Roy: Rock-Solid Netminder
At 'witz End
The Harvard hockey team has had its ups and downs this season. The Crimson (10-8 overall, 10-6 ECAC) got off to a torrid 8-2 start in its division and broke into the Albany Times-Union poll as the nation's tenth-ranked team. Harvard then dropped four straight during Reading Period, but changed gears again this past weekend with wins over Army and Princeton.
One constant for Harvard hockey, through its wins and losses, has been junior netminder Allain Roy. His ECAC-leading play early in the season caused Harvard Coach Ronn Tomassoni to temporarily break up the two-goalie rotation of Roy and classmate Chuckie Hughes, in favor of Roy as the full-time starter.
Aside from one poor start, a 5-2 loss to Brown in Providence. Roy has often shown the skill which earned him a spot on the Canadian USA Cup team.
His intensity and concentration in difficult situations paid off last night in Roy's first shutout of the season. 7-0, against Princeton.
In the first period, however, it looked like a goalie's worst night-mare realized.
Roy lost his goalie stick during the Princeton power play with the puck in the Crimson zone. The Tigers' defender Mike McKee wound up for a shot. Roy feverishly grabbed his nearest defender's stick, that of Harvard defender Derek Maguire and swept the slapshot away.
But Princeton continued to apply the pressure. Tigers forward Andre Faust collected the puck and sent it back out to McKee. The defender let go another hard shot. Roy came up with a kick save Finally, Harvard's Rich DeFreitas cleared the puck out of the Crimson zone.
After the game. Roy spoke nonchalantly about the play.
"It happens once in a while," the junior from New Brunswick, Canada said. "It's not a big deal. You just reach out and grab the stick closest to you. The game is all breaks."
In the second period, Roy faced a barrage of Tigers' shots off the power play. Time and again, he turned away the Princeton attackers.
"It all starts from the goal out," Harvard Coach Ronn Tomassoni said. "I think [Princeton] had at least eight shots off of that power play in the second period. Al came up big for us. When your goaltender can consistently do that, you're in pretty good shape."
Roy's solid goaltending allowed the Crimson's prolific scorers to be more aggressive offensively. When the forwards are confident in the defense, they can afford to attack at will.
With Roy's performance last night, he remains a likely starter for tonight's matchup with B.U. Although Tomassoni declined to say who will be in net, Roy said that he would be ready. The Terriers came up big against the Crimson in the Beanpot final, 8-2, last year with Roy minding the twines.
"There's no reason to have that game in my mind," Roy said