It wasn't always pretty, but Harvard ends up
4, Clarkson 2
Bernakevitch, T. Pettit
McCulloch, D. Reese
Murphy, N. Welch
Dustin Traylen, 59:43, 21 saves, 3 GA
Dov Grumet-Morris, 60:00, 14 saves, 2 GA
CU 5/18; H 3/6
Plays: CU 0-3; H 1-4
You've read all about Harvard's talent – 12 players drafted
into the NHL, a roster loaded with experience, two consecutive
NCAA Tournament trips. They were the landslide choice to win the
ECAC by coaches and media, announced at the league's preseason
media day held at Pepsi Arena in Albany.
back at Pepsi Arena on Saturday night, and skated off with the
Whitelaw Trophy as ECAC Champions. Looking at the beginning and
the end, it's pretty much what was supposed to happen.
was the difficult part. Harvard's regular season was mediocre.
There were major adjustments to a restructured coaching staff
and new systems. Glimmers of hope were clouded by unconvincing
that was what happened in Saturday's final, which Harvard entered
riding an 8-1-1 streak over its previous 10 games. Just when we're
ready to accept that they've arrived and are here to stay, they
were outplayed in the first period and trailed Clarkson 2-0 on
goals from Chris Blight and Tristan Lush just 52 seconds apart.
But, as they've
been able to do over the long haul, they came back from adversity.
Tom Cavanagh scored twice in the second, and the defense shut
down Clarkson over the last 40 minutes. It led to captain Kenny
Smith's game-winning goal with 37.3 seconds left to play, after
Brendan Bernakevitch won a face off in the right wing circle.
a difficult season," Smith said. "We had high expectations
for ourselves, and a lot of people had high expectations for us.
We had a lot of ups and downs. We were around .500 for a while.
It was tough. The whole time, this team and this coaching staff
stuck together. We knew that these difficult challenges would
make us a stronger group, better people and better players."
is that mistakes can be good, as long as lessons are learned along
the way. Junior goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris said that the ups
and downs were something this team needed to go through.
of the steps we took this year were very unique and that allowed
us to continue to stay poised under pressure in this game,"
fortunes turned with a total commitment to team defense. Both
in terms of its systems, and in terms of its effort in winning
individual battles and blocking shots.
limited Clarkson to just six shots on goal over the last two periods.
be more proud of our kids. For what they did over the course of
the season and the way they persevered and stayed together, they're
very deserving champions," coach Mark Mazzoleni said.
was never easy, but the results are what matter. Harvard's got
the trophy and will represent the ECAC in the NCAAs, making the
end exactly what was prescribed in the beginning.
goaltender David Cann got the start between the pipes as the Raiders
defeated Dartmouth 3-2 in the consolation game. Relegated to backup
duty with the team riding the solid play of Steve Silverthorn,
Cann became the full-time backup.
Stan Moore lauded Cann's positive attitude in accepting his role
on the team. Instead of bringing a negative vibe, Cann worked
hard in practice, supported his teammates, and was ready to play
when called upon. He was there for the Raiders in an important
game in February, when Silverthorn was serving a one-game suspension,
and defeated Cornell.
is to be ready to come in and be ready to play when I'm called
upon," Cann said. "Everyone wants to play but the guys
were playing well for Steve and you don't want to change things
up when they're working."
There he was
again, thrust into an opportunity. Colgate held some hope for
an at-large NCAA Tournament big, despite its unlikeness of happening.
the chance to shine again tonight, and I think I did," Cann
said. "One of our goals at the beginning of the season was
to win our last game, and if tonight was our last game we did
the game with 35 saves.
INCH's Three Stars of the Weekend
Rob Brown, Colgate
senior captain scored the game-winning goal and was a huge
part of Colgate's success all season long.
Dustin Traylen, Clarkson
The Golden Knight goaltender was fantastic down
the stretch and his improved play throughout was reflective
of Clarkson's overall improvement.
Tom Cavanagh, Harvard
He was Harvard's best player in the playoff series
win at Brown one week earlier, and carried the load in the
goal-scoring department in the Crimson comeback. The junior
was vomiting throughout the night after the semifinal win,
but made an impact despite being under the weather.
AND HEARD AT PEPSI ARENA
plays are most frequently drawn up for offensive zone draws, but
Harvard drew up a set play for the start of the second period.
There were 35 seconds remaining on a Crimson power play and the
plan was to get the puck to Tim Pettit for entry into the zone.
It ended up with Cavanagh working a give-and-go with Brendan Bernakevitch
for a breakaway and he slipped the puck through Dustin Traylen's
through the championship game, Clarkson flipped the puck into
the zone toward the net. Grumet-Morris reached up to glove it,
but didn't make the catch. The puck ricocheted to the end boards
off of the cuff of the goalie's glove. Some Clarkson fans surely
thought back to the team's 1999 title, and Willie Mitchell's semifinal
game-winner, which went into the net in similar fashion.
killed off a five-minute major penalty late in the first period
while the score was tied 1-1. Little used winger Marc Fulton checked
Dartmouth's Grant Lewis from behind. Lewis was hurt on the play
and didn't return to the game.
Mac Faulkner and Harvard's Brendan Bernakevitch shared the tournament
scoring lead with 10 points each. Cavanagh and Chris Blight had
nine points each.
was named as the Most Outstanding Player in the tournament. He
was joined on the all-tournament team by Cavanagh, Lush, Dave
McCulloch, Michael Grenzy, and Grumet-Morris.
note from Burlington, Vt. The Catamounts' flagship radio station,
WVMT AM 620, is auctioning off autographed jerseys from John LeClair
and Martin St. Louis, along with other memorabilia from the school's
athletic programs as a part of a fundraiser to benefit a local
family dealing with a serious illness.
Clarkson's resurgence, which can only be a positive for the league.
Their tradition makes them a recognizable name across the country.
the consolation teams, who played an exciting, spirited game despite
it not meaning much in the grand scheme of things.
replay capabilities available, Dartmouth's apparent equalizer
in the final minute (which was disallowed by the on-ice officials)
wasn't even reviewed by the off-ice officials. Video replay was
used in the championship game, though none of the goals were disputed.
Raiders certainly made a huge stride forward and won the regular-season
title for the first time since 2000. Don Vaughan returns to the
bench next season and expectations will be much higher than they
were coming into this year.
The Big Green made their fourth straight trip to Albany, which
is a reflection on the consistency that the program has shown
"What we're looking for is to bring this program to a national
level. We didn't come up with the goods this weekend but we keep
chipping away and persevere.
Though the season ended with a loss, the year was marked by wins.
Clarkson won back some respect and pride around its program. Its
scholarship situation remains healthy after being threatened by
NCAA legislation. The players have confidence and belief that
the program is on an upswing, and are having fun coming to the
rink, which was not the case last year.
stop is the NCAA Tournament. It's the third straight trip for
the Crimson, which has suffered first-round losses in the last
two years. "We haven't won an NCAA Tournament game yet,"
said Tyler Kolarik. "Coach Mazzoleni said to savor it, but
let's get focused on Monday and get ready for the weekend."