“Sunday was a terrible game,” junior center Kevin Du said. “The coaches let us know, and we all knew [ourselves].”
And so last night presented a chance to right Sunday’s wrong—and against the Bobcats, who beat Harvard 5-2 early in the season, no less.
Du put the Crimson up 1-0 at 8:49 in the first frame when he corralled a cross-ice pass and then left it for linemate Dan Murphy. Murphy launched a shot from the left point that hit Quinnipiac goaltender Bud Fisher and trickled invitingly in front of the crease. Du swooped through, touched it once, and then knocked it past Fisher’s left leg.
But just under five minutes later, Quinnipiac winger David Marshall—who sank the Crimson in Hartford, Conn., on Nov. 4 with two goals—sent a power-play wrister high by sliding netminder John Daigneau for the equalizer.
And then junior winger Ryan Maki stuffed home the go-ahead goal just 1:03 into the second frame. Classmate Steve Mandes had Harvard’s best chance to add to the lead 11 minutes later, when he broke towards Fisher on a breakaway, but his point-blank shot was rebuffed by the Bobcats’ rookie goalie, who notched 19 saves through two periods.
The Crimson skaters “weren’t happy losing to us five weeks ago,” Bobcats coach Rand Pecknold said, “and they came ready to play.”
“Harvard had the better intensity, and they won most of the battles, and we just didn’t generate a lot of shots on Daigneau,” he added. “He played well, but we had seven shots in two periods.”
The Crimson broke the game open 42 seconds into the third when captain Peter Hafner tossed a shot on net from the blue line and sophomore Paul Dufault redirected it past Fisher for a 3-1 lead.
And though Jamie Bates’s power-play score closed the gap to one with five minutes remaining, Pecknold said that “it didn’t feel like a 3-2 game.”
Harvard missed two empty-net goals as time wound down—one off the post and one an instant too late—but still won.
“I don’t think we were clicking on all cylinders, but I think we played a very smart game,” said Crimson coach Ted Donato ’91.
And after Yale—about which Donato said, “We weren’t happy with the effort, with the execution, with the intensity and the commitment”—the Harvard skaters heard him loud and clear.
“It wasn’t the best video session Monday after the game,” Hafner smiled wryly. “Basically, we all knew it, too. I think we were all motivated from within ourselves, that we knew we had to come back and respond.”
—Staff writer Rebecca A. Seesel can be reached at email@example.com.