Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature / People

Hockey alums take home gold in Snoopy seniors tournament

For the first time, a team of Pioneers alumni won a gold medal at Snoopy’s Senior World Hockey Tournament in Santa Rosa, Calif. The Pioneers won the 60–64 “Marcie” division July 20 by defeating the University of Michigan Wolverines in the championship.

This year, 56 teams competed in the annual event, which was started in 1975 by Peanuts creator and hockey fan Charles Schultz.

The Pioneers dedicated their final game to retired Daniels College of Business professor James “JJ” Johnston, who has been a hockey supporter and a professor to many DU players. After the tournament, several members of the team visited Johnston, who is in a Denver hospice, to give him a tournament medal and a note thanking him for “the inspiration for the final game,” says player Bob Peers (BSBA ’66).

Since 2004, former DU hockey players have represented the University at the tournament. Prior to 2004, the team called itself the Denver Centennial Stars.

Representing the University has special significance for former Pioneers, Peers says.

“Everybody’s real proud to be part of the DU alumni group,” he says. “During the ’60s DU was a hockey powerhouse, and other players our age remember that time.”

This year the team of 15 consisted of nine former Pioneers. In the future, Peers says he hopes to recruit a team comprised exclusively of DU alumni and form a team that will compete in a younger age bracket.

Prior to the tournament, Denver-area players practiced against a much younger crowd. Three days a week, for two months, senior alumni players took the ice against current DU hockey players.

Jim Wiste (BSBA ’68) says that the much younger — and much faster players — took it easy on the old-timers because “they feel they’ll be there someday, too.”

2008 DU Pioneers Senior Hockey Team

John MacMillan (BS ’61), Boise, Idaho
Norm Kvern (BSBA ’66), Broomfield, Colo.
Bob Peers (BSBA ’66), Calgary, Alberta
Wayne Smith (BSBA ’66, MBA ’67), Palos Verdes Estate, Calif.
Don Cameron (BSBA ’67), Denver
Wayne Wiste (BS ’67), Winnipeg, Manitoba
Jim Wiste (BSBA ’68), Denver
Tom Miller (BS ’69), Mitchell, Ontario
Bill Pettinger (BSBA ’71), Victoria, British Columbia
Bob Brawley, Denver
Blake Emery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Bill Goodacre, Boulder, Colo.
Pat Hallas, Calgary, Alberta
Tom Jones, Calgary, Alberta
Peter McEwan, Denver

For a play-by-play of the final game and additional coverage of the Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament,

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