2015 MGHCA Hall of Fame Inductees - Vin Paolucci, Dick Bartholdi, Pete Edlund, and Jill Pohtilla
Hall of Fame Class of 2015
When you build something from scratch it could be said that you were in on the ground floor. For Richard Bartholdi and the Cloquet Girls Hockey program it was more than the ground floor, he built the foundation and then the ground floor. During the 1996-97 school year Richard started a youth program for girls, with a team at the U12 level. His daughter Bridget, and several other girls joined together to form the team. Several had been playing in the boy’s youth program, along with a number who joined to play for the first time. Richard asked Dave Ellison, and Jerry Maunu to assist him as their daughters Johanna Ellison, and Michelle Maunu were among the players on the team. They spent their first year flooding outdoor rinks and practicing whenever they could. Their U12 team made it to the state tournament in their first year of existence, going all the way to the state finals. The following year in 1997-98 they moved to the U15 level and made it back to the state tournament again with mostly 6th graders. Bartholdi’s coaching began to take hold, and the girls got better and better.
The Cloquet High School Program started the following year with Richard as the coach, and a team of mostly 7th graders. Two years later in 2001-02 the team went to the state tournament and took the consolation trophy. The following year, 2003 the team made the state tournament again, going all the way to the finals before losing to South St Paul in overtime, 2 to1. Two years later they once again made the tournament finishing 2nd to South St Paul. The very next year with Page Thunder in goal they went to the tournament again, finishing 3rd. They made another trip a few years later, making 5 state appearances under Richard Bartholdi’s coaching.
Here are a few names of the young ladies under Bartholdi’s mentoring, his daughter Bridget, Johanna Ellison, Michelle Maunu, Danae Olean, Kristy Hakala, Liz Palkie, and Page Thunder, to name a few.
Michelle Allen, a former player, and now an assistant coach in the program had this to say about Coach Bart. “His whole heart was in the game. He built a great program, and a successful one. He was strict and focused and wanted the best for his players. I remember his phrase, “can’t is not in our vocabulary.” No one will ever leave such a well-known legacy as Coach Bart. I feel the base of my coaching strategy has risen from Coach Bart.”
Richard has two daughters, Brigitte, and Maria. He also has two siblings, Tom, and a sister Pat Morton. Please welcome Richard to the 2015 class of the MGHCA Hall of Fame.
Cloquet Girls Hockey History under Richard Bartholdi ....
1996-97 U12 first year3rd place state tournament
!997-98 U15 first year.
1998-99 Varsity started.
2001-02 Section Champs, Lake Superior Conf. Champs, 5th place AA Tourney, Sportsmanship Award, 21 wins-9 losses-1 tie record.
2002-03 Record of 19 wins-9 losses- 3 ties, 7AA Champs, AA State 2nd Place, Lake Superior Champs, MN Sportsmanship Award.
2003-04 Lake Superior Champs, runner up 7AA
2004-05 Record of 20 wins-7 losses-4 ties, Lake Superior Conference Champs, 7AA Champs, State AA 2nd place
2005-06 Record of 24 wins-6 losses-1 tie, Lake Superior Champs, 7AA Champs, State AA 3rd place
2008-09 7AA Champs, State AA Tournament
Hall of Fame Class of 2015
Vin wasn’t born and raised in hockey rich Minnesota, but he has contributed much to its rich tradition. He came from East Providence Rhode Island by way of an educational degree from Colby College where he earned All American honors which enabled him to play a couple of years of professional hockey in Europe. Vin was hired to be the boys coach in 1994. He took over the girl’s program in 1998, and coached for 15 years. It was said that Vin brought enthusiasm, discipline, and knowledge of the game to the entire Hopkins program. He had a passion for teaching and caring about making his student/athletes better prepared for life’s journey. The players were taught how to play hockey, and that each one had a role to play if they wanted to be successful as a team.
Marni (Orthey) Lamberty, a former player, and assistant coach with Vin for 5 years had this to say, “I truly enjoyed every minute coaching with Vin. At games he was so involved, I sometimes felt like he was going to jump on the ice and help the girls. Many of his players have coached, or are still coaching because of the influence he had on them. Vin’s strategy for inspiring players worked. Marni also had this insight of her coach. She said that Vin had a knack for bringing out the best in his younger players, careful not to overwork them or crush them with criticism!”
Vin’s teams’ produced 31 college players (15 Dl, and 16 Dlll), as well as eight Ms Hockey candidates, 2 Senior Goalie winners, and 1 Ms Hockey winner in 2009. Becky Kortum was selected Ms Hockey in 2009. Katie Billadeau, and Erin O’Neil were Senior Goalie of the Year in 2010, and 2014 respectively. Vin’s teams made 2 State Tournament appearances, in 2009, and 2010. They were runner-up in the 2009 tournament. Vin was named the Class AA Coach of the Year in 2009.
