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People with long-term memory loss may have had a hard time recognizing the players skating for the Harvard men's hockey team last night against Cornell.
For the first time in two weeks, the first line of seniors Tommy Holmes, captain Brad Konik and Kirk Nielsen put their injuries behind them and were once again on the ice as a unit. Also, senior defenseman Peter McLaughlin, along with Konik, played for the first time since sustaining injuries in a car accident two weeks ago.
Still feeling the effects of inactivity, the senior line was not a lethal offensive force last night, although they did get some needed playing time. In addition, the trio was able to return to their leadership positions three weeks before the ECAC Tournament.
"It's great to have those guys back in the locker room--they help us out so much," freshman forward Craig MacDonald said.
Crimson Power Outage
Penalties and power plays dominated most of the play last night.
In the contest between Harvard, the ECAC leader in penalty killing, and Cornell, the ECAC power-play unit leader, the 10,000 men couldn't compete.
Harvard has recently had some problems with penalty killing due to the absence of six of its eight seniors. Even though most of the players are back in the lineup, they haven't skated together for two weeks.
Cornell took advantage of this lack of cohesion and capitalized on four of its seven power plays, accounting for its final four goals of the contest.
Harvard also struggled with the man advantage, failing to connect on any of its six chances.
"It was a game settled on special teams, and that's been a strength for us this year," Cornell coach Mike Schafer said.
Rough Nights in Net
Harvard coach Ronn Tomassoni surprised many people last night by starting freshman goalie Pete Zakowich in net over senior Tripp Tracy.
"Peter had been practicing real well and looking good so [I thought I'd] give him the opportunity to go with it," Tomassoni said.
The first period, however, was filled with less than solid goaltending on both ends.
Zakowich was shaky, letting the Big Red beat him on its first two shots, but the rookie proceeded to block 12 of the next 13.
Life wasn't much better at the other goal in the first period. If there were justice, Cornell forward Kyle Knopp would have gotten a point on Harvard's third goal.
Knopp received the puck from Cornell netminder Eddy Skazyk and poked the puck back into the net by bouncing it off Skazyk. Skazyk proceeded to get the hook from Schafer in favor of Jason Elliott.
Tracy, subbing in for Zakowich in the second and third periods, kept the game close with some incredible saves. Tracy stopped a two-on-one rush in the second and a breakaway in the third.
"We have to battle back and get ourselves ready for [Colgate tonight]," Tomassoni added.
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