Screenshot: YouTube

Pete Stauber is the Republican candidate in the upcoming election for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. His policy positions are pretty standard fare for a Republican: He voiced support for the rock-dumb tax bill and is pro-mining and anti-environmentalist to the point that he unironically wrote, “Even protest signs are made from trees.” Stauber’s got loads of experience, as a police officer for 20 years, an active union member, and a commissioner on the county board. Most importantly, since this is Minnesota, he’s a hockey hero.

As Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages noted, Stauber played forward for Denfeld High, then Lake Superior State University, where he was a member of the Lakers team that won the 1988 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, and finished his career with a cup of coffee in the AHL. His college hockey experience is important enough that he notes it in the first paragraph of his campaign bio, which reads, “One of Stauber’s highlights in college was having the opportunity to meet President Ronald Reagan, after the LSSU hockey team (which he captained) won the Division I National Championship in 1988.”

Stauber played a critical role in winning the game over St. Lawrence, setting up the OT winner with a missed shot. He also made a controversial play at the end of the third period that easily could have led to the Lakers losing in regulation if it were called correctly. With under two minutes left, St. Lawrence had the puck in transition and was bearing down on the LSSU goal. A scramble in front of the net ensued, and Stauber took the opportunity to dislodge the goal, stopping play. It should have led to a penalty shot, but refs signaled for a face-off instead, keeping LSSU’s hopes alive. SI called it a “flagrant violation of the rules” in their write-up. Watch how St. Lawrence fans on top of the goal immediately start hooting and hollering.

Stauber knew the risks, and he got away with it. There are plenty of good reasons not to vote for Stauber, and making a bold and illegal play to win the biggest hockey game of his life is impressive on some level. What’s most notable at this point is that he won’t talk about it: City Pages has apparently tried every avenue and Stauber won’t even address it:

Shouldn’t he explain his decision to risk everything and cheat to win?

He still won’t. Numerous attempts to reach Stauber for this story — through his campaign email account, his St. Louis County contact information, and multiple Stauber-for-Congress campaign surrogates — produced nothing in response. If Stauber has any feelings about knocking the net off, he’s keeping them to himself.

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Deadspin has also reached out to Stauber, and we will update this post if he writes back.

[City Pages]