The Harvard men's hockey team has not played over exam period, but it has continued to rise in the polls.
While it was enjoying its examperiod hiatus, the Crimson (8-3-3 overall, 8-1-3 ECAC) moved up two slots to the number-10 position.
The ranking does not mean much, if anything, in the grand scheme of the season, but it was a psychological boost for Harvard, which had been seeded sixth in the ECAC by pre-season polls.
"I don't think anyone pays a lot of attention to it," senior forward Tim Burke said. "But I have to admit that it's a little bit overdue. Going from sixth in the league to eighth in the country was quite a turnaround."
Although Harvard will be idle this weekend, several players are already looking ahead to the that hallowed tournament, the Beanpot.
The 'pot may be two weeks away, but the Harvard men's hockey team is already looking ahead to avenge last year's performance. Boston University and Northeastern laid waste to the Crimson.
But this is a new year and a fresh start.
"I'd have to say the revenge factor is there," Burke said. "It's depressing enough to lose there, but to get blown out, 8-2, is devastating," Burke said.
For Burke, who hails from Wellesley, Harvard's opener against Boston College on Feb. 3 will have a special significance. It will be the first time that Burke gets to play against his best friend, goalie Scott LeGrand.
"Scott was my goalie in high school," Burke said. "I'm really looking forward to it."
But before Harvard meets the Eagles, it has two more immediate concerns: Rensselaer (9-10 overall, 3-8 ECAC) and Union (2-11-1 overall, 1-9-1 ECAC) skate into Bright Center next Friday and Saturday. Last Friday, Union won its first-ever ECAC Division l game, beating hapless Dartmouth,2-1 , in Hanover, N.H.
Union Skating Dutchmen put up a tough fight with the Crimson earlier this season in Schenectady, N.Y. before falling, 7-5.
Although the Engineers and Skating Dutchmen should be two easy wins, Harvard has not been sloughing off during practices.
"[Coach Ronn Tomassoni] will work us hard," junior forward Matt Mallgrave said. "But that's the whole key. After a week of not practicing during exams, it's easy to fall down. You have to keep in shape."
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