Saturday night’s Midwest regional semifinal matchup between the Harvard and Nebraska-Omaha men’s ice hockey teams proved to be a game of inches, a game of seconds—one that brought the Crimson’s season to a close by the slimmest of margins.
The Omaha Mavericks enter the 2015 NCAA tournament against Harvard after a first-round exit in the NCHC playoffs. Omaha coach Dean Blais and Crimson coach Ted Donato '91 share Olympic experience.
Junior co-captain Kyle Criscuolo, along with fourth-years Colin Blackwell and Patrick McNally, who returned from injuries suffered earlier in the season, helped lead Harvard to its first ECAC title since 2006.
With a win over Colgate on Saturday, the Crimson can clinch an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. But even with a loss, Harvard could still find itself playing hockey next weekend. The Back Page breaks down all the possible scenarios for the Crimson to advance.
Prior to Friday afternoon’s ECAC tournament semifinal game between the No. 17/15 Harvard and No. 7/7 Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey teams, Jimmy Vesey received his trophy as ECAC Player of the Year. Over the ensuing 60 minutes of hockey, the junior forward proved why he deserved the honor.
For the first time in over a decade, the Harvard men’s ice hockey team came away with a win at Ingalls Rink on Friday, edging Yale in Game 1 of the ECAC tournament quarterfinals, 3-2.
Riding the wave of seven points from its first line in the opening period, the No. 19/- Harvard men’s ice hockey team punched its ticket to the ECAC quarterfinals on Saturday night, beating Brown in Game 2 of its opening round series at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center, 4-3.
Harvard took the ice on Monday having brought up the rear in 11 of the 20 latest iterations of the annual tournament. In the consolation game of a Beanpot that has been anything but traditional, history held serve, as the No. 9/10 Eagles skated away with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory at TD Garden.
Behind four unanswered goals in the final six minutes, the Crimson earned its first victory on Opening Day since 2012, storming back to defeat UMass at a snowy Soldiers Field, 14-13.
In a season that has had it all, there has only been one thing missing: the fans.
On Tuesday, the Crimson took down top-ranked Boston College, which was previously undefeated on the year, to capture its first Beanpot championship since 2010. With the 3-2 victory, Harvard avenged not only previous Beanpot defeats, but also the Crimson’s 10-2 loss at the hands of the Eagles in mid-November.
After dropping two games to Wagner and Princeton on Saturday, the Crimson brought its record back over .500 with victories over Villanova and Iona on Sunday.
The Bulldogs became the first team all season to hold Harvard scoreless on Friday, snapping junior forward Jimmy Vesey's 20-game point streak in the process.
After a 42-minute stalemate, the No. 3/2 Terriers found the breakthrough they needed 2:18 into double overtime to come away with a 4-3 victory over Harvard.
Despite a goal and two assists from Jimmy Vesey, the Crimson wrapped up a difficult month of January with a 5-4 loss to the defending national champions.