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U.S. Hockey Hall Induction Scheduled; 1960 Team to be Honored

Bob and Bill Cleary helped lead Team USA to gold in 1960.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 1998 U.S. Olympic Women's Hockey Team, coached by Ben Smith '68, will be enshrined into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame at The Westin Boston Waterfront hotel in Boston Dec. 1, USA Hockey announced Wednesday. The ceremony will also honor the 50th anniversary of the gold-medal-winning 1960 U.S. men's team, which included four former Harvard hockey players.

The 1998 U.S. women's roster included former Harvard standouts Sandra Whyte '92, A.J. Mleczko '97-99 and Angela Ruggiero '02-04. Mleczko was the inaugural winner of the Patty Kazmaier Award in 1999, given to the nation's top women's collegiate player, while Ruggiero earned the honor in 2004.

Smith, a three-time letterwinner with the Harvard men's hockey team, coached Team USA to the first gold medal awarded in women's hockey at the Olympics. At the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, the squad twice defeated Team Canada, including a 3-1 victory in the gold medal game. Team USA concluded its goal-medal run at the Olympics with a perfect 6-0-0 record, outscoring its opponents, 36-8, during the tournament. The 1998 U.S. squad also had a significant impact on the growth of girls' and women's hockey across the United States thanks, largely, to its success at the Olympics.

Other inductees in the Class of 2009 include Tony Amonte, Tom Barrasso, John LeClair and Frank Zamboni. In addition, the 1960 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team, which included former Harvard Athletics Director and standout hockey player Bill Cleary '56, as well as former skaters Bob Cleary '58, Bob McVey '58 and Bob Owen '58, will be recognized in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the United States' first Olympic gold medal in ice hockey.

"The Class of 2009 is a spectacular group," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "We look forward to a wonderful celebration in a city with a great passion for hockey."

The event will begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. To order tickets or for more information, please contact Sara Luther at (719) 538-1162, or via email at saral@usahockey.org.