Chapter Five: The ECAC Years


The transition from “Inside the Glass” to “Outside the Glass” begins in Chapter Five when Joe covers his years with the Eastern College Athletic Conference, along with time spent in Harvard University’s athletic department.

I remember the Sunday morning I received numerous calls from Harvard friends telling me that Mike Schafer, then a Cornell defenseman, allegedly shot a puck in the direction of Bill Cleary behind the Harvard bench. I called Big Red SID Dave Wohlhuter and said with a chuckle, “Hey Dave, my crazy Harvard friends are claiming Schafer shot a puck at Cleary last night.” “Yes, he did,” replied Wohlhuter.

I remember the first tournament banquet in Lake Placid, with a proud Ned Harkness welcoming us on behalf of ORDA, the Olympic Regional Development Authority. And I recall the guest speaker was Ned’s old netminder, Ken Dryden.

Finally, I remember the routine of so many tournament nights at the Garden and at Lake Placid. On one of those nights in the latter, a 50-50 raffle provided hundreds of dollars for its winner, Billy Zito. A former Yale hockey player, Zito was an agent at the time and is currently the Florida Panthers general manager.

Upon picking up his winnings, he said he would give back half of the cash to the charity for which the drawing had been held, provided that the PA announce that the winner was Reggie Dunlop, Paul Newman’s character in the movie Slap Shot.

With several hundreds of dollars in his pocket, Zito left Lake Placid for the ride home, only to be stopped for speeding. The New York state policeman who stopped Zito informed him that he had a number of outstanding speeding tickets and, with great delight, further informed him that he had to pay for them all and that they didn’t take checks or credit cards. So, unless he had plenty of cash, he was spending the night in jail. I can only imagine Billy’s smile.

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