Brave Face
Brave Face

Brave Face

Wild Tales of Hockey Goaltenders in the Era Before Masks
By Rob Vanstone


256 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, EPUB, PDF

Cloth, $28.00 (US $28.00) (CA $38.00)

ISBN 9781637272169

Rights: WOR

Triumph Books (Nov 2023)


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A fascinating and immersive chronicle of hockey's original maskless warriors

More than 400 stitches decorated Terry Sawchuk's face during his 16 years as a goaltender in the National Hockey League, the result of high-speed collisions and slapshots that whizzed directly at his skull. All in a day's work for an elite goalie of his era.

Before facemasks became standard equipment in the 1960s and '70s, men like Sawchuk, Glenn Hall, and Jacques Plante—the first goalie to ever wear a mask in the NHL—put their bodies on the line in the name of hockey, enduring broken bones, damaged organs, and even psychological turmoil.

In this thoroughly researched book, Rob Vanstone illuminates the stories of these intrepid warriors while examining how the goaltender position has changed throughout the decades. As masks evolved from ghoulish-looking creations not out of place in horror films to today's caged helmets with custom artwork, goalies' body positioning and tactics were similarly transformed along with NHL regulations.

Told with charm and verve, this is an essential portrait of a uniquely brutal and harrowing chapter in hockey history.

Author Biography

Rob Vanstone is a columnist for the Regina Leader-Post, where he has covered sports since 1986. He is the author of books including 100 Things Roughriders Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.