“Cavallini from Kane” book to tell the story of ’84

By September 18, 2015Features

Bowling Green’s NCAA hockey championship is one of the great moments in Falcon athletics history.

Now, the Falcons’ national title is being remembered in a book “Cavallini from Kane.”

The book is the work of Ray Schneider, a Sport Management professor at BGSU; and Eddie Powers, a sophomore goalie on the national championship team.

The title for the book came from the winning goal in the NCAA championship game scored by Gino Cavallini, who capitalized on a pass from Dan Kane.

Cavallini scored 7:11 into the fourth overtime, giving the Falcons a 5-4 victory over Minnesota-Duluth in Lake Placid, N.Y. where the United States won the gold medal in the 1980 Olympics.

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“Cavillini from Kane” will be released this fall.

The 252-page book consists of the stories of 49 individuals, including the coaching staff and players. But the book also includes contributions from the team’s support staff, others close to the team and Minnesota-Duluth personnel.

Schneider and Powers still are finalizing plans on how and where the book, priced at $24.99, will be sold locally and when it will be available. They’re hoping it will be available later this month or by early October at the latest.

The book is published by Championship Publishing in Perrysburg and will be available through Lulu Press at lulu.com.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Falcon hockey program.

The goal is to donate at least $5,000 program.

Schneider and Powers are receiving no money from the project.

The book isn’t a review of the national championship game.

Instead, it’s a collection of stories detailing each person’s journey to the NCAA championship.

“That was the angle of the whole book, the human interest stuff,” Powers said. “Just about everyone knows about the game and what happened, and everyone can read who got the goals and the scores of the games.

“The book is about the guys who were in the program and their back stories. That, to me, was what was going to make it a great book and I believe it is. We didn’t want to rehash the games or the seasons because that’s been done over the years.”

The game lasted 97:11 and still is considered to be one of the greatest championship games in NCAA history.

“They all had different slants to the same thing, they all had different reasons why they were here, what they did after the championship game, the dynamics of seniors, the freshmen, each individual class,” Schneider said of the submissions.

Schneider, who has been at BGSU for 17 years, also has written books on former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden and former UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden.

The idea for the book came on Oct. 29, 2014 when Schneider and Powers were discussing the death of 57-year-old Bob Suter, a defenseman on the 1980 U.S. Olympic team. Suter died of a heart attack Sept. 9 that year.

Schneider asked Powers if everyone on the Falcons’ NCAA championship was still living. Assistant coach Terry Flanagan died of cancer Dec. 29, 1991.

“That was such a great accomplishment, winning a national title, that I thought it would be a valuable and interesting project if their memoirs could be written,” Schneider said.

Later during the conversation, which occurred in the Ice Arena lounge as the two watched their sons practice in the auxiliary rink, Powers and Schneider decided to write their book.

They also told BGSU Athletics Director Chris Kingston and head hockey coach Chris Bergeron of their plan, and immediately received support from both.

“My big question was could we get everyone involved and Eddie was fired up about it, saying he didn’t think there was any doubt we could,” Schneider said.

That night, Schneider sent an email to the team’s coaches and players asking if they would be interested in telling their stories.

Head Coach Jerry York was the first to support the project. (Image courtesy of the Toledo Blade)

Head Coach Jerry York was the first to support the project. (Image courtesy of the Toledo Blade)

The first response came just four hours later from head coach Jerry York, who is now the head coach at Boston College. He’s also the winningest coach in NCAA history.

“Getting him on board was very important,” Schneider said.

“Four hours in, ‘JY’ sends his email in and wants to do whatever he can to help the book. All of a sudden, it hits you that the game is on,” Powers aid. “Then we started to get some stories in, and there were parts that I didn’t know or I had forgotten.

“I learned a lot from the stories, things I never knew, and there are stories I love to hear over and over again. To tell the behind the scenes story of such an unbelievable year in BGSU history, it was beyond great.”

Enthusiastic responses also quickly came in from the players, assistant coaches and the support staff. York sent Powers and Schneider a copy of the score sheet from the NCAA championship game shortly after his initial email.

“Having Eddie on board was great because he was the link to the team,” Schneider said. “They just wanted to make sure this was legit and I just wasn’t some guy who was using Eddie’s name. He was a key component to this.”

Although Powers and Schneider weren’t exactly sure at first what feedback they were looking for, it became clear after Powers penned his story while his dad, Dick, was undergoing four hours of tests at University of Toledo Medical Center.

