Developing his natural athletic skills growing up in Fort Frances, this outstanding hockey player carried on a tradition of excellence established by his father Walter, a 1952 Allan Cup Champion. Crossing the border in 1960 to attend high school, Huffer, as he came to be known, began his climb to glory joining the International Falls Broncos hockey team. A stand out on the forward line, the team claimed the 1962 Minnesota State High School Championship, with Huffer being named to the All-State squad.

 

Honing his skills playing junior hockey with the Fort Frances Royals, he made his way to the University of Minnesota in Duluth. His career at UMD was record setting, and legendary. Named the Bulldogs 1963-64 Rookie of the Year, he went on to become the team's leading scorer in each of his 4 seasons, with his smart play making abilities seeing him set a UMD record of 196 points earned in 102 games.

 

A 3-time Bulldogs MVP, he was a strong force throughout the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The 1966-67 season saw him become a WCHA first team all-star, scoring champion, league MVP, NCAA All-American and named UMD's Outstanding Senior Athlete. Upon his graduation he became the first UMD athlete to have his jersey retired, with no other UMD hockey player ever again donning his famous #9.

 

Earning a USHL title with the Waterloo Blackhawks, he went on to serve as a member of the US National team from 1969-71. Named co-captain of the 1972 US Olympic hockey team, he found himself standing atop the podium accepting the Olympic silver medal on behalf of his newly adopted country. Following the Olympic Games, he led the Minnesota Fighting Saints to the World Hockey Association playoffs for two seasons, before finishing up his playing career in Europe.

 

Amongst the first slate of Inductees named to the UMD Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991, he was also inducted into the DECC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 and the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005.

 

The fact that his high school coach stated that after Huffer he was never satisfied with the play making of those that followed in his path, leaves little doubt that this Fort Frances athlete demonstrated excellence throughout his entire hockey career.

 

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 30, 2006


Keith "Huffer" Christiansen

Inducted: 
2006
Sport:
Hockey
Community:
Fort Frances
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