Between February 1977 and September 1980, three healthy sons
were born to Anna and Jack Moore of Windsor, Ont. In '84 the
family settled in the Toronto suburb of Thornhill, and like many
boys in the region, Mark, Steven and Dominic Moore played hockey
and dreamed of reaching the NHL. When the boys came of high
school age, Anna and Jack enrolled each at St. Michael's
Catholic, an institution with a demanding academic curriculum
and a reputation for producing NHL players, some 180 over the
years. The brothers Moore were not only exceptional athletes,
but also exceptional students. So it has come to pass that the
three of them, each an NHL prospect, skate for Harvard, which
finished the regular season 11-15-2 and this weekend begins play
in the ECAC tournament.
"I came to Harvard because of the quality of the education,"
says Dominic, a 19-year-old freshman. "But also because of my
brothers. We'd never all played on the same team, and I thought
it would be better to play with them than against them."
Dom knows how cutthroat they can be. As children he, Steve, now
21, and Mark, 23, competed ruthlessly on the local pond. They
played until their feet nearly froze and then for hours more,
using a couple of old boots for goalposts. They played games of
one-on-one-on-one. "We'd stay out there until at some point Dom
faked an injury," says Mark, a senior defenseman and a 1997
seventh-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins. "He'd fall
on the ice and start crying, and we'd have to go home."
"That's not true," Dominic interjects. "We'd go home because
Mark started making up the rules as we went along." Steve, the
middle child, the mediator, raises a hand and says, "Let's just
say there was often a misunderstanding that ended the game."
Steve, a junior center, went in the second round of the 1998
draft to the Colorado Avalanche. Dominic is projected to be a
first- or second-round pick in June. "They're all essential to
our team," says Harvard's first-year coach, Mark Mazzoleni, "but
they're very different in many ways."
At 6'4", 215 pounds Mark is the Crimson's bruising blueliner and
the team's career leader with 104 penalties for 232 minutes. A
quiet, measured mathematics student who is scheduled to graduate
this spring, Mark got into Harvard partly because he scored 1590
(out of 1600) on the SAT.
Steve, 6'2", 205 pounds, is wont to barrel over opponents yet
also possesses playmaking skills that enabled him to lead the
team with 14 assists and an average of just under a point a
game. He most likely will put off the NHL, return for his senior
season and complete studies in his field of concentration,
environmental sciences and public policy.
Dominic, who is willowy and elusive at six feet, 180 pounds, has
a team-best 12 goals plus eight assists. His offensive potential
has attracted a cadre of NHL scouts. Mazzoleni describes Dom as
"a playful puppy on the ice"; he's an ebullient joker with a
fondness for the overacting of Jim Carrey. He hasn't settled on
an area of academic study.
You will find the Moores together at the rink, on the team bus
and at many evening meals. All three go to church on Sundays.
"It's a little like being home because three of the five of us
are here," says Mark. "It's incredible that we're together at
Harvard. We're very lucky, but it hasn't been easy."
Of the sacrifices the young Moores made, the many times they
passed up ski trips and spring-break vacations to play hockey,
the greatest challenge came in 1989 after their mother, Anna,
underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor. During the long
operation she suffered a stroke, and the boys weren't allowed to
see her for several months. When Anna finally left the hospital
she was partially paralyzed below the waist and had lost sight
in her left eye. With Anna incapacitated--she has since regained
much of her mobility, but her vision has not returned--and Jack
at work, the boys disciplined themselves to do their homework
and household chores. "It was scary for them," Jack says. "What
they had was each other."
At a Harvard practice not long ago, Dominic became entangled
with an older, much larger teammate. The two were about to
square off when, in the flash of a skate blade, Mark crossed the
ice and took Dominic's antagonist into his own strong hands.
Mazzoleni had to step between his two players. "There was no
getting Mark off the guy," says Steve. "I wasn't surprised. We
always stick together."