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A hockey legacy honored

Joe and Mark Janes will be honored for local contributions

(Source: Rochester Post-Bulletin. Posted Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, by Paul Christian)


The assignment was to research Dr. Joe Janes and his son Mark Janes, who will be honored together on Saturday night at the Rochester Recreation Center.

A couple of things came out loud and clear - no one will argue their importance to the history of hockey in Rochester and another attribute, the Janeses are admired, adored and beloved by all.

Longtime friend of both Dr. Joe and Mark, Dr. Michael Stuart said it best. "The Janes family name is synonymous with both 'class' and 'hockey.'"

In a nutshell, Joe Janes was instrumental in the formation of the Rochester Youth Hockey Association and Mark was a longtime ambassador for the sport and brought Junior A hockey to Rochester.

Mark also developed a league for Rochester senior players - now called the Mark Janes Developmental Hockey League - which is still growing strong.

That's only the tip of the iceberg. Their contributions to Rochester hockey is a list that goes on and on.

Joe Janes died in 1983. He was 74. Mark died a year ago at the age of 66.

janes plaque picture

A memorial plaque honoring Mark Janes and his father, Dr. Joe Janes, will be dedicated at the end of the first period of Saturday night's game between John Marshall and Mayo at the Rochester Recreation Center.


Saturday night, at the end of the first period of the game between John Marshall and Mayo at the Rec Center, there will be a memorial plaque dedicated to them with the inscription that reads "Spreading the joy of ice hockey to all ages and generations." Several members of the Janes family will be in attendance, including Mark's wife Mary. The plaque will have a prominent location, and deservedly so, in the entry at the Rec Center.

"Many of us in the hockey community owe a huge debt of gratitude to both Joe and Mark Janes," said Frank Serratore. "I would not be where I am today if not for the opportunity I received with the Mustangs and I am not alone, guys like Kevin Constantine and Mark Kaufman would tell you the same thing. Furthermore, you would have to dedicate two or three more pages to this story if you were to attempt to name all the players whose lives were benefited in some way through their involvement with the Mustangs."

Serratore played two years with the "old" Mustangs and currently serves as the head coach at the Air Force Academy.

The idea for the plaque was first discussed at a coffee group a few months after Mark died. A memorial fund was then set up (which is still accepting contributions, by the way). It was decided to honor the pair in at least two ways: a memorial plaque which was the first priority and eventually a park bench. Enough money was raised for both the plaque and a bench, which will be built at Cascade Lake Park upon its completion.

It was also decided that the plaque be dedicated at a Mayo/JM game at the Rec Center. Mark was a JM grad and co-captain of the hockey team. Joe was once the team doctor at Mayo.

The opposing coaches for the game have a Janes connection - Jay Ness (JM) with Mark's Mustangs and Lorne Grosso (Mayo) with Joe's Mustangs.

It's ironic now that all 3 public high school hockey teams in Rochester have ties to the Mustangs - Ness, Chris Ratzloff, Matt Erredge at JM; Josh Klingfus at Century; and Grosso and Todd Huyber at Mayo.

The game is Saturday at 7:30.

Joe, Mark Janes tribute

A memorial plaque honoring Joe and Mark Janes' contributions to hockey in Rochester will be dedicated after the first period of the John Marshall and Mayo boys game Saturday night (7:30) at the Recreation Center.



Joe, Mark Janes, never to be forgotten

Father and son helped build the city's hockey legacy to what it is

(Source: Rochester Post-Bulletin. Posted Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, by Paul Christian)


It wouldn't be fair to say that Joe and Mark Janes deserve all the credit for making hockey in Rochester what it is today. After all, there have been dozens of others who have played big roles in growing the sport. That list is too long to name here.

On the other hand, Dr. Joe and Mark certainly deserve a ton of credit. Their handprints on the game of hockey in Rochester are all over the place.

Joe Janes died in 1983 at the age of 74. His obituary declared that he was Rochester's "Mr. Hockey." Nobody is going to argue that.

Dr. Joe was a noted orthopedic surgeon with Mayo Clinic. By all accounts, he was one of the finest surgeons in the world.

