Even though his father was a star netminder for the New York Rangers in the late 1960s and early 1970s, David Giacomin's mother did not want her eldest son to follow in his footsteps.

"She didn't want me to go through the highs and lows that come with being a goalie," he said. "Depending on the result of the game, you're either the hero or the goat."

For his grittiness and puck-stopping abilities, Eddie Giacomin was beloved by Rangers fans. The Hall of Famer helped lead the club to nine straight playoff appearances and a 1972 trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, and he had his No. 1 jersey retired in 1987.

Of growing up in Long Island and countless times watching his father play at Madison Square Garden, David Giacomin said, "It meant everything to me. I absolutely loved it."

David Giacomin's passion for the game continued as a player and coach. He is in his fourth year as director of hockey at St. Joseph's Prep.

Eddie Giacomon ended his career with the Detroit Red Wings. David Giacomin was a forward at Brother Rice High (Mich.) and Bowling Green. He went on to play in the Rangers farm system.

Signed as a free agent, Giacomin played for the Denver Rangers in the International Hockey League and for the Maine Mariners in the American Hockey League. He never realized his dream of playing in the NHL.

"I've always been a realist, so I knew it was a long shot," he said. "I would have loved the chance to skate at the Garden just one time."

Giacomin, 51, stopped playing hockey in his early 20s and finished his college education, earning a business degree at Iona.

Because of his wife's job relocation, the father of four moved to the Philadelphia area nearly three decades ago. That has not changed his allegiance to the Rangers.

"I'm still a Rangers fan," the Drexel Hill resident said. "I watch the Flyers a lot on TV. But when it's the Flyers vs. the Rangers, I root for the Rangers."

Before going to 17th and Girard, Giacomin was a successful youth hockey coach for the Haverford Hawks and Delaware Ducks.

This season, Giacomin has guided the Prep, which practices at Penn's Class of 1923 Arena and plays its home games at the Havertown Skatium, to a 15-3 overall record.

The Prep competes in a four-team Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League (ICSHL) division against rivals Holy Ghost Prep, La Salle, and Malvern Prep.

Two months ago, the visiting Hawks handed La Salle, the defending Pennsylvania Cup Class 3A champion, a 4-2 defeat at the Hatfield Ice Arena. "It's the first time we ever beat them in their building," Giacomin said.

Eddie Giacomin, 77, lives in Birmingham, Mich. One of David Giacomin's fondest memories of his father's career was when, just days after he was released by the Rangers, he returned to the Garden with the Red Wings.

The Rangers fans gave Giacomin a standing ovation and chanted "Ed-die! Ed-die!" throughout the game. They even booed when the Rangers scored on the veteran netminder.

"For the fans to show their appreciation for him like that was a heartwarming experience for our family," David Giacomin said. "It's something I'll never forget. It was pretty incredible."