Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame

Linden Carlson

 

Linden Carlson grew up in Williams, Minnesota where he took up the game of hockey at a very young age. His early years were spent on outdoor rinks as his small hamlet did not have indoor ice. In 1969 at the age of 14, his family moved to Wausau where a hockey program was developing.

At the time, Carlson possessed skills that exceeded the other kids of his age. Consequently, Linden not only played for the Bantam team, but also skated at the juvenile level. As his high school career progressed Linden became one of the best players in the state of Wisconsin.

As a solid skater and a deft stick handler Linden was an equal threat both as a goal scorer and assist man. His unselfish play earned the respect of teammates and coaches. Carlson earned all conference honors in his junior and senior years at Wausau East.

In the fall of 1974 Carlson signed a contract with the newly formed Central Wisconsin Flyers of the United States Hockey League. Linden played with the Flyers from 1974–1975, but his career came to an abrupt end as an eye injury from an opponent’s stick nearly cost him his eyesight.

Carlson enrolled at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point where he participated on their club hockey team. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and became the head coach of Stevens Point Pacelli High School.

In 1981, Carlson was instrumental in advocating the construction of the Willett Ice Arena in Steven Point. He not only helped with the planning, but also helped lay the pipe in the arena. After the construction of the arena, Linden Carlson became the first varsity
hockey coach at UW-Stevens Point. Carlson coached the Pointers from 1981–1985.

He helped lay the groundwork for a powerhouse hockey program that won four national championships at the Division III level. In 1985, Linden Carlson was awarded the Hockey Man of the Year award in Stevens Point.

Linden Carlson moved to Omaha, Nebraska where he taught high school for over 24 years. In the summer of 2009, while on a fishing trip to his beloved Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota, Linden contracted a rare heart virus, from which he would never recover. Linden Carlson died on August 11, 2009. He was 54 years old.