Last time the Harvard men's hockey team played Cornell, Crimson forward Ted Drury disappointedly watched from the press box.
On that night last March, Drury was sidelined with a deep thigh bruise. The Big Red ended Harvard's 1989-'90 season, beating the Crimson for the second straight night, 4-2, to advance in the first round of the ECAC playoffs.
"That wasn't fun watching last year," Drury said. "We were never really in either game."
And last night at Bright Center, Drury played with almost a sense of revenge--a hope that this time, things would be different.
And they were.
Drury netted two unassisted goals, pacing Harvard to a dominating 8-3 victory over the Big Red, a win that catapulted the Crimson to the top of the ECAC.
In many ways, the sophomore forward's performance was just another night for Ted Drury. It was unsurprising because of the amazing promise that Drury has shown this season.
The sophomore standout's speed and stickhandling both seem to have improved a notch over last year. After adding an assist to last night's two-goal total, Drury already has five goals and four assists in the young season.
Not to say Drury wasn't good last year. Despite missing 11 games because of his injury and his participation on the U.S. National Junior Team, Drury finished sixth on the team in scoring with 22 points.
Drury was again named to the National Junior team and will travel to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to play in the World Junior Tournament at the end of the month.
While Drury's talent would pit him on the top line at almost any Division I school, Harvard Coach Ronn Tomassoni plays him on the second and third lines. And with forward John Weisbrod out with a back injury, Drury is now filling in on the power play.
"Ted is seeing a lot of ice time," Tomasoni said. "With talent like that, we've got to have him out there."
Drury's talent has impressed coaches and scouts for years. In high school, as a senior at Fairfield Prep in Connecticut, he was one of the most heavily recruited players in the nation. He could have gone just about anywhere, but he chose Harvard, which was then coming off a national championship.
The Calgary Flames picked Drury out of high school in the second round of the National Hockey League draft, just after they chose another rising star--Cornell forward Kent Manderville.
Drury lost out to Manderville in last year's ECAC Rookie-of-the-Year balloting, but he clearly outshined the Big Red sophomore last night.
Just under 12 minutes into last night's game, with Cornell on the power play, Drury provided the spark that ignited the Crimson attack. The Leverett House resident stole the puck from Big Red defender Tim Vanini, and beat netminder Jim Crozier for the shorthanded goal and a 1-0 Harvard lead.
In the third period, Drury's speed again led to a Crimson score. After a plethora of roughing penalties led to a three-on-three situation on the ice, Drury stole the puck and broke down the middle of the ice to again beat Crozier.
Just another night for Ted Drury. Just one of many great nights to come for a player who has been called the future of Harvard hockey.