“This class has had an enormously positive impact on hockey in our country,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “Their contributions have helped shape and advance our sport over many decades, and we look forward to formally enshrining each of the five honorees in December.”
ABOUT GORDON "RED" BERENSON
A storied figure in American hockey, Gordon “Red” Berenson stepped down as head coach of the University of Michigan men’s ice hockey program following the 2016-17 season after 33 years behind the bench. One of just four college hockey coaches to collect 800 career wins, Berenson helped lead the Wolverines to 22 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament from 1991-2012, marking the longest streak in college hockey history.
Over the course of those 22 years, Michigan appeared in the NCAA Frozen Four 11 times, including four consecutive appearances from 1995-98 and three straight showings between 2001-03 and 2008-11. Berenson helped return the Michigan hockey program to a regular place among the upper echelon of college hockey, winning national championships in both 1996 and 1998 while placing first or second in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) in 20 of 23 seasons from 1991-2013.
Berenson, who finished his collegiate coaching career with an 848-426-92 (.654 winning percentage) record, coached 1,366 games at the University of Michigan and captured 11 CCHA regular-season titles along with nine CCHA Tournament titles. He won the Spencer Penrose Award as the top coach in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey and the CCHA’s Coach of the Year Award in 2008. The CCHA Coach of the Year Award was the second of his career after winning it in 1994. He was also the 2016 Big 10 Coach of the Year
Berenson is one of four former Michigan ice hockey captains to coach the Wolverines. He was named an All-American for the second time in his collegiate career in 1962 when he recorded 70 points (43G, 27A) in just 28 games. The 43 goals and nine hat tricks he scored that season remain Michigan records today.
A Stanley Cup champion and six-time NHL All-Star, Berenson holds two degrees from University of Michigan – a bachelor’s degree from the School of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration. He played in the NHL for 17 years, accumulating 658 points (261G, 397A) in 987 games with the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings. He is a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor.
ABOUT NATALIE DARWITZ
Team captain for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 2007-10, Natalie Darwitz is a three-time Olympic Winter Games medalist (silver in 2002, bronze in 2006, silver in 2010), three-time IIHF Women’s World Championship gold medalist (2005, 2008, 2009) and five-time IIHF Women’s World Championship silver medalist (1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007).
Darwitz was the youngest player ever selected to the U.S. Women’s National Team at the age of 15. She received numerous honors for her international play, including being named to the IIHF Women’s World Championship Media All-Star Team four times (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009) and earning the directorate award as the top forward in 2008. In addition, she led the World Championship in goals in 2004 and 2008, points in 2008 and assists in 2009. She was named to the Media All-Star Team at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and led the tournament with seven goals. In 2008, Darwitz received USA Hockey’s Bob Johnson Award, which recognizes excellence in international ice hockey competition.
A former member of the University of Minnesota women’s ice hockey team, Darwitz set a school record with 246 points (102G, 144A) in just 99 career games, a record that still stands today. She went on to break the NCAA record for points in a single season when she tallied 114 points (42G, 72A) during her final year as a player at Minnesota. The three-time All-American and Patty Kazmaier Award finalist was named the Most Outstanding Player for her record-breaking, nine-point performance at the 2005 NCAA Tournament where she scored the game-winning goal for the Gophers with 1:08 remaining to lead them to their second national championship in as many years.
Today, Darwitz serves as head coach of the women’s ice hockey team at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. In her first year behind the bench at Hamline, the Pipers posted nine wins, the program’s most in nearly a decade. During her second season, Hamline compiled the second-best record in school history and qualified for the MIAC playoffs for the first time in 10 years. She continued to help the program grow during the 2017-18 season, guiding the Pipers to their best season ever with a 22-5-3 overall record. The club won its first-ever MIAC postseason tournament and finished third in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Darwitz was named the MIAC Coach of the Year as well as the USCHO.com D-III Women’s National Coach of the Year.
Prior to coaching at Hamline, Darwitz served as an assistant coach at her alma mater, helping guide Minnesota to its first WCHA title since she was a player. The team went on to appear in its first Frozen Four since 2006.
ABOUT LELAND "HAGO" HARRINGTON
The first American-developed player to record a hat trick in the NHL, Boston-born Leland “Hago” Harrington was a pioneer in the development of Massachusetts hockey, both as a player and coach. Reputed to be the most talented high school player at Melrose High School, Harrington joined the famed Boston AA Unicorn in the Eastern Section of the United States Amateur Hockey Association (USAHA) at age 19. In 1923, the USAHA was considered the top hockey league in the United States.
Following two seasons in the USAHA, Harrington signed a pro contract with the Boston Bruins and joined the team in late December 1925. He scored his first NHL goal – the eventual game-winner – just three minutes into his first game against the Toronto St. Patricks.
