The trek up north to perennial ECAC giants Cornell and Colgate is usually one of Harvard's most difficult road trips of the year. Colgate earned a name for itself last year as an NCAA contender, and what Cornell lacks in similar honors, it makes up for in fish. Lots of them.
But no amount of kudos or fish can obscure the glaring faux pas committed by both teams last weekend. Union, one of the league's most consistent bottom-feeders, shocked everyone by sweeping the Big Red and the Red Raiders last weekend. As a result, Cornell (1-2-0, 1-1-0 ECAC) fell to fifth place, while Colgate Colgate (1-5-2, 0-2-0 ECAC) now brings up the rear with Brown.
Given the almost comical amount of parity within the conference, nothing is a given. But with both opponents clearly back on their heels, the Harvard men's hockey team has a prime opportunity to throw it's weight around up north, a feat that has eluded the Crimson (2-1-0, 2-1-0 ECAC) for quite some time.
With a relatively easy opening schedule, it is difficult to assess the Crimson's chances against these formidable conference foes.
Harvard clinched an easy 3-0 shutout over Brown to start the season, but dropped to Vermont 5-3 in the home opener. Aggressive offense and a tighter defense helped the Crimson salvage a win last weekend, trouncing Dartmouth 5-2.
"Going up north is always a tough trip, and Cornell is a tough place to play," junior assistant captain Peter Capouch said. "But our win over Dartmouth will give us a little momentum."
Netminder Oliver Jonas has been solid in goal for Harvard, stopping 40 shots against the Catamounts and another 34 against the Big Green. His quick reflexes often atone for lapses along the back line.
While defense is a constant problem for the Crimson, the talent-laden offense has stepped up to produce goals and play defensively when required. Captain Steve Moore is noted for such opportunistic measures, netting two consecutive short-handed goals over Brown and Vermont.
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