USA Hockey Magazine

November 2015

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF Brooklyn Historical Society; USA Hockey Magazine Archives; Steve DeMeo; Ross Dettman; Simon & Schuster NOVEMBER. 2015 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM 04 STOPs STARTS & USA HOCKEY NEWS & UPDATES "Last year, for me personally, it was an unbelievable event and a great kickoff to my season with college just starting at the beginning of October. It was a good way to begin my year and get some exposure." — Jack Eichel talking about his MVP performance at the 2014 All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo THEY SAID IT I t was one of those moments that can make or break a coach's career. Jack Riley knew he could be popular or he could be a win- ner. It's a good thing for the United States that the legendary coach chose the latter, which led to a gold medal at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games. Just weeks before his team departed for Squaw Valley, Calif., Riley made the decision to add the Cleary broth- ers, Bill and Bob, to the ranks, much to the chagrin of those already on the ros- ter. The move paid off as the brothers from Harvard brought a spark to the team that shocked the international hockey community. Over the course of his life, whether it was playing hockey or selling insur- ance in his home state of Massachusetts, Bob Cleary (above left) gave it every- thing he had right up to his passing on Sept. 16. He was 79. During his collegiate career, where he served as the captain for both the base- ball and hockey teams, Cleary led the NCAA hockey ranks in scoring in the 1957 and 1958 seasons, and still holds a career scoring record at Harvard. After graduation, he played for the U.S. squad that finished fourth at the 1959 World Ice Hockey Championship. For Cleary and his brother, by the time the team was picked for Squaw Valley their burgeoning insurance careers made it impossible to take more than two weeks off. That's when Riley stepped in, and the rest as they say, is history. "When [Coach Jack Riley] asked Bill and I to play later on it was just amazing," Cleary told USA Hockey Magazine more than 50 years later. In Squaw Valley, the brothers teamed with former Harvard linemate Bob McVey to form one of the upstart Americans most effective lines. Cleary finished third in scoring with five goals and three assists. "The whole experience was indescribable," he recalled. "USA won it. It wasn't me, and it wasn't other individuals. It was a team effort for your country." Brooklyn's Colorful Hockey Past Celebrated With New Exhibit While the New York Islanders only recently started calling the Barclays Center home, the New York City borough of Brooklyn has a long and distinguished hockey history. In honor of its first professional hockey team, the Brooklyn Historical Society has opened the Brooklyn Americans: Hockey's Forgotten Promise, an exhibition highlighting the team's colorful history. The exhibition will run until March 27, 2016. Created in 1925 by bootlegger "Big Bill" Dwyer, who was arrested two weeks before the home opener, the "Amerks" played at the new Madison Square Garden to such large crowds that the Garden's owners were inspired to cre- ate their own team, the New York Rangers, who soon became the talk of the town. In 1936, the NHL cut ties with Dwyer, turning the franchise over to Red Dutton, a player-coach, who looked to start afresh by transforming the New York Americans into the Brooklyn Americans, promising a new beginning across the river. Dubious finances, commercial pressures and World War II would eventually lead to the team's collapse. The exhibition features a number of multimedia elements including vintage footage of the Americans and interviews with a number of Brooklynites who played or were fans of the team, along with various pieces of original equipment. More information can be found at brooklynhistory.org. A Late Addition, Cleary A Key Cog In U.S. Gold- Medal Machine

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