He grew up playing minor-league hockey in Canada. In Rochester, he was one of the founders of Rochester's semi-pro Mustangs team, who were at the time playing in the United States Hockey League. The Mustangs name? That was all Dr. Joe; the team was named the Mustangs after his teams at the University of Western Ontario in London. That's where he earned his M.D. degree. Dr. Joe was the Mustangs' team doctor for 19 years. He also played a major role in establishing what is now the Rochester Youth Hockey Association.


'Much-loved figure'


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Joe Janes

"I never had the privilege of meeting Joe Janes, he died prior to my arrival in Rochester, with that, I lived in Rochester for two years and I can tell you I never heard anyone in the community ever utter anything but kind and respectful words about the man. Not only was Joe respected, he was a much-loved figure in the community."

Those were the words of Frank Serratore, who has served as head men's hockey coach at the Air Force Academy since 1997. He began his coaching career in 1982 with the Austin Mavericks, who later moved to Rochester, where he coached for two years. "I know Mark's passion for hockey and community involvement was influenced greatly by his father," Serratore said. As a matter of fact, his father's influence was his primary motivation in formulating the local group of investors who brought the Mustangs to Rochester in 1985. Mark would frequently bring up his father in conversation, his father was his idol. Mark was so proud of being the son of Joe Janes, so much so he named his own son after his father, and the youngest apple didn't fall far from the family tree.


"Young Joe is a quality guy and quite the man in his own right. In looking back after all these years and now being a father myself, I can't help but think how cool it was that Mark thought so much of his father and did so for all the right reasons. Our world would be a much better place if all sons could feel that way about their fathers. It was unfortunate I never had the opportunity of meeting Joe Janes, however, in knowing the son I really believe I knew the man."

In 1994, Joe Janes was inducted into Rochester Quarterbacks Club Hall of Fame. Herb Brooks, coach of the gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic hockey team in 1980, was the guest speaker. That was appropriate, too, because Brooks once played with the Mustangs. The star-studded Mustangs 1964-65 roster reads like a "who's-who" with names like Brooks, his brother Dave Brooks, Lou Nanne, Tom Yurkovich, Bert Aikens, Bill Reichart, Ken Johannson, Len Lillyholm and Dick Carpenter, to name just a few.

In those Mustang years, Bob Fleming later served as president of the U.S. Olympic hockey committee and Johannson was the Olympic hockey general manager. Reichart and Gene Campbell were both future Olympians.

Joe Janes helped attract several semi-pro players to Rochester, and they would stay here and share themselves with the community and other hockey families. Their contributions and those of their children represent much of Rochester's hockey legacy."


Mark had a role in 1985 move


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Mark Janes

The "old" Mustangs folded up in 1970. The "new" Mustangs were in Austin as the Mavericks for 11 years before making the move to Rochester in 1985. Mark Janes was one of those responsible for the team's move. In their first six years in Rochester, the "new" Mustangs won three National Junior 'A' championships. "It was only fitting we call them the Mustangs," Mark Janes said after the move from Austin.

Kevin Constantine, former head coach of the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins, also coached the Mustangs to a National Junior 'A' title in the 1997-98 season.

Following the 2002-03 season, and under new ownership, the Mustangs ceased operations in Rochester.

"Mark Janes has impacted hockey in Rochester on a number of different ways," said Jay Ness, the current coach at JM. "The Mustangs helped put over 200 players on collegiate rosters, including myself. He really cared about the kids. They (kids) came first before the business of running a hockey team."


Mark developed a league for Rochester senior players, which is now stronger than ever. A few years ago it was renamed the Mark Janes Developmental Hockey League. "I have had the privilege to skate with both Dr. Joe and Mark in my life," said Rochester's Tim Tarara, who now heads the league," and both offered me perspective on the game. I am sure Mark had no idea what he was starting eight years ago. It was an honor for me to have been asked by Mark to take over the Thursday group. I try to do things in a way that he would appreciate. It has been great to make new friends and reconnect with old ones over this time."

