We don’t know how he did it or how long it was in the planning stages, but Olympic hockey hero Mike Eruzione is being hailed as the man who arranged for the Winthrop High hockey team to play a real game against Marblehead High this Saturday at historic Fenway Park.
We happen to agree with Winthrop High School hockey coach Dale Dunbar that this will be one of the greatest days in the history of the Viking hockey program, ranking with the 1976 team’s capturing of the Division I state championship in Boston Garden after completing an undefeated (25-0-1) season.
Fenway Park is in a class by itself as a sporting venue (although Chicagoans might say Wrigley Field is in the same company). To be able to play a hockey game at Fenway (and even to watch it as a fan) is an opportunity that truly rates as a unique experience that will create a once-in-a-lifetime memory.
Mike Eruzione, who put the entire country on its feet cheering when the U.S.A. Olympic hockey team won the gold medal in 1980, deserves tremendous credit and a lot of gratitude for his efforts in setting up the game.
One of the great things about this event is that it will not cost the town any money and from what we have been told, it is free to the public. While some prep schools reportedly paid as much as $30,000 for the right to skate on the ice at Fenway, the fee for Winthrop’s participation in the game will not come from the town treasury.
Now all we need is for Mother Nature to cooperate this weekend and let the college doubleheader happen on Friday and the Winthrop-Marblehead game to proceed as scheduled Saturday.
Have a great day, Viking hockey players and fans, and don’t forget to get some good photos of this unforgettable experience.