Throwback Thursday: When the Winhawks made the state hockey tournament

Winona 1952 hockey team

The 1952 hockey team was the only Winona team to qualify for the state tournament.

Tonight, the Winona Senior High School boys hockey team looks to continue its postseason push when it plays at top-seeded Dodge County at 7 p.m. in Kasson. 

In honor of the occasion, this week’s #WinhawkTBT remembers the only Winona team to play in the MSHSL state tournament.

In only its third year of competition, Winona claimed the 1952 Region II championship after skating through Rochester, North St. Paul and South St. Paul (both the semifinals and finals were played on the same day — Feb. 16, 1952 — at Williams Arena in Minneapolis). 

The luck ran out at the state tournament at the St. Paul Auditorium. Although a goal by Roger Neitzke gave Winona an early 1-0 lead and goalie Dick Larson made 33 saves, St. Paul Humbolt came back to beat the Winhawks 2-1. Winona then lost to Thief River Falls 4-3 on a goal in the final minute in the consolation round. Roger Carroll had two goals for Winona, while Roger Benson had one.

Team members in the photo above include, kneeling from left to right: Robert Michalski, Roger Benson, Keith Inman, T Laska, James Glidden, Arthur Johns. First row: Dick Larson, David Sievers, Fred Cisewski, Lyle Halliday, Tom Brown, William Bambenek, Roger Neitzke, Fred Strommer. Second row: Wayne Noeske, D. Beeman, Dwane Krings, Roger Carroll, Gerald Bambenek, Melvin Pielmeier, Bernard Lauer. Coach: Sanford Tyler.