Forward for Harvard
Harvard got out of the gate quickly and
left with an ECACHL title
6, Cornell 2
McCafferty, D. Reese
Johnson, R. Maki
Fraser, B. McCafferty
Pokulok, D. Pegoraro
Fraser, D. Reese
Murphy, B. McCafferty
John Daigneau, 59:53, 19 saves, 2 GA
Dave McKee, 50:12, 19 saves, 6 GA; Louis Chabot, 9:48,
4 saves, 0 GA
H 8/16; COR 10/20
Plays: H 5-10; COR 0-8
John Daigneau, Harvard (MOP)
D: Ryan O'Byrne, Cornell
D: Dylan Reese, Harvard
F: Kevin Du, Harvard
F: Jimmy Fraser, Harvard
F: Dan Murphy, Harvard
ALBANY, N.Y. – Coaches always talk about
learning from losses, but Harvard did better than that.
Not only did the Crimson win a game at Cornell on Feb. 18,
they took a valuable lesson back to Cambridge along with
the Ivy League Championship. They knew that day that things
would be much easier against Cornell if they played better
in the first period.
Consider the lesson learned. Harvard outclassed
Cornell from the start and won its eighth ECACHL Tournament
And just as a friendly reminder, the lesson
was reinforced in Friday’s semifinal when Harvard
started sluggishly against Dartmouth, but goaltender John
Daigneau stood tall until the Crimson started to score at
“We came out a little slow against Dartmouth,”
junior defenseman Dylan Reese said. “The first 10
minutes they beat us pretty good. We got lucky and once
we scored a goal the floodgates kind of opened. Tonight
we came out well, the ref gave us a lot of power plays,
and once you get a lead like that you’re able to play
a lot more confidently and aggressively.”
Daigneau didn’t have to hold the fort
this time around as the Crimson dictated play from the drop
of the puck and cashed in three power-play goals on five
opportunities in the first period.
“We knew they were a very physical team
and they took it to us when we were up there last time in
Ithaca, so to have us outshoot them so badly in the first
was good,” Daigneau said.
Harvard’s goals went in through screens,
off redirections, and were aided by bounces from the boards
“Right off the bat we knew they were
going to force us down to the net. I can go on goal by goal.
It was just one of those nights,” Cornell coach Mike
Schafer said. “It was a long night. Sometimes things
go well and sometimes they don’t. Tonight they didn’t
After outshooting Cornell 18-3 in the first
period, the Crimson didn’t record a shot on net until
more than 13 minutes had been played in the second period.
Cornell crept back into the game and made the score 3-2
when Ryan O’Byrne wristed a shot through a screen
with 1:24 left in the period. Harvard answered 27 seconds
later, and freshman winger Jimmy Fraser was involved.
Fraser was thrown out of the face-off circle
on an offensive zone draw. He assumed the left wing position
on the boards. When Dan Murphy tied up Cam Abbott on the
draw, Fraser swooped in, picked up the puck and back-handed
it between Cornell goalie Dave McKee’s pads. That
gave Harvard a two-goal cushion to take to the intermission
and stole momentum back from the Big Red.
Fraser was awarded more ice time than usual
when sophomore Jon Pelle suffered a lower-leg injury and
had two goals and two assists in the game.
3, Colgate 2
Offers, M. Ouellette
Ouellette, S. Offers
St. Pierre, R. Smyth
Smyth, K. Wilson
Mark Dekanich, 59:18, 39 saves, 3 GA
Mike Devine, 59:29, 21 saves, 2 GA
COL 6/12; D 5/10
Plays: COL 0-5; D 1/6
Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet’s comments
after Friday’s 10-1 clunker of a loss to Harvard in
the semifinals were more a prediction about his players
than a challenge to them.
“We celebrated 100 years of hockey this
year and they’ve really given us a lot. As an alumnus,
as a coach, and as a fan, they’ve given us a lot to
feel good about,” Gaudet said on Friday evening. “They’ve
put a lot of people in the building that have come out and
supported us. We want to come out and play hard and end
the year on a positive note.”
The Big Green attacked the first period in
that manner. Dartmouth dominated the first period of play,
scoring twice and out-shooting the Raiders 23-8 in the opening
Both teams admitted that Friday’s result
spurred the Big Green into action.
“After the loss they suffered yesterday,
they were really wanting to come out and make a statement,”
Colgate’s Jon Smyth said. “It seemed like for
us, we had a little bit of trouble getting going. It’s
not what we wanted to do.”
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,
but we needed to come back here and play with a lot of pride
and character,” Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet said.
Gaudet made special mention throughout the
weekend of his graduating senior class, which has won more
games than any other group over four years. He also called
senior captain Mike Ouellette one of the great captains
in school history. Ouellette backed up that statement by
playing a solid two-way game and helping motivate his team
“Our first challenge was to get up for
the game, but we really had a lot to prove after last night’s
loss,” Ouellette said. “We just rallied as a
team and came out with a lot of grit and a lot of firepower
and played our game.”
INCH's Three Stars of the Weekend
Mark Dekanich, Colgate
kept his team in two games in which they were outplayed
for long stretches, making 68 saves on the weekend.
Jimmy Fraser, Harvard
The rookie stepped into a power play role
after an injury to Jon Pelle and factored in four
goals in the championship game, scoring twice. He
came into the weekend with just one goal on the season.
Dylan Reese, Harvard
The junior defenseman took care of the puck
on the power play and was solid in his own end all
weekend. His combination of responsibility and creativity
typified Harvard’s weekend.
