Local artist Terrence Fogarty outdid himself with the 22nd edition of his painting that graces the boys’ hockey state tournament program.
The tournament, beginning with Wednesday's Class 1A quarterfinal games at the Xcel Energy Center, turns 75 this year. Fogarty, the event’s Norman Rockwell, delivered a collection of historical artifacts that provide a road map of sorts through the decades.
Here on Star Tribune's new Puck Drop blog, we will skate you through a couple highlights. There’s the first championship trophy, awarded in 1945 to Eveleth. Players nicknamed it “Bozo” and polished it on the train ride home.
Below that is Willard Ikola’s houndstooth hat. After playing goaltender on three Eveleth championship teams (1948-50), Ikola returned to the scene as Edina’s head coach. He wore the hat, nicknamed “Champ” for all eight state titles he won with Edina/Edina East from 1969-88.
The mix of old and new continues with portraits of enduring tournament legends Henry Boucha of Warroad and John Mayasich of Eveleth front and center. Old-school dynasties such as International Falls and St. Paul Johnson (Fogarty’s alma mater) are represented.
But new-school fans will recognize the Bloomington Jefferson No. 15 jersey. Three Bianchi brothers wore No. 15 and each played on one or more title teams in 1981, 1989 and 1992-94. The jersey in the painting was worn by youngest brother Joe.
There’s Dave Spehar’s No. 33 jersey. Three hat tricks in as many games in 1995 makes the jersey number oh-so-perfect.
And the black helmet to the far right recognizes Lakeville North’s undefeated 2015 championship team.
Like visiting with familiar season-ticket holders or venturing down West 7th to Cossetta’s restaurant, Fogarty’s program covers have become part of the tournament’s fabric.
Fogarty and his wife, Karen, will use the four-day tournament as their art gallery.
“People tell me they look forward to coming down to see the work, and I guess that’s what you want,” Fogarty told the Star Tribune in 2017. “You like that affirmation that they associate seeing the artwork at the tournament with the whole experience of going to the tournament. That means a lot to any artist.”
Check out the key below to discover the rest of what the program cover holds. Programs cost $5 and this year's is something special.