Latest generation of Warroad's Marvin family takes hockey detours
Cal Marvin was among the World War II veterans who convinced Red Jarrett, the University of North Dakota athletic director, to start a hockey program. The first game was on Jan. 6, 1947, and the mainstays of the Sioux roster were a half-dozen pla...
Cal Marvin was among the World War II veterans who convinced Red Jarrett, the University of North Dakota athletic director, to start a hockey program. The first game was on Jan. 6, 1947, and the mainstays of the Sioux roster were a half-dozen players from Warroad, Minn., and nearby Williams, Minn.
Cal was included in this group, and it started a bond with North Dakota that permeated the Marvin family and the burgh of Warroad for decades.
Playing on Saturdays for the Sioux did not satisfy the hockey need for Cal and pals. So in 1947, they started the Warroad Lakers, a senior amateur team, to play on Sundays.
The Lakers celebrated their 50th and last season in 1997. A sportswriter made the trek from the Twin Cities for a sendoff story. Some of the locals were talking about the fighting prowess of Dick Roberts, the legendary "Dirty Dick" of the Lakers and long the successful hockey coach at Warroad High.
Cal wanted to set the record straight on Dick's reputation for being an enthusiastic fighter.
"Dick didn't fight that much," Cal said back then. "He didn't have to, because he put the fear of the Lord in people the way he stormed around the ice.
"The most enthusiastic fighter we ever had probably was Scotty, my nephew. I went to Grand Forks to see him play for the Sioux one night. Got there too late. Scotty had been thrown out for fighting in warm-ups."
It was almost automatic that Marvins, if they had the talent to play Division I hockey, would wind up at North Dakota. Cal's son Mike was an exception to this, going to Brown for a year before coming back home.
Cal died in 2004. This was at the same time his granddaughter Gigi was entering her senior year at Warroad High and making the decision to accept a hockey scholarship at Minnesota.
Two years later, Gigi's brother cast his lot with St. Cloud State.
A Gopher ... a Husky? What's wrong with this generation of Marvins?
"North Dakota only had women's hockey for a couple of years at the time, although that wasn't the reason for my decision," Gigi said. "I liked everything about the Gophers program, and I liked the school. Minnesota was the place for me."
Gigi also pointed out that she wasn't the first Marvin to play for the Gophers. "My cousin Willy was a goaltender for Doug Woog," she said.
Willy was the Gophers' third-team goalie in the late '90s, playing in 11 games in three seasons.
Gigi came to Minnesota as a star prep player. Now a senior, she has turned into a collegiate superstar with the Gophers. A minor injury caused her to miss last weekend's home series with Bemidji State, but Gigi remains a leading contender to win the Patty Kazmaier Award as the top player in Division I women's hockey.
It was also a weekend when Gigi's male counterparts with the Gophers were taking on St. Cloud State -- and thus kid brother Aaron. Where do the loyalties lie?
"I'm a Gopher, so I can't cheer against them, but I'm always going to want my brother to do well," Gigi said.
Aaron had three goals and 10 assists in 40 games for the Huskies as a freshman. He went into last weekend with seven goals and 11 assists in 22 games as a sophomore.
"I'm most proud of Aaron for the hard work that he's put into being a hockey player," Gigi said. "He's always been an amazing worker and a great teammate. And he's getting more points this season."
Mike and Connie Marvin are the parents. Mike found a career as a buffalo rancher after he returned from his one hockey season at Brown.
"My mom told me it was 38-below in Warroad [last week]," Gigi said. "All I could think of was how great the ice was for us to skate on when it was that cold."
PATRICK REUSSE is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.