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David Bauer

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David Bauer - St. Michael's College Hockey Team (1944)

Father David Bauer

David Bauer

David William Bauer, Order of Canada, CSB (November 2, 1924 – November 9, 1988), a native of the Kitchener, Ontario, was an ice hockey player, builder, and hockey pioneer who was later ordained as a Catholic priest in the Congregation of St. Basil.

Hockey career Edit

Bauer was the younger brother of hockey player Bobby Bauer. A noted sportsman in his own right, Bauer turned down an offer to play for the Boston Olympics at the age of 16, so that he could attend St Michaels College in Toronto, where he played for various school teams from 1941 to 1945, and later the University of Toronto. In 1944, after St. Michael's was eliminated by the Oshawa Generals in the playoffs, Oshawa was able to add three players to their roster for the 1944 Memorial Cup championship series, and chose Bauer, as well as Ted Lindsay and Gus Mortson. He returned to the St. Michaels College Majors for a single game in the 1944–45 campaign, choosing to enlist in the military instead as St. Michael's won the 1945 Memorial Cup championship that spring. Following the end of the war, he decided against playing professional hockey, instead, choosing to enter the priesthood.

Coaching and team building Edit

In 1953 after his ordination as a priest, Bauer returned to St. Michael's College as a teacher and became coach of the school's junior team. He helped lead the team to the 1961 Memorial Cup, and helped introduce such future hockey stars as Dave Keon of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Gerry Cheevers of the Boston Bruins.

In 1962, Bauer took a position at the St. Mark's College and the University of British Columbia, where he came up with the idea to establish a national team of top amateurs from across Canada. The idea was presented to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) and by the end of 1962, Bauer's idea was accepted. Bauer made up his team of several top amateur players who became UBC students including Brian Conacher, Roger Bourbonnais and Marshall Johnston, and in 1964 they participated in the Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. The team put up a good fight, losing 3–2 in a gold medal game opportunity with the the Soviet Union, but only came out in fourth place on goal difference. However, because of different rules for eliminating ties for Olympics and World Championships, the Canadian team was awarded a "world championship" bronze medal.

Bauer was later coach and general manager for Canada in the 1968 Olympics, general manager in the 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1969 world championships. He managed the Canadian 1980 Olympics team as well.

Awards and legacy Edit

Among Bauer's many awards and honours are, winning the Olympic bronze in 1968 as General Manager, World Championship bronze in 1964,1966 and 1967 as general manager, the Memorial Cup in 1944 as a player and in 1961 as a trainer (coach), being elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a Builder in 1989, and the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1997, both posthumously. Bauer was also named Vice-President of Hockey Canada in 1981, Chairman of Canada's Olympic hockey program also in 1981, named to the Order of Canada in 1967.

Father David Bauer Olympic Arena in Calgary, Alberta, is named for him, as is the roadway Father David Bauer Drive in Waterloo, Ontario. A bursary from St. Mark's College (affiliated with the University of British Columbia) was also named for him in 1987. The University of British Columbia hockey alumni group has hockey bursaries in Father David Bauer's name for student athletes who make the varsity hockey team.

Bauer died in November 1988, at the age of 64 in Goderich, Ontario. He was buried in his family plot in Mount Hope Cemetery in Kitchener, Ontario.

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