Quantcast
skip navigation

Out of the shadows

08/29/2011, 10:01am CDT
By Loren Nelson, Editor

Playing alongside Henry Boucha, Top 100 pick Al Hangsleben earned statewide acclaim in 1969

Al Hangsleben

Born: Feb. 22, 1953

H.S. Class: 1971

Position: Defenseman

Rank
86

Status: Retired

Top 100 Scoring System

HOMETOWN HIGH SCHOOL COLLEGE
Warroad Warroad North Dakota

Notable stats

State Tourney Appearances State Titles All-State Tourney NHL Draft
1969, 70 None 1969, 70 56th overall pick (Montreal, 1973)

108

  • High School | Max 185

    104 points

  • State Titles | Max 10

    0 points

  • Post H.S. Career | Max 5

    4 points

Warroad's Al Hangsleben was sophomore who played starring role in 1969 state tourney thriller


Al Hangsleben, right, rarely left the ice during Warroad's state tournament appearances in 1969 and 1970. Star Tribune file photo

Warroad drove south to St. Paul in the spring of 1969, bringing with it a buzz unlike the state tournament had ever experienced.

For Twin Cities hockey fans, Warriors defenseman Henry Boucha wasn’t so much a hockey player as he was a mythic figure who could skate from end to end in a single stride. To say state hockey fans were excited to finally see Boucha in person is an understatement along the lines of noting Everest is “a big mountain.”

Even as Bouchamania swept through Bloomington’s Metropolitan Sports Center, fans began to take notice of another Warroad defenseman.

Like Boucha, a sophomore named Alan Hangsleben rarely left the ice. Hangsleben didn’t yet have Boucha’s size or rushing skills, but his rink savvy and ability to move the puck quickly out of the Warriors’ zone helped propel Warroad all the way to the championship game against Edina.

“I remember in the lobby of our hotel there was a huge crowd of fans and coaches and players, and everyone was talking about how good this other guy was who was playing with Boucha,” said Jim Hoey, a state high school historian and author who played on Greenway’s 1969 state tournament team. “(Hangsleben) was a much different player than Boucha was. He was a clever passer and he could see the ice really well. He never made mistakes.”


Al Hangsleben was a fan favorite with the WHA's New England Whalers and NHL's Washington Capitals during his 10-year pro career.

Hangsleben grew up on a farm outside Warroad. His introduction to hockey came in the form of a cardboard box his mom brought home from an auction. Inside the box was an old pair of skates.

“They were three or four sizes too big for me,” Hangsleben said. “So I stuffed some socks in the ends.”

A nearby ditch, which Hangsleben said provided a patch of ice no bigger than 5 feet by 20 feet, served as his first skating rink.

“That was big enough,” Hangsleben said. “At that age you were probably more down than you were up anyway.”

Hangsleben said he was just 5-foot-7, 165 pounds in high school. His father, though, was a big man –– standing all of 6-1 and weighing in at 250 pounds of muscle packed on muscle.

Like his father, the younger Hangsleben was farm-raised strong. When he wasn’t tossing bales of hay, Hangsleben was boosting 90-pound sacks of potatoes into trucks for delivery.

All those “workouts” helped mold Hangsleben into a middle linebacker on the football team and pitcher and catcher on the baseball team. College recruiters from around the nation and representing all three sports were lining up to acquire his services. Hangsleben said he could have gone to Arizona State to play baseball.

Hangsleben’s future was in hockey. That was clear even during his sophomore year playing in the immense shadow cast by Boucha.

In what many high school fans and historians consider one of the most thrilling games in state tournament history, Boucha was injured and left the ice during the second period of Warroad’s championship showdown with Edina.

With Boucha gone and Warroad trailing 4-2, there seemed little hope the Warriors could keep the game close, much less win.

The pro-Warroad crowd was stirred to life by Frank Krahn, who scored twice in the second period –– the second goal coming on an assist from Hangsleben –– to tie the score at 4 heading into the third.

“To this day I still get chills and shivers thinking about it,” said Hangsleben, who hit the post with a shot in overtime. “Our whole home town, they say it is 1,300 people but it’s probably closer to 1,000. We got down there and we played in front of 18,000. We had never seen that many people before.

“The first goal Edina scored (22 seconds into the game), we still had our mouths open looking at the crowd.”

The Hornets eventually won in overtime, but Hangsleben had made enough of an impact to be named to the all-tournament team. He was named to the all-tournament team again the following year, as a junior, when Warroad lost to Edina in the quarterfinals and eventually finished in sixth place.

