Two days after the Crimson’s 4-3 loss to ECAC cellar-dweller Yale in New Haven, Conn., Harvard men’s hockey coach Ted Donato ’91 made significant changes to his offensive lines and defensive pairings last night against Quinnipiac, hoping to revitalize his team with the roster shuffle.
“As a coaching staff, we weren’t happy with the effort, with the execution, with the intensity, [and] with the commitment on Sunday,” Donato said. “We tried to mix it up a little bit...We changed some lines up to see if we could get a little bit of a spark.”
Junior pivot Kevin Du and freshman winger Jimmy Fraser were promoted to the first line, while top-line regulars Charlie Johnson and sophomore Jon Pelle moved to the second and fourth lines, respectively.
The only unit that remained unaltered—and that received the starting nod from Donato—was the third line, featuring sophomores Tyler Magura and Dave Watters and junior Steve Mandes.
DU IT AGAIN
After moving up to the first line Tuesday, Du performed solidly against the Bobcats (9-10-0, 3-7-0 ECAC), scoring a goal and adding an assist on a power play tally by classmate Ryan Maki in the second period.
With the two points, Du moved into second place among the ECAC scoring leaders.
“I thought [Du] responded very well,” Donato said, adding, “He’s a guy that we certainly need to be at the top of his game if we want to continue to strive for the NCAA tournament [and the] ECAC championship.”
The pivot’s goal put the Crimson on top 1-0 in the first period. After dropping the puck to linemate Dan Murphy, Du skated towards the goal and easily stuffed the rebound of Murphy’s shot past a sprawled-out Bud Fisher, the Quinnipiac goaltender, at 8:49.
Du added his second point of the night with Harvard on the power play in the second period.
Taking the puck at the left boards, Du fed a wide-open Maki down low, allowing the winger to skate in on goal uncontested and send a shot high past Fisher’s blocker.
Senior John Daigneau was back in the Crimson net for the first time after allowing four goals against Clarkson two weekends ago. After the loss, junior Justin Tobe started against St. Lawrence the following night and at Yale on Sunday.
The goaltender looked solid despite the time off, containing the Bobcats’ offense for most of the game.
Daigneau’s only goals allowed came with Quinnipiac on the power play—including one with the Bobcats on a five-on-three.
“We gave up two power play goals, but other than that, I don’t think they had very many opportunities,” Donato said. “Defensively, we were very sound.”
Sophomore pivot Paul Dufault and freshman blueliner Jack Christian also returned to the lineup last night after having missed time with nagging injuries.
Dufault played well in his first game back, tipping the game-winner past Fisher and winning eight of 12 faceoffs.
With the victory, Harvard moved into sole possession of first place in the ECAC. However, the Crimson has played three more league games than second-place Colgate and third-place St. Lawrence...In a game characterized by particularly rough play, Harvard and Quinnipiac combined for four minors for contact to the head...With an assist on Du’s goal, Murphy extended his streak of consecutive games with a point to nine...The Crimson outshot the Bobcats 29-14...Maki missed an empty-netter with about 30 seconds remaining in the game, hitting the right post. Mandes also came within inches of scoring, with the puck sliding into the gaping goal just after the buzzer sounded.
—Staff writer Karan Lodha can be reached at email@example.com.