The two styles will clash on Saturday, and the team that proves able to dictate the tempo of the game will likely come out on top.
One of the most important players for Harvard will be sophomore attackman Devin Dwyer. Between April 26 and May 2, Dwyer recorded 11 assists in just two games and was named first team All-Ivy.
But in the loss against Penn, Dwyer notched his lowest point total of the year, scoring only one goal with no assists.
If Harvard finds itself in a shootout with Notre Dame, as the effective quarterback of the offense, Dwyer will need to have a big day.
For the Fighting Irish, the offense revolves around attackmen sophomore Matt Kavanagh and junior Conor Doyle. Together, the duo has collectively notched 95 of Notre Dame’s 252 points this season. Doyle’s brother Jack also plays for the Fighting Irish after having transferred from Harvard this past season.
“[Kavanagh and Doyle] are both great players,” Wojcik said. “We are going to have to play great team defense and limit their ability to get to the goal. We will definitely need strong goaltending as well.”
The Notre Dame offense will face junior goaltender Jake Gambitsky, who has been solid in net recently for Harvard, recording save percentages over 50 percent in each of his last five games. His mark sits at 57 percent over that stretch, and he is 52 percent overall for the season.
One of the most interesting battles to watch will be at the faceoff, where senior Gabriel Mendola and freshman Austin Williams of Harvard will take on senior Liam O’Connor and junior Nick Ossello of Notre Dame.
O’Connor has won an impressive 58.9 percent of his faceoffs over the course of the season. While Mendola has won only 52 percent, the senior was victorious 68.1 percent of the time in conference play.
“We just hope that we can represent Harvard well,” Petrucci said. “This is our first time in the tournament in a long time. We have a lot to prove.”
—Staff writer Theo Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.