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The Ultimate Northwood Tourney, 1987 vs 2006

We are back in action after our Ring the Bell Campaign. Today we have a powerhouse Tom Fleming squad (27-1-1) from 1987 versus a great team from Mark Morris’s first stint coaching here, one which established a school record for wins in one season with 40. 

Both squads had lots of firepower, strong goaltending and great leadership. Even more than our extraordinary winning records, the number of college captains or alternate captains we have produced is astonishing. The ’87 squad may be close to a schoolboy record for that statistic. The ones I know of for sure are Dave Tretowicz at Clarkson, Brett Kurtz at Wisconsin, Mike Lappin at SLU, Dave Gatti and Dave Penza at Lowell, and Brad Kreik at Brown.  

The ’87 team had fifteen players who won college scholarships, both goalies, five defensemen and eight forwards. At least six played some level of professional hockey, Chris Winnes making the NHL and Kent Salfi playing for fourteen years in Europe. I remember talking to scouts at our games. Tim Taylor, head coach of Yale said it was one of the two best schoolboy teams he had ever seen; Herb Hammond from Brown commented, “You guys don’t play games; you give clinics.” Our only loss that year was a three to two heartbreaker to Saint Michael’s, a traditionally loaded team from Toronto. 

The 2006 team had its own blend of eventual DI (Mario Trabucco – Union; Brett Hextall -North Dakota; Cory Schneider and Peter Boyd – Ohio State; Alex Petizian -Saint Lawrence; Patch Alber – BC; Andy Starczewski – West Point)) and DIII (Steve Mallaro -Oswego; James Muscatello – Fredonia; Zach Fulton -Norwich; Tommy Capalbo-Hobart; Alex Mikolenko and Tyler Lindley – Skidmore; Kelly Stokely - Geneseo Nick Sheehan – Saint Michael’s; Brendan Wharity- Cortland) players. Once again, about half a dozen went on to play professional hockey, Trabucco is still playing in Finland. Steve Mallaro is now coaching our prep team with his old mentor, Mark Morris.  

One difference between the two squads was that the ’87 team generally played three lines until the outcome was no longer in doubt; each of those units was equivalent to the top line of almost everyone we played. The pressure never stopped. Having said that, the great goaltending of Alex Petizian and the gritty, savvy play of a team coached by Mark Morris would keep the ’06 team in it. Ultimately, I think the depth of Flem’s best squad ever would doubtless prevail by, say, a two-goal margin. A barn burner, for sure.  

1987 vs 2006