Tom Hansen: Stauber helping UMD goalies

Denfeld High School has produced its share of top notch goalies over the years, but perhaps the biggest name to make it in the National Hockey League (NHL) is Robb Stauber.

Denfeld High School has produced its share of top notch goalies over the years, but perhaps the biggest name to make it in the National Hockey League (NHL) is Robb Stauber.

He's back in town working, not with the Hunters, but with the UMD women's hockey team. The Bulldogs are ranked second in the country and also second in the women's WCHA. They will host the defending national champions, Minnesota, next weekend and Stauber will be working with the UMD goalies, getting them ready for the showdown at the DECC.

"It's a good opportunity, and I got started working with Riitta (Schaublin) last summer. She took charge of her game and got a whole lot better. When somebody puts in that kind of effort, it's hard to turn them down. She's just made a lot of strides."

Stauber played his college hockey at the University of Minnesota and won the Hobey Baker Award in 1988. He was the first goaltender to win that honor.

From there he went on to play in the NHL. He played 10 years of pro hockey and four of those were in the NHL with Los Angeles and Buffalo. He also played in the New York Ranger and the Washington Capitol organizations. He was also a member of the 1993 Stanley Cup finalist Kings. He finished his playing days with the Manitoba Moose of the IHL in 1998-99.


At UMD, Stauber takes over for Tim Cortes, who had to step down from his goaltending coaching duties due to business opportunities.

When Stauber comes back to help the Bulldogs, he also gets a chance to visit with several relatives in the area, including UWS hockey coach, Dan Stauber, his brother.

Robb played at Denfeld starting back in 1984 and enjoyed his playing days at the DECC. He really likes the rink. "The arena sets up well; it's a great hockey facility."

Not only is he helping the UMD women's hockey team, but he also holds down the same duties with the University of Minnesota men's team. This is his sixth year with that team and helped them win two national championships recently. Stauber said, "It goes fast. I can't believe how fast the time goes. We've been fortunate to have some good teams there and hopefully have a good one this year."

He was named to the WCHA Top 50 players in 50 years team. He also played on U.S. World teams in the 1986-87 season and again in the 1988-89 campaign.

UMD has three goaltenders that have a shot at playing at the 2006 Winter Olympics: Schaublin and Patricia Elsmore for Switzerland, a team that has already qualified for the Olympics, and Anna-Kaisa Piiroinen for Finland. She has played at the Four Nations Cup with Finland and is expected to join them after the UMD season for the world championships as well.

Stauber said he would like to do it again next year, "if we can help the goalies and see some strides. It's just nice to impact some higher level goalies."

If all goes well, he might even continue beyond that. After all, it's hard to turn down a good meal with family when he's back in town.


Tom's takes:

  • The Duluth Central boy's hockey season came to an end on Tuesday as it fell to Princeton, 9-0, in the opening round of the Section 2A playoffs. Head Coach Ryan Kern liked how the team was playing toward the end of the regular season. Kern said, "We've come a long way from the beginning of the year to where we are at now. The young kids are starting to develop a little bit and understand the program a little bit better and what we are trying to do."
  • Several area boys' hockey teams are again ranked this week in the Let's Play Hockey /Associated Press poll. Duluth East is ranked sixth this week in the Class AA poll, up from seventh. Duluth East opened the playoffs on Tuesday with a 9-0 win over Cambridge at the Superior Ice Arena. Robb W. Johnson had three goals in that game for the 'Hounds. Prior to that they were practicing in Two Harbors.

In Class A, Hermantown is seventh and Duluth Marshall is 10th this week in Class A. Both of those teams had playoff games on Thursday.
The Proctor Rails won on Tuesday, topping North Branch, 8-1.

Tom Hansen writes a weekly sports column for the Budgeteer News. He may be reached at by email at .

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