In a season which has been marked by as many ups and downs as a typical Wall Street Friday, the Harvard men's hockey team once again suffered a crash of large proportions in its own rink this past Saturday night.
In fact, Harvard (12-11-1 overall, 10-7-1 ECAC) suffered a 5-0 shut-out loss at Bright Hockey Center to the ECAC's seventh-place team, Vermont (15-11-2, 8-8-2).
"Obviously, we're in a slump," coach Ronn Tomassoni said.
The game began with Tomassoni reinserting the original offensive lines Harvard used in its successful pre-exam-period games, but nothing seemed to work the entire night.
"We're trying a lot of things, but unfortunately the buttons we're pressing aren't working," Tomassoni said.
But in the broad scheme of things, the Crimson ended the weekend in much better shape than one might think. First-place Clarkson lost both of its games as well, creating a first-place tie with Brown, who defeated Dart-mouth and Vermont.
Harvard still holds third place in the ECAC, although it's just one precarious point above this Friday's opponent, RPL.
"It seems like no one wants to win anything [in the ECAC]," Tomassoni said. "So it's not too late to turn it around."
The glaring statistic on the night was definitely the Crimson's power play. Harvard was an anemic 0-for-11 on the night-including two wasted five-on-three chances-as nothing seemed to go right.
"We got our shots on net [on our power play], but when you're in a slump, pucks just don't go in the net," captain Ben Coughlin said.
Vermont's scoring began halfway into the first period, when Eric Perrin capitalized on a Crimson defensive lapse to slam the puck home for a 1-0 Catamount lead.
Harvard then had two different power plays, including one minute of five-on-three play, but it could not tie up the game.
Late in the first stanza, Vermont went on the power play again, and the Catamounts clicked again. Only six seconds into the man advantage, J.C. Ruid took a pass right in front of the net from the nation's assist leader-Martin St. Louis-and made the score 2-0 Vermont.
The second period brought out more of Harvard's trouble on the power play, its nemesis all season long.
Not only did Harvard fail to cash in with the man advantage, but also there were times when Vermont mounted scoring opportunities on its own, such as a two-on-one rush which would have tallied another, had the puck not deflected off Coughlin's skate.