Celebrating Conte Forum's Anniversary: In Their Own Words
Jan. 16, 2014
To mark the 25th anniversary of Conte Forum, former student-athletes and current employees retell their favorite memories on the court and ice.
Reid Oslin served as Boston College's Director of Sports Information from 1974-97 and is the author of Tales from the Boston College Sideline, an anecdotal history of Eagle football published in 2004, and Boston College FOOTBALL VAULT, The History of the Eagles, published in 2008. He is a 1968 Boston College graduate who has been affiliated with the university for nearly 50 years. He continues to serve as unofficial "BC athletic historian" and as master of ceremonies at numerous BC athletic and Varsity Club events. He is a 1989 inductee into the BC Varsity Club Hall of Fame.
"It's not often that a 10-1 Boston College hockey loss inspires a lasting memory, but that's what happened on October 20, 1991 when the Eagles hosted the United States National Team in an exhibition game at Kelley Rink. Six former Boston College players had traded their Maroon and Gold sweaters for the Red, White and Blue of Team USA that year as the national team prepared for the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France. The club played a challenging 56-game exhibition schedule prior to the Olympics, including a stop to face Coach Len Ceglarski's Eagles in Chestnut Hill.
"After Boston Garden legend Rene Rancourt sang a rousing National Anthem, the sellout crowd noisily anticipated the introduction of players from both teams. Team USA players were introduced by name and their previous hockey organization. At the last minute, two-time Team USA Coach Dave Peterson, a hard-bitten former goaltender from Minnesota, decided to change his starting lineup.
"Starting at center for Team USA," intoned PA announcer Tom Burke, "...from Boston College...." And the roar began.
"All six slots in the Team USA starting lineup were filled with a former Eagle, and with each ensuing introduction the decibel level of the thundering cheers shot upward. By the time Burke reached the name of the USA goalie, "....from Boston College, Scott Gordon," the rafters of the three-year-old Conte Forum were shaking.
"As expected, Team USA easily defeated the depleted Eagle team by a 10-1 score. The ex-BC contingent accounted for 11 points in the game, with defenseman Ted Crowley and forward Steve Heinze scoring two goals apiece and forward Bill Guerin pegging four assists. One USA goal was a pure Boston College flashback, with Heinze scoring from Marty McInnis (now a BC assistant coach) and All-America David Emma.In goal, Gordon only had to make 17 saves; Eagles' netminders Josh Singewald and Mike Sparrow were peppered with 65 shots.
"In 25 years of Conte Forum history, there may not ever have been a game when a "visiting" team was as warmly welcomed and so proudly hailed by Boston College fans."