|Hockey Hall of Fame, 1965|
November 2, 1921|
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
July 9, 1994 (aged 72)|
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Weight||160 lb (73 kg; 11 st 6 lb)|
|Played for||Chicago Black Hawks|
William Mosienko (November 2, 1921 - July 9, 1994) was a Ukrainian Canadian professional ice hockey right winger who played 14 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Chicago Black Hawks. He is best noted for recording the fastest hat trick in NHL history. In a 1952 game against the New York Rangers, Mosienko scored three goals in 21 seconds.
In the NHL, Mosienko won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1945 as the most gentlemanly player in the league, played in five All-Star Games and was twice named to the second All-Star Team. He left the league in 1955 to help bring professional hockey to his hometown of Winnipeg. He helped create the Winnipeg Warriors of the Western Hockey League and was a three-time All-Star in his four years of play in the league. He won the league championship in 1956.
Mosienko was born on November 2, 1921 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was one of 14 children, having nine brothers and four sisters. His father was a Ukrainian immigrant and worked as a boilermaker with the Canadian Pacific Railway. Mosienko grew up in Winnipeg's north end.
He developed a passion for hockey and began playing at the age of 10 with the Tobans and later Sherburn athletic clubs. At 17, he sought to try out with the St. James Canadians junior team in 1939 and after being told he was too young, instead joined the Winnipeg Monarchs.
Chicago Blackhawks player Joe Cooper discovered Mosienko playing on outdoor rinks in Winnipeg and recommended that Hawks management sign him. Mosienko signed with Chicago at the age of 18 and was assigned to their minor league team, the Kansas City Americans. In his first two seasons, he split time between the Americans, the Providence Reds and the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks first recalled Mosienko in 1942, replacing players who had left to fight World War II. He scored his first two NHL goals on February 9, 1942, 21 seconds apart.
Exempted from military service for medical reasons likely related to his small size, Mosienko was unable to cross into the United States as a result of travel restrictions and played the 1942-43 season primarily with the Quebec Aces of the Quebec Senior Hockey League. He appeared in two games when the Hawks traveled to Toronto. He finally established himself as an NHL regular in 1943-44 and scored a career high 70 points. Mosienko and his linemates Clint Smith and Doug Bentley combined to score 219 points, at that time an NHL record. His 70 points set a team rookie record that stood for 37 years until broken by Denis Savard in 1980-81.
In 1944-45, Mosienko finished sixth in league scoring with 54 points and did not record a single penalty minute throughout the course of the season. He was awarded the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most gentlemanly player and named a Second-Team All-Star. He was also voted the most popular player on the team by its fans.
The following season, Chicago coach Johnny Gottselig paired Mosienko with the Bentley brothers: Max and Doug. The trio formed what came to be known as the "Pony Line" due to their speed and small size and emerged as one of the top scoring trios in the NHL. Max Bentley led the league in scoring in 1945-46, and despite missing time with a knee injury, Mosienko finished sixth. He was again named a Second-Team All-Star. He played in the first National Hockey League All-Star Game prior to the start of the 1947-48 season, during which he suffered a broken leg and was initially feared lost for the year. He ultimately missed the first two months of play, while the Pony Line was broken up for good shortly after his injury when Max Bentley was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Mosienko remained a key contributor to the Blackhawks offence, appearing in five All-Star Games during his career. His most famous moment came on March 23, 1952, in a game against the New York Rangers on the final night of the regular season. He scored three goals in a 21-second span of the third period against New York's Lorne Anderson to set a new record for the fastest hat-trick by one player. Linemate Gus Bodnar assisted on all three goals, and he nearly had a fourth goal 45 seconds later on a shot that deflected off the goalpost. Mosienko's feat remains an NHL record.
Due to his small size, Mosienko was a frequent target of physical abuse from larger opponents, and suffered numerous injuries as a result. Despite this, he refrained from retaliation and was well regarded across the league for his gentlemanly conduct. In 14 NHL seasons, he totaled only 121 penalty minutes and had just one fight.
Mosienko left the NHL in 1955 and joined fellow player Alf Pike in bringing professional hockey back to Winnipeg. They joined the new Winnipeg Warriors of the Western Hockey League. He led the Warriors to the President's Cup championship in the team's first year of 1955-56 and helped the Warriors defeat the Quebec Hockey League's Montreal Royals for the Edinburgh Trophy, Canada's minor professional championship. He scored two goals in the deciding sixth game of a 3-1 victory to capture the trophy. He was named to the WHL All-Star Team three times: 1957, 1958 and 1959. Though he scored 88 points in the 1958-59 season, Mosienko announced his retirement after 18 seasons of professional hockey. He coached the team for one season in 1959-60.
At the time of his retirement from the NHL, Mosienko was seventh all-time in league scoring with 540 points. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1965, and to the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 1980. Additionally, Mosienko is honoured by the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame and in 2000 was named to its provincial All-Century First All-Star Team.
Following his retirement, Mosienko and Joe Cooper operated a string of bowling alleys in Winnipeg, one of which continues to be operated by his family. He was a supporter of Winnipeg minor hockey and Manitoba oldtimers associations. There is an arena named in Mosienko's honor in his hometown of Winnipeg.
Mosienko died of cancer in Winnipeg in 1994 at the age of 72. He had a wife, Wanda, two sons and one daughter. His grandson, Tyler, is also a professional hockey player. The younger Mosienko remembers his grandfather as a humble man who would join him on the family's backyard rink when he was learning to skate as a child.
|1940-41||Kansas City Americans||AHA||7||2||2||4||0||8||4||1||5||2|
|1941-42||Kansas City Americans||AHA||33||12||19||31||9||--||--||--||--||--|
|1941-42||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||11||6||8||14||4||3||2||0||2||0|
|1942-43||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||2||2||0||2||0||--||--||--||--||--|
|1943-44||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||50||32||38||70||10||8||2||2||4||6|
|1944-45||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||50||28||26||54||0||--||--||--||--||--|
|1945-46||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||40||18||30||48||12||4||2||0||2||2|
|1946-47||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||59||25||27||52||2||--||--||--||--||--|
|1947-48||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||40||16||9||25||9||--||--||--||--||--|
|1948-49||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||60||17||25||42||6||--||--||--||--||--|
|1949-50||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||69||18||28||46||10||--||--||--||--||--|
|1950-51||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||65||21||15||36||18||--||--||--||--||--|
|1951-52||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||70||31||22||53||10||--||--||--||--||--|
|1952-53||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||65||17||20||37||8||7||4||2||6||7|
|1953-54||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||65||15||19||34||17||--||--||--||--||--|
|1954-55||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||64||12||15||27||24||--||--||--||--||--|
|National Hockey League|
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy||1944-45|||
|Western Hockey League|
|WHL All-Star Team||1956-57
|Manitoba Athlete of the Year||1957|||