YORKTON – You have to be a hockey fan of a certain age – most certainly a gray-haired man, or a bit of a hockey historian to know Bill Mosienko’s name.
And, even historically, he’s generally best remembered for just 21 seconds when he scored three goals in a game – setting the mark for the fastest hat trick in NHL history, a record that will never stand. probably never questioned, but there’s a lot more to Mosienko’s career.
The full story is told in a recent book Mosienko: The Man Who Caught Lightning in a Bottle by Ty Dilello.
When I picked up the book, I confess that I knew of the three-goal record and that Mosienko had been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame after a long career with the Chicago Black Hawks – 14 seasons – but he had taken he retired from the NHL half a decade before I was born so I knew few details.
Dilello has done a great job telling the story of Mosienko, from his childhood in Winnipeg through his long career to his retirement at the ‘Peg where he operated a bowling alley for years.
Dilello said he’s always “been really passionate” about hockey and as a journalist he’s written several books about the sport.
While researching, the 28-year-old author became aware of Mosienko.
“I was a bit surprised something hadn’t already been done on him,” he said in a recent interview with Yorkton This Week.
So Dilello took the job by undertaking “a deeper dive into his life.” . . I somehow contacted his family. . . They were helpful every step of the way.
Mosienko’s story is more than just an NHL Hall of Fame career, Dilello said.
“He was a great ambassador here in Manitoba for the sport,” he said.
That said, Mosienko played in the NHL in a time without a helmet, six teams and a lot of rough, tumbling hockey.
How difficult was it?
Well, Dilello talks about that in the book where he included some of Mosienko’s own thoughts.
“At first, Jack Shewchuk from Boston pushed me against the boards and I twisted my left ankle. I’ve also missed quite a bit of playing time since then, due to various injuries. In 1945-46 Bill Moe of Rangers controlled me and I had torn ligaments in my knee. Later that year, Don Grosso from Detroit banged me against the boards, which resulted in a shoulder separation.
“In the 1947 All-Star game Jim Thomson of Toronto checked me in the boards, my skate got stuck and I had a broken ankle. I also had a separation in my other shoulder; torn knee ligaments four times; a fractured toe; a fractured cheekbone – but I didn’t miss any game time – and a three-time fractured nose.
“Ted Lindsay and Elmer Lach were pretty good with the stick. Howe is playing for good. He was raised that way, and he will stop at nothing to stop you. I played against Richard for many years and he never hurt me. I never saw him start anything, but they were all over him, and he just naturally exploded.
Although they were only together for two seasons, Mosienko was for a time part of one of – if not the biggest – line combination of the era, forming the “Pony Line” with Max and Doug Bentley. of Delisle, Sask.
“The Bentleys were two of the greatest hockey players of all time,” Dilello said, adding that they were both great skaters, as was Mosienko, and all three are Hall of Famers.
The Bentleys feature quite prominently in the book, with Dilello actually spending time in Delisle with Max Bentley’s eldest son.
Dilello said he left town wondering ‘why the town doesn’t do a little more to remember them (the Bentleys)’, going so far as to suggest the arena should at least be named after the great players of the NHL.
However, the book is generally a biography telling the story of Mosienko, “from his childhood spent skating on Winnipeg’s North End rinks in the 1920s and 1930s to his illustrious fourteen-year NHL career to his back to Winnipeg to play with the Winnipeg Warriors in his career after retirement as owner of the iconic Mosienko Bowling Lanes,” the book’s www.greatplains.mb.ca editors noted.
Two things that became evident throughout the book were that Mosienko was a gifted skater and a really nice guy.
Speed was critical. Mosienko played through tough times and at 160 pounds he had to be fast just to survive, let alone thrive.
“He really embraced the craft to become a great skater,” Dilello said, adding that in his youth, Mosienko grew up as a speed skater.
In the NHL, Mosienko was widely recognized as the fastest skater in the league.
As for being a nice guy, Dilello foreshadowed this about Mosienko in his introduction where he wrote, “With this, I learned early on while writing this book that even though Mosienko was a world-class hockey player, he was more importantly a world-class player. the person. A people person, Bill was a genuine guy who just enjoyed talking to different people, regardless of background.
“It’s not at all to minimize his hockey career.
“The son of Ukrainian immigrants, Mosienko grew up on skates in Winnipeg’s tough working-class north neighborhood. He spent all his time at the local rink near his home, honing his craft by skating and throwing pucks.
In our interview, he added, “Hockey payers are pretty down to earth and Mosienko was a class above.
“I interviewed over 100 people. Nobody said anything bad about him. . . He was an absolute gem.
The same goes for Dilello’s book, which is certainly worth reading about the greatness of a hockey player who may have been forgotten in the mists of time.