Tuesday, December 1, 2020

CCHA names tournament trophy after hockey coach

October 5, 2000

Ron Mason can now add his own name to his team’s list of goals.

The CCHA Tournament trophy was officially named the Mason Cup on Tuesday, bearing the moniker of MSU’s legendary ice hockey coach. The trophy will be presented to the champion of the CCHA postseason tournament held annually at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

“Since I’m still coaching, it’s kind of a tough situation,” Mason said. “Normally, you’re 6 feet under when they name trophies after you.”

Mason, entering his 22nd season at the helm of the Spartans, is college hockey’s winningest coach, with 864 wins in his career (575 with MSU).

In addition to a national championship in 1986, he has won nine CCHA Tournament titles and six regular season crowns during his tenure at MSU.

The CCHA’s coaches and athletics directors voted unanimously to name the trophy after Mason at this year’s CCHA Spring Meetings.

“I was very humble when they brought it up,” Mason said. “I’ve been in the league since day one and I’m proud to represent it in any way possible.

“I talked to the other coaches and asked them what they thought and everyone said they wanted to do it. I felt really comfortable with it after talking to them.”

CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos said Mason’s contributions to the league are “immeasurable.”

“No one’s been more involved in the CCHA for the past 30 years than Ron Mason. He teaches values in his program that are life values, not only athletic values,” said Anastos, who played under Mason at MSU in the early 1980s.

Spartan team captain Rustyn Dolyny said the honor was fitting for Mason.

“It’s a good tribute to Coach Mason and what he’s done for the league and college hockey on the whole,” Dolyny said. “It’s a prize that Michigan State will hold close. It speaks a lot of him as a coach and as a person.”

The CCHA Tournament consists of the top 10 regular season finishers in the 12-team league.

The top five teams host a best-of-three series in the first round of the tournament. After a re-seeding, the fourth and fifth teams battle for the right to go to Detroit.

The Spartans won last season’s CCHA Tournament, beating Nebraska-Omaha 6-0 in the championship game.

MSU will try to retain the Mason Cup at this year’s tournament in the spring. The championship game will be on March 17. The Spartans face Western Ontario p.m. Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena.

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