skip navigation

'77 Rockets in championship form

By Loren Nelson, 12/21/22, 10:15AM CST


Iconic Rochester John Marshall team reunites for jersey retirement ceremony

Members of Rochester John Marshall's 1977 state championship team gathered for a jersey retirement ceremony on Tuesday night at the Rochester Recreation Center. Photo by Loren Nelson,

Photo by Loren Nelson,

Forty-five years later they’re still busting each other’s chops. Still giggling as if they were grade school schoolers. Still the very best of buddies.

And yes, still state champions. Now, and forever.

Twelve members of Rochester John Marshall’s 1977 state championship team — one of the most iconic squads in tourney history — gathered Tuesday in Rochester for the retirement of Rockets’ jersey No. 77.

Current John Marshall coach Matt Erredge and his staff had been noodling ideas for years on how to honor John Marshall’s 1977 team — the only state boys' hockey champion in Rochester history.

“The whole premise behind the program was to make sure we gave them their due,” Erredge said about the jersey unveiling ceremony before Tuesday’s game between Rochester John Marshall and Rochester Century at the Rochester Recreation Center. “We didn’t want to retire 12 jerseys, and that’s probably what we would have had to have done.”

The fabled rag-tag Rockets team with mismatched helmets and gloves, the only champion from the deep southern portion of the state, shocked Edina East 4-2 in the 1977 state title game. The on-ice ceremony dedicated to the members of that squad included a brief recap of the team’s accomplishments and introductions of all the team’s players, whether or not they were in attendance.

“It just means so much to everybody, to be able to see all these people, and the effort they made to come back for this,” said Scott Lecy, who as a senior was the top goal scorer in the 1977 tourney with five. “And to be on on the ice together with the guys again … it’s just high school hockey, and it’s the best. 

“Whether it’s college or the pros, it always comes back to high school and the buddies you grew up with. That’s what means the most.”

Times have changed, but not much about the team has. Lecy, who scored 61 goals during the 1976-77 season (sixth most in state history) was one of just four seniors on the Rockets’ championship squad. He handled much of the team’s media responsibilities then, just as he did Tuesday night. And he was chosen to make the ceremonial puck drop between John Marshall’s Mason Decker and Century’s Jonah Ottman. 

Scott Lecy’s younger brother, Todd, nicknamed “Pudly,” hammed it up during Tuesday’s introductions by pretending to slip on the black carpet laid out on the ice for the team. He’s renowned for scoring the empty net goal that clinched the victory over the Hornets, then running wildly on the ice and into the arms of his brother.

Dan Erickson, who found his way into the foreground of several of the most memorable photographs from the 1977 postgame celebration and has been ribbed endlessly by teammates ever since for doing so, again was a camera magnet. He was in the middle of the group for a time Tuesday, cradling the 1977 championship trophy.

“I tried to give the trophy to Scott (Lecy), but when they announced everybody, I ended up in the middle and they told me to hold it,” said Erickson, a former U.S. Air Force pilot who dusted off an old letterman’s jacket for the event.

The current version of the Rockets played inspired hockey for much of the game before losing to Century 7-2. The score was tied 2-2 through two periods but John Marshall (3-3-1), which has just 20 players in the program, ran out of gas in the third.

“We had that momentum there for a bit,” Decker said, “but that’s been the story of JM hockey for the last few years.” 

Decker said he was thrilled to witness the ceremony honoring the 1977 team.

“That was awesome,” he said. “Very cool moment. Knowing that JM has won the only state tournament in Rochester hockey history. They just had a really unbelievable run for a team from a small town like Rochester.”

Scott Lecy from Rochester John Marshall's 1977 championship team poses with current John Marshall player Mason Decker, left, and Rochester Century captain Jonah Ottman after the ceremonial puck drop. Photo by Loren Nelson,

Latest News

Tourney Time Teasers

  • O What a Relief

  • By David La Vaque 06/09/2020, 5:45pm CDT
  • Hill-Murray's Seamus Regan delighted father, brother by accomplishing what they couldn't
  • Read More
  • Danger Zone

  • By Loren Nelson 03/04/2020, 2:30pm CST
  • Goalies were once allowed to skate to opposite end — and did so at their own peril
  • Read More
  • The Heartbreak Kid

  • By David La Vaque 01/24/2020, 10:30am CST
  • Rob McClanahan and undefeated Mounds View dealt bitter state quarterfinal loss in 1976 by Steve Christoff and Richfield
  • Read More

The Full Nelson

  • Fountain of Youth

  • By Loren Nelson 12/08/2022, 1:45pm CST
  • Rejuvenated Mike Randolph, in his 34th season as a head coach, is loving life at St. Thomas Academy
  • Read More
  • Watch List

  • By Loren Nelson 11/07/2022, 8:00pm CST
  • Here are the five games you won't want to miss this season
  • Read More
  • Now You See It ...

  • By Loren Nelson 01/04/2022, 12:30pm CST
  • Houdini-like move by Andover's Cayden Casey joins list of greatest goals-gone-viral scored in recent history
  • Read More
  • The Real Hockeytown

  • By Loren Nelson 11/22/2021, 10:30pm CST
  • Season Primer: When Warroad plays, it's always a primetime event, especially in the Warriors' home town
  • Read More
  • Drama Kings

  • By Loren Nelson 11/18/2021, 12:45pm CST
  • Season Primer: The high school futures of Prior Lake stars Will Schumacher and Alex Bump were in doubt much of this fall
  • Read More