A gaze at the banners hanging from the rafters of Bright Hockey Center reminds everyone of the storied tradition of the 101-year history of the Harvard men's hockey program. The most prominent one commemorates the 1989 national championship.
In this 10th anniversary season of that title, sophomore forwards Harry Schwefel and Steve Moore, along with sophomore defenseman Liam McCarthy, spent the seven-hour bus ride home from No. 6 Clarkson devising their own addition to that tradition.
Perhaps not exactly in the spirit of "Old Time Harvard Hockey", the trio
proposed bleached blond hair.
Though Vermont (13-16-2, 7-13-2 ECAC) and Dartmouth (10-17-2, 6-14-2) only caught fleeting glimpses of the Crimson's new fluorescent locks, they certainly felt the team unity and pride it was supposed to represent. On the last weekend of the regular season, Harvard (13-14-2, 8-12-2) finally clinched a playoff spot--eighth place--defeating the Catamounts 5-3 on Friday and the Big Green 4-2 on Saturday at the Bright Hockey Center.
"It's like throwing the first punch in a game, taking off your helmet," said junior forward Scott Turco. "It puts us in a position where we have to play better."
Harvard unveiled more than a new hairstyle Friday night. Coach Ronn
More surprising, Harvard showed off a potentpower play, hitherto struggling along at a 13.9percent clip. The Crimson struck five times withthe man-advantage, converting nearly half of itsopportunities. Both game winners came in man-upsituations.
The sweep elevated Harvard into eighth placeand a first round match-up with Rensselaer. TheCrimson has yet to defeat the Engineers this year,losing 7-4 in Troy, N.Y. and 1-0 at home.
The two victories also evened Harvard's homerecord at 6-6, with the Crimson winning its lastsix games at Bright.
"We have been competing well over the pastcouple months," said captain Craig Adams. "[In theplayoffs], we are going to have to face moreadversity, but you either want it or you don't andI think we do."
Harvard 4, Dartmouth 2
Continuing a tradition considerably older thanblond hair, Saturday was Senior Night at Bright.Adams, defenseman Ben Storey and forwards RobMillar and Clayton Rodgers-who did not play-wereall honored in pre-game ceremonies.
However, the only proper send-off for anysenior class is a victory. And a freshman andsophomore started a three-goal first period thatguaranteed a final home win for the seniors andeighth place-the best scenario the Crimson couldhave asked for coming into the weekend.
Just 49 seconds into the game, Stonehousecleanly won a draw to the right of Dartmouthjunior goaltender Eric Almon. On the left wing,Schwefel picked up the loose puck and walkedunmolested into the slot where he wristed one overAlmon's blocker for an early 1-0 Crimson lead.
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