Greetings from Beantown, where the Minnesota Wild (who by the way are two points from a playoff spot), just completed an optional practice at Harvard’s Bright Center, home of the Crimson’s men’s and women’s hockey teams.
The Bright Center is small and intimate, but a very cool building. It’s one level of seats that circle the entire building. It’s filled with banners, including the 1989 National Championship banner, which probably made Head Coach Todd Richards sick to his stomach (Harvard beat Richards’ Minnesota Gopher team in the National Championship that year).
Several of the players were curious about the campus and checked out some of the nearby buildings. A bunch of team members took advantage of the adjoining track and field building for a spirited game of soccer. In the one game I saw, Head Athletic Therapist Donny Fuller was the champion. He must be some kind of soccer legend.
First things first: about half the team skated in the practice, although Antti Miettinen was not one of them. Richards said he would participate in tomorrow’s morning skate. Marco Scandella did practice today, and Richards said he would be back in the lineup tomorrow, although he didn’t say which defenseman would come out.
Both goaltenders were out there for practice, but a decision has not been made on who will get the start tomorrow night against the Bruins.
In off-ice news from Minnesota, the Wild has officially signed Jed Ortmeyer, who scored 19 points with the San Jose Sharks last year. He has been assigned to the Houston Aeros, putting him in position to get called up if the Wild desires a veteran presence. Ortmeyer is a former Michigan Wolverine and spent two years as a linemate of Eric Nystrom while wearing the maize and blue.
In just a few minutes, the United States will play its final game of the World Junior Championships. Jason Zucker will look to add a bronze medal to go along with his gold from last year, but he’ll have to get past fellow 2010 Wild second-rounder, Johan Larsson and Sweden.
Now, to get to the question that you’re all wondering about. Was the Harvard campus swimming with dudes with long, blond pony tails and chiseled cheekbones that go up to strangers and start debates about the evolution of the market economy in the southern colonies? The answer, of course, is yes, they are everywhere. However, I fell in with a fun crowd of townies who enjoy checking out Little League baseball games and fighting kids that beat them up in grade school. One of the guys is wicked smaht and I expect big things from him so long as he doesn’t get sidetracked by an attractive British medical student.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see about a girl (my wife, she’s expecting my call).