The Harvard Crimson have been riding the wave over the last few years, and that doesn’t look like it’s about to stop any time soon.
The Crimson were picked to finish second in the preseason coaches’ poll, and there’s no reason to think they won’t be there again. But head coach Ted Donato knows it’s not about paper.
“We feel like we have a very competitive team, but we also want to improve during the season,” said Donato. “How high you’re picked in the preseason is no help once you step on the ice.”
Four of the top five scorers return for the Crimson, led by senior Kevin Du (10-23-33). Jon Pelle (10-18-28), Paul Dufault (8-18-26) and Ryan Maki (10-12-22) also return to add the offensive punch for the Crimson.
Offense won’t be a problem for the Crimson, who found plenty of opportunities to score last time around. Averaging just over three goals per game, there is no doubt that once again it will come down to how often the puck can be kept out of the Harvard net.
Last season John Daigneau became the starting goaltender, playing in 31 of the 35 games and coming out of the fray with a 2.48 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
But Daigneau graduated, which leaves Justin Tobe to battle with Mike Coskren, Kyle Richter and John Riley for the starting spot.
“We certainly are inexperienced back there,” said Donato. “But I’m confident one of the guys will step up. Last season Daigneau did it. This season someone else will.”
A defense led by Dylan Reese will help as the growing pains are endured. Reese leads a group that features Brian McCafferty, J.C. McCabe, David MacDonald, Chris Kelley and Jack Christian returning. Joining the backline will be Alex Biega, Chad Moris and Ian Tallett.
The Crimson have some things to work on, but there is no doubt that they will be there in the end, as they have been for recent history.
Thanks to Mike Volonnino for his contributions.