SCHENECTADY, N.Y.--If you had ideas about jumping back onto the Harvard men's hockey bandwagon following its win over RPI, think again.
You'll probably save yourself a lot of agony.
Harvard couldn't build off its momentum and sank to a new low Saturday, losing to Union, 5-3. The Crimson had never lost to the Dutch men in the teams' seven meetings since Union moved up from Division III, but for the first 20 minutes Saturday the Crimson looked like the team making the transition.
Harvard was outworked and outhustled. Its defense committed numerous turnovers--three of which Union converted into goals--and its offense took 30 minutes to pressure Union goalie Trevor Koenig, a person the Crimson beat three times in the first 11 minutes back in November.
If losses to lowly Yale, Boston College and Dartmouth hadn't driven home the point that Harvard is having an `off-year,' Saturday's journey to the bottom of the Hudson River had to--the defeat combined with Clarkson's win over Dartmouth to officially eliminate Harvard from the ECAC regular season race.
Harvard is still in third place, but it can still finish as low as eighth place if it fails to beat either St. Lawrence or Clarkson this Friday and Saturday.
Remember, nobody on this year's Crimson outside of Michel Breistroff (who took last year off) has played for a Harvard team that didn't win the regular-season crown.
The Crimson just isn't very good. It isn't bad either. The squad cannot execute on a consistent basis.
"We're not as talented as everyone thinks we are," Harvard coach Ronn Tomassoni conceded following the Union loss.
The Crimson has potential, but it is a team that lives and dies for the most part by one individual--Steve Martins.
Friday, Martins scored two goals and set up two others and Harvard won, 5-3.
Saturday, Martins felt woozy and had to miss a good chunk of the first period and the entire second, and the Crimson yielded the first five goals of the game to the Dutchmen.
That's not a typo--5-0. Five Union goals. Nothing from Harvard--the big goose-egg.
Not convinced? Martins received a doctor's clearance to play the third period, and suddenly Harvard had an offensive spark--Martins scored Harvard's first goal of the game just 1:11 into the third period, and the Crimson would score two more to cut the deficit to 5-3, but it was too little, too late.
Before this weekend, Harvard's offensive was stagnant. The team scored 17 goals in seven games and lost five of those seven..