The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, March 28, 1994 - 3
* ' j ol.4
The former Michigan captain
. talks about the 1994 Winter Olympics
David Harlock played defense for
the Michigan hockey team from 1989
to 1993, acting as team captain for the
last three of those years. He wasorigi-
nally drafted by the New Jersey Devils
in 1991, and wassignedby the Toronto
Maple Leafs as afree agent last sum-
*mer before playing for Team Canada
at the 1994 Winter Olympics in
Lillehammer, Norway, where the team
won the silvermedal, losing to Sweden
in thefinalgame. He is currentlyplay-
ingfor the Leafs' minor-league affili-
ate in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Daily Sports writer Will McCahill
recently spoke with Harlock.
Daily: What's the competition like
in the minors compared to that of the
Harlock: Ithink that in general it's a
fairly different style of game. You play so
many more games that each game isn't
played with quite as much intensity and
desperation as exists in college hockey,
but you're certainly playing against play-
ers who are a lot more mature, more
developed in terms of their hockey skills.
It varies ... it's sort of like taking the
CCHA and having people play there for
eight or 10 years.
D: How did you as a team expect to
do, going into the Olympic Games?
Did you expect to make it all the way to
the final game?
H: Well, throughout the course of
the year, personally I certainly had my
ups-and-downs as to how the team was
going to do. We didn't fare very well
against the American team in our pre-
Olympic games against them.
There were certainly flashes that
showed me that we could contend, but I
don't think it was really until our final
roster was set that everybody realized that
that ... was the team that we were going
to go With, and it really wasn't until that
point that everybody started to feel confi-
dent that we really had a shot at winning a
medal. And even then, I think we were the
only ones that believed we had a shot at
winning the gold medal. I don't think
anyone around us - you know, media,
people back in Canada, whatever - I
don't think they thought we had a shot.
D: What was it like playing against
Team USA and your former teammate
H: You certainly got sick of play-
ingagainst them. When you play them
11 times in the pre-Olympic tourna-
was looking forward to getting that
game over with (the actual Olympic
game between the team), because you
just got sick of seeing one another, and
I think we were all relieved to get that
game under our belts.
D: What were your thoughts going
into the overtime period of the gold-
medal game against Sweden?
H: Although they scoreda late goal at
the end of the third period to send the game
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into overtime, I still was confident that we
had a really good shot at winning. When
you go into an overtime period like that,
anything can happen, and really it's just a
bounce of thepuck.Wehad shown during
that game that we could fight back - we
fought back from a one-goal deficit in the
thirdperiod-and wehad beaten Sweden
earlier in the Olympics, soIthink we were
all confident that we had a shot at winning
the gold medal.
D: What kind of reaction did you
have to the sudden-death shoot-out,
when (Sweden's Peter) Forsberg scored
on his shot and (Canada) couldn'tcome
up with one?
H: The way that Ilooked at it was, in
that he scored. I mean, he made an
unbelievable move, andI was certainly
surprised that he was able to put the
puck in the net, but like I said, we sort-
of had our shot, and it just happened
that it slipped through our fingers.
D: What was your favorite memory
of being over in Lillehammer?
H: I would say just actually the
time spent in the Olympic village and
getting to see some of the other athletes
and getting to talk with them. You
really learn to appreciate your spot in
the whole scheme of things, in the
respect that a lot of the athletes there
have gone through a lot tougher times
than you have, and you certainly learn
to get out and support the other Canadian
athletes in person as much as I would've
to a lack of effort on my behalf, I think it
justhad to do with the layoutofthe hockey
tournament. We played every other day,
and on the days in between we practiced,
so you really weren't given a lot of free
time to get out.
D: Of the Michigan hockey team,
are you surprised with the success the
team has had this season?
H: I think at first I was a little bit
surprised at how well they'd done, but
when I really sit down and look at it,
I'm not really surprised at all, because
that's really what Michigan athletics is
all about: when people move on, other
kids have to step up and fill that void.
We lost what, eight kids last year, and
it changed the composition of the team,
but all it really did was put more onus on
the freshmen in terms of how they were
going to perform, and the seniors have
certainly picked itup, soitreally isn't that
surprising how well they they've done.
D: Have you been following the
problems the Michigan athletes have
been getting into and the whole thing
with (hockey coach) Red Berenson?
Do you think athletes at Michigan get
put under a microscope?
H: Iguess the only comment I have
on that is that, in terms of being an
athlete at Michigan, you live under a
glass microscope. Everything that you
do gets magnified to an extent, and you
certainly have to be careful about the
decisions ... and choices thatyoumake.
