GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - It was very much a case of like father, like son as Ryan Donato scored for the United States in the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament on Friday.
Donato’s father Ted went to Harvard, was drafted by the NHL’s Boston Bruins and played for the American team at the 1992 Olympics.
And Ryan, who also goes to Harvard and has been signed by the Bruins, asked for his dad’s advice before heading to South Korea where he netted two powerplay goals to lift his team to a 2-1 win over Slovakia in preliminary round play.
“He said ‘Don’t be too caught up in what happens during every game and every shift. There’s a lot of highs and lows during the tournament but just stay focused and maintain composure and hopefully it will turn out your way’,” Ryan told reporters.
Donato senior was the second-highest scorer for the U.S. team who finished fourth at the 1992 Games in Albertville and he also happens to be Ryan’s coach at Harvard.
It all adds up to some pretty serious hockey DNA in the Donato family and Ryan heeded his father’s words when he chose a low, hard wrist shot to score his first goal against Slovakia.
“Don’t shoot so high any more, don’t go top shelf,” Ted Donato told his son, although he wasn’t the only person to make that suggestion.
“I think we probably mentioned that to him too, but we’ll give his dad credit for that one,” U.S. coach Tony Granato said with a laugh.
“He can have it for sure. And if he wants to call back with any other tips for him before the Russian game he can do that.”
Reporting by Dan Burns, editing by Ed Osmond