TROY, Mich. — While most hockey fans remember the “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team from 1980, the original Miracle on Ice team from 20 years earlier is sometimes overlooked. That 1960 team captured the United States’ first Olympic hockey gold medal at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif.
One teenager who is well versed in the 1960 team is Southern Connecticut Stars’ 16-and-Under defenseman Kade McCartin. That’s because McCartin’s grandfather Bob McVey was a member of Team USA.
“He is why I play hockey and a good inspiration for me,” said McCartin, whose team claimed the Tier II 16U AAA title on Sunday at the USA Hockey National Championships in Troy, Mich. “He was a forward with great speed and a big body.”
Over the years McVey, who was unable to attend the national championships due to a recent eye surgery that prevented him from flying, has told many stories to his grandson about his Olympic experience.
“They were the first miracle because no one expected them to do well,” McCartin said. “Unfortunately not many people remember that far back because media exposure was not what it is today.
“He tells me all sorts of stories, like the one when he hit the post on what would have been a game-winning goal. Most importantly, though, he is a great grandfather and someone that I look up to a great deal.”
Hally and teammates organize fundraising campaign
A close friend and former hockey player who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma led Bobby Hally and his teammates from the Ashburn (Va.) Xtreme to come up with the “Be Brave and Shave” fundraising campaign.
Hally’s friend has since recovered and is cancer free, but that did not stop the theme behind the fundraiser, which consisted of players shaving their heads to raise money for childhood cancer research for the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
“We continued the fundraiser for two months and at our team banquet, March 17, we shaved our heads for continued awareness, and in total we raised over $62,000 dollars,” Hally said proudly. “My friend received treatment from Children’s National and was cured and has since returned to hockey as a coach.”
Hally, whose team was eliminated in the quarterfinals at the 16U AAA national championships, said the initial goal was to raise $15,000 dollars, which they exceeded.
“The fundraiser was a joint decision with all my teammates,” he said. “My mom was a really a big part of it, and even our coaches got involved by shaving their heads as well.”
Greensboro makes history
When the Greensboro (N.C.) Stars hit the ice for their first game in the 16U A tournament at the USA Hockey National Championships on Wednesday against Team South Dakota, there was a sense of pride amongst the friends and family members who made the long trek to Troy, Mich. to watch their hometown team.
The city has never had a hockey team that represented Greensboro at a national championship tournament.
“We started way back in August, in the hottest part of the summer with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees,” said coach Steve Sabo, who is originally from Minnesota. “It’s been a long journey, and we are happy to be here.”
Back home, Sabo said the community was extremely excited and hopeful in the team’s quest for a national championship. The Stars lost to Team South Dakota but came back to win their next two games and finish second in the Liberty division. They then won three elimination games to claim the national title as the five-seed.
“Greensboro is a small town and youth hockey is growing,” he said. “This opportunity is an honor for all the kids and historic for our city.”
Alaska makes long trip to compete at nationals
The Alaska North Stars battled numerous obstacles in their quest for a national title at the 16U AA level.
“For us the biggest thing was getting used to the time zone,” coach Todd Green said. “In terms of getting them acclimated, it takes our kids a little longer to get going because of the fatigue factor.”
Another is the lack of travel during the season.
“Because our season is pretty short, we really don’t do a lot of traveling during the year,” Green said. “We start in early September and finish middle of October. From there our kids report to their high school programs, and then we get them back near Christmas and then again in early February.”
With the kids coming and going throughout the year, building team chemistry is tough.
“In our area there are about six different high schools that the kids are disbursed to, and we have every high school represented on our team, so creating continuity is difficult,” Green said.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.