Maybe it’s the influence of Verona resident John MacLean, a former New Jersey Devils hockey player, Stanley Cup winner and, until last year, the team’s all-time leading scorer. Or maybe it’s something in our water. But names familiar to Verona residents keep popping up among the Olympic players currently wielding sticks in Vancouver.
There’s Jamie Langenbrunner, the U.S. Olympic team captain and Devils captain. Though Langenbrunner and his wife Elizabeth reside in Caldwell, his children attend Our Lady of the Lake School in Verona. Until recently Brian Rafalski, an alternate captain of the U.S. Olympic team, lived with his wife Felicity on Summit Road in Verona and their children attended Brookdale Avenue school. (In 2007 Rafalski left Verona to return to his native Michigan where he plays with the Detroit Red Wings.) And the children of Team Canada goalie and Devils star Martin Brodeur, a West Orange resident, attended nursery school at The Children’s House in Verona.
Though the American team is young and the Canadians or Russians are favored to win, Team USA pullled out an impressive win yesterday against Switzerland, 3-1. The first goal was, in fact, scored by a Jerseyan, Bobby Ryan of Cherry Hill.
On Thursday, the Americans take on Norway at noon; Team Canada, with Martin Brodeur in goal, faces off against Switzerland at 4:30.