At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Frank Sanders was a giant of a hockey player, a bruising defenseman who protected his teammates with his muscle and his might.
But off the ice, the puck star turned preacher was well known as a softie.
"His teammates always teased him," said his daughter, Jennifer Mains. "He was this big tough guy on the exterior, but he was always mush on the inside."
Sanders, a former local high school, college and professional hockey player and longtime minister in Woodbury, died Feb. 17 after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 62.
Sanders enjoyed success at nearly every level of hockey, playing in the state high school tournament, the national college championship game and the 1972 Winter Olympics before turning professional with the Minnesota Fighting Saints.