March 4, 2016
By: Teagan Dillon ’18
Notre Dame hockey hosted over twenty alumni for an alumni reunion last weekend, Feb. 26-27, in conjunction with the 100th anniversary celebration of the Notre Dame Monogram Club.
The weekend commenced Friday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena, where the Irish were hosting Boston University in game one of a two-game series to decide their final regular-season standing in Hockey East.
Before the puck dropped, the former Irish hockey players were recognized in front of a crowd of over 5,000 people.
“It’s just great to see the facility,” said Randy Harkins, who was a member of the Notre Dame club team before it became a varsity sport in 1968. “I’ve been involved with the hockey program from the club days, just a strong supporter. It’s great to be here.”
Tony Scott, the 1983 team manager, shared in Harkins’ excitement about the team’s four-year-old facility.
“We never thought we’d have a building like this,” Scott said. “This is just a fabulous program.”
In addition to the new arena, legendary coach Charles “Lefty” Smith was consistently mentioned. Smith, the patriarch of Notre Dame hockey, came to Notre Dame to help start the varsity program in 1968 and was the head coach for 19 seasons thereafter. He passed away in early 2012.
“I miss him Lefty very much,” added Harkins.
“It was great playing for Lefty and Tim McNeil,” said Brian Walsh ’77. “My favorite memory playing hockey here was our senior season. We were number two in the country for a while. It was wonderful.”
The weekend included a tour of Compton, mass in the team auditorium and tickets to both games against the Terriers. Though the Irish dropped game one, they came back to defeat the Terriers 1-0 on Saturday night, clinching third-place in Hockey East and a first round bye in the tournament.
In between catching up with old teammates and reminiscing on old times, the former players made sure to give some words of wisdom to the current players.
“Enjoy every moment of it,” said Walsh. “Don’t waste a minute. It’s stressful, but you’ll always have your experience playing and your degree from Notre Dame.”