Hangsleben scored three points during the 1969 tournament and four more in the 1970 tourney. Warroad was upended by East Grand Forks in the Region 8 semifinals in 1971, but Hangsleben’s career was far from over.

A growth spurt transformed Hangsleben from a 5-7, 165-pound senior into a 6-1, 190-pound freshman at the University of North Dakota. He played three seasons for the Fighting Sioux, when he scored 92 points (37 goals, 55 assists). He was inducted into the hockey program’s Hall of Fame in 2006.

Hangsleben, who lives in Lothian, Md., and is the longtime general superintendent for a roofing company, played 185 regular-season games in the NHL, most of them for the Washington Capitals. He also played 334 games in the WHA during his 10 seasons as a pro.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Hockey Hub editor

Minnesota's Top 100

  • 27
  • Simply the best

  • 11/22/2011, 10:15am CST , By Loren Nelson, Editor
  • Eveleth's John Mayasich, No. 1 on the Top 100 list, never lost game in four high school seasons
  • Read More 27
  • 2
  • Playmaking maestro

  • 11/21/2011, 10:08am CST , By Loren Nelson, Editor
  • Roseau's Neal Broten, a Top 100 pick, was superb passer with uncanny rink vision
  • Read More 2
  • 3
  • Ultra wheels

  • 11/20/2011, 10:03am CST , By Loren Nelson, Editor
  • Silky stride took South St. Paul Top 100 pick Phil Housley to two state tournaments, NHL stardom
  • Read More 3
  • 7
  • Electric Warrior

  • 11/18/2011, 10:07am CST , By Loren Nelson, Editor
  • Top 100 pick Henry Boucha of Warroad, an ironman defenseman, had flair for the dramatic
  • Read More 7
  • For the like of Ike

  • 11/16/2011, 10:02am CST , By Loren Nelson, Editor
  • Eveleth sharpshooters enjoyed friendly rivalry with Top 100 goaltender Willard Ikola
  • Read More

Making History Blog

  • Get your Top 100 artwork

  • 11/22/2011, 11:57am CST , By MN Hockey Hub staff
  • Deck out your desktop with wallpapers to celebrate the new season, including Top 100 finale
  • Read More
  • Mike Polich times two

  • 08/17/2011, 11:04pm CDT , By Loren Nelson, Editor
  • Hub took wrong turn in Utah before tracking down former Hibbing super sniper
  • Read More

Most Popular Stories

  • 1
  • Quarterback on ice

  • 11/10/2011, 10:03am CST , By Loren Nelson, Editor
  • Top 100 pick Craig Norwich of Edina East was defenseman brimming with offensive flair
  • Read More 1
  • For the like of Ike

  • 11/16/2011, 10:02am CST , By Loren Nelson, Editor
  • Eveleth sharpshooters enjoyed friendly rivalry with Top 100 goaltender Willard Ikola
  • Read More

