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Associated Alumni

First UNB goalie mask donated back to the university

In 1967, Frank Morrison (BPE’71, MEd’98) played his first game as a junior Varsity Red Devils goaltender - without a mask. Although it had been close to 10 years since goalie masks were worn in professional hockey, many university goaltenders were still playing without one.

“It wasn’t common practice for university goaltenders to wear masks in those days,” says Morrison.

During the playoffs in the spring of 1968, Morrison broke his nose from a puck to the face. “It was painful, really painful,” he says. “I didn’t want to experience anything like that again.”

That summer, Morrison and fellow teammate Don MacIntyre purchased a kit and made a goalie mask.

“It was basically a fiberglass mix and we just had to add water,” says Morrison. “Donny covered my face with the mixture and it had to dry for a couple of hours. The smell was the worst part of it. After that, there was some chiseling and shaping to get it right.”

“You’ll notice that the nose part is crooked,” says Morrison. “It was molded around my broken nose. We also made the eye holes big because we felt that it was important for me to see my feet. Looking back, that probably wasn’t the best idea.”

Morrison believes that his was the first mask to be worn by a Varsity Red Devils hockey player.

“It felt pretty good on,” he says. “It did its job according to the standards of the day.”

He said that wearing the mask made him more confident and cut down on injures from sticks to the face.

“Slap shots were starting to get popular at that time,” adds Morrison. “Masks were becoming a necessity.”

Following his year on the junior men’s hockey team, Morrison played two years as a goalie with the Varsity Red Devils men’s hockey team. He played his last game in March 1970 against the St. Thomas Tommies.

“I have so many fond memories of playing hockey and attending UNB,” says Morrison. “I’m still in contact with my old teammates and classmates. In fact, it was teammates Alan Andrews and Gordon Tweedy who suggested I donate my mask to the university. I feel that even though I’m parting with it, a piece of me will always be with UNB. I hope they’ll get some use out of it.”

Morrison has donated the mask in memory of his former coach and friend Bill MacGillivray, who passed away in 1997.

Back to Alumni News Direct - March 2016