Harvard pulled off the improbable upset against the No. 15 Terriers, winning, 5-4, in a high-scoring showdown.
The victory proved to be the turning point of Harvard’s season.
“It was a confidence booster, winning that game,” co-captain defenseman Chris Huxley said. “If you have more confidence going into other games, then it helps.”
But confidence wasn’t the only factor in the Crimson’s rebound. The team also retooled its previously poor power play with huge success. Up to and including the Northeastern game, Harvard successfully converted just 11.8 percent of its power plays. From then, the Crimson scored on power plays a whopping 32.7 percent of the time.
After the BU upset, Harvard started racking up the victories, winning four of five to close out the season and earn the 10-seed in the ECAC Playoffs.
In the first round, the Crimson had to trek Potsdam, N.Y., to face off against seventh-seed Clarkson. In the best-of-three series, Harvard needed only two games to close out the victory, winning 2-1 in the first game and 6-4 in the subsequent contest.
The following week, the Crimson met up with Dartmouth, a team that had crushed Harvard earlier in the year.
“We had two tough games against Dartmouth during the regular season,” sophomore forward Alex Fallstrom said. “But we still knew that we had a very good chance of beating them.”
The Crimson did just that in the first game, winning 3-2. But from there, Harvard couldn’t keep up its torrid pace, as Dartmouth narrowly took the next two, 2-1 and 4-3, to win the quarter final series and end the Crimson’s year.
Despite the early exit from the ECAC tournament, the team was satisfied with the large strides it made during the season.
“We had a little rocky start, and maybe the first half of the season didn’t go as expected,” Fallstrom said. “[But then] all the guys started figuring out the systems and doing their roles, and…we became a high-caliber team.”
—Staff writer Robert S. Samuels can be reached at email@example.com.