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Harvard and Yale renew an old rivalry as the Harvard men's ice hockey team faces the last-place Eli's tonight in a one game road trip.
Harvard leads the series overall 115-62, but has lost two of the past three meetings at Ingalls Rink, dubbed "the Whale", making this game extremely important for this year's seniors.
"There's a lot more energy and emotion going into this than a league game," senior winger Jason Karmanos said.
Yale, riding an eight-game losing streak, still presents a challenge to Harvard. John Emmons, a Yale senior forward, scored twice in the last meeting between Harvard and Yale and looks to be a threat in tonight's game.
One of Yale's weaknesses that Harvard is looking to exploit is its goaltending. Yale's netminders average four and a half goals allowed per game. In contrast, Harvard senior Tripp Tracy is averaging less than three goals against per game.
Also, the Crimson has been beset with injuries this past week, and several key seniors will be absent this Friday. Senior captain Brad Konik and senior defenseman Peter McLaughlin are still recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident Sunday, and senior winger Tommy Holmes is out with a leg injury.
Although the injuries are in the minds of all of the players, sophomore Jeremiah McCarthy said, "We can't let the injuries effect us, we have to play with the players we have."
With all of the injuries, several of the underclassmen have had the chance to play. Last weekend, with wins against RPI and Union, two freshman stood out.
Freshman Rob Millar, the ECAC Rookie of the Week, notched his first career points with a goal on Friday and hat trick on Saturday. Also on Saturday, freshman goalie Pete Zakowich tallied his first collegiate shutout.
After tonight's game at Yale, the Crimson will return to face Boston College in the Beanpot Consolation game Monday night at FleetCenter.
This is the last league team that Harvard will face with a record below .500 this season, and the end of February will see Harvard facing four of the top five teams in the league.
"We could really help ourselves with a win this weekend," McCarthy added.
The Crimson, now in a three way tie for third in the ECAC, are looking toward post season play. The Crimson could enter into the NCAA hockey tournament by either winning the ECAC or winning the ECAC league championships in March.
"Our larger goal would be the NCAA tournament," Karmanos said.
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