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Aug 22, 2022

Obscure trivia answers abound this week, as we return to the pro rinks of the 1970s with Twin Cities sports fan extraordinaire Dan Whenesota ("A Slap Shot in Time") for a look back at the not one, but two World Hockey Association franchises known as the Minnesota Fighting Saints.

The first team was one of the WHA's original twelve franchises, playing from 1972 until mid-1976; the second was the rebirth of the league's hastily relocated Cleveland Crusaders, and played for part of 1976-77 season.  Neither incarnation completed its final season of play.

Save for a few games in the early months of the first version's inaugural season, both Fighting Saints played in the uniquely configured St. Paul Civic Center - where clear acrylic glass dasher boards offered fans completely unobscured views of all the action.

As for action, there was plenty - both in terms of fan-friendly uptempo offensive play, and aggressive, often penalty-drawing physicality - befitting of the team's name and iconic logo.

If you remember the WHA, the cross-town rival NHL North Stars, the movie "Slap Shot" (not-so-loosely based on the Saints and its minor league affiliate Johnstown [PA] Jets), or even simply where you were on June 27, 1972 when Bobby Hull stunned the sports world by signing with the upstart league - this is the episode for you!