Minnesota's Top 100 Players

Rank Name School Grad. Pos. Born Status St. Titles Mr. Hockey College Olym. NHL
1 John Mayasich Eveleth 1951 F 5/22/33 Retired 1948, 49, 50, 51 NA Minnesota (1951-55) 1956, 1960 -
2 Neal Broten Roseau 1978 F 11/29/59 Retired - NA Minnesota (1978-81) 1980 1,099 gms; four teams; 80-97
3 Phil Housley South St. Paul 1982 D 3/9/64 Retired - NA - 2002 1,495 gms; eight teams; 82-03
4 Tim Sheehy International Falls 1966 F 9/3/48 Retired 1964, 65, 66 NA Boston College (1967-70) 1972 27 gms; DET, HAR; 77-80
5 Henry Boucha Warroad 1969 D 6/1/51 Retired - NA - 1972 247 gms; four teams; 71-77
6 Mike Antonovich Greenway 1969 F 10/18/51 Retired 1967, 68 NA Minnesota (1969-72) - 87 gms; three teams; 75-84
7 Willard Ikola Eveleth 1950 G 7/28/32 Retired 1948, 49, 50 NA Michigan (1951-54) 1956 -
8 Mike Crowley Bloomington Jefferson 1994 D 7/4/75 Retired 1992, 93, 94 1994 Minnesota (1994-97) - 67 gms; ANA; 97-01
9 Dave Spehar Duluth East 1996 F 11/7/77 Retired 1995 1996 Minnesota (1996-00) - -
10 John Matchefts Eveleth 1949 F 6/18/31 Retired 1948, 49 NA Michigan (1950-53) 1956 -
11 Kyle Rau Eden Prairie 2011 F 10/24/92 Active 2009, 11 2011 Minnesota (2011- present) - -
12 Aaron Broten Roseau 1979 F 11/14/60 Retired - NA Minnesota (1979-81) - 748 gms; six teams; 80-92
13 Craig Norwich Edina East 1974 D 12/15/55 Retired 1974 NA Wisconsin (1974-77) - 104 gms; three teams; 79-81
14 John Pohl Red Wing 1998 F 6/29/79 Retired 1997 (Class 1A) 1998 Minnesota (1998-02) - 115 gms; StL, TOR; 03-08
15 Gary Sargent Bemidji 1972 D 2/8/54 Retired - NA Bemidji State (1972-73) - 402 gms; LAK, MIN; 75-83
16 Bob Krieger Edina 1970 F 10/5/52 Retired 1969 NA Denver (1970-74) - -
17 George Pelawa Bemidji 1986 F 2/14/68 Deceased - 1986 - - -
18 Bill Nyrop Edina 1970 D 7/23/52 Deceased 1969 NA Notre Dame (1970-74) - 207 gms; MON, MIN; 75-82
19 Tom Chorske Minneapolis Southwest 1985 F 9/18/66 Retired - 1985 Minnesota (1985-89) - 596 gms; seven teams; 89-00
20 Steve "Pokey" Trachsel Duluth Cathedral 1969 D 4/16/51 Retired 1966, 67, 68, 69 (Catholic) NA Minnesota-Duluth (1969-73) - -
21 Scott Bloom Burnsville 1986 F 2/6/68 Retired 1985, 86 1986 finalist Minnesota (1986-90) - -
22 Phil Hoene Duluth Cathedral 1967 F 3/15/49 Retired 1965, 66, 67 (Catholic) NA Minnesota-Duluth (1968-71) - 37 gms; LAK; 72-75
23 Corey Millen Cloquet 1982 F 4/29/64 Retired - NA Minnesota (1982-87) 1984, 1988 335 gms; five teams; 89-97
24 Reed Larson Minneapolis Roosevelt 1974 D 7/30/56 Retired - NA Minnesota (1974-77) - 904 gms; six teams; 76-90
25 Bob Young Hill 1971 D 3/1/53 Retired 1970 (Indep.) NA Denver (1971-75) - -
26 Brad Shelstad Minneapolis Southwest 1970 G 9/14/52 Retired 1970 NA Minnesota (1970-74) - -
27 Mike Ramsey Minneapolis Roosevelt 1978 D 12/3/60 Retired - NA Minnesota (1978-79) 1980 1,070 gms; three teams; 80-97
28 Matt Cullen Moorhead 1995 F 11/2/76 Active - 1995 finalist St. Cloud State (1995-97) - 966 gms; five teams; 98- present
29 Bill Baker Grand Rapids 1975 D 11/29/56 Retired 1975 NA Minnesota (1975-79) 1980 143 gms; four teams; 80-83
30 Paul Martin Elk River 2000 D 3/5/81 Active - 2000 Minnesota (2000-03) 2006 487 gms; NJ, PIT; 03- present
31 Wally Grant Eveleth 1945 F 12/8/27 Retired 1945 NA Michigan (1945-46, 47-50) - -
32 Brian Bonin White Bear Lake 1992 F 11/28/73 Retired - 1992 Minnesota (1992-96) - 12 gms; PIT, MIN; 98-00