Becky Kortum expressed these thoughts about her coach, “Coach ‘P’ worked tirelessly, not only at the rink teaching the game, but behind the scenes doing whatever necessary to get his players every opportunity possible through their hockey careers. He developed relationships with college coaches all over the country, and made it well known that anyone who recruited a Hopkins hockey player would not be disappointed.”
Vin Paolucci graduated from Colby College in 1987, and received his Masters Degree from St Mary’s in Winona.
Please welcome Vin Paolucci to our 2015 MGHCA Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame Class of 2015
South St Paul High School has had great success from the very beginning of Girls Hockey in Minnesota in the ‘90’s. There are many reasons for successful programs, and one that most everyone agrees upon, is a knowledgeable coaching staff, with little or no turn over, that consistently works hard at doing the right things to make a program successful. Pete Edlund fulfilled that role as a long-time assistant at South St Paul High School. Pete coached at South St Paul for 16 seasons, and during that time worked on the defensive part of the Packer program. He was a great defensive coach and a list of some of his players ranks with any successful program in the state. Starting with Ashley Albrecht, Ms Hockey 2002, there was also Sammy Miller, Jackie Robertson, Sam LaShomb, and Megan Milbert. Erica Hockinson (a 2000 graduate) played forward in high school, but from the defensive skills she learned from Pete while at South St Paul, she was able to play defense for Division I Yale at the college level. Chris Hanson was a 1st Team All-American at Steven’s Point. Jamie Staples, Rachael Geng, Michelle Stohr, Chris Hanson, and Jessie Dyslin were All-Conference at the DIII level.
Pete knew what buttons to push to make his defenders be successful, and many of them credit Pete for their success, and their love of the game. Chris Hanson said of Pete, “his knowledge of defensive strategy, and teaching of technical skills were second to none.” She is now coaching at the high school level and finds herself implementing the same teaching style she learned from Pete while at South St Paul. She also says that “his wisdom, sense of humor, and passion for the game helped make my high school experience a positive and unforgettable one.”
Pete was a graduate from Harding High School in 1964, and St Cloud State University in 1971.
Pete was selected as his section’s Assistant Coach of the Year four times, 1999, 2005, 2010, and 2011. He was named the State Assistant Coach of the Year (the Bruce Pottle Award) in 2011.
Pete and his wife Joy, have three adult children, Eric, Kyrsten Nelson, and Peter.
Please welcome Pete Edlund as our first assistant coach selected for the MGHCA Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame Class of 2015
Jill Pohtilla was a leader in the development of girls and women’s hockey in Minnesota, as a player, coach, and tireless worker. She is another protege of Dr. Bob May, and the Minnesota Checkers program of the early ‘70’s, having played on four national championship teams for Dr. Bob May.
She became the first head coach for the Anoka/Champlin high schools in the first year of girls high school hockey in Minnesota, and her first team finished with a record of 12 wins and three losses. She then became the first women’s college coach at Augsburg, which was the first college women’s team in the mid-west. She coached at Augsburg for 15 seasons, from 1995 to 2010. Augsburg finished 2nd to Middlebury College in the inaugural American Women’s Hockey Coaches Association, (AWHCA) Division lll national tournament. Jill had eight College All-Americans during her time at Augsburg. Her team won back to back MIAC titles in during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.
She served as president of the Minnesota Girls and Women’s Hockey Association in 1989-90, and Secretary-Treasurer of the AWHCA college coaches group from 2000 to 2004.
She was a member of the national Dlll Women’s Ice Hockey Committee from 2000 to 2004, and coached at numerous USA Hockey camps and festivals. Jill was a pioneer and a leader in girls hockey in the state of Minnesota during its infancy. She was also a pioneer as a player, and coach. She was inducted into the WHAM Hall of Fame in 1998, a Dlll coach of the year finalist in 2000, and received the “Breaking Barriers Award” from the Minnesota sponsor of National Girls and Women in Sport Day in 1998. She was given the Women’s Ice Hockey Founders Award in 2013 from the AWHCA.
Laura Halldorson, her friend and teammate on the Checkers said of Jill, “her resume is filled with important firsts, as she was involved in several girl’s and women’s hockey milestones during her career.” Prior to 1995 there had been no opportunity to play women’s hockey at the varsity level outside of the east coast. For the first time ever girls from this area could play college hockey close to home. Jill has always done things the right way, and with the best interest of her players in mind. She became a mentor and a female coaching role model in a world that had very few. At each level of growth Jill was here...she was one of the first high school coaches, and the first college coach in Minnesota.
Rachel Blount of the StarTribune wrote of Jill, “What's most telling is that Jill doesn’t measure herself by those achievements. Instead she looks at the piles of Christmas Cards she gets every year from former players...now mothers, career women, and community leaders...and sees the benefits of allowing women to discover their best selves through sports.”
Jill is a 1981 grad of Wayzata High School, and a 1987 grad of the U of M with a degree in Psychology and Biology.
Please welcome Jill Pohtilla into our MGHCA Hall Of Fame class of 2015.
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