Daniel Patrick “Gary” Dineen, nicknamed Coach D was born in Montreal on this day in 1943.  He was affiliated to the Ottawa Nationals and played for Canada twice at the Olympics (1964-68), winning bronze at the latter appearance. He played five seasons with the Canadian national amateur team before joining the professional leagues, having a very brief career in 1968-69 with the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL, playing in four games. But he played for several years in the minor leagues, with the Memphis South Stars (CHL), Iowa Stars (CHL), Salt Lake Golden Eagles (WHL), and eventually settling in Springfield, Massachusetts with the Springfield Kings of the AHL from 1969-71. After his playing career ended he became coach and general manager of the Kings and was active in Springfield junior hockey programs for over 30 years, developing the Gary Dineen Hockey School. He died at the age of 62 in West Springfield, Massachusetts on 1st April 2006.  His nephew Kevin Dineen, who played for the Denver Pioneers, also competed in the Olympics, finishing fourth with the Canadian team in the tournament at the 1984 Winter Games at Sarajevo.


Laura Ruhnke, who was born on this day in 1983 in Bern in Switzerland is a former Swiss-Canadian player who played for the ZSC Lions in the Swiss league. Her father is an ice-hockey coach.  Laura played for the Marlets, the McGill University team, between 2002 and 2005 while she was studying economics and biology. She interrupted her studies to concentrate on preparing for the 2006 Winter Games, where she competed for Switzerland, the team being placed 7th in the final rankings. On her return to Switzerland she played for HCL Ladies, winning the LKA championships in 2006.  After which she received the offer from ZSC Lions where she played until ending her career in 2010.


Otakar Janecký who was born on this day in 1960 in Pardubice, Czechoslovakia and was best known for eight years he spent playing in the SM-liiga in Finland with Jokerit Helsinki, his number, 91, has been retired by the club. He also played for SaiPa Lapeenrenta in 1990-91, and ended his time in Finland with Blues in 1999-2000. A centre, he was not a big goal scorer, but was a top assist man, recording over 30 assists every year in his Finnish career, and he had over 40 in both 1992-93 and 1993-94. Otakar started his career with his hometown team, HC Pardubice, playing for them in 1988-90, and finished his career with them from 2000-04. Internationally he competed four times at the World Championships (1989, 1992-94), winning three bronze medals in 1989, 1992, and 1993; once at the 1980 World Juniors, and at the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics, winning bronze in 1992. His son Otakar jr plays ice hockey currently in Finnish Mestis team Jokipojat


Josephine Pucci, born on this day in 1990 is a defence player for the Harvard Crimson ice hockey team, who made her debut for the United States national ice hockey team at the 2011 IIHF Women’s World Championship. Her freshman year with Harvard in the 2009–10 season saw her participate in 31 games and accumulate13 points with four goals and nine assists. Her contributions helped Harvard rank fifth in the nation in scoring defence. On 21st November 2009, she registered a season high three assists in one game versus Brown. Four days later, she scored a power play goal and assisted on the game-winning goal against Dartmouth. From April 4 to 12, 2011, she was one of 30 players that took part in a selection / training camp and was named to the final number that participated at the 2011 IIHF Women’s World Championship. Her career highlights include – 2014 Olympic silver, a two-time world Championship medallist, gold in 2011 and silver the following year, a four time Four Nations Cup participant, (1st in 2011, 2nd in 2010 and 3rd in 2013) and an All-Ivy League First Team honouree in 2011. Jo is a co-founder of the Headway Foundation, a non-profit organisation, made up of athletes, that aims to promote and a safer culture within sport and provide resources for patients as well as enhancing concussion protocols and accessibility.


Swedish hockey player Birger Ivar “Bigge” Holmqvist was born on this day in Stockholm in 1900. One of Sweden’s top players in both ice hockey and bandy in the 1920s, he began his hockey career with Kronobergs IK in 1920, but in 1921 moved to IK Göta where he played until the end of his career in 1928. With IK Göta, he won Swedish ice hockey titles in 1922, 1924, 1927 and 1928 and bandy titles in 1925 and 1927. He was also the top goal scorer at the 1925 Swedish Championships. He played in Germany with Berliner SC from 1921-26 and won German titles in 1921 and 1923-26, also winning the 1924 Spengler Cup with them. Internationally, he earned 30 caps with the Swedish national team from 1922-28 and scored 30 goals. He won a Winter Olympic silver in 1928, which also doubled as World Championships silver and European Championships gold that year and was European Champion in 1923, while taking silvers at the 1922 and 1924 European Championships.  He died at the age of 88 on 9th April 1989 in his birth city of Stockholm.


Lars Andreas Dackell, who was born today in Sweden in 1972, was a defence-minded right-winger who scored a few goals but more than that had a important role in killing penatlires when trying to hold a lead. He played for several seasons with Brynäs IF in the Swedish league Elitserien (SEL), which they won in them in 1993 and leading the Swedish Championships in scoring in 1996. That year he was drafted by the Ottawa Senators, and played with them until 2001, when he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens. He played three seasons with the Canadiens, before returning to Europe in 2004. From 2004-12, he again played with Brynäs IF  and won the Rinkens Riddare award as the most sportsmanlike player at the 2011 Swedish Championships and won his second Swedish title in 2012, although he played only 16 games during the 2011-12 season due to a knee injury, which caused him to retire from hockey after the 2011-12 season. Internationally, he won an Olympic gold in 1994 and won silver at the 1995 and bronze at the 1994 World Championships. He also played at the 1996 World Championships, where Sweden finished sixth.


Calgary Flames player Kevin Curtis Dahl was born today in Regina, Saslatchewan in Canada in 1968.  A defence-man Dahl was recruited by the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens in 1988, during his second year playing ice hockey for Bowling Green State University. Prior to this he had skated with the Stratford Cullitons of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1985 through 1986. Despite the early selection he never played a game with the Canadiens, and his NHL career did not materialize until 1992. In the meantime, he spent the 1990-1991 season split between the Winston-Salem Thunderbirds of the East Coast Hockey League and the Fredericton Canadiens of the American Hockey League, and then joined the Canadian national ice hockey team at the 1992 Winter Olympics. At the tournament he played in eight games and scored two goals, helping his nation win a silver medal, its first Olympic podium finish since 1968. He also suited up for thirteen games with the International Hockey League’s Salt Lake Golden Eagles that year. In 1992 he signed with the NHL’s Calgary Flames and began his four-season stint with the team, which was followed by a transfer to the Phoenix Coyotes that saw him skating all but two games with the associated Las Vegas Thunder of the IHL. He returned to the Flames in 1997 but spent the majority of that year in the IHL as well, this time with the Chicago Wolves. For 1998-1999 he bounced between the NHL’s St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs, playing three matches with the latter, but again spent most of his time with the Wolves. From 1999 to 2001 he skated exclusively with the squad, save for four games with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. His final stop was Germany, where he ended his career in 2004 after three seasons as a member of the Nurnberg Ice Tigers. He is now the COO of Pride Signs, a sports marketing and fundraising company.