1920s: Frank "Moose" Goheen
Decades in the State of Hockey
Friday, 01.08.2010 / 10:49 AM / Minnesota Wild | Hockey Day Minnesota
When “Moose” was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 1952, he became only the second American player behind “Hobey” Baker honored and the first Minnesotan. Until another State of Hockey product makes it into Toronto, he remains the arguably the state’s greatest player.Goheen was born in Saint Paul on February 9, 1894, but the family soon moved to White Bear Lake where he grew up and learned the game. After playing on White Bear’s senior team, he joined the St. Paul Athletic Club. His longtime teammate Tony Conroy recalled how it all started:
“They called a meeting of ‘anybody interested in hockey.’ I was just a kid off the Mechanic Arts High School team, but I reported. There were a lot of candidates. Moose came in from White Bear and the older guys gave him a bad time. I went down there and asked if I could get in on the action on Moose’s side. We got to be friends. We played and roomed together through our entire careers.” Minneapolis Tribune, October 19, 1975.
That would probably be the last time anyone gave Goheen a hard time as he quickly established himself as a versatile and aggressive player. Starting out as a rover in the seven-man game, he moved to all forward positions, and then moved back on defense. There was even an instance in which he had a brief appearance in goal.
Goheen spearheaded the AC’s to the MacNaughton Cup finals in their second year, 1915-16, as they finished first in the regular season and then faced Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
After WWI Army service overseas, “Moose” returned to help win another cup in 1919-20 though sharing the honors with Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Following the season, Goheen, along with teammates Conroy, Ed Fitzgerald, and Cy Weidenborner joined the U.S. team for the first Olympic tournament at Antwerp, Belgium. In late April 1920 the Americans won three games by wide margins and lost only to Canada for a silver medal finish.
The Goheen-led ACs team was in the national finals for the Fellowes Cup. While they would lose to the Boston Westminister and the following year to the Boston Athletic Association, “Moose” had helped establish the beginning of the State of Hockey. These years were two of the White Bear Lake resident’s best, as he tied for first in team scoring in 1921-22 and finished second in 1922-23. He led the AC’s in playoff scoring for the later season.
Saint Paul transitioned from major league amateur hockey into the minor professional game with the start of the American Hockey Association in 1926 and Goheen played through the 1931-32 season. He led the Saints, as Saint Paul was now called, to the AHA finals in 1929. He was named to All-Star teams in both leagues in 1923, 1924, 1925, 1928, 1929, and 1930.
“Moose” spurned major league pro offers to remain at home and continue his off-ice career with Northern States Power Company.
Goheen was named the finest hockey player produced in the state in 1950 by a local panel and was named to the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame in 1958. He was logically among the charter enshrines to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973 and died on November 13, 1979.
1910s: Frank Winters
1920s: Frank "Moose" Goheen
1930s: Doc Romnes
1940s: Frank Brimsek
1950s: John Mayasich
1960s: Tommy Williams
1970s: Bill Nyrop
1980s: Neal Broten
1990s: Phil Housley
2000s: Jamie Langenbrunner