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When the Harvard hockey team hits the ice tonight against Boston University at Walter Brown Arena, the Crimson not only meets the lone undefeated squad in the ECAC (3-0 in the conference, 4-0 overall with victories over Merrimack, Providence, Dartmouth and UNH) but also the best crop of freshmen stars in the East.
Six of the seven freshmen on the B.U. roster are from Massachusetts, and one from Connecticut. Four of the seven are regulars in the Terrier lineup, three take spot shifts, and all boast superior high school records.
Billy Cotter, Mark Fidler, Daryl Macleod and Paul Miller are the neophyte regulars.
Cotter, who hails from Charlestown, captained the state champion Matignon High School team in 1976-77. The right winger, who scored 40 goals and notched 29 assists his senior year, copped All-Scholastic recognition. Cotter played on two state champion teams and three Catholic Conference champion squads while amassing 183 career points.
Fidler played center on the same Matignon line as Cotter, and now centers Cotter's unit at B.U. The Charlestown native led the state in scoring as a senior with 96 points and ended his four-year career with 220 points. That total placed him fifth in all-time scoring in Massachusetts.
Fidler earned All-Scholastic honors his junior and senior years and garnered 1976-77 Scholastic Player of the Year honors.
MacLeod, a hard-skating winger from Melrose, played for Melrose High before prepping at New Hampton where he established a new school scoring record.
Miller, a Billerica native, played three years of varsity hockey for Billerica High, leading his team to the Division 2 state title each year. Miller twice garnered All-Scholastic honors. As a senior he tallied 89 points, raising his three-year career total to 215.
Tim Kimball, a two-time All-Scholastic defenseman from Beverly High School, plays fairly regularly for the Terriers. Todd Johnson, a three-time All-League center for Browne and Nichols, and Brian O'Conner, a 6-ft., 3-in., 211-lb. defenseman from Hamden, Connecticut and a member of two high school state champion teams, round outs B.U.'s hoard of scintillating youngsters.
After playing four games for B.U., the cream of the crop--Cotter, Fidler, MacLeod and Miller--have proved they can play, score and win in Division I hockey.
Fidler scored two goals and a pair of assists against Merrimack in his first game for the Terriers, and already has eight points for the season. Linemate Cotter has tallied a goal and three assists in four contests. His lone goal won B.U.'s squeaker over Dartmouth.
With Dartmouth taking a 2-1 advantage into the third period, rookie MacLeod notted the score at two apiece on a tally assisted by Cotter and sophomore Bill Leblond. Then Cotter banged home the winner with assists from Miller and MacLeod.
B.U., of course, has won the ECAC title the past four years. With this talent-laden corps of freshmen representing the present and future of Terrier hockey, it should be difficult for any team to stop the drive of the B.U. machine.
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