The Minnesota Hockey Hub website has named Wadena-Deer Creek High School teacher and former hockey coach, Brad Shelstad, one of the 100 greatest players in the history of Minnesota High School hockey.
His overtime shutout of Edina in 1970 title game ranks among state’s greatest performances.
Shelstad, who was a goaltender for Minneapolis Southwest High School, made a save in the 1970 state title game against arch-rival Edina that some have called one of the most famous saves in state history. The save, which others have called the "save of the century," came with just seconds remaining in regulation and sent the game into overtime. The Indians would win the game a little more than six minutes into overtime, giving Minneapolis Southwest its lone championship in 15 state tournament appearances.
Since August, a new hockey player is added each week to the distinguished list on the Hockey Hub website. Each player on the 100 Greatest Players list is ranked according to a scoring system based on high school and post-high school careers. Shelstad is No. 26, joining the likes of Herb Brooks of St. Paul Johnson and Mike Polich of Hibbing.
“It’s a pretty select company,” said Shelstad, who in his humble, modest way, downplays the honor as “subjective and fun.”
Shelstad admits it’s been enjoyable to see who is on the list.
“It’s fun to read about the other players. There’s a lot of guys I remember and know,” he said from his Deer Creek Junior High office, where he teaches special education.
Shelstad later played hockey for the University of Minnesota, where he again made history as the Gophers won a NCAA National Championship his senior year in 1974.
He then coached high school hockey in New Prague for seven years before making the trip north to Wadena where he started the hockey program in 1988. He coached for 13 years and then decided to hang up his skates and retire. However, he remains connected to hockey by announcing W-DC games for KWAD radio with former Wolverines' hockey player, Jamie Pettit.
“Shelstad was a great high school goaltender, no question about that,” said Willard Ikola, former Edina Hornets hockey coach, in the Hockey Hub article. “He was kind of the glue that held that team together.”
To view the story and photos from Shelstad’s hockey days, go to the MN Hockey Hub
, go to “History” and click on “100 Greatest List.”