Ciavaglia, Icemen Skate Past Dartmouth for Easy 8-2 Victory
Senior Forward's Hat Trick the Highlight as Harvard Extends ECAC Lead
Applying Andy Warhol to the ECAC, it was only natural that the Dartmouth men's hockey team would be decent for a few minutes this season.
And Saturday night at Bright Center, the ECAC cellar-dweller Big Green (0-7-1 overall, 0-7-1 ECAC) actually led Harvard in the first period, 1-0, after Mike Sylvester's power-play goal beat Crimson netminder Mike Francis.
But Dartmouth's Warhol-esque dream went awry as the out-of-synch Crimson offense exploded, with forward Peter Ciavaglia's hat trick highlighting an 8-2 Harvard blowout.
"We just came out flat. We weren't skating and we weren't playing our game," Crimson forward Mike Vukonich said. "We were skating down to their level rather than playing at ours."
"I don't think any of us feel that we're going out on a tremendous high," Captain Ted Donato said. "I don't think we played tremendous but it's a sign of a good hockey team to win ugly."
With the victory, Harvard (8-4, 8-2) increased its lead over second-place St. Lawrence to three points. Harvard's next action is against Clarkson and the Saints on the first weekend of the new year.
While Saturday's result was similar to the first Harvard-Dartmouth matchup this season, the Crimson's slow offensive start was a far cry from the Nov. 25 game. On that night, Harvard netted five goals in the first six minutes en route to a 8-1 victory.
"It's hard to win big when you beat them, 8-1, in their building," Harvard Coach Ronn Tomassoni said. "We started slow but progressed as the game went along."
And as the Crimson offense progressed, it still ended up padding the stat sheet against the outclassed Dartmouth defense. The Vukonich-Ciavaglia-Donato line tallied 13 points, bringing its six-game total to 70.
Ciavaglia, who entered the weekend second in the nation in points-per-game, added two assists to his three-goal total. Vukonich fired in two goals and two assists, while Donato assisted four times.
Dartmouth goalkeeper Vern Guetens, who registered 35 saves, came up big to keep the game close early. But it was only a matter of time before the fiery Harvard offense would prevail.
With 8:25 left in the opening period, Vukonich took a Donato pass at the crease and beat Guetens to tie the game at one. And the run was on. Ciavaglia and third-liner Scott Barringer added goals to give Harvard a 3-1 lead entering the first intermission.
In the second period, with Dartmouth forward Greg Chapman in the box for hooking, a Big Green line change left the ice wide open. Vukonich crossed to sophomore Steve Flomenhoft, who beat Geutens at 7:42 for a 4-1 lead. Four minutes later, Ciavaglia put in a shot in traffic to give Harvard a four-goal lead.
With Harvard blue-liners Kevin Sneddon and Derek Maguire not skating because of injury, the Crimson defense entered the game with its ranks depleted. Freshman Lou Body lost the puck in the Harvard end and Big Green forward Bill Fitzpatrick put the puck in seconds later to cut Harvard's lead to 5-2 with 7:44 left in the second period.
"With all the injuries, it makes things interesting back there," Crimson defender Jim Coady said. "We're pulling in the troops and taking over. The freshmen are rising to the occasion."