Q&A with "Chico" Resch

BY JIMMY GILLIGAN | The Statesman Former UMD goaltender Glenn "Chico" Resch, who played from 1968-1971, had his number retired Friday night at Amsoil Arena.

What does it mean to be able to join the likes of Brett Hull, Keith Christensen and Bill Watson in having your jersey retired?

I think anytime you get paid a tribute that is as monumental as having your jersey retired, it’s pretty special, totally unexpected. When someone tells you that they’re going to retire your jersey at first you think, really? I don’t think I did that much that I deserve that. So I gotta be honest with you, I didn’t expect it would be this, but when (Josh Berlo) told me that they were going to retire my jersey, (there’s) a lot of deserving people, so to be told that you can go into that class, that was pretty overwhelming.

Were you nervous for the retirement ceremony and speech Friday night?

Nervous, real nervous. You know, I haven’t been really visible at UMD. If there’s 500 people that ever saw me play, it would be a lot, so you’re nervous because it’s a first impression for people that have maybe heard about me but have never seen me or heard me, and I can’t talk long. There’s a hockey game to be played that night.

Goaltending in hockey has changed a lot since you played. What are the major differences between your style and the likes of UMD’s Kasimir Kaskisuo or Matt McNeely?

When you didn’t have a mask you weren’t gonna stick your face down and get right in the heart of the action, so you were always standing up sort of apprehensive about where the sticks and pucks were going and the coaches would say, ‘You gotta stand up young man.’ The cage mask was revolutionary, people didn’t realize that. Then you were fine to get down low. What (also) revolutionized what goalies are doing now was the goalie pads. It used to be really hard to get down where the pads were down on the ice, and then about 15 years ago they put pads in the knees inside the goalie pads so when the goalies go down now their knees don't hit the ice, they hit those nice thick pads. So every goalie I know has a perfect butterfly. I wanted to have a perfect butterfly but I couldn’t get my knees down.

You were one of the first NHL goalies to wear a painted mask. What do you think of today’s elaborate mask designs?

I really like the classy paint jobs but unfortunately there was a period where it was so busy, there was so much that you just couldn’t tell what was what. But some of the stuff is really cool. It symbolizes something about the team, or the individual himself, or just a cause. They’ve come a long way. I can’t even remember who was the last goalie to wear the fiberglass mask but I was one of them.

What do you remember about Duluth when you arrived here in 1967?

What really first got my attention was the depth of the enthusiasm by the Duluth people for hockey. It wasn’t like you were going to America or the US to play hockey, you’re going to another province, and it’s got such a rich history. Without a car your universe or your world was small. You didn’t travel here and there so when I came to Minnesota, to Duluth, and I saw the big lake and trees and big buildings it was like, wow this was some city. The only place people were going back then is some hippies were going out west to California, San Francisco. We always talked about that, especially in the middle of winter when you wanted to get away, but coming to Duluth just expanded my world. Everything good that has happened to me kind of has roads leading back to UMD.

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