Eddie Powers wrote of his journey, which began in the BG Youth Hockey Association and continued to his being on BG High School’s state championship team in 1980. He also worked in the Ice Arena while a BGSU student.

Dick Powers was a minor official at Falcon home games.

“My story became the template,” said Eddie Powers, who was the No. 3 goalie on the Falcons’ NCAA title team. “Coming from such a small town, I didn’t measure up skill-wise. But I knew my place on the team.

“Every one of those guys to a man treated me so nicely that it made my experience on the team beyond exceptional. I’m from Bowling Green Ohio and I’m on a national championship team. Are you kidding me? That stuff shouldn’t happen.

“But they treated me like a part of the team before I was even playing. It was a great group of guys and tells so much about the character and the kind of people we had on the team. That’s the reason we won. We had such great talent and people.”

Twenty-four of the team’s 26 players contributed their stories to the book, whether it was by their own email or through an interview with Schneider. Only Garry Galley and Scott Hoyt did not submit stories.

Cavallini backhands the championship goal. (Image courtesy of Jeff Hall/Sentinel-Tribune)

Cavallini backhands the championship goal. (Image courtesy of Jeff Hall/Sentinel-Tribune)

“It wasn’t just that year, it was how you became a part of the Falcons, and your journey,” Powers said of the submissions. “Everyone has a different story that led to that game. Not all of the stories are the same, and we worried they might be at first.”

Most of the stories submitted were suitable for a family-style book, although a few had to be left out, Schneider said.

“In my mind, the human interest is about the journey and how you got there. This was mine. As teammates, we really didn’t talk about what did you do in juniors. To learn everyone’s journey to that game which was so significant, I thought would be an easy sell, an easy read.”

Schneider and Powers then expanded the book to include the support staff, fans, host families and others close to the team.

“Ray did a great job of coordinating everything and put it all together,” Powers said.

The book also includes the thoughts of former BG head coach Ron Mason, who brought the program to national prominence in the 1970s.

“The support staff was great. They cared about the guys and changed lives,” Powers said. “The community was a large part of our success and being a small town, the team and the community were closely connected.

“When you look at our fan base back in the day, we were 3,000, 3,500, 4,000 (fans in attendance) every night,” Powers added. “Our program was so top of the line. Not only did I want to know about our story, but I also thought other people would want to know.”

The book includes the thoughts of Minnesota-Duluth coach Mike Sertich, defenseman Tom Kurvers and goalie Rick Kosti.

“I had some apprehension about contacting the Minnesota-Duluth folks because they were on the losing end,” Schneider said. “But I wanted to tell a well-rounded story and they were phenomenal about helping.”

“The loss, I’m sure stung for a few years, but now that 30 years have gone by, it’s more about the two teams sharing a wonderful moment, a great championship game, a great journey,” Powers said. “It’s no longer us against them.”

The Falcons and the Bulldogs both held 30-year reunions.

“All of the guys on our team remain connected, no matter how long is in between the times we talk,” Powers said. “You remember everything and it was based on the relationship of a great group of guys.

Schneider and Powers had multiple deadlines for the book and had virtually compiled all of the information for it by the end of February. They’ve been doing revisions since.

The BGSU Athletics Department and the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune provided photos for the book.

The exact number of books to be printed hasn’t been decided, but Schneider and Powers said the first printing could be as many as 2,000. More books will be printed if needed.

The 45-year-old Schneider, who lives in Perrysburg with his wife and two sons, wasn’t a hockey fan until his kids started playing in the BGYHA where he began his friendship with Powers.

“I’m a pessimist and I wasn’t sure if we could pull it all together because there’s so many people involved and the logistics involved,” Schneider said. “But we’re excited about it now.”

“Bowling Green is a hockey town,” Powers said. “We thought this would be a great story to tell.”

Editor’s note: the Cavallini goal picture had been incorrectly attributed to the Toledo Blade. It has been corrected to the original photographer, Jeff Hall of the Sentinel-Tribune.

Kevin Gordon

About Kevin Gordon

Kevin joined BGSUHockey.com after wrapping up a 27-year run as the Falcon hockey beat writer for the Sentinel-Tribune. After providing another two years of the Falcon hockey coverage fans had grown to love over the past three decades, Kevin decided to hang up his notebook and is now enjoying the retired life. Please join us by sending Kevin a tweet and thank him for all the time he's dedicated to BGSU hockey: @KGordonBG.