It's a milestone year for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Wednesday, it will induct its 50th anniversary class at a dinner in St. Paul, adding five more plaques to its museum in Eveleth.
The Hall's golden anniversary features several gold-medal honorees. Steve Cash was a three-time Paralympic champion, while Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and her sister Monique Lamoureux-Morando helped put the U.S. atop the podium at the 2018 Olympics. Rochester native Jim Johannson oversaw a string of American teams that earned 34 international titles. The fifth inductee, goaltender Ryan Miller, won 391 NHL games — the most of any American-born netminder.
The late Warren Strelow, a pioneering goaltending coach with deep Minnesota ties, will be honored with the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the U.S.
The event: Wednesday, 7 p.m., St. Paul RiverCentre. Tickets for the induction ceremony, emceed by longtime NHL announcer Gary Thorne, are sold out.
The trailblazer: The first Paralympic athlete named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Cash's dominance in goal helped the Americans become a world powerhouse in sled hockey. The Missouri native spent 16 seasons on the U.S. team, winning 119 of the 150 games he played while leading his teams to three Paralympic golds and five world championships. A member of four U.S. Paralympic teams, Cash surrendered only three goals in his Paralympics career — and shut out all five opponents at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
The executive: Johannson was an accomplished player, winning the 1983 NCAA title with Wisconsin and making the U.S. Olympic teams in 1988 and 1992. He found his true calling in a suit and tie.
As USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, Johannson oversaw the creation of U.S. teams for major international tournaments including the Olympics and world championships. The Americans won 64 medals, including 34 gold, during his tenure. He also helped institute the American Development Model, which has guided the growth of young players.
A graduate of Rochester Mayo High School, Johannson was 53 when he died unexpectedly of a heart ailment in 2018, only three weeks before he was to lead the U.S. men's team as its general manager at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The twin titans: The Lamoureux twins of Grand Forks, N.D., have always been inseparable. On the ice, each provided a key goal in the Americans' gold-medal victory over Canada at the 2018 Olympics. Off the ice, their bold leadership helped bring greater resources, respect and recognition to women's teams.
The sisters began their college careers with the Gophers, but they transferred to North Dakota after one season. During their 14 years with the U.S. women's team, they won six world championships, two Olympic silver medals and the 2018 Winter Games gold, secured by Monique's game-tying goal in the third period and Jocelyne's spectacular game-winner in a shootout.
They were equally impactful in their efforts to improve the women's game. The Lamoureux twins were among the players who threatened to boycott the 2017 world championships, which forced USA Hockey to increase its support for its women's programs.
The super stopper: Miller won two of his sport's most prestigious honors: the 2001 Hobey Baker Award as the top player in men's college hockey, and the 2010 Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goaltender. A two-time Olympian, he backstopped the U.S. to the silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games, going 5-1 and setting U.S. Olympic records with a .946 save percentage and 1.30 goals-against average.
After his college career at Michigan State, Miller played 796 NHL games, with stops in Buffalo, St. Louis, Vancouver and Anaheim. He ranks first in victories (391) and second in shutouts (44) among American-born goalies.
Lester Patrick Trophy: Strelow, a St. Paul native and former Gophers goaltender, revolutionized the way goaltending was taught — and thousands of American netminders have benefited. After serving as goalie coach for the 1980 "Miracle On Ice'' team, he became the first full-time goaltending coach in the NHL. Strelow died in 2007 at the age of 73.