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Fear not hockey fans, Harvard hockey is alive and well—it just may not be the hockey you’re used to watching.
Yes, it’s true! I swear. There’s a hockey team, here at Harvard, that can not only get the puck out of its own defensive zone, but can actually get it all the way down to the other end of the ice! Not only that, but they score—a lot.
There’s a team at Harvard where the pro-prospects actually play like pro-prospects and—What? They can’t go pro? You mean, once they’re done here there’s no where for them to go? Check that, there’s a team at Harvard where Olympians play like Olympians and those who aren’t play like they could be.
For all you hockey fans who have watched the Crimson men play sleep-inducing hockey this year—they’re more effective than NyQuil—on their way to a 10-13-2 record and what will likely be an early departure from postseason play, have you thought that maybe you’re just heading over to Bright Hockey Center at the wrong time?
Maybe it’s time to watch, you know, that other team? The team that is poised to make a run at the national championship; the team where the players look like they live and die with every shot on goal; the team made up of, ahem, women?
But, you say, their game doesn’t move as fast as the guys’. They can’t skate as well, shoot as hard, and hell, there’s barely even any checking.
And you’re right, except that the women can still skate faster than you, shoot harder than you, and most of them can bench more than you. Trust me on that one.
What’s more, this team wins.
The Crimson women are in the midst of one of their best seasons ever. Heading into action this weekend against St. Lawrence, No. 2 Harvard is 20-2-1—and the team may even be better than that.
The Crimson’s two losses this year came in a slight hiccup against Princeton and an epic battle against Dartmouth. But these speed bumps on the way to the Frozen Four are overshadowed by the dominance Harvard has exhibited the rest of the season.
In the first two games of the season, the Crimson set the tone for what was to come, trouncing Union 13-0 on Nov. 7 and then again 11-0 on Nov. 8 . The women’s hockey team scored more goals that weekend—22—than the Harvard football team had points—13 in a 16-13 defeat at Columbia.
But the Crimson didn’t stop there. They beat Providence and New Hampshire. They went to Duluth, Minn, home of the defending national champions, tied the Bulldogs 2-2 in a hard-fought game, decided that wasn’t good enough and went out the next night and embarrassed the champs 7-2 on their home ice.
Harvard leads the country in goals-per-game with 4.65, leads the country in average margin of victory—winning by 3.43 goals-per-game—and is tied for the second longest unbeaten streak at 7 games.
Not bad for a team whose audience generally consists of family members and—maybe—a few close friends.
Harvard’s average home attendance this season is a paltry 453 people per game. That figure includes the 1,921 Crimson Crazies who showed up to the Jan. 11the game against Dartmouth, a figure magnified by the large presence of other female athletes at the game. Without the Dartmouth game, Harvard averages only 290 fans per game.
This is not support worthy of the second-ranked team in the country.
Yet the Crimson keeps on winning. And after every home game, no matter how empty the arena, the players line up at center ice and thank those few diehards present for coming out and supporting Harvard hockey.
So how ‘bout it? Hop on the bandwagon and get comfortable. There are plenty of good seats still available.
—Staff writer David H. Stearns can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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