Dave Hynes: Harvard's All-American Iceman Cometh
I N THE SECOND period of Harvard's opening hockey game against New Hampshire, Crimson defenseman Bobby Muse let go a slop shot from the point. As New Hempshire goalie Bob Smith sprawled to make the save, a Harvard player suddenly reached out with his stick and deflected the puck past smith into the net. Dave Hyne's had his first goal of the 1972-1973 hockey season.
Dave Hynes began playing hockey when he was seven years old. With an older and a younger sister, Hynes was the only boy in his family, and his father devoted all his attention to teaching his young son the basic skills of the game. Hynes started playing on a Peewee Langue team in Cambridge at age eight. He starred, and at one time in his peewee career he started for two teams, North Cambridge and Weymouth. The two clubs reached the regional finals with his help and he had to face an embarrassing situation. He was ordered to play for Weymouth, won. "I guess North Cambridge wasn't too happy," Hynes said, recalling the incident.
At the age of 12, Hynes moved on from the Peewees to become a Bantam. He played for three years in this league, improving his skating, shooting, and puck-handling ability. When he reached seventh grade, he enrolled in Brown & Nichols, a private day school on the Charles.
"When I first saw him in seventh grade I just knew he was going to be super," recalled his coach, Jake Haertl, as he relaxed in his office decorated with one lone picture of Hynes. Haertl played Hynes on the eighth grade team when he was in seventh grade and on the varsity when he was in the eighth grade. The 115-pound center broke the school freshmen scoring record by earning 16 goals and 18 assists. The next year he set another school record, compiling 52 points--38 goals and 14 assists.
THE FALL of his junior year, Hynes broke his forearm playing football, forcing him to miss half of the hockey season. He made his comeback wearing a special cast made by Ernie Higgins, the Norwood professional who molds goalie masks for National Hockey League netminders. Hynes returned to the ice in time to play the most controversial game of his high school career against B & N's big rival, the Belmont Hill School, and against his future linemate, Bob McManama.
All-League McManama led Belmont into the game with a 6-0 Private School League record, having just beaten supposedly the three toughest teams in the league. Late in the second period with the score tied at 1-1. Hynes shot the puck over the boards, where it hit someone and bounced back into the rink. Assuming that play was dead, the Belmont goalie slouched over to one side of the net for a few moments of relaxation. Hynes picked up the puck again and slammed it from near center ice toward the untended cage, where it hit a post at the back or front of the net.
The referee counted the score and said that the puck had bounced off himself and not a fan so that he had not blown the whistle. Eddie Walsh, who later played goalie for Boston University, made 45 saves for B & N, and Belmont went home with a questionable 2-1 loss. "To me, Dave's shot hit the crossbar," McManama said, while Hynes remembered that the puck definitely went in. McManama also recalled that Belmont won the League that season despite the defeat.
Senior year Hynes scored 52 goals and earned 28 assists in 16 games to bring his B & N career point total to 196. He won All-League honors for the second time, finishing the season by tallying six times in the All Star-Captains game in the Private School League.
HYNES SKATED most of every game during his four year's because Haertl played only two lines, using Hynes at center and then switching him to defense when the team was a man down. "Jake liked to win, so he kept me out there a lot," Hynes said. By the time the center was a junior, his opponents were putting a man on him because of his reputation as a prolific scorer. He began to have trouble with referees. "When he was that good and a marked man, players would go after him," Haertl said. Hynes remembered that the referees would catch him retaliating. "I don't know why, but referees were always watching out for me," he said. Haertl believed that there were some officials who just didn't like Hynes so that they would call more penalties on him than on others.
At the end of Hynes's senior year, Haertl picked 20 out of 120 high school players in the East to go on the ambassador's trip to Sweden and Russia Hynes and McManama were roommates on the road. "We had been enemies because we played against each other, but there was nothing personal in our rivalry," Hynes remembered. During the trip they became close friends, and as both were headed for Harvard, they decided to room together in the Yard. The two have been roommates here for four years.
In Hynes's first year at Harvard, Bill Cleary, who was then coaching the freshman, moved Hynes from center to left wing. He played on the freshman team's first line along with McManama, who continued to operate at center, and winger Steve Harris from Andover. The team was powerful, winning 20 games and losing only one, a 6-5 defeat at the hands of B.U. Both Hynes and McManama had outstanding seasons, accumulating a total of 140 points. Hynes alone scored 48 goals including six against Andover, four against four other different teams, and three against Yale. In the loss to B.U., Hynes figured in every tally, garnering four goals and one assist.