33 Larry Olimb Warroad 1988 D 8/11/69 Retired - 1988 Minnesota (1988-92) - -
34 Dave Langevin Hill-Murray 1972 D 5/15/54 Retired 1970, 72 (Indep.) NA Minnesota-Duluth (1972-76) - 513 gms; three teams; 79-87
35 Joe Bianchi Bloomington Jefferson 1994 F 8/17/75 Retired 1992, 93, 94 1994 finalist Wisconsin (1994-98) - -
36 Peter Fichuk International Falls 1965 F 4/8/47 Retired 1964, 65 NA Minnesota (1966-69) - -
37 Jon Casey Grand Rapids 1980 G 8/29/62 Retired 1980 NA North Dakota (1980-84) 425 gms; three teams; 83-87
38 Doug Woog South St. Paul 1962 F 1/26/44 Retired - NA Minnesota (1963-66) - -
39 Darby Hendrickson Richfield 1991 F 8/28/72 Retired - 1991 Minnesota (1991-93) 1994 518 gms; five teams; 94-04
40 Paul Ranheim Edina 1984 F 1/25/66 Retired 1984 NA Wisconsin (1984-88) - 1,013 gms; five teams; 88-03
41 Steve Christoff Richfield 1976 F 1/23/58 Retired - NA Minnesota (1976-79) 1980 248 gms; three teams; 79-84
42 T.J. Oshie Warroad 2005 F 12/23/86 Active 2003, 2005 (Class 1A) 2005 finalist North Dakota (2005-08) - 184 gms; StL; 08- present
43 Scott Lecy Rochester John Marshall 1977 F 4/8/59 Retired 1977 NA Wisconsin (1977-81) - -
44 Scott Bjugstad Irondale 1979 F 6/2/61 Retired - NA Minnesota (1979-83) 1984 317 gms; three teams; 83-92
45 Mike "Lefty" Curran International Falls 1962 G 4/14/1944 Retired 1962 NA North Dakota (1965-68) 1972 -
46 Joe Micheletti Hibbing 1973 F 10/24/54 Retired 1973 NA Minnesota (1973-77) - 158 gms; StL, COL; 79-82
47 Rob McClanahan Mounds View 1976 F 1/9/58 Retired - NA Minnesota (1976-79) 1980 224 gms; three teams; 80-84
48 Nick Leddy Eden Prairie 2009 D 3/20/91 Active 2009 2009 Minnesota (2009-10) - 46 gms; CHI; 10- present
49 Tom Pederson Bloomington Jefferson 1988 D 1/14/70 Retired - 1988 finalist Minnesota (1988-91) - 240 gms; SJ, TOR; 92-97
50 Dave Christian Warroad 1977 F 5/12/59 Retired - NA North Dakota (1977-79) 1980 1,009 gms; five teams; 80-94
51 Jay North Bloomington Jefferson 1980 F 6/26/62 Retired - NA Harvard (1980-84) - -
52 Paul Johnson Breck 1953 F 5/18/36 Retired - NA - 1960, 1964 -
53 Pete Waselovich International Falls 1973 G 11/15/54 Retired 1972 NA North Dakota (1973-77) - -
54 Tom Kurvers Bloomington Jefferson 1980 D 9/14/62 Retired - NA UM-Duluth (1980-84) - 659 gms; seven teams; 84-95
55 Mark Osiecki Burnsville 1986 D 7/23/68 Retired 1985, 86 - Wisconsin (1997-90) - 93 gms; four teams; 91-93
56 Mark Pavelich Eveleth 1976 F 2/28/58 Retired - NA UM-Duluth (1976-79) 1980 355 gms; three teams; 81-92
57 Mark Parrish Bloomington Jefferson 1995 F 2/2/77 Active 1994 1995 finalist St. Cloud State (1995-97) 2006 722 gms; seven teams; 98- present
58 Bryan "Butsy" Erickson Roseau 1978 F 3/7/60 Retired - NA Minnesota (1979-83) - 351 gms; four teams; 83-94
59 Roger Christian Warroad 1956 F 12/1/35 Deceased - NA - 1960, 1964 -
60 Bill Christian Warroad 1956 F 1/28/38 Retired - NA - 1960, 1964 -
61 Trent Klatt Osseo 1989 F 1/30/72 Retired - 1989 Minnesota (1989-92) - 782 gms; five teams; 91-04
62 Erik Rasmussen St. Louis Park 1995 F/D 3/28/77 Retired - 1995 Minnesota (1995-97) - 545 gms; three teams; 97-07
63 Robb Stauber Duluth Denfeld 1986 G 11/25/67 Retired - NA Minnesota (1986-89) - 62 gms; LAK, BUF; 89-95
64 Joe Dziedzic Minneapolis Edison 1990 F 12/18/71 Retired - 1990 Minnesota (1990-94) - 130 gms; PIT, PHX; 95-99
65 Ryan McDonagh Cretin- Derham Hall 2007 D 6/13/89 Active 2006 2007 Wisconsin (2007-10) - 40 gms; NYR; 10- present