But in the same regard, nobody's per-
fect and everybody makes mistakes.
D: Do you think that's unfair? Did
that inhibit you at all while you were
H: No, I don't think it necessarily
inhibited me. Ithinkit's certainly some-
thing you have to be aware of, but I
term that more responsibility than any-
thing. I think that's a responsibility that
you take upon yourself in terms of
being an athlete, and that's something
you just have to deal with. You have a
responsibility on the basketball court
or on the hockey arena or on the foot-
ball field, and to an extent that respon-
sibility carries off the playing field also
into your everyday life.
The R.H. Factor
Baseball, spring spark
W ith the temperature finally rising to what seemed like Florida-
esque conditions last week, albeit for only a few days, I finally got
the opportunity to do one of the things I truly enjoy in life -
throw around a baseball.
I don't understand entirely why the first game of catch I have each spring
means so much to me, but it does. There's just something about it. The smell
of a ball, the popping sound your friend's mitt makes when you throw the
perfect strike, the feeling you get when you make a backhanded stop and nail
the imaginary runner by a step at first.
There's just something about the game of baseball that's matched by few
other things in life. Mom's homemade chocolate chip cookies are a close
Maybe I feel this way because the first professional sporting event I ever
went to was a baseball game. Yankee Stadium, July 17, 1978. Graig Nettles
hit a two-run homer (this was before they were referred to as "dingers,"
"taters" or "going yard") in the bottom of the 14th to beat the Kansas City
I can remember sitting on my Dad's shoulders for the last four or five
innings. And I can remember how loud it was when Nettles trotted around
the bases, a crescendo of applause that made Metro airport sound like a
library and Crisler Arena like a morgue. I still have the program from the
game, complete with the beverage stain on the back pages.
Baseball was also the first organized sport I ever actually played. Little
League, complete with its 22-20 pitching duels, its run-the-basepaths-like-
your-pants-are-on-fire approach, its never-say-die appeal, is something you
can't replace. At age 10, there was nothing better in the world than racing on
the field and taking grounders between innings, trying to imitate exactly what
your favorite player did when he was warming up. Making the play really
wasn't that important. You just had to look and act like a big leaguer. My
routine would go something like this:
Pick up the ball.
Sidearm throw to first (in the dirt one-third of the time).
Pound my mitt to congratulate myself on the fine play.
Kick the dirt around with the toe of my shoes, right foot first.
Flash the number of outs to the outfield to make sure they were in the
I did all the other baseball-related activities as well. I collected Topps
cards before it became an investment Wall Streeters put into retirement
funds. I went to the store, horked down my quarter, chucked the cardboard
gum in the trash and prayed for no doubles. One year I only needed Willie
Randolph to complete the entire set of 792. My neighbor had him but
wouldn't trade him unless I gave him 30 of my doubles. Maybe I got
screwed, but I finally had a complete set.
I also played Strat-o-Matic and could throw a mean knuckle curve with a
whiffle ball. What can I say? I was hooked on America's pastime.
And thus, like every other tyke who loved the tink of horsehide hitting
aluminum, I decided that I wanted to be a major league baseball player when I
grew up. Specifically, I wanted to be apitcher. Something about walking to
the mound with 50,000 fans screaming at you, all eyes looking to see whether
your breaking ball was working that day or whether they should expect you to
hit the showers early. I kind of liked that pressure. I didn't necessarily
want the money, but I did want to be a star.
But time passes by and reality has this nasty habit of catching up with
you. I eventually realized that my 64 mph fastball didn't even cut it on the
high school varsity team, let alone in the majors. It might be a sign to hang
'em up when at age 15 you get traded for a fifth grader to be named later.
It was hard for me to accept the day I realized whole-heartedly that I
See HERRINGTON, Page 8
a game like that, and when you get into a
shootout like that, when you're given a
shot, you really have to put a team away.
In the sudden-death shootout, when the
first Swedish shooter missed, and Petr
Nedved (now with the St. Louis Blues)
was up, and hemade a great move and he
just happened to really miss putting the
puck in the open net, I think that then I
really sort-of said, "Y'know, I think we
might havejust missed our shot right there
at a gold medal."
So I think when Forsberg scored I
wasn't necessarily all that surprised
to appreciate the comfort that we en-
joy here in North America, and that
this is a pretty peaceful country.
With a lot of the athletes you're
amazed at the dedication and the num-
ber of hours spent ... preparing for
their event. The hockey spanned over
the whole course of the Olympics,
whereas some of those other athletes
trained years and years foran eventthat
could last maybe 30 seconds.
D: Did you actually go to a lot of the
H: No, that would be one of my
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