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The animated body language of Harvard coach Ronn Tomassoni in the post-game interview was easier to interpret than the 2-2 tie posted on the scoreboard. Although a tie is usually an ambiguous sign about a team's future, Tomassoni recognized last night's game as a turning point in the Crimson's play. After losing a two-goal lead, Harvard hung tough right through the sudden-death overtime period and did not cave in as it has done in its two previous one-point losses.
Every hockey game is filled with highs and lows, momentum changes and back-and-forth scoring; a solid team is capable of riding out the good and the bad without collapsing or losing its composure.
"How we react when we're up and how we react when we're down is going to be very important in telling how successful this season is going to be," Tomassoni said. "I think tonight is a start because it was 2-2. Yale came back and scored two and we didn't fold. I am looking at this as very positive. Overall, we're pleased to come out of here with a point."
Beating a Dead Horse
The Crimson's lack of success on its power play is quickly becoming a theme of the season. The Crimson were 0-for-3 against Yale and are 3-for-23 on the season.
Harvard's power outage continued last night despite the return of junior Henry Higdon, who is expected to play a key role on the man-advantage.
"The return of Higdon, Philpott and MacCleod is a big plus for us. These are three guys who can help us and they all have abilities up front to score goals," Tomassoni said. "But they've been off for a while and they need a little bit to get back into the grind, get back into game shape, with their timing and everything else and knock on wood, I think we're okay after this game."
With all Harvard's futility on the power play, a new strategy, in addition to changes in player combinations, was in evidence at Ingalls Rink. The Crimson concentrated on feeding the pucks down low to open up lanes for players at the blue lines.
In the past, defenders have been able to stifle the perimeter players' ability to move the puck around the zone. Harvard is hoping that it will be able to exploit the opposing teams' lack of respect for play down low.
And the Winner Is...
Although Yale was first in this year's U.S. News and World Report rankings, had the magazine considered the following categories, there is no doubt that the Elis' stock would have fallen.
The "get-a-life" award goes to the "Chyz" Heads. Students wearing slices of cheese on their heads were spotted at Ingalls Rink. The head gear, brought into vogue by fans of the Green Bay Packers, honored Yale players James and John Chyz, of Bradford, Ontario.
The "As If New Haven Wasn't Bad Enough award": The architecture of Ingalls Rink, better known as the Yale Whale, leaves almost everything to be desired. The roof of the rink is shaped like a whale's hump, giving the arena a cavernous feeling and oddly-shaped stands.
A Great Fall
Although the University of Vermont possesses two of the country's speediest forwards in Martin St. Louis and Eric Perrin, the only thing fast in furious in Burlington these days is the Catamounts' fall from their number one ranking. At this time last week, the Catamounts were ranked number one in the USA Today American Hockey Magazine Poll.
After suffering a loss at home to RPI, 4-2, Vermont dropped to number two this week.
Last night, the French Connection and Co. dropped another ECAC game, this time to Cornell, 6-4.
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