Harvard is coming into the Thrilla in Nashvilla a little punch-drunk after consecutive knockdowns. I didnít see the UNH game, but it should have been a sparring, tune-up session at worst, not another encounter with the mat. (While the box score shows that Bloomer will not be denied, the absence of Tresca is ominous.) Weíre not looking good going into Grand Ole Opry land. But does it matter? The whole thing should be the kind of fun the players always say they just wanna have. And, go BC! (We will see you down the road.)
Iím too sensible and too old to fly anywhere Thanksgiving week, but no doubt some foolish youngsters from the midwest (and maybe from the Heights) are making the trip, so please, KEEP US POSTED. I donít see that thereís any coverage anywhere. And you guys will surely let us know what Harvard does and does not have seven games into its season. (I italicize in order to tone down my own expectations as well as to qualify any damage the real heavyweights do.) Iím actually looking forward to having some seasoned WCHA eyes evaluate this team.
BTW, in a hopeful post last year about hockey gene pools I mentioned that then Crimson freshman Kyra Willoughbyís grandfather was the highest scorer on the 1968 Olympic team. Bluffrinkrat (I believe) replied that Taylor Williamsonís grandfather was the coach of that same team. Too bad these Olympic grandkids are missing out by one year on what would have been a notable collegiate face-off in Nashville.
I saw the UNH game and there were several issues, not the least of which Lindsey Reed letting in a five hole goal to extend the UNH lead to 3-1. Reed has to play better if Harvard has any postseason thoughts. Another issue is the D giving up the blue line way too easily. UNH had too many forays into the offensive zone with zero resistance. The Crimson need better D structure. And finally, they have the skill up front to be much better than what they have shown in the past two games. Some offensive creativity would help. And getting tougher in front of the opposing goalie would help as well.
Someone on this thread has to acknowledge what went on in Nashville, just for the record.
One eyewitness said Harvard (excepting Reed) was the worst team he’d seen all season! I have no grounds on which to dispute his viewing experience (he did say it was a small sample size), but he is a Gopher fan and no doubt was sorry that Harvard, down a whopping 1-0 after two periods, was not likely to upset the Badgers. A Badger fan, on the other hand, applauded his team’s ability to hold up to pressure all weekend, implying that Harvard did play some serious hockey on occasion. My take is that the Crimson, however ragged, would not find themselves at the bottom of the WCHA.
Three of the four freshman playing against these two behemoths had seen limited ice time this season, and one of them was playing in her third and fourth game. Would Tresca’s presence have changed either outcome? Probably not. Would Tresca’s presence have changed the flow of Harvard’s offense? Undoubtedly.
Reed has averaged 45 saves in three games against Wisconsin.
The always huge (for Harvard, anyway) BC game is now huger than ever, however intangible the reasons.
But there’s no one left to intimidate/exhaust us. Been there, done that.
They had a difficult time handling the speed and puck possession of Wisconsin in the first game. According to the box score the shots were 57-15 and it was that lopsided a game with, as you mentioned, the caveat that they were only down 1-0 going into the third period. By the third period, they were worn down.
They appeared to be better able to hang with Minnesota, as least in the first half of the game on Saturday but again by the third period they appeared to be out of gas. This game, they were outshot 43-21. Somehwat better, but still too many shots given up. It is asking a lot of your goaltender to hang in there with the total amount of shot differential (64) on the weekend.
I was impressed with Harvard after watching them this weekend in Nashville.
First things first, I wouldn't put too much stock in the shot disparities. There didn't seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason to how shots were being counted. The game didn't feel that lopsided. Yes, the Badgers are very good at shooting a bunch without scoring, but that really wasn't the case here.
I can tell you that in post-game on Saturday, the Crimson players were really pumped up. Despite results, they gained a lot of confidence from the weekend. They weren't totally outclassed - they played with the two top teams in the country and though there were clearly some parts of the game that UM and UW were better at, Harvard held up and played well. I got the impression that they felt like if they had done this well here, they should be more dominant in their conference games. We'll see how that played out, but after all was said and done, I talked to Petrie and Peper and they were in really good spirits and feeling like the weekend was an overall win.
It's a great day for hockey!
Good four point weekend for the Lady Crimson to head into Christmas break. Yesterday's game was a bit weird in that there were four goals in the first period and then nothing until Della Rovere's game winner in OT.
After Nashville, what’s the nature of motivation-generated-by-defeat? That was the question. It remains unanswered after this weekend’s victories. With a ho-hummer 4-0 lead against Yale narrowed to a 4-2 win, and a Harvard PP goal (KDR) in OT to beat Brown, there's not much to say. Maybe we should switch to “gut-check” as the operative term as the team pauses for the holidays.
Btw, I was looking forward to my annual Brown’s Mike Rubin play-by-play fest, when what to my surprise did I hear but the almost identical voice of his brother, Dan - - - equally candid, knowledgeable and entertaining. Uncanny. Both have to be real students of the game to bring those qualities to announcing Brown hockey these days. (But, then again, see above. Brown hockey almost skunked Harvard hockey yesterday.)
Last edited by thirdtime's . . .; 12-08-2019 at 09:25 PM.
"... And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;" -- Rudyard Kipling
Against Wisconsin, I thought they were just dreadful. They played better against Minnesota, and maybe that was just a bad style matchup. Harvard played extremely conservatively, with little forechecking pressure and often four players spread across their own blue line to deny entry. If you don't try to pressure the defensemen, the Gophers will eventually pick you apart. So, maybe they felt good about playing well in a style that I consider raising a white flag. Still, they weren't as good at it as, say, Bemidji usually is. (Though, this year, Bemidji doesn't look like it's as good at it as Bemidji usually is.) This is one of the reasons why I respect the way John Harrington has Mankato playing: they're going to skate with you. That is the way you have the best chance of beating Minnesota, even if the likely outcome is that it increases the margin of your defeat.
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