"Be all that you can be."
Brooks Chretien took the Army recruiting motto to heart, stopping 37 shots--including three five-on-three breakaways--against Cornell lifting the Cadets to a 2-0 upset win Saturday night. Chretien and his upstart teammates visit Bright Center tonight to face the winless Harvard men's hockey team.
In a ceremony before tonight's opening faceoff at 7:30 p.m., the Crimson's 1989 NCAA Championship banner will be raised up into Bright's rafters to join the many Ivy League and ECAC title banners.
The Crimson (0-1-1 overall, 0-1-1 ECAC, 0-1-1 Ivy) lost to Yale and tied Brown last weekend in a rude awakening from last year's storybook season that included a Beanpot title and an NCAA championship.
Last weekend illustrated that last season's glory is irrelevant now, except in that other teams are even more determined to upset the defending national champions.
But the Crimson wasn't the only favorite to suffer through a tough opening weekend. R.P.I. sacked two-time defending ECAC champ St. Lawrence, 11-2, and Cornell lost to both Princeton and Army (3-1 overall, 1-1 ECAC). Brown, which hadn't won since last season's first game, tied twice. After the first weekend of action, the league appears to be much more balanced.
"Early in the season, you see more upsets," Army Coach Rob Riley said. "Some of the better teams are still experimenting with their lines. It makes for a much better league."
The Cadets nearly beat Colgate Friday night, ultimately losing, 2-0. Chretien blanked the Red Raiders for two periods and the teams skated evenly for most of the game.
"We had as many opportunities as Colgate," Riley said. "We just didn't get the breaks."
Colgate finally scored in the third period and then sealed the win with an empty-netter with 14 seconds remaining in the game.
Saturday, Chretien was just as awesome, but his team was not. The result, however, was different. The Cadets crushed Cornell, 5-2, despite being outplayed.
"Cornell dominated play," Riley said. "We just had outstanding goaltending and we got the breaks."
Sophomore Kevin Darby tallied twice for the Cadets. Rick Randazzo, Rich Sheridan and Chris Kindgren supplied the rest of the Black Knight firepower.
Harvard's defense must find a way to slam the door on the Cadets. In addition, Harvard's offense must figure out how to apply pressure over the course of an entire 60-minute game.
Against Yale, the Crimson scored two first period goals and then was shut out for the remainder of the game. Saturday, Harvard tallied three times against Brown in the first frame, but its guns fell silent in the final two periods.
"We didn't dig deep down when we needed to," junior center Peter Ciavaglia said. "We know what we have to do as far as individual efforts go. [Army] should be awfully confident after their win over Cornell."
"To beat Harvard, we have to get great goaltending, Riley said. "They've been physically superior in the past."
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