Steve Ormand, a hockey player most of his life, first met Janes in 2006. "I first saw him on KTTC sports one night in late March talking about the new old-timer group he started," Ormand said. "I called him the next day to see if he needed more players and he invited me to play the next week; and I have been playing ever since. And what a blessing it is to still be playing hockey at my age with old friends and new friends. Mark's enthusiasm for playing hockey was contagious and has had a positive effect on me and how to play the game. He welcomed people from all walks of life and all talent levels to come together and get a good workout, develop our skills, and most of all have a fun skate."

John Withers of Rochester was friends with Mark Janes for a long time and once skated in the old-timers league. "Once Mark set his mind on starting the old timers developmental league, it became his passion," Withers said. "What started with Mark taking me to lunch to discuss his idea turned into a labor of love for him."




Janes was as affable as they come

(Source: Rochester Post-Bulletin. Posted Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, and updated Dec. 12, 2013, by Paul Christian)


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Mark Janes didn't have an enemy in the world. Well, maybe one set of parents.

Janes was president of his 1965 class at Rochester John Marshall, and it was his duty to read all the names of the graduates as they marched across the stage to receive their diplomas. There were a lot of names, too, over 700.

Apparently during the graduation ceremony, Mark Janes called one graduate Patricia, and it should have been Patrick. "After that, I figure that the guy's parents were the only ones never to have liked Mark," said Peter Janes, Mark's younger brother.

"I can't think of anyone else. I actually asked him one day if he had any enemies and he just shook his head no. And ask anybody who knew Mark and they'll tell you the same thing. That's pretty remarkable. He was as nice as they come."

Mark Janes died Saturday of multiple myeloma, a cancer that attacks the plasma system. He was 66.

"Mark got all the optimism genes in our family," said his brother. "Older siblings often times can be mean to the younger ones but that wasn't the case with Mark. He always let me play with his group of friends. All his life, Mark was upbeat and optimistic and to be honest with you, I don't know how he did it."

A hockey name

The Janes name is synonymous with hockey in Rochester. Joe Janes was instrumental in starting the Rochester Juvenile Hockey Association in 1953, and served as chairman of the board and team physician with the Rochester Mustangs in the 60's and 70's.

Mark continued that hockey legacy, first as general manager of the Mustangs during their heyday - they won three straight USHL Junior A championships - and then as head coach at Lourdes and at Rochester Community College. "He had his hands in many different things," said Peter, "but hockey was his first love."

If you're talking about lifelong friends, that would be Pete Hoffman. He's known Mark for over 60 years. "We grew up within blocks of each other on the southwest side of the city," Hoffman said. "I can remember walking home from elementary school [Edison] with Mark and then we graduated together at JM."

Hoffman and Janes also attended and played hockey at Division II Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Generally, they skated on the same line and were fraternity brothers as well.

Eventually, both Hoffman and Janes made it back to Rochester. Hoffman retired as a veterinarian while Mark enjoyed a 40-plus year career with the IDS/American Express/Ameriprise Company.

Mark was a member of the Rochester Park Board for eight years and was heavily involved in youth sports programs, primarily hockey.

It was while skating in January, when Janes broke his elbow and after that, his health started to deteriorate. He had five surgeries but the cancer proved to be relentless.

He died on Dec. 7 and perhaps that was an omen; Mark wore the number 7 in college.

"We were blessed to have spent the last couple weeks with him," said Pete Janes. "Mark and Mary celebrated their 43rd anniversary (Dec.5) and we also had Thanksgiving. Every day we would read notes from his friends who had posted on his Caring Bridge website."

And Mark got a chance to hold his only grandchild, Natalia Rae, who was born on Sept. 25. Mark's daughter Erin and her husband Brandon live in Colorado.

Hockey league for old timers

In 2006 Mark Janes started the Old Timers Hockey League. "I wanted to give older players a chance to compete against skaters their own age," he said at the time.

The league began with 18 skaters on Thursday nights at the Recreation Center and now has mushroomed to some 60 skaters, playing on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

Last April the league was renamed as the Mark Janes Developmental Hockey League (mjdhl.org).

Those players are expected to wear their league jerseys at Jane's funeral, which will be held Thursday morning at First Presbyterian Church. Hoffman will give one of the four eulogies.

