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The Harvard men's hockey team's 8-1 schooling of Dartmouth Tuesday night, like earlier season blowouts of Brown and Yale, was a very big win over a very mediocre hockey team. But the Crimson has yet to prove that it can beat a very good squad and reestablish itself at the pinnacle of the NCAA.
Harvard was shut out by fifth-ranked B.U., 4-0, last Tuesday, and dropped a close 2-1 contest to third-ranked B.C. last Friday. In addition, the Crimson's road loss to Princeton is not likely to help the squad's bid for a return to the national rankings.
The games this coming weekend against Cornell and Colgate at Bright Center, however, are two more chances for Harvard to prove its mettle.
Cornell (4-0-2 overall, 3-0-2 ECAC)--Harvard's opponent tomorrow night--is currently ranked sixth in the nation and is tied with the Crimson for the lead in the ECAC. While Colgate (6-2-1, 1-2-2) is a few rungs down the ECAC ladder, the Red Raiders are still ranked 14th in the nation.
"It is good to have a game like [the Dartmouth game]," Crimson Coach Ronn Tomassoni said. "It gives our players confidence. Hopefully, that confidence will carry over to the games this weekend."
"Hopefully, every goal we missed [against Dartmouth], we're saving for this weekend," Harvard Captain Ted Donato added.
The Battered Ranks: The Crimson offense lit up the scoreboard against the Big Green Tuesday night without two injured forwards--John Weisbrod and Matt Mallgrave. The Crimson defense held the Big Green to only one goal without its best blue-liner, Kevin Sneddon, who was also side-lined by injury.
But while these players were not sorely missed against the ECAC cellar-dwelling Big Green, the Crimson will surely need their services during the tough Cornell-Colgate weekend.
Unfortunately, the Crimson will be without Weisbrod, who continues to suffer from a back injury. Doctors renegged on their promise to let the standout senior forward return for Friday's Cornell game after Weisbrod could not get out of bed yesterday morning.
The continued prevalence of Weisbrod's aches worry team doctors that he may suffer from a disc problem, rather than a less serious muscular problem. Weisbrod will be reevaluated by the doctors today.
Mallgrave and Sneddon both skated at yesterday's practice and are probable for tomorrow night.
No Goose Egg: Yale forward Jeff Blaeser and Dartmouth forward Scott Fraser's have rhyming names and both play for pathetic hockey teams. But the two players have something else in common--both have robbed Harvard netminder Chuckie Hughes of a prospective shutout.
In Hughes' debut on November 10, Blaeser capitalized on a Harvard defensivelapse while the Crimson was on the power play.Blaeser's shorthanded goal one minute into thethird period was the Elis' lone tally of the game.The Crimson's defensive breakdown went to theKangaroo Court--the Harvard hockey team's judicialbody--to determine exactly who was responsible forputting the blemish on Hughes' otherwise perfectperformance.
On Tuesday night, with Harvard up, 8-0, in thesecond period, the shutout again seemed in reach.But then, Fraser beat Hughes to put Dartmouth onthe scoreboard.
While the brawny Bostonian was upset to againsee the opponent's goose egg come and go, therewould be no appeal to the Kangaroo Court this timearound.
"This time, it was my fault," Hughes said
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