And, in a semi-surprising turn of events, all four members of the class of 2003 saw playing time. Center Aaron Kim was in his normal spot, anchoring coach Mark Mazzoleni’s energy line. Brett Nowak was in his customary spot as well, in the middle of the Crimson’s top line, and in the scorebooks, with a goal and an assist to his credit.
Captain Dominic Moore was equally active in the books, recording a goal and two assists. His assist on junior forward Kenny Turano’s goal in the third period gave Moore 21 goals and 20 assists for the season. It is the second time he has broken the 40-point barrier. The previous time was in his sophomore season when he tallied 43 points.
But his three-point night was significant for another reason—Moore moved into sole possession of 15th place on Harvard’s all-time scoring list.
That Moore accomplished the feat was not a great surprise, given the tear he’s been on over the last seven games. What might have been surprising, though, was seeing No. 31 between the pipes near the end of the third period.
Senior and long-time backup goaltender Ben Weiss, who got his first playing time in this year’s Beanpot consolation game, played the last seven and a half minutes of the Crimson’s final regular season home game.
And, somewhat unlike the Beanpot, Weiss faced a few good scoring chances during his time in net.
At 17:21 of the third, junior defenseman Kenny Smith was whistled off for obstruction hooking, leaving Weiss to help Harvard kill off the penalty and preserve freshman John Daigneau’s shutout.
Weiss faced four shots, including a close chance on the penalty kill, but he was equal to the task and preserved the 5-0 Harvard win. For his career, Weiss will likely finish with a perfect 0.00 goals against average and a 1.000 save percentage, having stopped all six shots he has faced.
“I thought he did really well,” Moore said. “He’s probably got the highest save percentage in Harvard hockey history.”
Weiss acknowledged the feat but, ever willing to share the spotlight, credited his defense, and then with a laugh, the careful selection of playing time.
Reflecting on their playing time at Harvard after all was said and done, the four seniors all echoed a common theme: the improvement of the squad since they first set foot in Cambridge.
From a sub-.500 team in 2000 to a 16-15-2 record in 2001 and then an ECAC Championship a year ago, the progress has been tangible.
“When we got here, Harvard was struggling—a .500 team,” Moore said. “Something we [seniors] can be proud of is that we’ve helped build a successful team. The progress has been so visible.”
“It feels good that we got better every year,” Nowak said in agreement.
Improvement was not the only theme echoing around the locker room post-game. Appreciation was present as well, exemplified by the words of Aaron Kim:
“Everything about Harvard has been tremendous. I wouldn’t have exchanged that for anything. I wouldn’t want to have been anywhere else.”
And on that point, all four seemed to be unanimous.
—Staff writer Timothy M. McDonald can be reached at email@example.com.