867-5309: Crimson Draws Big Red Menace in First Round of ECAC Playoffs

Well, what do you want first--the good news or the bad news?

The good news is that Harvard snagged its first Ivy League title since the 1993-94 season, thanks to a 5-3 Princeton loss at the hands of Cornell on Saturday.

But no matter how sweet the crown is, especially for a team in the process of rebuilding its program, it is at best a small consolation prize.


Because the bad news is that, between Rensselaer winger Brad Tapper's bullet from the left circle on a five-on-three power play and the phenomenal goaltending of Hobey Baker Award candidate Joel Laing, the Engineers handed Harvard a 2-0 shutout and a first-class bus ticket to--you guessed it--Ithaca, N.Y., for the first round of the ECAC playoffs.

The Crimson--especially its eight senior members--bid a fond farewell to Bright Hockey Center Saturday night, as the decision in the RPI finale denied Harvard its bid for home ice.

But it certainly was not for lack of effort.

"It was a great hockey game," Harvard Coach Mark Mazzoleni said. "Unfortunately, we came up on the short end, but we gave it everything we had."

The Crimson let a golden opportunity slip away at 12:44 of the first period when its 1:17 two-man advantage expired with barely a shot on goal, thanks to a beleaguered Harvard power play unit and a surprisingly tight RPI defense.

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