In a strange twist, 30 years ago, Hoffman's father offered the eulogy for Joe Janes at his funeral. "It's the same church and I will be speaking at the same spot where my father was that day," said Hoffman. "It probably wasn't easy for my father and I expect it won't be easy for me, either."



Senior hockey league changes name; friends honor founder

                         (Source: Rochester Post-Bulletin, Tuesday, April 23, 2013. Post Bulletin Staff)

     Last Thursday, about 70 friends of local hockey legend Mark Janes gathered at a local watering hole to honor their hockey commisioner by changing the name of their hockey league to the Mark Janes Developmental Hockey League.

     Janes had started the Old Timers Hockey League eight years ago to give older players a chance to compete against skaters their own age. What began with 18 skaters on Thursday nights soon blossomed into 55 skaters spread over two nights each week.

 

mdjhl39 mjdhl40

     Janes says the credit for starting the league goes to his wife Mary, who grew tired of Mark complaining about having to keep up with the 25- to 35-year olds on the rink, so she finally said why don't you just start your own league with older skaters?

     Soon the idea took hold and Mark became the father of Rochester's first old-timers hockey league. Janes says the highlights for him over the past eight years are having guys who have never skated asking if they could join the league and learn how to play, and of course making many new friends.

     He was greeted with an array of new red and white jerseys bearing the new logo and league name when he arrived, it didn't take long for the tears to start for janes.

     Mike Vic joined the league about two months after it began says he used to be in the family of law enforcement, and now has a family of hockey friends.

     Kirk Cowell, who has been with the league since the first night, says he likes how when you make a mistake, your own team will boo you.

     Tim Tarara said he received a letter from Janes talking about the new opportunity, and before he had even finished reading the letter had called Janes to say he was in.

It was a wonderful night for hockey in Rochester, and everyone there had a great time.

(To see more pictures from this event go to the News page under the date April 18, 2013)



Old-timer Hockey Tradition    (Source: KTTC-TV, Rochester, Minnesota; December 31, 2012)

     For most of us, New Year's Eve likely means a party, nice dinner, or maybe just sitting at home watching the ball drop, and probably not playing a hockey game. For one group of old-timer hockey players it means hitting the ice for a yearly tradition.

     The old-timers New Year's Eve hockey game is a tradition the players have had for the last three or four years, but the friendships between some of these players goes back 30 or 40 years and maybe even longer. And they say the game keeps them young, just ask 72-year-old John Diffley who has a love for the game that goes back 60 years.

     "I suppose it's kind of an obsession in a way," Diffley said. "It's almost an addiction if you want to put it in those terms. I suppose that old hockey players just hang on forever."

To watch the video click on the link below.



The Ice Men    (Source: Rochester Post-Bulletin, special insert called "Boomers"; March 2010)

     Mark Janes will be the first to tell you his fitness routine is fairly unconventional. "There's probably not a lot of fitness trainers or health gurus who recommend a bunch of 50 and 60-year-olds go out and play hockey twice a week," says the 63-year-old organizer of the OTDL, or Old Timers Development League.

Ice Men Mark Janes

     "People ask me what we are developing," Janes says. "I say, absolutely nothing at all as far as hockey is concerned, but we're certainly having a good time." A hockey player since the age of six, Janes started the league in 2006, when he recognized that boomers might enjoy playing together instead of with and against 20 and 30-somethings. It started with a Thursday night league, and in the past five years has grown to about 60 players (one female) who play at the Rec Center on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

     Games typically last about an hour, and all players must wear full pads. "There's no checking. We all realize we have a job to go to the next day," Janes says. "I tell every new person that joins our league that this is the end of their career, there's nobody in the stands taking notes on their ability, this is the last chance to play hockey and we're here to enjoy it and behave."


     While some of the league members are former college players, Janes says some have never played an organized minute of hockey in their lives. Mike Greve, a 55-year-old science teacher, played a few pick-up games as a kid, but joined the league in 2006 and refers to himself as a "hacker player." "There are some guys that play very high level hockey, but they're passing the puck and making sure everyone's having fun," he says. Greve skates with two total hip replacements, and says he was a little hesitant to try the league at first, "but on the ice it's no problem at all. The legs feel good, the muscles get tired from skating, and its a good feeling, I think."

