Emmet Stupefies Puck-watching Nation!
Sorry, Tripp, but using your real first name was the only way I could get in an ESPN mnemonic.
And yes, that is Emmet "Tripp" Tracy, the junior Harvard goaltender who always seems to come up with superhuman performances in televised games.
There was the Beanpot championship game two years ago when Tracy stoned B.U. with every type of save imaginable, as the Crimson won the trophy. He shined in last year's Beanpot win over B.U. and the second-round NCAA Tournament victory over New Hampshire last March, two more games that were televised.
And Tracy couldn't be faulted in the B.U. disaster on NESN before Thanksgiving, when he provided plenty of highlight material with his 27 saves in 36 minutes, including six breakaways.
So why should one have expected anything less-than-spectacular from Tracy Saturday night against Brown, when ESPN2 picked up the feed? (By the way, that marked the first national telecast ever from Bright Hockey Center.)
Tracy stopped 28 of the 29 Bear shots, including three clean break-aways and several other difficult shots, propelling the Crimson to its 4-1 victory.
"Tripp is a big-game goalie--you look at his two years here, every time there is a big game, he raises his game to a whole new level," Harvard coach Ronn Tomassoni said. "The more pressure the better. That's the sign of a very talented player."
Tracy was sharp for the entire 60 minutes, dropping his goals-against average down to 2.85, but there were three plays or sequences of plays where Tracy really stole the show. (And that's not including the 12 stops he made in a hectic third period.)
1) Harvard had just scored its first goal, when Brown's John DiRenzo went on a breakaway on the next shift after the tally.
No problem. Tracy held his ground and made a kick save to his right to preserve Harvard's 1-0 lead and momentum.
2) In that case, then, the second period was a pure joy ride, because Tracy got to see two more Brown breakaways up close and personal.
First, Brian Jardine came in all alone from the Harvard blue-line. Save by Tracy.
Ryan Mulhern got to the rebound. Save by Tracy.
The puck went behind the Harvard net, and Erich Trach picked it up, cut to Tracy's right and lifted a shot. Save by Tracy.
Tracy frustrated the Bears so much Scott Bradford knocked him down behind the Crimson net several minutes after this sequence. The penalty for this offense--Tripping (no kidding).
Had Bradford only known what Tracy would do several minutes later.
3) Still in the second and Harvard on the power play with a 2-0 lead, Mulhern--the ECAC's leading scorer--stole the puck at his own blueline and went all alone down the ice.
Many goaltenders would gulp and pray. Tracy, instead, charged out of his crease, and, as Mulhern cut left, lunged with his stick to poke-check the puck away from Mulhern. In the same motion, Tracy was also able to corral the biscuit under his body to stop the play.
Harvard would score on its next rush to pretty much put the contest on ice.
There's no doubt that Tracy was the star Saturday night. And doing that on the Deuce was doubly nice, right?
"You don't get to be on ESPN really often," Tracy said. "I certainly love TV, and to be on ESPN is certainly a big-time high."