66 Craig Johnson Hill-Murray 1990 F 3/18/72 Retired - 1990 finalist Minnesota (1990-93) 1994 557 gms; five teams; 94-04
67 Matt Hendricks Blaine 2000 F 6/17/81 Active 2000 2000 finalist St. Cloud State (2000-04) - 137 gms; COL, WSH; 08- present
68 Wally Chapman Edina 1982 F 7/6/64 Retired 1982 NA Minnesota (1982-86) - -
69 Bob Paradise Cretin 1962 D 4/22/44 Retired - NA Saint Mary's (1962-66) 1968 368 gms; four teams; 71-79
70 Ben Hanowski Little Falls 2009 F 10/18/90 Active - 2009 finalist St. Cloud State (2009- present) - -
71 Damian Rhodes Richfield 1987 G 5/28/69 Retired - NA Michigan Tech (1987-90) - 309 gms; three teams; 90-02
72 Eric Strobel Rochester Mayo 1976 F 6/5/58 Retired - NA Minnesota (1976-79) 1980 -
73 Dick Dougherty International Falls 1950 F 8/5/32 Retired - NA Minnesota (1951-54) 1956 -
74 Gino Guyer Greenway 2002 F 10/14/83 Active - 2002 Minnesota (2002-06) - -
75 Jim Amidon International Falls 1963 F 2/18/45 Retired 1962 NA Colorado College (1964-67) - -
76 Karl Goehring Apple Valley 1996 G 8/23/78 Retired 1996 NA North Dakota (1997-01) - -
77 Rube Bjorkman Roseau 1947 F 2/27/29 Retired 1946 NA Minnesota (1948-51) 1948, 1952 -
78 Tony Bianchi Bloomington Jefferson 1989 F 12/15/70 Retired 1989 - Minnesota (1991-94) - -
79 Oscar Mahle International Falls 1957 F 8/22/39 Deceased 1957 NA Minnesota (1959-61) - -
80 Mike Randolph Duluth Cathedral 1970 F 11/5/51 Retired 1967, 68, 69 (Catholic) NA - - -
81 Aaron Ness Roseau 2008 D 5/18/90 Active 2007 2008 Minnesota (2008-11) - -
82 Doug Palazzari Eveleth 1970 F 11/3/52 Retired - NA Colorado College (1970-74) - 108 gms; StL; 74-79
83 Nick Checco Bloomington Jefferson 1993 F 11/18/74 Retired 1992, 93 1993 Minnesota (1993-97) - -
84 John Rothstein Grand Rapids 1975 F 10/28/56 Retired 1975 NA UM-Duluth (1975-79) - -
85 Gary Wood International Falls 1965 D 9/28/46 Deceased 1964, 65 NA - - -
86 Al Hangsleben Warroad 1971 D 2/22/53 Retired - NA North Dakota (1971-74) - 185 gms; three teams; 79-82
87 Doug Peltier St. Paul Johnson 1968 F 6/29/50 Retired - NA Minnesota (1969-72) - -
88 Mike Lauen Edina East 1979 F 2/6/61 Retired 1978, 79 NA Michigan Tech (1979-83) - 4 gms; WIN; 83-84
89 Max Oshie Warroad 1948 F 6/10/28 Deceased - NA - - -
90 Tom Gorowsky Centennial 2004 F 4/8/86 Retired 2004 2004 Wisconsin (2005-09) - -
91 Jack McCartan St. Paul Marshall 1953 G 8/5/35 Retired - NA Minnesota (1955-58) 1960 12 gms; NYR; 59-61
92 Doug Zmolek Roch. John Marshall 1989 D 11/3/70 Retired - 1989 finalist Minnesota (1989-92) - 467 gms; four teams; 92-00
93 Pete LoPresti Eveleth 1972 G 5/23/54 Retired - NA Denver (1972-74) - 175 gms; MIN, EDM; 74-81
94 Terry Abram South St. Paul 1965 D 2/14/47 Retired - NA North Dakota (1966-69) - -
95 Bill "Buzz" Schneider Babbitt 1972 F/D 9/14/54 Retired - NA Minnesota (1972-75) 1976, 1980 -
96 David Backes Spring Lake Park 2002 F 5/1/84 Active - 2002 finalist Minnesota State (2003-06) 2010 364 gms; StL; 06-11
97 Don Ross Roseau 1960 F 10/11/42 Retired 1958, 59 NA North Dakota (1961-65) 1964, 1968 -
98 Mike Polich Hibbing 1971 F 12/19/52 Retired - NA Minnesota (1971-75) - 226 gms; MON, MIN; 76-81
99 Chris Locker Duluth East 1996 F 10/14/77 Retired 1995 - UW-River Falls (1999-2000) - -
100 Herb Brooks St. Paul Johnson 1955 F 8/5/37 Deceased 1955 NA Minnesota (1955-59) 1964, 1968 -

Tag(s): Hub Exclusives  All Articles  The Full Nelson  Featured News  Mariucci  Warroad  100 Greatest