The world champion Czechoslovakian national hockey team is coming to Boston to play Harvard. Don't look so surprised. It was revealed Wednesday that talks have been underway between Harvard officials and United States Olympic coach and American Hockey Association representative Murray Williamson on a proposed match.
"We've been in touch with the Czech national team and other officials." Assistant Athletic Director Erik Cutler said, "and the way has been cleared to play them. But we'll have to wait until next Tuesday to find out if the game is on."
The Czech team will be on tour in the United States this winter to play in an international tournament in Colorado Springs, Colo., and a possible series of games with teams from the World Hockey Association. A possible date for a clash with the Crimson is January 4 in the Boston Arena.
The idea of playing the Czechs came as the result of the cancellation of a two-game series with Wisconsin, which was to follow Harvard's appearance in a tournament in Detroit.
Harvard officials originally planned to schedule a game with Notre Dame. But Notre Dame at the time was toying with the notion of playing the Czechs, and the idea caught on with both colleges. The Czechs would most likely play a game with Notre Dame before coming to Cambridge.
The Czech team defeated Russia in the world championships last spring, but the Russians dispute their claim to being the best in the world. The Russians beat the Czechs in Olympic competition, winning the gold medal in hockey. On top of that, Team Canada downed the Russians in a seven-game series played this September and tied the Czechs in a game just after that series.