McGINN 'N TONIC: Crimson Hockey's Year in Quotes

Remember when lists used to be cool? Before VH1 cancelled all its original programming, hired a cadre of faux celebrities and hack comedians, and became the network for the acutely time warped?

Didn’t think so. Nonetheless, there’s no better way to celebrate the start of the NCAA men’s hockey tournament than to recap the six quotes that sum up the Crimson’s season like no other. Well, none that easily transfers into print.

Without any further ado:

6. “I probably shouldn’t have said that.”

Junior Peter Hafner, after accidentally revealing that captain Noah Welch had missed a day of practice due to an unfortunately placed puck in Harvard’s most recent game.

5. “Dylan, can you explain tort reform for all of us?”

World Wrestling Entertainment’s Chris Nowinski, a.k.a. Chris Harvard, to sophomore defenseman Dylan Reese, at the Institute of Politics’ “Jock the Vote” on Oct. 26. Reese, a professed democrat, had loudly whispered to one of his panelists seated next to him asking for the term’s definition at its first mention, and when audience members were permitted to submit questions, classmates Ryan Maki and Steve Mandes didn’t hesitate to test how carefully he’d paid attention. Reese’s response? “I’ll pass.”

4. “At first, it was a huge difference. I’d be going to the net, and I’d just get knocked over. I’d be like, ‘Holy shit. What’d I get myself into?’”

Freshman forward Jon Pelle, on adjusting to the collegiate level. Pelle is generously listed at 5’8 and had a bit of difficulty early on making the jump to Harvard from the Eastern Junior Hockey League’s New York Apple Core. With eight goals and 17 assists so far, though, he’s doing just fine.

3. “Well, Bernie was probably the worst player there for Leverett. He got hit by a girl in about four seconds, so that was pretty funny.”

Reese, assessing senior Brendan Bernakevitch’s play in Harvard’s second-ever intramural dodgeball tournament. Reese and Maki fared better individually, but ultimately fell along with the rest of their Dunster teammates, upset by the freshmen from Elm Yard.

2. “That comment was correct, but Adam had his Cornell jersey on under his shirt there.”

Welch, validating in part the in-studio analysis of U.S. College Hockey Online columnist and ESPN college hockey correspondent Adam Wodon during the NCAA tournament selection show. Wodon spent the better portion of his Harvard-related air time bashing the Crimson defense for hanging netminder Dov Grumet-Morris out to dry in the ECAC final, won by Cornell 3-1. He was right—Harvard’s blueliners had played below their potential for the most part. But hearing it from Wodon, whose passion for the Big Red is among college hockey’s worst kept secrets, was too much for some members of the Crimson.

1. “I am pissed at this road trip.”

Welch, following the Crimson’s road swing through North Country Thanksgiving weekend. Harvard managed only a split, losing to St. Lawrence, then beating Clarkson, but underperforming relative to Welch’s standards both evenings. His teammates got the message, winning four-straight headed into the Christmas break, highlighted by wins over Maine and Vermont, both top-15 teams at the time.

Well, if those six gems couldn’t remind you that “Harvard is 21-9-3 entering tomorrow’s NCAA Northeast regional semifinal, where the Crimson will face New Hampshire at 3:30 p.m.,” I don’t know what combination of quotes would have done the trick, and you’re just about out of luck. So just go ahead, put down the paper, plunk yourself down on a sofa somewhere and make your way to “I Love The 90’s.” Maybe they’ll have a full top-10 list for you.

—Staff writer Timothy J. McGinn can be reached at

EDITOR’S NOTE: Follow the Harvard men’s hockey team in the NCAA tournament at starting tomorrow. Check back after each game for the latest scores, recaps, and player reactions as the Crimson looks to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1994.