|US Women's 1998 team inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame. |
BOSTON - The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2009 -- Tony Amonte, Tom Barrasso, John LeClair, the late Frank Zamboni and the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team -- was formally enshrined into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame here tonight at an induction ceremony and dinner held at The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. More than 450 people were on hand for the night's celebration.
"We have a sensational class joining the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame tonight," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "I'd particularly like to thank Boston for hosting this great celebration."
"Each enshrinee brings a pioneering spirit to tonight's class," said Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League. "There's so much history and excellence to acknowledge through the individuals and team."
"It's such an honor to be included with all these tremendous people here tonight," said Amonte. "I never would have dreamed that I would be included in this elite group. It's extremely humbling."
"I'm honored to be here tonight," said Barrasso. "When I was a boy, I dreamed of playing in the NHL and I was lucky to be given such wonderful opportunities from the people around me who helped me succeed. We need to continue providing opportunities for others to continue growing this great game in our country."
"It was a dream of mine to play in the Olympics after watching the 1980 Olympic team," said LeClair. "Playing for the U.S. was always an honor and I'm extremely grateful and humbled to receive this honor."
"This is a wonderful tribute to my father," said Zamboni, who represented his late father, Frank. "He would have been tremendously pleased to join such a distinguished group."
"Being a part of the 1998 Olympic Women's Team will always hold a special place in my heart," said Karyn Bye Dietz, alternate captain of the team. "It's amazing to see how our team influenced so many young girls to play the sport. We couldn't have done it without all the support from USA Hockey. It's a true honor."
"It's a great honor to be inducted tonight," said Ben Smith, head coach of the 1998 Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team. "We were fortunate to have so many people that love the game of hockey. It was a special moment in all our lives."