Harrington continued to haunt Toronto, notching his historic American first with a three-goal game against the St. Patricks on February 13, 1926. And after a slow start, the Bruins eventually surged into the playoff hunt with Harrington scoring seven goals and adding four assists in 26 games. Boston ultimately fell one point short of the playoffs, but the team’s winning percentage improvement over the previous season set an NHL record. Harrington went on to play 22 games with the Bruins during the 1927-28 season before beginning his career with the Providence Reds. He would get one more shot at the NHL during his career, playing 24 games with the Montreal Canadiens during the 1932-33 season where he scored a goal during an opening-round playoff loss to the New York Rangers.
Harrington went on to play with Providence of the Canadian American Hockey League (CAHL) and is remembered as one of the top players in the history of the “Can-Am” League. He led the league with 20 assists during the 1931-32 season and was a playmaker for the club until his retirement in 1936. At the time of his retirement, Harrington was the all-time CAHL points leader with 246 (126G, 120A). He helped the Reds take home CAHL titles in 1930, 1932 and 1934.
After his retirement, Harrington went on to become head coach for the Boston Olympics, a team playing in the Eastern Amateur Hockey League (EAHL). He would lead the Olympics to four consecutive EAHL championships from 1944-47 before retiring in 1949.
Harrington passed away on July 1, 1959.
ABOUT DAVID POILE
Following the 2017-18 season, David Poile became the longest-tenured general manager in NHL history, having served 36 consecutive seasons as a GM, including 21 with Nashville Predators and 15 with Washington Capitals. He is the only general manager to lead two separate clubs for 1,000 games and 500 wins and became the winningest GM in NHL history with his 1,320th victory during the 2017-18 campaign.
A four-time finalist and winner in 2017 of the NHL’s General Manager of the Year Award, Poile has guided the Predators to the Stanley Cup playoffs in four straight seasons and 11 of the past 14 campaigns, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016-17. During his 15 years in Washington, the Capitals made the playoffs 14 times.
In 2005, Poile was selected as one of four NHL general managers for the first NHL Competition Committee. He would use this role to help usher in a new era of NHL hockey with innovations such as the regular-season shootout and elimination of the red line. He was also instrumental in the league’s adoption of the instant replay rule in 1991. Poile was recognized by The Sporting News as Executive of the Year on three occasions (1982-83, 1983-84 and 2006-07).
An original member of the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group formed in 2007, Poile continues to play a pivotal role in assisting USA Hockey with the selection of players and staff for U.S. Men’s National Teams, including the Olympic Team.
He served as the general manager of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team and was the associate general manager for the U.S. squad that took home the silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. He also helped assemble the U.S. Men’s National Team that captured the bronze medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship in 2013, the third medal for the U.S. at the tournament since 1962. He served as the general manager of the U.S. Men’s National Team in 1998 and 1999 and as associate general manager in 2009 and 2010.
A 1971 graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, Poile is a member of the school’s Varsity Club Hall of Fame. He was the captain of the Huskies’ men’s ice hockey team, leading scorer and most valuable player for two of his three seasons. In 2001, he received the Lester Patrick Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to hockey in the United States.
ABOUT PAUL STEWART
The first American to referee more than 1,000 NHL regular-season games, Paul Stewart is one of the most respected officials to ever lace up the skates. He still stands today as the only American who played and refereed in the NHL after skating in 21 games with the Quebec Nordiques during the 1979-80 season.
Stewart is described by many as a man who lives and breathes the game of hockey. In February of 1998, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. He returned to the ice in November of the same year while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. He went on to serve as an ambassador for the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer campaign from 1999-2008, helping raise support and money for national and local cancer research institutes, children’s hospitals, player charities and local cancer organizations.
His love for growing the game goes beyond his work with Hockey Fights Cancer. He has served as director of the Bill Stewart Foundation for more than 20 years, helping raise money for inner city youth sports. On top of that, he builds and maintains an 80X40 rink in his backyard every winter in Walpole, Massachusetts, to give children the opportunity to skate.
Stewart was the recipient of the coveted National Association of Sports Officials Gold Whistle Award in 2001, recognizing an individual who has made tremendous contributions to his or her community and has experienced a successful officiating career. He officiated 1,010 NHL regular-season games, along with 49 games during the Stanley Cup playoffs and two NHL All-Star Games.
U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Jeremy Roenick (2010) said, as a player, “(I) felt certain that it was always about the good of the game, letting the players play fairly and safely, when I saw that Stewy was reffing. He had personality, strength of character, and an officiating style that made me and the other players feel good about him being out there with us.”
After a career filled with North American hockey, Stewart rounded out his journey as chair of officiating and advisor for discipline in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) from 2012-2015.
NOTES: U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are chosen on the basis of extraordinary contribution to the sport of hockey in the United States … The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame was incorporated in 1969 and inducted its first class in 1973. The Class of 2018 with be the 46th installed to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. To date, there are 173 enshrined members and four enshrined teams in the Hall. For information on the members of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, visit USHockeyHallofFame.com ... The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum, located in Eveleth, Minnesota, is open daily. For hours of operation and admission prices, visit USHockeyHallMuseum.comor call 800-443-7825.
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