SEEN AND HEARD AT PEPSI ARENA
• Harvard benefited from the ice markings
on the Pepsi Arena sheet. The attack zones are four feet
larger for the American Hockey League’s Albany River
Rats and all other AHL and NHL surfaces than the standard
college rink. On Harvard’s 5-on-3 power play in the
first period, a shot by Tom Walsh from the top of the left
wing faceoff circle was blocked and trickled out toward
the blue line. Walsh was able to race back and keep the
puck in the zone near the line. Seconds later, Reese scored
to give Harvard a 2-0 advantage.
• Rensselaer Director of Athletics Ken
Ralph said the institute is in the process of evaluating
the hockey program in all aspects – including the
status of head coach Dan Fridgen. Fridgen’s contract
ran through the just-completed season.
“We have to look at all things in totality
and coaching is one of those," Ralph said. "There’s
also funding, admissions standards, marketing and promotions,
a lot of things. We haven’t won as much as we would
like, but there are a lot of things we’re doing very
• Kudos to Dartmouth goaltender Mike
Devine, who rebounded (pun intended) from Friday’s
difficult outing to make 21 saves in a consolation game
win. He made great back-to-back saves on Tyler Burton and
Jon Smyth with 10:30 remaining in the game to help the Big
Green maintain a 3-1 lead.
• The ECACHL will be making a return
to Pepsi Arena next year for an October tournament featuring
Colgate, Quinnipiac, Rensselaer, and Union. It has always
been a challenge for non-Ivy schools in the conference to
fill a non-conference schedule as other leagues around the
nation are often involved in conference play on several
weekends when ECACHL teams are not. Those teams will meet
on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28-29. Semifinal games will
match Colgate and Quinnipiac at 4 p.m. RPI and Union will
follow. A consolation game and championship will be played
Sunday at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
• The only lineup change from Friday
for either of the championship participants was a switch
on the Harvard blueline. Sophomore defenseman J.D. McCabe
replaced classmate David MacDonald, who missed the game
due to injury.
• One of the problems caused by Harvard’s
dominance in the first was a lonely goaltender at the other
end, but Daigneau was prepared.
“I would’ve liked to have seen
a little more action to keep me in the game but I’ve
been working with Bruce Irving, our goalie coach. [He] has
addressed the issue all year in case it happened,”
• A follow-up from Harvard’s 10-1
whipping of Dartmouth in the semifinal round: It was the
most goals scored by the Crimson in any game since Dec.
11, 1993, a 12-1 win at Yale. Current Crimson assistant
coach Sean McCann was the Harvard captain that season. The
18 goals scored by Harvard over two games (they defeated
St. Lawrence 8-4 in the quarterfinal round) was the biggest
two-game output since the Crimson defeated Army 12-2 and
Princeton 7-0 on Feb. 1-2, 1991. Current Crimson head coach
Ted Donato was the captain of that Harvard team.
• Harvard’s tournament total of
32 goals was a single-season ECACHL Tournament record.
• Harvard’s Dylan Reese on tournament
Most Outstanding Player John Daigneau answering skeptics
following the graduation of Hobey Baker finalist Dov Grumet-Morris
last year: “From the beginning a lot of reporters
would ask about our goaltending and Johnny stepped up big
this year,” Reese said. “He’s been unbelieveable.
Johnny’s been everything Dov was, he’s been
so good for us and that’s one of the main reasons
• Harvard freshman defenseman Brian
McCafferty had six assists on the weekend, increasing his
season points total from nine to 15.
• Colgate senior Ryan Smyth played in
his final game as a Raider on Saturday, the 154th of his
career. That is a Colgate record.
• It was the first time since 1996 that
the tournament’s top two seeds played in the consolation
game. In that game, Vermont defeated Clarkson 3-1 in Lake
early game marked the end of the collegiate careers of two
of the league’s outstanding players – Colgate’s
Jon Smyth and Dartmouth’s Mike Ouellette. Both seniors
are undrafted free agents and will have busy cell phones
in the coming days as professional teams make a pitch to
sign them to contracts.
to several events in the Pepsi Arena before and after the
ECACHL Tournament, there was no time to re-paint the ice
surface, which included 10 advertisements in or near the
neutral zone and two large Albany River Rats logos in the
center ice circle. As was mentioned earlier, it had an impact
on the game. That won’t be the case next weekend,
as a “clean” playing surface will be used for
the NCAA Regionals.
Harvard and Cornell will advance to the NCAA
Tournament and their seeding and site will be announced
on Sunday morning. It marks the fifth consecutive trip to
the NCAAs for the Crimson. They’ve lost in the first
round in the four previous tournaments. Cornell returns
to the tournament for the fourth time in five years.
Dartmouth won its first conference title of
any kind, sharing the regular-season crown with Colgate.
The Big Green came to Albany as the number-one seed and
officially established itself as a legitimate force in the
ECACHL. They need to be a more consistent team in the future,
but have a strong foundation of young players that has been
mentored by excellent graduating veterans. The all-freshman
fourth line of Kevin Swallow, Connor Shields and Ryan Bellows
was particularly gritty and effective on Saturday.
Colgate junior Marc Fulton sees no reason
why the Raiders shouldn’t be a factor in the ECACHL
championship chase again next year, despite losing a strong
senior class that included Jon Smyth and Kyle Wilson. First-team
All-ECACHL honorees Mark Dekanich and Tyler Burton will
return next season.
“We used to be a team that was in and
out of the big picture with the national polls and stuff
like that,” Fulton said. “Now Colgate’s
a contender every year and that’s a statement we wanted