Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011

Johnson, Sauer named winners of Lester Patrick Award

By Nicole
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Badger women's hockey coach Mark Johnson and former Badger men's hockey coach Jeff Sauer were selected as two fo the 2011 recipients of the Lester Patrick trophy. The trophy, given by the NHL and USA Hockey, is given each year to four people and honors them for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

The New York Rangers created the award in 1966 and presented it to the NHL. It honors the memory of Lester Patrick, who spent 50 years in hockey as a player, coach and general manager and was a pioneer in the sport's development.

Johnson had an 11-year NHL career after he established himself as a premier college player, being named All-American twice. He was also the leading-scorer on the 1980 gold-medal-winning USA men's hockey "Miracle on Ice" team. But being a superb player wasn't enough for Johnson, who has coached the Badger women's hockey team to four National Championships. He was the coach of the 2010 US Olympic Women's Hockey Team that wont he silver medal. He was also an assistant coach for two men's IIHF teams.

Jeff Sauer, from Fort Atkinson, coached at Wisconsin for almost twenty years, winning two national championships. Sauer played at Colorado College, following famous Wisconsin hockey icon "Badger" Bob Johnson. He ranks eighth on the all-time wins list of college hockey coaches with more than 650 victories.

Sauer is also incredibly involved in the US Deaf Olympic Hockey Team, having coached in seven Deaf Olympics. He was recently named coach of the US Olympic Sled Hockey team.

Congrats to both men - great representatives of the state of Wisconsin and hockey.

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