS Board Member or tune in to WiLD 102 Radio Sunday mornings.
Recorded March 2022
March 6, 2022:
The Roseau County Museum was recently given a book for its collection by Jim Stordahl. The book is called Tourney Time and has short stories about each of 75 years of Minnesota Boys’ Hockey Tournaments. It was written by David LaVaque and L. R. Nelson and includes statistics and interesting facts about each year’s championship. This week I’ll start reading from a story about the 1969 championship game between Edina and Warroad. Although Warroad lost that game by one point, their four goals tie a record for the most by a losing team in a championship game. The title given to that chapter is “Collision Course”, and here is the start of it.
“Stop or I’ll Shoot!”
In front of the startled state patrol officer, Henry Boucha burst out the rear driver’s-side door of the sedan and took off sprinting over the bridge spanning the Roseau River.
Boucha was in trouble of the worst kind: a Warroad kid deep in the heart of Roseau, enemy territory, ignoring commands from an agitated lawman with a firearm strapped to his waist and the authority to use it.
The standout running back for Warroad High School’s football team an ace pitcher and star slugger on the Warriors’ baseball team, Boucha was one of the finest athletes ever born in the far northern reaches of Minnesota – or anywhere in the state, for that matter.
Now he was putting his athletic prowess to the ultimate test. Could he outrun a speeding bullet?
“Stop or I’ll shoot!”
The command was bellowed again as Boucha fled, his arms and legs pumping like pistons on a locomotive. The order only fueled Boucha to run faster.
It was late summer. Football season. Boucha was a senior, and as skilled as he was at football and baseball (colleges offered him scholarships in both sports) hockey not only was Boucha’s greatest passion but also offered the most likely path to professional stardom. He had made Warroad’s varsity team as an eighth-grader, and the legend of Henry Charles Boucha, state hockey champion as a Bantam-aged (seventh-grade) star who could turn on a dime, rush the puck …listen for the rest of the story.
March 13, 2022:
Last week I started telling you a story from Tourney Time, a book donated by Jim Stordahl to the Roseau County Museum’s collection. It’s all about 75 years of the state hockey tournaments. This story comes from the 1969 matchup between Warroad and Edina. Edina’s coach was Willard Ikola, and he had been frustrated by disappointing finishes for Edina. He went on a late-night tirade during the 1968 tournament telling his team in no uncertain terms, they were done with “this consolation crap.” One of his players said, “I remember the words ‘pissed off’ being said a lot. We had never seen Ikola like that before. We were a little bit scared.”
Ikola and his longtime assistant coach Zins had served together in the US Air Force Reserve. Ikola was in California finishing out his commitment with the air force when Edina’s coaching job opened late in the fall of 1958. Ikola already had turned down multiple offers from Cal Marvin, his coach on the 1958 US national team, to coach Warroad’s high school team. Then Edina came calling, and the twenty-six-year-old Ikola took the job without so much as an interview.
The Hornets went 4-9-5 in Ikola’s first season. It would be the only losing season in his thirty-three year head coaching career. Ikola had the Hornets in the state tournaments by year two, but they were hardly ready for prime time. Despite the repeated disappointments at state, however, Ikola saw championship potential.
The first twenty-four state high school hockey tournaments were held at the St. Paul Auditorium, which held more than eight thousand spectators for hockey games. But the growing …listen for the rest of the story.
March 20, 2022:
I’ve been reading from a book called Tourney Time, for several weeks now. The Roseau County Museum received a copy of the book from Jim Stordahl for their collection. It tells about 75 years of Minnesota State hockey championship games. I’ve been reading about the leadup to the 1969 game between Warroad and Edina. I’ll read the description of the game from that book.
Edina scoring twenty-two seconds into the first period on a Rick Fretland breakaway, Warroad rallying for a 2-1 lead by the end of the first, Edina storming ahead 3-2 with two early goals in the second – all of the game’s early highlights and wild momentum shifts were reduced to mere afterthoughts when Knutson and Boucha collided against the boards in the most infamous body check in state hockey history.
Boucha, on a rush late in the second period, fired a shot on goal that Hastings steered toward the right corner. Boucha chased after the rebound, arriving at the puck a split second before Knutson.
Knutson delivered a high, hard hit. The side of Boucha’s head slammed off the Plexiglas, and the Warroad star slumped to the ice.
Boucha was still lying on the ice when Knutson, called for elbowing, headed to the penalty box. Boucha was helped up from the ice but was unable to regain his equilibrium – the ice was permanently tilted.
“I’m done,” he told Roberts before he was taken to the Met Center’s training room for examination. The Warroad coach slammed his fist on top of the boards in disgust and was crying between ..listen for the rest of the story.
March 27, 2022:
If you’ve been inspired by watching the State Hockey Tournaments this month, you’d enjoy looking through a book recently donated to the Roseau County Museum by Jim Stordahl. It’s in the research area available for people to enjoy there. I’ve been sharing some really interesting stories over the months of February and March from that book. The book is named Tourney Time and was written by David LaVaque and L. R. Nelson.
In March, the stories I’ve shared are from the games leading up to the 1969 championship game which was played between Warroad and Edina. Warroad’s star player Henry Boucha was injured by a hard elbow to the ear from an Edina player. It required his hospitalization at Ramsey County Hospital after his collapse on the ice. As you might imagine, Henry’s jersey was bloodstained and had to be cut off of him at the hospital. I’ll read you now the tale of what happened to that jersey while he was hospitalized. The writer, L. R. Nelson, called his story “Bag of Rags”.
The black-and-gold number 16 Warroad jersey, what remained of it, sat on a table next to Henry Boucha’s hospital bed. Reduced to a heap of ribbons, it was collateral damage from the infamous and devastating hit that felled the Warriors’ superstar defenseman in the 1969 state championship game.
Boucha suffered a ruptured left eardrum as a result of Edina defenseman Jim Knutson’s high and hard second-period check along the boards and was rushed to Ramsey County Hospital. Boucha’s bloodstained jersey and equipment were sliced off his torso and tossed aside as emergency room staff attended to him.
The jersey was brought to Boucha’s room, where it attracted …listen for the rest of the story.
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