The success of Harvard's hockey team in upcoming games with Yale and Cornell will depend to a great extent upon teamwork, and teamwork is the trademark of three sophomores who constitute the team's explosive line.
The line of Joey Cavanagh centering for wings Steve "Couch" Owen and Dan "The Monk" DeMichele has build its success on teamwork and has contributed heavily to Harvard's overall record of 15-4-1 and Ivy record of 8-1.
The personalities of the three players are very conducive to team play. "Never before have I seen guys work together better than this trio," said assistant coach Gene Kinasewich who put them together on last year's freshman team.
"The characters of the three jell perfectly. Joey is perfectly suited for center and has a natural instinct to get the puck. DeMichele and Owen's play is suited to the wing position. Steve, on the right wing, is a fast skater, and, being lefthanded, is able to skate in on the net from his position. Dan, on the other wing, relies on his shot. His strength enables him to shoot with great power and precision," Kinasewich said.
It is not surprising to find that Cavanagh and DeMichele have been playing together for ten years. They started together on a pee-wee team, and progressed through high-school. They separated for a year to different prep-schools before combining again last year on the freshman team.
Owen, who played center during his prep-school career at Noble & Greenough, with his final year at Choate, adjusted easily to his new position at right wing last year. An All-American in his last two years in prep-school, Owen was number one on last year's freshman golf team and has done well in amateur tournaments in the state.
Standing 6'8" and weighing 170, Owen is fast and agressive and last year was the third leading scorer for the freshmen with 45 points on 17 goals and 28 assists.
Cavanagh, who said he chose Harvard so that he could "ride the subways," became the third highest Yardling scorer in Harvard history last year when he racked up a total of 71 points on 29 goals and 42 assists. After graduating from Cranston East High School in Rhode Island where he was All-American for three years, Cavanagh prepped at Andover for a year, where he was acclaimed All-Prep and All-America.
"Joey is a natural for center," Kinasewich said. "His ability to control the puck and use his wings to the teams's advantage certainly makes him one of the finest centers in college hockey.
Cavanagh, who has scored in every game this year, is currently second in Ivy scoring behind Brian Cornell of Cornell. "Barring injuries, Cavanagh is sure to set some all-time Harvard records before he is through," Kinasewich added.
DeMichele, who attended Cranston East where he, too, was All-American, and Vermont Academy afterwards, is the biggest of the three at 6'2" and 205 lbs. "I could picture Dan, when he was younger, as always being careful not to hurt the players he was skating with." Kinasewich said. "He is still learning to use his body, and with his size and strength, he has the greatest potential of the three."
DeMichele, who scored 32 goals as high man on last year's freshman squad, also captained the freshman baseball team to an undefeated season.
Kinasewich feels that this line, which is leading the team in scoring to date, will only get better in future years. "The line's greatest asset is not the individual talent, but rather, the attitude of the individuals and their ability to play together," he said.