It is hard to accept that I have been playing coaching, administering and writing about hockey for more than 50 years. The game has been very good to me and with that appreciation, I set out to share stories and observations in my new book, “Late in the Third.”
The sub-title is “Observations from Both Sides of the Glass.” My “inside the glass” recollections cover growing up in a hockey town, playing high school and college hockey, playing a few years for pay and then launching a coaching career that took me to the NHL.
When I address my “outside the glass” years, it is to tell more stories from four decades as an administrator. Most of those years were as a college commissioner, but I have also been the head of a national coaches association and am now a junior hockey commish. It has been a great ride and I think hockey fans will enjoy sharing the journey.
Late in the Third is a close up look at college hockey’s storied history through the eyes of one of its genuine ambassadors. Joe Bertagna’s honest and accurate narrative shares countless vignettes bringing life to so many of hockey’s greats! Whether you are a hockey historian or straight up fan, Late in the Third is a must read!
With his trademark wisdom and wit, and an old goalie’s memory for exacting detail, Joe Bertagna has made Late in the Third a top-shelf read. He has authored a delightful, compelling concoction of memories, on and off the ice, that will engage you from start to finish, and leave you wishing the hockey gods would demand overtime.
As a young goalie, I was fortunate to read Joe Bertagna’s definitive Goaltending, which set a standard for the genre of how to play the position in the mid-1970s. In Late in the Third Joe takes us on a tour of both his goalie and non-goalie hockey lives, writing with the same clarity and insight as I found in Goaltending. This journey brings us back to the beginning of why we love the sport - a look across a half century of so many fantastic hockey experiences, unique characters, and colorful stories will be sure to entertain hockey fans of all ages, regardless of what position you play.