ALBANY, N.Y.--Harvard's men's hockey team went 19-for-19 on March 26 against the University of New Hampshire.
Now what could that mean? Harvard certainly didn't have 19 power plays or penalty kills in one game, did it?
Well the crimson (24-4-4 following the UNH game) sent 19 players onto the ice against the Wildcats (25-12-3 final)and all 19 turned in stellar efforts in a 7-1 Harvard rout in the second round of the NCAA tournament, played at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany.
Four forward lines, three defensive pairing s and the solid goltending of combined to send the crimson to St. Paul for a semifinal match-up against Lake superior state, a 5-4 overtime upset winner over Michigan in another second-round match.
"We have six outstanding defensemen," Harvard Head Coach Ronn game. "But it's not just the defense either--we really take pride in our team defense, and obviously our forwards have to help out."
The final score indicated the way Harvard dominated the game against UNH over the final 55 minutes. Yet the crimson could only garner a tenuous 2-1 lead going into the final stanza.
The Widcats managed just 17 shots on goal and 23 total shot attempts in the game, compared to Harvard's 31 shots on net and 48 attempts, but only senior Brian Farrell and junior Steve Martins could find a way to put the puck behind UNH netminder Ternt Cavicchi through the first 40 minutes.
Harvard broke through on a patented power-play goal 6:49 into the third period, however, when Martins sent a cross-ice pass to captain Sean McCann. McCann one timed the puck into the lower left portion of the UNH net to increase the lead to 3-1.
"[UNH was] getting a little tired, and I was able to get the puck over to McCann," Matins said. "McCann's one-timer is just amazing. I like to feed him lot because I'm almost sure he's going to get it in the net."
Senior Chris Baird and Junior Perry Cohagan went on a two-on-one break on the next shift, and Cohagan one-timed Baird's pass through Cavicchi to up the lead to 4-1 just 36 seconds after McCann's tally.
Then Baird (Harvard's leading set-up man with 38 on the season) got goal of his own on an four-on-one break following a Harvard penalty kill. Farrell fed Baird, who easily beat a shaken Cavicchi, who was then replaced by Mike Heinke.
"That goal by Sean really propelled us," Baird said. "It's been a while since I score--it's a change, but it was nice."
The carnage wasn't over, though. Heinke fared no better than Cavicchi, s he allowed tow quick goals on a deflection by sophomore Jason Karmanos and junior Cory Gustafson to skyrocket Harvard's lead to 7-1.
All told, the Crimson scored five third-period goals in a span of 6:59 to break open a game that had been too close for comfort.
"We were just trying to work hard and put out our best effort on every on every shift," McCann said. "[Our hard work] really paid off in the third period."