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The Democrat and Chronicle
Friday, November 9, 2007

Section V hockey mourning loss of Barrows
By Jeff DiVeronica

ROCHESTER - Dan Barrows loved to tell hockey stories, and if you knew him you may have heard the one about the first game he ever saw.  It was an Amerks game.  He was just a kid, and his father wanted him to go.  "He went kicking and screaming," recalled his wife, Lauren "Laurie" Barrows.  "But as soon as they dropped the puck, he was mesmerized."

That love affair with ice hockey ended early Thursday morning when Barrows, 62, died of an apparent heart attack.  A 1963 graduate of Aquinas Institute and former assistant coach at his alma mater, he had been statistician/historian for Monroe County High School Hockey League for more than 15 years.  He also held the same positions at the state level.

"He lived and breathed it," said Jim McLean, 60, who coached Gates Chili form 1980 to 2005.  "The time and energy he put into (covering hockey), his love and passion for it, is unmatched by anyone I've met."

Stunned members of Section V and the local hockey community say they have lost an unsung hero.  Barrows was a tireless worker on Section V's web site and goal judge at rinks around Rochester who wanted no fanfare.  He had great attention to detail, and his mind was like a hockey encyclopedia.  "Ask him about any game, anytime, anyplace, and he knew it, whether it happened last week or years age," said Webster Thomas athletic director Scott Morrison, co-chair of the recently renamed Section 5 High School Hockey League.  "He knew the kids from way back, too."  "He loved all those players," said his wife of 32 years.

Barrows, a city resident, retired in 1996 as a computer programmer at Monroe Community College.  He enjoyed collecting hockey-related stamps, and he and Laurie were big fans of the Rochester Institute of Technology men's hockey team.  She said a moment of silence in Dan's honor is planned before tonight's game against Air Force at Ritter Ice Arena.  She plans to at the game, cheering as she has done for about 25 years in the "Corner Crew," fan club section.

"Only now are we going to begin to understand how much Dan did behind the scenes," Morrison said.  "He was involved in every aspect of our league."  "It might take five people to do what he did," said Chuck Dossier, 32, who played at Greece Athena and is now coach of the school's hockey team, the Greece Lightning.  "He was just so passionate about the sport."

Dennis Fries, who is on the hockey league's executive board, said the web site, which includes statistics on the area's top players now and through the years, was a labor of love for Barrows.  Fries would receive e-mails from Barrows sent at 3:30 in the morning, after a long night at the rink and then updating statistics.  "Hockey was his heart and soul," Fries said.  "What a jovial guy.  He could talk hockey for hours.  It's a devastating loss."

Dennis Sadler, who attended Aquinas with Barrows and is the school's principal, said Barrows first loved hockey as a fan, then as a coach at Aquinas.  "He got a taste of working with the students and followed that," Sadler said.

Over the years, most of Section V players probably never knew who Barrows was or what he did.  But they probably knew his face and distinct voice because he was always watching or talking about hockey.

"There's now a huge, huge void in our program," McLean said.



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