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To understand how important captain Dominic Moore is to the Harvard men’s hockey team, you have to go back to Dec. 29, 2001. That was the last time the Crimson won a game in which Moore did not record a point.
Fifty-two games later, Moore has 63 more points and a secure place in Harvard hockey history.
Whether the seasons ends this weekend in the ECAC tournament or the Crimson advances deep into the NCAA tournament, Moore has already established himself as Harvard’s top offensive talent in more than a decade.
His 143 career points place him at No. 12 on the Crimson’s all-time list and just a point behind 13-year NHL veteran Ted Donato ’91. More impressively, Moore has done most of this while leading the vanguard of a rebuilding process started by Harvard coach Mark Mazzoleni in 1999.
Only three players—Dominic, his brother Steve Moore ’01 and Mark Fusco ’83—have cracked into the top 20 in career scoring at Harvard while playing for sub-.500 teams through their first three seasons. In contrast, six of the eleven players ahead of Moore on the all-time list played together on the 1989 NCAA championship team.
But even though Moore’s place in Crimson hockey history is firmly planted near the top, the verdict on this season will be decided in the coming weeks. Harvard’s 19-8-2 regular season record was its best since 1993-94, but the Crimson has not yet clinched an NCAA bid. A single loss this weekend could end its season.
That would be a sour end to a brilliant career, and if Moore’s recent performance is any indication, he will do anything to avoid an early exit. After a frustrating 2-1 Beanpot semifinal loss to Boston University, Mazzoleni shuffled his lines—placing Moore alongside junior Kenny Turano and freshman Charlie Johnson.
The change of scenery breathed new life into Moore.
After recording 21 points in 22 games to start the season, Moore has doubled that total in just 10 games while playing with Turano and Johnson, scoring 25 points in that span off of 10 goals and 15 assists.
“It was just kind of exciting when I found out I’d be playing with both of them,” Turano said. “They are both such smart players.”
Moore has similar thoughts about his new linemates.
“Charlie is going to be one heck of a player,” Moore said. “He is very smart, and if there’s one thing you’re looking for in a Harvard player to know he’s special, it is that he’s smart.”
Although Moore’s individual efforts—including a goal and three assists in Saturday’s series-clinching victory over Vermont—have made him a preeminent playmaker in college hockey, it will only be the team’s success from this point on which matters.
“We were the underdogs last year,” Moore said. “We had been in a huge slump in February and had nothing to lose. This year we are a lot better team and our expectations are higher, but we’re also a lot more confident.”
If history is any indicator, however, Harvard’s success as a team will rely heavily on Moore and his 10-game point streak continuing well into the playoffs. Otherwise the Crimson will need to do something it hasn’t done since Dec. 29, 2001—win without him on the score sheet.
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