Like so many great hockey people, Clarke Drake was from Saskatchewan.
He was born in Yorkton and as a teenager played two games for the junior Regina Pats.
Drake died at age 89 Sunday in Edmonton, where he long ago became the winningest coach in Canadian college hockey. Drake coached the University of Alberta’s hockey team and its football team, winning championships in both sports.
I met him when he was one of three coaches — along with Tom Watt and my dad, Lorne Davis — recruited by Father David Bauer to resurrect Canada’s amateur hockey team for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
Canada beat the Americans repeatedly preceding the Olympics, but the U.S. squad, led by coach Herb Brooks, won the “Miracle On Ice” gold medal.
Whenever we crossed paths after Canada’s disappointing Olympic performance, Clare and I would start talking hockey and how it taught us so many other things about life and people. A true Hall of Famer.