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The Hockey Hall Of Fame

Bob Essensa: Determination topped with an excellent attitude

by Gina Jones

Twenty-four year old goalie Bob Essensa has had 17 years to perfect the art of netminding. His rise near the top of per­fection in the International Hockey League was rewarded when Essensa was named Player of the Month in the month of December.

Essensa, a rookie, tallied a 3.03 goals against average in eight games played in Decem­ber. "Personally, I'd like to end the season with a respectable GAA. Between 3.00 and 3.50 and a good save percentage. I'd like to just play well around play-off time," Essensa stated in a recent interview.

Essensa began his hockey orientation at the ripe old age of six. His first year he played forward. As a forward he was one of the leading scorers. "A couple of games the goalie didn't show, so the coach strapped the pads on me. I just thought goalie was a cool posi­tion to play with all that equip­ment."

Essensa was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 1983, before he even began college. Essensa was sought after by numerous colleges too. "I had half a dozen offering me scholarships. Har­vard, Bowling Green, North-eastern. I chose Michigan State because the opportunity to play was there. I was coming in with another freshman. It's a beauti­ful school and campus," said Essensa. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in General Business Administration.

For the last two summers Essensa has attended Win­nipeg's Training Camp. "Both summers I felt were good camps. Winnipeg is pretty strong defensive wise."

"I don't feel that playing in Fort Wayne in the I.H.L, is a demotion from the A.H.L. It's better for me to play here than sit on the bench."

Essensa has a strong at­titude. Arid a determined one. "We will continue to improve. Milwaukee and Muskegon will eventually not have an easy time. We're are going to be in the topthree at the end of the 1988-89 season!"