NEW HAVEN--Call them the least favorite sons, the Commonwealth's commonlots. They're Massachusetts hockey players who went to college here in Connecticut, and this was their game.
Yale skated twice as many Bay Staters as the Crimson squad it pounded, 6-2, last night at Ingalls Rink. Eight of the 19 Eli participants call Massachusetts their home, and they all call Harvard their rival.
"It's definitely our biggest game," said Eli center Randy Wood of Manchester. He celebrated the occasion with a goal and an assist.
Sophomore goalie Mike Schwalb, who batted away 32 shots, had experienced throwing Harvard a curve. He played baseball with Scott Fusco and Bill Cleary III when they were at Belmont Hill.
"Everyone likes to beat Harvard, no matter where they're from," said Schwalb, but the Revere native added that this night had something extra for him. He took special pride in stopping Fusco, who he used to play hockey with. "I couldn't let him score," the Eli netminder said.
Center Bob Kudelsky, whose two goals helped ice the contest, had something extra to prove. "I applied to Harvard. They turned me down," the Feeding Hills native said. "They really didn't show much interest in me at all." Perhaps last night will make Harvard stand up and take notice.
No one savored the victory, quite like Wood, however. "Harvard was my first choice," said the junior center, whose father R. Norman Wood '54 captained the Harvard varsity in Coach Bill Cleary's sophomore year.
"He was here [in the crowd]:" Wood said. "He was rooting for Yale. I don't know who he'll root for in two or three years."
Most Massachusetts hockey players grow up dreaming of the Beanpot tournament--the yearly Boston Garden battle between B.U., B.C., Northeastern and Harvard for Yale's Bay State natives, there will be no Beanpot and Harvard's the only Massachusetts team on the schedule--their biggest chance to square off against high school rivals.
"I missed playing in that [the Beanpot]," said Wood. "But this was great." So great that everyone made sure to get a piece of the action.
Freshman center Tom Walsh fled to Yale from Harvard's backyard Cambridge's ambassador to New Haven showed no respect for his hometown institution drilling in the second period goal that put Yale ahead to stay.
Other Massachusetts runaways made smaller contribution. Winchester's Kevin Conly notched two assists, and Sudbury's Scott Webster and Hamilton's Adam Snow both added an assist. Other than Schwalb, paul Marcotte was the only Eli Bay Stater who tailed to score.
The rivalry events all the way to Yale Coach Tim Taylor '63 who played for Harvardm and later served seven years as Cleary's Assistant Coacgh.
Said Taylor "Harvard Yale games, every one of them has a different script." Call this one "The Expatriates Strike Back.