Nice for Weiss

Men's Hockey Notebook

BOSTON—For everyone else on the ice, it was the last two minutes of a largely insignificant consolation game.

For Harvard senior Ben Weiss, it was the greatest moment in his hockey life.

Weiss, the Crimson’s third-string goaltender, entered last night’s game with 2:28 remaining, and stopped both shots he faced to seal Harvard’s 4-1 victory over Norhteastern. It was the Chestnut Hill native’s first collegiate action in four years on the team.

“I’ve always wanted to play at Harvard and of course in the Beanpot,” Weiss said. “It was great to be part of this win.”

Despite knowing his chances of ever playing were slim, Weiss fought through a career of serious injuries to remain on the varsity roster, each year passing up the opportunity to see playing time on the JV team.

“There is no one that’s worked harder, overcome more adversity and become more committed,” Mazzoleni said. “He dies to wear that jersey.”

With future ice time unlikely, Weiss will finish his Harvard career with the best save percentage and goals-against average in team history. For him, however, the most meaningful statistic is also the most basic—minutes played.

Centers of Attention

It was a banner night for the present and future of Harvard’s playmakers—captain Dominic Moore and sophomore Tom Cavanagh.

Both centers have had solid but unspectacular seasons—neither has met the perhaps unrealistic expectations set for them this year. Yet each player earned nothing but praise against Northeastern, splitting Harvard’s scoring output with two goals apiece.

Last night marked the first multi-goal outing for Cavanagh this year, and the first for Moore since a three-point effort against Dartmouth in the second game of the season. The Harvard captain also notched his first-ever Beanpot tally.

Cavanagh’s first goal was the key score of the game. His rebound tap-in of junior Tim Pettit’s slapshot extended what had been a too-close-for-comfort Harvard lead into a 2-0 advantage, and made it difficult for the offensively-starved Huskies to come back.

“Timmy’s shot gave the goalie so much trouble he couldn’t do anything with the rebound, and I just put it into the open net,” Cavanagh said.

Cavanagh’s second score, off a breakaway back from his own blueline, officially ended a string of bad luck on solo chances. Most notably, Cavanagh missed several golden opportunities that could have changed the game in November’s loss to Boston University.

“That was a weird play,” Cavanagh said. “I just put my head down and tried to separate myself from the other players. Once I got to the goalie I just faked the shot and deked him.”

Moore’s second goal was yet another illustration of his playmaking ability. Skating with junior Tyler Kolarik on a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush, Moore cut to his right, using Kolarik as a screen as he carried the puck across the ice. He then deked Norhteastern goaltender Mike Gilhooly before wristing the puck into the net.

The Great Daigneau

Harvard backup goaltender John Daigneau has already accomplished something starter Dov Grumet-Morris has yet to do—he has beat a Hockey East team.

While Northeastern doesn’t boast a squad as powerful as the Hockey East powers, the Huskies were the most talented team the freshman has faced in his young collegiate career.

Daigneau responded with his best-ever game statistically, allowing just one goal—an unlucky deflection off a skate—while stopping 29 shots in last night’s win.

“We have another goalie here, one that can play,” Mazzoleni said. “I was very impressed with his rebound control tonight. He had some difficult saves to make, and I thought he played really solid.”

Yesterday’s performance was a step in the right direction for Daigneau, who gave up three goals on just ten shots in his collegiate debut at Princeton. Since then, he has improved his play considerably, allowing just four scores in his next three games while posting a sky-high .952 save percentage.

——Staff writer Eli M. Alper can be reached at alper@fas.harvard.edu. Samita A. Mannapperuma can be reached at mannapp@fas.harvard.edu.