Heritage Society member Roger Kochevar wrote this review of IKE: Minnesota Hockey Icon. He encourages hockey fans and Range history enthusiasts to read the book.
IKE: Minnesota Hockey Legend was published by Nordin Press (St. Louis Park) in 2015 and is available on Amazon and at https://itascabooks.com/ike/.
Eveleth native and hockey legend Willard “Ike” Ikola, along with author Jim Hoey, have written a book about Ike’s career playing goal and coaching high school hockey. As a youngster in Eveleth, he learned goaltending by playing endless hours on outdoor rinks with kids of all ages. He remembers growing up in the 1930s and '40s and how much he liked playing road hockey with the neighborhood kids near his home on Jackson Street. Coach Cliff Thompson recruited the diminutive but courageous eighth-grader as a practice goalie for the high school team. Subsequently, the Eveleth Golden Bears won 50 straight games and three state championships with Ike in the nets.
He went on to be an All-American goalie for the Michigan Wolverines and while in the U.S. Air Force, he participated in the 1956 Olympic Games held in Cortina, Italy. Ike played for the silver-medal-winning 1956 U.S. team and was named outstanding goalie for the games. He enjoyed playing international hockey and finished his playing career with the 1957-58 U.S. National Team. Edina High School in the Twin Cities then provided Ike the opportunity to fulfill his ambition to teach and coach.
The story continues by describing his Edina Hornet hockey teams and coaching philosophy over the 33 years that he coached. This book is full of interesting stories and is a must-read for those interested in Eveleth’s hockey heritage.