Another highlight of the freshman season, besides the scoring of Hynes and McManama, was the rough play of Doug Elliott, a rambunctious defenseman from Toronto, Ontario. Elliot managed to accumulate 94 minutes in penalties in 21 games, including two ten-minute misconducts. Fortunately, coach Cleary was able to prevent Elliot from directing his lough style of play at his teammates during practice. As Hynes said, when he was describing the team, "we went 20-1, we were just a bunch of happy guys."
AT THE BEGINNING of their sophomore year, Cooney Weiland, who was then in his last year as varsity coach, decided to keep McManama and Hynes together and placed Billy Corkery on the right wing. This trio was soon dubbed as the Local Line since Hynes came from Cambridge, McManama from Belmont, and Corkery from Arlington. The Local Line soon proved itself as good as the veteran first line which was centered by All-American Joe Cavanaugh with "Cooch" Owen and the immortal Dan "the Monk" DeMichele on the wings. The Local Line accumulated 124 points during the season, with Hynes and McManama tallying a total of 97, Hynes scored 26 goals and picked up 26 assists in 27 games. He was chosen the most valuable player of the ECAC Tournament as be scored a hat trick in the finals against Clarkson to give Harvard a come-from behind 7-4 victory. Unfortunately, the season ended on a disappointing note when Harvard, bolding a 4-1 lead over Minnesota in the semifinals of the National Championships, blew the lead and eventually the game in overtime. In the consolation game, the Crimson dropped a 1-0 decision to Denver in a lackluster performance highlighted only by a fight between a Denver player and DeMichele, who was ejected from the last game of his career.
At the end of Hynes's sophomore season, he was drafted by the Boston Bruins. The next fall, before Harvard practices began, Hynes worked out with the Bruins for ten days and put himself into excellent condition. When the season began, Hynes was ready. Harvard, sparked by the Local Line, got off to an excellent start, even holding B.U., the national champions, to a 4-4 tie early in the season. Then came a trip to Army, a trip which Hynes, as well as a number of other players, would like to forget.
The day started auspiciously enough as Hynes scored three goals against Army in a winning cause, even though an Army player gave Hynes the Bobby Hull treatment, shadowing him throughout the game. That Saturday night, Hynes, Corkery, Andv Burns. Jay Riley, and several other players "violsted curfew." According to Billt Cleary, who was in his first year as varsity coach. Cleary suspended all the offenders, including Hynes, for one game, the contest against Baston College, one of Harvard's most bitter rivals. Fortunately the Crimson, led by McManame, the only player on the Local Line who had not been suspended, won the game even though Cleary was forced to playa number of junior varsity players.
At the time, many people assumed that the suspended players had gotten drunk up at Army, Hynes swears that this was not the case, "We went out to some parties that night, but we got back to the hotel before the 12:30 a.m, curfew. A little while later, we began feeling hungry, so a few of us went out to get something to eat. The whole incident was unfortunate. I'd have to any that the suspension was the worst thing that's happened to me at Harvard."
IN FEBRUARY, Hynes received another, more pleasant surprise. He was asked to play on the American Olympic Olympic team, which went on to earn the silver medal in the competition in Japan. Hynes refused. "I felt I had an obligation to Harvard hockey," he said, explaining his decision. "If I had gone to the Olympics; I would have missed the Pennsylvania and Clarkson games, Also. I didn't know whether I could handle the work. Harvard was going to send my exams to Japan. It would have been hard to play Olympic hockey in the afternoon and take an exam at night.
Harvard, once again, ended the season in a disappointing way, losing to B.U. in the semifinals of the ECAC's. Hynes, however, had another good season. Along with McManama, he led the team in scoring with 54 points. He scored 25 goals, including four against Clarkson, led the East in goals per game with a 2.36 average, and was picked as a first-team All-American. At the end of the season he had climbed to seventh place among Harvard's all-time scoring leaders with 106 points, 89 points shy of the record held by Bobby Cleary, Bill Cleary's brother.
Hynes's main interest, besides hockey, is the Pi Eta Club, "I know most of the guys there, and generally, it's just a good place to go when you want to take it easy and relax," Hynes said. He noted, however, that he cannot participate in the--club's most infamous activity--nude dashes to Nini's Corner. "I know a lot of people in Cambridge, including policemen. It would be pretty embarrassing if I ran into someone I knew on one of those-runs for daylight."
At this point, Hynes is already making plans for next year. His main ambition is to play pro hockey. "I haven't decided yet whether to sign with the Bruins or the Whalers, but there's no question that I want to go pro," he said. He certainly has the ability to do it.