     There have been a few injuries over the years, Janes says, the worst of which was when one player broke his leg in two places. "That's my biggest fear," Janes says, "but he ended up having surgery and is back playing and enjoying it as much as he ever did." In fact, most players are undeterred by the prospect of getting hurt. Bill Meschke started with the league when he was 59, and "caught a lot of grief" when he twisted a knee two days before his daughter's wedding. "I made it down the aisle," he says. "It just takes a little longer to recover, but in this league if anybody falls down people are pretty good and stop to see it they're all right."

     It's that level of camraderie that the players say they enjoy the most. "You might look around the locker room and see a judge talking to a retired plumber, or a teacher talking to a cop," Janes says. Temmates often meet up off the ice for dinner or drinks, and players have become good friends. "When I came back, I hadn't played for a long time, and all of a sudden I saw a bunch of people I hadn't seen in years, " Meschke says. "I'd skated with them some time ago and got reaquainted."

Ice Men Tim Tarara

     Last year when player Mike Vik's 32-year-old daughter developed breast cancer, he wanted to have a pink hockey jersey made for himself to show his support. His teammates found out about the plan, and suggested they all buy jersey's and donate some extra funds to help Vik's daughter buy wigs and other necessities. Now each Old Timer sports a black and white jersey with a pink breast cancer ribbon on the front. "It made me cry," says 56-year-old Vik. "That gives you an underlying idea as to the character of these people."

     Janes says many of the players have been with the league since the beginning, and really feel the loss if they miss a game on Tuesday or Thursday night. "I'll ask if they want to shut it down for a month or two in the summer, and not a chance," he says. "My dad played into his late 60's, and if we can go that long we're in good shape. I always told my wife when I can't carry my bag up the stairs and out the door anymore I'm gonna quit."



It's Good for the Marriage

(Source: Rochester Post-Bulletin; Sarah Doty; Tuesday April 7, 2009 12:00 am)

Couples are both goalies, and play against each other.

Tim Lincoln of Adams, is far from quiet when he is in the goal. He is usually talking with his teammates, helping them know where the puck is and how the other team is positioned. And when he isn't busy helping his team, he can be heard trash talking the other goalie.

"Oh that's got to hurt," he said at a game last month.

But there aren't any hard feelings between the two. After all, they have been married for 29 years this month.

Tim and his wife Leslie have been playing in an adult hockey league together for the past year. "It's a lot of fun to see Leslie down at the other end enjoying it," said Tim. "It's good fun, it's fitness, it's a heck of a workout."

Tim has played hockey since he was 6 years old, but for Leslie, it has been a more recent development. "He got me started about eight years ago in Colorado," said Leslie. "Basically I just wanted to be able to do something with him - a hobby with my husband, and he was playing roller hockey at the time. We went to watch him play in a championship game and the other team didn't show up, so his team grabbed me, threw me in gear and stuck me in the net and told me to hold the stick and stand there." She has been stuck there ever since.

They moved just south of Adams about five years ago, and last year they met Mark Janes, the organizer of the adult league at the Rochester Recreation Center. They finally decided to make it a weekly thing.

"We kind of make a date night out of it," said Tim. "Because it's about a 45 minute drive, we will leave and come up and have a cup of coffee and a bite to eat." Then the real work starts when they hit the ice.

"He is actually good, so he is competitive," said Leslie. "I, on the other hand, am not so good. So when (the puck) goes by me I can go ha-ha-ha, and get ready for the next one, whereas if one goes by him, he can't believe that one went by." But once the game is over and a winner has been decided, the Lincolns are just happy to have spent some time together.

"It's just nice to be able to go with him and have a date night," Leslie said. "To go with him, and he roots for me, and I root for him, it's not a big pressure thing. We have a lot of fun, we enjoy it." The Lincolns however, aren't the only couple that plays in opposite nets in the league.

