Raising Rink Rats

 

The Herb Brooks Foundation’s Rink Rats program introduces hockey to a new population

 

By Barclay Kruse

Joe Baker played for coach Herb Brooks at the University of Minnesota from 1974-79 where he counted as teammates future 1980 Olympians Steve Christoff, Neal Broten, Bill Baker, Eric Strobel, Rob McClanahan, Phil Verchota, Steve Janaszak and Mike Ramsey. So a passerby might have been surprised on a cold day in December to see Coach Joe, as he calls himself, on a basketball court attempting to teach the basics of ice hockey to 30 fifth graders. This was not a team of select hockey players; none of these kids came to Coach Joe with a lick of any hockey experience.

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