The ongoing National Hockey League player lockout has left some sports television outlets looking for new programming this winter.
One of them has come to Marquette to help fill that void.
TSN is the leading sports TV network in Canada.
A video crew is in Marquette working on a documentary film for TSN about a hockey game from Marquette’s past.
Michael Farber, a longtime hockey writer for Sports Illustrated, is accompanying the crew.
He says the film is about the trip the Red Wings made to Marquette in February 1954 to play an exhibition game at Marquette Branch Prison against a team of inmates.
On that same trip, the Red Wings also played the semi–pro Marquette Sentinels at the Palestra, Lakeview Arena’s predecessor.
Farber and the crew were inside Lakeview today to interview Bucky O’Neill, who played for the Sentinels against the Red Wings, and others.
Farber says they interviewed the Wings’ captain in 1954, Ted Lindsay, before making the trip to Marquette.
He also says none of the Marquette Branch Prison inmates who played against the Red Wings are still alive, but he and the crew are speaking with other people involved in the game.
The NHL’s Winter Classic is cancelled this year, so the film should be airing on TSN sometime around New Year’s Day in place of that game.
John Sonderegger, an ABC 10 viewer, emailed us to say that he played in the Marquette prison yard in the ’70s:
“I grew up in Marquette and during college years a bunch of us would get together and go play the inmates at the prison. It went on for seveal years. We would play one or two times a year. It was great fun. They had two rinks and a fairly good program. One time a fight
started and that was the end of the series. I trust you have seen Okie Brum’s book “We Only Played Home Games”. Okie was the athletic director at the Prison and a great hockey player. His book is about this period in the 40s – about 1960.”