Jen and Josh Ruhnke of Rochester also face off once a week. Jen graduated from Austin High School and played goalie for the Packers while her husband just recently picked up hockey as a hobby. In fact, Josh's real experience came when Jen was pregnant and her women's league needed a goalie.

"They needed someone to help fill in every once in a while, so my husband put on my pads and started playing with my pink helmet, my pink stick, my pink jersey, everything," said Jen. He has been hooked ever since, but has purchased some more manly colored pads for himself. He is far from a professional, but he enjoys learning the sport and spending some time with his wife. "It's a work in progress," he said about his hockey skills.

Tim says that it really is the perfect set up to have your significant other in the other goal. "Only a goalie can talk to a goalie," he said. Leslie added, "It's sort of neat to be able to discuss it and give each other pointers." And shooting a couple of pucks at each other once in a while can be good for a marriage they all said. "It's cheaper than therapy," Tim said with a laugh.


Tim & Leslie


Mature Hockey    (Source: Rochester Post-Bulletin; by Steve Webb; October 10, 2006)


Over-50 league is for the love of game, friendships.

"We're not developing anything, just good friendships." -- Mark Janes

Hockey has been part of Mark Janes' life from a very early age.

Remember the Original Rochester Mustangs? His father, Dr. Joe Janes, named that team and was the team doctor for 19 years.

Mark Janes was instrumental in getting the Junior A Mustangs team started in Rochester in the early 1980s. And he has always skated in various recreational leagues in Rochester.

As time marched on, Janes found himself among the older skaters in these leagues. That can start to lessen the fun if the others are ultra-competitive. (Ever know any hockey players who weren't?)

"I was whining to my wife about having to skate with those younger guys and she said, 'Why don't you get some other league going?'" said Janes.

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     "I'm 59 and I thought as others turn 50, they might want to slow down a little bit in their hockey." And so was born the OTDL, or Old Timers Developmental League, as it is jokingly called. "We're not developing anything, just good friendships," Janes laughs.

     It's a league for hockey players, and would-be players, who are over the age of 50. And it has turned out very well as it approaches the end of its first year in existence.

     "I sent out probably 60 or 70 letters to guys I thought were over 50 and I know had skated at some point in the past, trying to drum up some interest," explained Janes. The group gathers every Thursday night, usually at the Recreation Center. About 20 skaters showed up the first night and Janes now has over 40 on his roster. "All 40 don't show up every time," he said. Usually there are enough skaters so he can pick two teams of 10-12 on each side. He said he built up the roster strongly in the beginning, knowing some people would drop out, which has happened.

     "This is totally geared around the offensive end of things," Janes said. "You will get frowned upon if you play too much defense. "Our rule is, you never take a good scoring opportunity away from anyone." Ron Moffett and Dan Beaupre make sure there are two goalies there every night.

     There are quite a few high school players who are regulars, and a few who played some college hockey. Teresa McCormack isn't 50 and she never played hockey. But she began skating when her sons started playing the game. When she heard about this league, she got in touch with Janes. "They spotted me a few years because I'm a girl," said Teresa. "I never really played hockey, but I thought it would be fun. There aren't that many places for people to play starting out." McCormack said she hasn't yet scored a goal. "They have tried to set me up quite a few times. They have been really nice to me. "They have reached the age where they are fairly forgiving."

     Even Janes has sometimes been surprised at the interest in the game. He tells the story of one night last winter - a really nasty, stormy night - when they had ice time at Graham Arena. He wasn't expecting much of a turnout and instead it was one of the largest groups they have had.



Old-timer Hockey    (Source: Rochester Post-Bulletin; Guy Li; Saturday, January 14, 2006 12:00 am)

     Mark Janes, whose ties to hockey in Rochester go all the way back to the old Mustangs team, has started a recreation hockey league for skaters aged 50 and over. "We're calling it the Old-Timers Developmental League," said Janes, who admits the only thing developed might be sore muscles. He sent out information to everyone he knew who might be interested, but said there might be people who are new to Rochester who would be interested. The non-checking, no-slapshot league will start Jan. 19 at 9 p.m. at the Recreation Center. Janes has several nights of ice time booked after that. "If there is enough turnout, we'll continue," he said.



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