Chico, Rico and the Mask

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/05/2007 01:26:00 PM | | |

 Kevin Allen has a feature on former Islander goaltender Glenn Resch, the orgions of his famous goalie mask and what he did to
re-acquire his second mask after the Hall of Fame requested the first artistic mask.

"Here is my proof," he says, laughing. "The mask sits prominently in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, and that's as close as I'm going to get."

"There wasn't much pizzazz in the league back then; names on the back of the jerseys had just come in a couple of years before," Resch recalls. "At that point, I didn't know how long I would be in the league, and you hope to do something to get you noticed. But when I first saw it, I said, 'Wow, but this might be too showy.' "

Kevin Allen expands his artcle to other goaltenders and of course has some words about Rick DiPietro's mask. here.

New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro decided to salute the military on his mask because his dad is a veteran and he plays in Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

"With a dad who served in Vietnam it seemed like the perfect concept," he says.

DiPietro receives letters from veterans touched by his gesture as much as his father was:

"It honors the flag and honors my service. It means a lot to me as a father," says DiPietro's dad, also Rick.

Although the younger DiPietro came up with the idea, the storyteller is artist Frank Cipra of Brockville, Ontario, who has painted masks for about 70% of the league's goalies:

"We usually have a five-minute conversation — I call it my mind-reading session — and then I take it from there," Cipra says.

After a few hours of research, Cipra did renderings about World Wars I and II, plus the Korean War, for DiPietro. The Iwo Jima and Vietnam memorials are also depicted on his mask. Most important to DiPietro, Cipra painted a Huey helicopter like the one his father piloted in Vietnam in 1969. "Black Jack 33" is emblazoned on the tailboom of the Huey because that was his father's call sign.

An ace of spades and jack of diamonds also are depicted to replicate a patch his father wore.