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For Harvard hockey fans, tonight is nostalgia night.
When the U.S. national hockey team faces Harvard tonight at Bright Arena, there will be more than a few familiar faces on the ice. Fans will get one last chance to see the legends that established Harvard as a national hockey power in the 1980's.
Scott Fusco '86, Lane MacDonald '89, C.J. Young '90, Ted Donato '91, and Ted Drury '93 will all suit up tonight against their former teammates in what promises to be a scoring fest.
No Overtime Tonight
The current Harvard squad will play against a squad stacked top to bottom with the best collegiate talent in the nation. But anyone expecting to see a raucous overtime clash is in the wrong building. Tonight's game is a tribute to the Harvard hockey program, which boasts the second most representatives on Team USA, second only to Boston College.
"There's going to be a lot of pride in that building tonight," Harvard Coach Ronn Tomassoni said. "They're all terrific young men. Me, I just have a lot of pride."
And Tommassoni has no illusions about what his squad is up against.
"We're gonna play our hardest. It's too good of an opportunity. We can only get better, and nothing bad can happen," Tommassoni said.
True, but those aren't the most stirring words of encouragement. Then again, check out what the Crimson is up against.
In addition to the five Harvard representatives--all outstanding forwards--Team USA includes names collegiate hockey fans are well familiar with. Marty McInnis, Dave Emma, Steve Heinz, Keith Tchakuk and slew of other slick scorers will all take the ice tonight.
Thankfully for the Crimson, the top line, led by former Boston University star Sean MacEachern, will sit the night out. St. Lawrence alum Les Kuntar--the ECAC's top goalie last year--will man the pipes for the national squad.
A Near Devils Slaying
While Team USA is coming off a 5-4 loss to the the New Jersey Devils Wednesday night, when Drury tallied one goal and one assist, Harvard is just opening up its season. And tonight will be an interesting test of the Crimson's new lineup, which includes five freshmen forwards.
Harvard's defense remains anchored by a solid crop of veterans--including seniors Kevin Sneddon, Brian McCormack, Rich DeFreitas and sophomores Derek Maguire and Sean McCann--and senior Allain Roy will man the pipes tonight. But the offense remains a question. Or, more appropriately, a mystery.
While Tommassoni has not announced the order of the lines, look for Steve Flomenhoft, Matt Mallgrave and freshman Corey Gustafson to lead the Crimson attack. Senior Tim Burke and sophomore Brian Farrell will also be called to penetrate the stingy Team USA defense.
Indeed, if the Crimson struggles offensively tonight, the game might get ugly. Coach Peterson had no qualms letting his squad smash BC 10-1.
But, let's all remember, tonight's game is not about winning. It's for nostalgia, fun, experience.
"They're really more of a pro team," Mallgrave said. "We're going to give it everything we've got. It should be a great learning experience for all of us."
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