Entering Saturday's game against Union, the Harvard men's hockey team's offense was mired in its biggest slump of the season. One of the players it counts on most, junior winger Chris Bala had notched just one goal on the year.
By the end of the night, Bala had tripled his goal production and the team had a 5-1 victory.
The speedy Bala was the Crimson's best offensive weapon last weekend. In its 3-2 loss Friday to RPI, Bala spent most of the evening motoring down the left wing, and only some sharp work from Engineer goalie Joel Laing kept the puck from the back of the net.
But against the Skating Dutchmen, he took a pass from sophomore defenseman Peter Capouch seven minutes into the first and darted in on goalie Brandon Snee. Finally, Bala buried the biscuit.
"I came across on the left wing trying to make the goalie make a move," Bala said. "I had a good angle and switched to my backhand and put the puck through the five hole."
Bala bagged his other goal late in the third period. Taking a pass from freshman center Dominic Moore in the low slot, he rung it top shelf to give Harvard the 5-1 margin of victory.
A rejuvenated Bala is welcome news for the Crimson. Playing alongside the creative Dominic Moore, the tandem can create many headaches for the opposition with their combination of speed and skill.
"When Bala and [junior center] Steve Moore are only scoring one or two goals, you're gonna struggle," Harvard Coach Mark Mazzoleni said. "Bala picked it up and got the goals for us."
Bala certainly did pick it up and he seems poised to continue the production through the second half of the season.
Slump over. Now it's time for a streak.
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