In the history of goalie masks, there haven’t been much more intimidating than that of Gilles Gratton, who wore a ferocious big cat on his old-school mask. However, there might be a new challenger coming out of the NCAA.
In the history of goalie masks, there haven’t been much more intimidating than that of Gilles Gratton, who wore a ferocious big cat on his old-school mask. However, there might be a new challenger coming out of the NCAA. Gabe Grunwald, who plays for the NCAA’s University of Wisconsin, has a new, fierce paint job of his own:
The mask was painted by Ryan Fielding, whose Paragon Customs works locally out of nearby Sauk City, Wisc. The inspiration for the mask came from Curtis Joseph’s signature look and has a touch of John Vanbiesbrouck’s famous Florida Panthers mask in there, as well. Fielding said Grunwald’s mask took him nearly 30 hours to complete from design to finished product. The combination of a base coat in Cadillac Pearl white, Kandy Apple red, and Victory Red make the fearsome, almost skeletal creation pop. Nate LaPoint, the equipment manager for the Badgers, said the design was all Grunwald’s idea, but gave credit to Fielding for the finishing touches. The Badgers have been using Fielding’s work for the last three seasons. “He does great work at a fair price and it’s always nice to keep it local,” LaPoint said. “(Joel Rumpel) and (Landon Peterson) liked the masks Ryan painted them so much for last year that they didn’t even want new ones this season.” You can see pictures of the masks in progress below, including a look at the one painted for another Wisconsin keeper, Adam Miller:
(All images courtesy of Ryan Fielding)