Monday, October 13, 2008

Perfection: the 1968-69 freshman hockey team


The letter was dated February 21, 1968. I had been accepted to Boston University to begin studies in September of that year. I couldn't wait to share my good fortune with members of the freshman hockey team and their coach, Bob Crocker. While arrival was seven months away, I made certain that he knew of my interest in being a team manager.

Some time in August, I journeyed to the athletic department to meet with Coach and get the team roster for the upcoming year. Unlike today with the Internet where everyone knows the full lives and exploits of the incoming recruits long before they arrive, I knew of only three of the players: Don "Toot" Cahoon, the legendary Marblehead High School All-Scholastic, Paul Giandomenico from Walpole, and a goalie, Tim Regan from Providence Rhode Island whom I had met at the season ending hockey banquet at Valle's Steak House, not far from my home. Armed with a roster and some background, I couldn't wait for the orientation process to begin.

In early September, I went to the West Campus dorms to hang out. I ran in to Mickey Gray, a senior hockey player, and we exchanged pleasantries. Shortly thereafter, a tall fellow came in wearing a Chatham Maroons hockey blazer. I introduced myself to Bob Gryp, barely giving him time to get his bearings. Then, we were joined by Guy Burrowes. There was a dry spell and so I invited them back to my home for hamburgers and we spent some time there before returning. During the next two days, players kept arriving. Coach Crocker had a team meeting where received red windbreakers with what purported to be a skating Terrier. It looked more like some sort of wildcat, but, nonetheless, it identified all of us as part of the program. During the orientation period, it was not unusual to see a wave of red coming and going up and down the campus. In addition we had street hockey games in the area between the dorm and the athletic offices, but those ended after some flower beds were trampled. Still, you could see this group was going to be special.

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