A month ago former Standard Freeholder photographer Doug Petepiece sent me several old pictures. Three of the pictures were of former Royals goalie Mario Vien, or so we thought.
Now, truth be told, I never saw Mario play, save a few oldtimers games and when we swore him in as a police officer for he odd tournament now and then. The first time I played with Mario in a tournament many moons ago, he left his net and skated the entire ice surface, circled behind the opposition net, like a sixth attacker, in a game we were leading in, for no other reason except than to say "it could be done." He had many quirks as goalies do, and the best of those that I remember, was that Mario never looked at the clock in the third period, he never wanted to know how much time was left in the game, "don't want to know as it helps avoid late game concentration breaks," he would say.
I know Mario well and consider him a friend.
When Doug sent the pictures, I decided to write a story in advance of the upcoming hockey season by going back to one moment frozen in time at the Water Street Arena, so many years ago.
Since Doug told me they were pictures of Mario, I wrote the story.The picture that accompanied the story is believed to be former goalie Tim Barnhardt making a glove save against the Quebec Remparts.
In doing so, I made the journalistic mistake of not checking and triple checking the source. Doug was embarrassed, but that was a long time ago and he made the same mistake I did.
The best part of all was you the readers, the email started arriving, "Hey Racine, That's not Mario, I'll let you figure it out," was one of the abrupt notes I got.
You see, like Grant Fuhr who came along after Mario, Mario Vien caught right handed. Classy Mario, never got in touch to complain, so it's only fitting that the error is corrected. Mario Vien, what a beauty, oh so long ago!