Esposito, who won national championship with Michigan Tech in 1965, loses battle with pancreatic cancer

Current Michigan coach and former Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson, left, meets former MTU goalie Tony Esposito in Chicago (photo: @CoachPearsonUM/Twitter)

Former Michigan Tech goaltender Tony Esposito passed away August 10) at the age of 78 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was a national champion with the Huskies in 1965, a three-time All-American, a Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame inductee, and one of the NHL’s greatest goaltenders.

Esposito played for the Huskies from 1964 to 1967. He was named to the WCHA’s Top 50 Players in 50 Years list in 2002 and to the WCHA’s 1960s All-Decade Team. Esposito was also named to the AHCA’s All-Time West Team and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.

A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Esposito was an All-American for the Huskies in 1965, 1966, and 1967 and a three-time WCHA honoree. He was the only netminder in WCHA history to win three league goaltending championships and earned NCAA All-Tournament honors as a member of Michigan Tech’s 1965 NCAA championship squad. Esposito was inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame as an individual in 1991 and with the 1965 national championship team in 2014.

Esposito went on to play 17 NHL seasons for Montreal and Chicago and was a five-time NHL All-Star and three-time Vezina Trophy winner as the top NHL goaltender in 1970, 1972, and 1974. He earned the Calder Memorial Trophy as the top NHL rookie in 1970.

His career NHL record of 423-306-151 ranks 10th in league history and his No. 35 is retired by the Blackhawks. He was a member of Montreal’s 1969 Stanley Cup championship team and was named one of the NHL’s 100 Greatest Players in 2017.


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