By: Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Yale head coach Keith Allain was an assistant on the United States team that won the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, the tournament that replaced the Canada Cup. USA Hockey announced yesterday that the 1996 squad will be enshrined into the U.S. team United States Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2016.
Allain was part of a staff that included GM Lou Lamoriello, head coach Ron Wilson and assistant Paul Holmgren. They were working with NHL standouts like Brett Hull, Mike Richter, John LeClair and Pat Lafontaine, who helped the 1996ers beat Canada in Montreal for the championship.
Team USA played preliminary round games in Philadelphia and New York before heading to the semifinals in Ottawa. The first game of the best-of-three finals took place in Philadelphia, where the U.S. fell to Canada 4-3 in overtime. The U.S. came back and won the next two games, both by scores of 5-2, in Montreal to win the inaugural World Cup of Hockey.
Six other countries participated in the 1996 World Cup including Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden.
The rest of the class of 2016 includes Normand “Bill” Belisle (coaching legend at Mount St. Charles) and Craig Janney, a former Team USA and NHL star.
“This is a truly magnificent class,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “Each member of the Class of 2016 has had an extraordinary impact on our sport and is most deserving to take their place among the hockey immortals in the United States.”
This was not the first or last Team USA coaching experience for the former Yale goalie who came back to New Haven as an assistant coach under Tim Taylor in the early 1980s before returning as head coach in 2006. Allain served on two (1992, 2006) Olympic teams and was on the 2004 staff at the World Cup of Hockey. He was head coach of the U.S. teams at the 2001, 2002 and 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships, while he assisted the 2005 and 2006 U.S. National Teams.